You have a choice!
Many of our clients did not realize they had a choice when selecting an audio visual provider for their program. Although it may appear that the “in house” AV company is your only choice, there are many other types of AV companies that will WOW your attendees and presenters, as well as saving your organization money and time.
In addition to the “in house” AV company, you may also choose to work with a local or even a nationwide audio visual vendor. Each choice has unique benefits, but overall, contracting with a nationwide vendor is the most streamlined, time-saving, cost-effective, and quality driven approach. A nationwide audio visual company can positively impact the way you, your planning team, presenters, and attendees experience your events.
You are not required to use the venue “in house” AV company
The “in house” AV company is a vendor contracted by the venue to supply audio visual services. As a valued client of the venue, you are utilizing the venue for sleeping rooms, food and beverage, and meeting space. This is the most important revenue for the venue and you are not required to select the “in house” audio visual company as your AV provider. You have a choice and the right to select an AV vendor that will best serve your needs.
Choosing a Nationwide AV company results in cost savings
The ‘in house” AV company pays steep commission rates to the venue for the luxury of being the “preferred” audio visual provider for the venue. These commissions can be in excess of 65% of overall gross revenue of the “in house” AV company. This cost is unfortunately passed on to you in the form of high prices and hidden fees.
A nationwide AV company, however, is consistently a better value than the “in house” AV company. They don’t pay commissions or have any hidden fees. Their prices are fair and consistent and they may offer multiyear contract options that allow you to lock in your pricing for all of your events over multiple years, regardless of event location.
Choosing a Nationwide AV company results in better service
Because the “in house” AV company serves many clients at the same time, they cannot supply the one-to-one service that a nationwide audio visual company does. While the “in house” company is spread thin working with several meetings at the same time throughout the venue, your contracted nationwide company is only servicing your meeting at the event location and has their focus 100% on you.
A Nationwide AV company makes your job easier
A nationwide AV company can partner with their clients for all of their events no matter the location. They make their job immensely easier by becoming members of their team and taking the AV off of their plate, so they can focus on all other important areas of the conference planning. By partnering with their clients year after year, they learn the ins and outs of the program; develop strong relationships with the planning staff, presenters and attendees; and create best practices and procedures that make the AV go off without a hitch.
Know your rights
If possible, it is best to negotiate all AV terms prior to signing the venue contract, although you can still negotiate AV after you selected the venue.
Insist on maintaining your right to use any vendor you wish. We advise our clients to include the following language in any venue contract:
Buyer will not accept or agree to any proposal or contract containing conditions, terms, or clauses which unreasonably restrict our choice of third party suppliers for our event(s) at any meeting facility, whether such conditions are expressly stated in the proposal or contract, or whether they are contained in the general operating policies of the facility, be they published or unpublished.
Furthermore, Buyer will not accept or agree to any fees, surcharges, or penalties of any type charged by a meeting facility that are in any way based on or tied to our choice of third party suppliers, whether such fees are expressly stated in the proposal or contract, or whether they are contained in the general operating policies of the facility, be they published or unpublished.
This “Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers” clause shall be appended to all contracts that are executed by Buyer, and if it is determined that this clause is in conflict with any other clause, portion of any contract, or any general operating policy of the facility, then this “Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers” clause shall be deemed to take precedence over the other item(s) with which it is determined to be in conflict, unless specifically agreed otherwise.
AV Liaison Fees
Insist on not paying for any additional AV labor supplied by the “in house” AV company as a result of selecting a vendor of your choice. Be sure there are no “AV Liaison,” “Production Supervisor” or “Load in/out Supervisor” positions being charged to your master account. While described as a service provided to your selected AV company, they offer very little assistance and sometimes do not show up at all.
The “in house” AV company may use internet costs as leverage. It is always best to guarantee a discounted rate on internet prior to signing the venue contract. If you name your price prior to signing the contract, the venue will pressure the “in house” AV company to honor that price in order to get you to sign the contract.
If outrageous internet fees are presented to you after you have signed the venue contract, let the venue know that the fee is overpriced and out of line. The venue can negotiate at any time to keep you happy.
If your internet needs are basic, don’t feel pressure to order connections from the venue. It is unlawful for the venue to intentionally restrict your devices’ network connection, including hot-spot and MiFi connections. You can supply these connection devises which will result in tremendous cost savings.
Power charges may or may not apply to your meeting rooms. Don’t let the “in house” AV company determine your power needs. They will often over estimate your power needs, charging you more than you need to pay. Turning Point AV is happy to determine the required power usage on your behalf (which is very minimal due to factors such as power saving LED lighting, etc.). We will coordinate this with the ‘in house” AV company and will ensure fair and accurate power usage.
This may seem like a lot of information all at once, but the great thing about selecting a nationwide audio visual provider is that you only have to do it once! Once you have secured your trusted vendor, rest assured that your AV needs will be taken care of for each program by a vendor you know and trust.
For more information about nationwide AV companies and your right to choose, or to get an audio visual quote for any of your upcoming programs, please don't hesitate to contact us!