The message you're presenting at your event needs to be seen and heard. Is the AV equipment at your hotel venue going to help or hinder your message?
What experiences have you had using hotel supplied AV? Tell us your good and bad.
How important is it to you and your presenters that you have immediate AV support at your event?
Many hotels provide AV equipment such as audio systems and screens. Why would you think about going to an external AV supplier?
Most hotel supplied AV will do the job for many small meetings and conferences that just require (for example) a laptop plugged directly into a projector or one or two microphones.
But if your requirements are a little more substantial, such as a multiple number of microphones, multiple screens, lots of videos, a stage that does not squeak! or perhaps more importantly your company image needs to be professional and slick, then we suggest you look more closely at the venue AV.
Hotels are not in the business of supplying AV equipment. They are in the hospitality and food business and perhaps see AV as like a bolt on revenue earner (bit like Wifi or the old telephone in your room!).
We have worked in many different hotels and seen poorly maintained AV equipment such as projectors with insufficient brightness or microphones that cut out and feedback through the PA. Much of this is down to hotels purchasing budget equipment that will "just do the job", poor expertise on the purchasers part or just bad advice given from an AV salesman.
It is also worth asking what technical support there is available during your event. I hear so many times that an event is remembered for the video that didn't play or the powerpoint presentation failed to work or "I could not hear the presenter properly" Presenters often hesitate at the start of their presentations or before because they have that uncertainty that "Is the AV working?" or they ask "Can everybody hear me?"
Why choose an AV supplier over hotel supplied AV?
When using an AV supplier you are buying into expertise and a partnership. A good AV supplier will have top quality, well maintained AV equipment. Equipment that will be reliable for your event and suitable for your venue. An AV supplier will of course be able to assess the in-house equipment at your chosen venue and utilise equipment that is suitable and substitute it where necessary according to your requirements.
They will always be able to offer a technician to support you during your event. That's not somebody who just sits at the back of the room behind a back surround and has his/her head buried in Facebook! Somebody who is there to immediately respond to any technical issues, support presenters with his/hers presentation and give them reassurance that they can just focus on their presentation and not worry about the technology.
I would also add many larger hotels especially in London will have good working partnerships with AV suppliers. Some will even operate within the hotel venues.
Helpful questions to ask when visiting venues:
Any AV supplier will be willing to offer advice - Do ask your regular AV supplier for advice or search for recommendations.
The message your presenting at your event needs to be seen and heard. Is the audio visual equipment going to help or hinder your message?