You have an important event. You know you’ve planned everything well, down to the printed program, which looks great. You’re ready. But when it comes time for the video presentations, there’s no sound. And you note that the screen is too big for the room (and for the people sitting at the front tables to see).
What happened? You hired the A/V team, assuming they would take care of everything. Wrong. [Before I continue, I have a confession to make. This exact scenario happened at a recent PYM event. We’re supposed to know better, but it’s a lesson we can all learn from.]
Here’s what went wrong:
The A/V company did its job. The technician came with the equipment that was ordered, but it wasn’t compatible with the provided material. The planners did not preview the presentation material beforehand. And they did not measure the location and size of the meeting space with the screen in mind.
1. Always preview presentation material ahead of time. Don’t use your audience as guinea pigs. Have your speakers or presenters mail copies of their audio/visual material ahead of time (or, at least, bring it with them and run through it an hour before the event).
2. Have a complete list of all your needs and review them with your A/V service provider. Don’t expect them to guess what you may need; “a projector and a screen” is not enough information. Too often, as in the case above, the projection equipment is only PC compatible or lacking an adapter for Mac computers. Some planners said this happened to them even when the technician was told beforehand what was being brought in: either the computer wasn’t compatible, or the disc was unreadable on their PC or they couldn’t figure out how to run it on a PC. Meet with the technician as much in advance as possible — to look at the space, review the material and the timing. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that trip you up, like where the light switches or plugs are. (Better yet, create the A/V production with the assumption that it will be run on a PC. Mac users will be able to use it in either case.)
Some other tips from the experts:
- Equipment is at the right place at the right time
- There are extra bulbs for the projectors
- The computer has power adapter (batteries, etc.)
- Extension cords are on hand
- The room can be darkened for films or slides
- Someone who knows how to run the equipment is present
- The presenter knows how to run the equipment