Updated: Mar 8
Audiovisual (AV) equipment plays a huge role in the ultimate success of many events, including presentations, speeches, and video displays. AV equipment can be the key tool that helps take your event to the next level. It increases the guests’ ability to see and hear the message clearly throughout the entire event location. AV equipment is best primed for success when it is used by knowledgeable professionals who specialize in its versatile nature and can recommend the best ways to use it for your event.
Below are comprehensive audiovisual checklists carefully curated with event planners in mind. We will address a variety of events, how to plan for them, and include simple and adaptable AV checklists you can use for any event.
The Definition and Importance of AV Equipment
As noted in its name, audiovisual equipment contains both audio and visual electronic media devices. Simply, the objects and tools needed at your event for guests to hear and see your content. These crucial elements can make or break concerts, presentations, or conferences. Almost any type of event will require at least basic audiovisual equipment. However, the specific items will vary by venue, making it critical to understand the specific equipment your event will require.
In essence, obtaining and using the right audiovisual equipment can determine the effectiveness of an event. Understandably, sourcing, staging, and managing AV equipment may seem like an intimidating project to event planners, but it doesn’t have to be hard. For instance, communication with the venue regarding your audiovisual needs from the start is imperative. They can offer you the guidance and support you need to successfully carry out your event.
Additionally, it is beneficial to ask the venue for an audiovisual equipment list. This can help you see what is available and what items may need to be added to achieve your desired outcome. Having a list to reference gives event planners a clear starting point and something to easily add to or subtract from.
AV Equipment List and Considerations
Here are a few of the basic AV equipment items and questions to consider:
In-house PA system - Is there one? Will it be adequate or are supplemental speakers needed?
Power supply - Is it sufficient or is a generator needed?
Microphones - Wired, wireless, lapel? Mic stands?
Podium - With or without a mic?
Mixer board - How many inputs will you need?
Projectors - Size? Brightness? Ceiling-mounted?
Projection Screens - How many? What size? What type?
TV Screens - How many? What size?
On-site Technicians - Sound, video, lighting?
Wi-Fi - Is it available at the venue?
Is it free or is there a fee associated with it?
Are there certain spaces within the venue that Wi-Fi access is difficult to obtain?
Will any presentations need to be live-streamed?
Can the Wi-Fi network reasonably accommodate this amount of traffic?
Carefully thinking through each step of an event can help you recognize any audiovisual equipment needs, any issues attendees or speakers may encounter, as well as the feasibility of sharing and connecting devices.
The Importance of Audiovisual Checklists
Any event with AV equipment can benefit from a comprehensive checklist. You may even wish to create multiple, separate checklists to cover the various stages of planning, such as your first venue visit or set up needs for your event.
For your reference, we have provided several audiovisual checklist template ideas that you can use or customize to fit your unique situation.
When you first visit a venue, be sure to ask about their experience with other similar events in the past, any audiovisual challenges they tend to encounter, the AV equipment they offer and its capabilities, their policies regarding additional equipment and technologies, and so forth.
Here is a checklist template to use or customize for your venue visit:
Ensure the room dimensions and space can easily accommodate your audiovisual setup
Make note of any obstructions or space restrictions that could complicate or interfere with the set-up process
Consider the traffic flow of the event when making AV placement decisions
Test the lights and know how to adjust them in every room
Double-check the availability of high-speed internet
Confirm broadband width, satellite capabilities as needed
Carefully review the venue policy regarding a 24-hour hold of the venue space for AV set-up
Review the in-house security policy in regard to AV equipment
Ask for a list of available AV equipment offered by the venue, as well as capabilities, types and quantities of microphones, display screens, projectors and computers or a house sound system
Questions to Ask a Venue or AV Company During Venue Visit
What, if any, equipment or other supplies does the venue already offer?
Does this venue or event site maintain a specific supplier contract or do they permit outside vendors?
What, if any, in-house electrical supplies are available?
What is the exact ceiling clearance of the venue space? Are there any known obstructions, including chandeliers?
Are the walls/partitions soundproof? If so, how much?
What parts or elements of the room or venue space can/cannot be blocked by equipment and other supplies, including stands, stages, seating, and so forth?
Are there blind spots or any known spots where light sources or otherwise immovable elements of the venue space (for example, pillars) might interfere with a projection screen?
Are there any house lights? If so, where? And where are the controls to operate them?
Are there any known restrictions concerning stage lighting?
If your event requires special lighting, does that specific venue have specialty rigging capabilities?
Proper and professional preparation and setup are important aspects of event success. Here are some items you can either use or customize to make sure your event gets event started off on the right foot:
Questions to Ask a Venue or AV Company Before Setup
How long is the time frame allotted for setup? What is the expected timeframe in which it will occur?
What are the anticipated timeframes, onsite setup/breakdown times, and security policies for this specific venue?
If there is any heavy equipment, is there an accessible dock and elevator?
With the listed requirements, will more electrical supply be needed?
Is there any backup equipment available onsite? If so, what kind?
Does this venue have any onsite AV experts or technicians? If so, how many? Where and when are they available?
Pre-Event Admin Checklist
Review your AV order line by line
Double-check your setup timeline with your specific venue
Schedule a rehearsal that takes place onsite
Set up an AV matrix of equipment needs according to the following parameters: per day, hour-by-hour, room-by-room, including speaker name and topic
Upon the finalization of your timeline, provide it to any involved parties well in advance
Assign designated volunteers/staff to either attend or monitor each function
Meet with the venue coordinator or contact them to go over the timeline of the setup, as well as the event program itself
Monitor and supervise the loading, moving, and setting up of equipment
Host an orientation for all event volunteers/staff, including DJs, musicians, speakers/presenters, and any others
Monitor and supervise a rehearsal with AV techs and other key players in the event
Download our printer-friendly checklists here:
Audiovisual Tips for Event Planners
Audiovisual needs and requirements vary widely and are dependent on many factors, including the event itself, the host, audience and venue.
Here are a few additional tips for event planners:
Keep in mind that specific AV technology and gear may help with promotion or networking opportunities, including but not limited to, screens that are interactive, live Twitter feeds, or specialty apps.
Some events may require AV considerations in terms of accessibility, such as onscreen captioning or audio capabilities for those who may be hearing- or seeing impaired. It is best to fully investigate the specific AV accessibility needs of your audience in addition to the accessible technology your venue may offer.
If more than one speaker or presenter is used, each one may have different AV needs/requirements. Communicate with them early on and throughout the process, so you may rest assured you have a comprehensive list in accordance with these needs.
If you have an event you need to start planning and preparing for, and you want it to be flawlessly executed, simply contact Channel Audio today. We will help you realize and adequately prepare for all your AV needs. We make sure you have everything covered!