by Joe Guilderson, Corporate Audio Visual Services | January 02, 2015
There are a number of ways to host a successful event. Depending on whom you ask, this could mean creating a pleasant ambience, providing delicious food, or offering an evening of pure entertainment. But in comparison to A/V Production, all of that seems supplementary. The items below are the nuts and bolts of any event, which will help you effectively communicate your message to your audience and reach your goals as a result.

Audio & Sound
If there's one thing that's important to remember, it's that audio is not the area you can afford to go cheap on. Have you ever been to an event where, try as you might, it's nearly impossible to hear what the speakers are saying? No matter how interested you may be in the auction, the presentation, or the speech, you can't help but lose that interest. Herein lies the reason why it's essential to have quality audio. If your guests can't hear the message, they won't pay attention and it will, without question, negatively affect the success of your event. Because of this and the fact that audio is one of the more difficult elements of production, your best bet is to hire a professional.

Video & Visuals
We are a predominantly visual society. More often than not, we need to see things to believe them. In order for your event to be successful, you must connect with your audience and there is no better way to do that than through video and visuals. Using large projection screens or flatscreen TV monitors that allow you to catch people's attention while communicating and controlling the messages you're putting out there. Today, attendees and audiences walk into an event not just hoping for video and visuals, but expecting them. It's an important aspect of any kind of presentation and a prime opportunity to get the support of your guests.

For events, lighting serves the purpose of both function and design and it's critical to understand this if you're looking to create a certain environment. When thinking about function, you should consider which areas of the event must be lit. The first of these should be the focal point of the room, which would typically be the stage, because your audience must be able to see your presenters in order to connect with them. For design, we would use technology like LED equipment, GoBos, and moving lights to create a mood using color, patterns, location and timing. When done correctly, lighting can literally change the event's theme from hot to cold, or the audience's behavior from subdued to totally captivated.

Though it may not be as exciting as some of the other factors, designating enough time for proper production is a necessary element of planning a successful event and you'll need experienced people to do it. They'll be planning electrical power, internet requirements, staging dimensions and placements, figuring out what will fit where, when music/video will be played, when the program's entertainment will apply, and having everyone on the same page. Equipment without people who know what they're doing is useless and you'll need those people to understand what you're trying to achieve and how to execute it.

The essentials I've explained here are important to your event, but they are not cheap. In fact, A/V production is typically one of the three largest expenses when planning an event. With that said, my final and, perhaps, most important piece of advice to you is this: Plan events with return on investment (ROI) in mind, not just cost and expense. 

Why? Because if even one piece of the puzzle is missing or not done right, you will have missed an opportunity to connect with your audience and reach your goal. Audio, video, visuals, lighting, and proper production all allow your guests to see, hear and understand your mission and when you've done that, you've succeeded.

Joe Guilderson is the president of Corporate Audio Visual Services based in Elmsford, NY. Guilderson can be reached at (914) 592-9700 or by e-mail at [email protected] For more information, please visit