It’s event day. The blue and white hydrangeas have been sourced, the sticky barbecue dip is magnificent and there are 960 seats arranged perfectly in the venue hall. You have, however noticed a few technical problems; the speakers are not practical for the venue size – leaving the guests at the back to have their own party and you’re unhappy because the lighting does not create the atmosphere you had in mind. You’ve realised that you probably should have met with your audio visual technical solution team before the event.
After months of sleepless nights and plenty meetings with your event coordinator – communicating your vision down to the last dish, technical disaster has struck at the final hour. If you are looking for some comfort, here is it: you are not the first person this has happened to.
There are many reasons why technical disasters happen right before an event:
- Your chosen technical supplier is using outdated, incompatible equipment.
- The technical supplier did not visit the set-up on the day to ensure everything was in working order.
- Your event coordinator did not understand your technical requirements well enough to relay the requirements to the supplier.
- You did not personally meet with the technical solutions supplier.
We want to elaborate on points 3 and 4 (because 1 and 2 would never be an option for Avstage).
Let’s take a look at point 3:
Your event coordinator did not understand your technical requirements well enough to relay the requirements to the technical solutions supplier.
Your event coordinator effectively handles your tangible requests. This means that they can source your centre pieces, banners, venues, caterers etc. The problem arises when you may ask them for a certain technical effect you want, but because you are unsure of the correct technical terms and because this is not your coordinator’s knowledge area, they think they know what you are looking for and you think you have adequately described your requests.
Based on what they think you meant, your coordinator communicates your requests to the technical supplier. This should start to resemble a classic case of broken telephone. Often, your event coordinator does not facilitate communication between you and your event suppliers. Thus, the technical solutions company runs with the brief they receive from the coordinator – trusting that it is what you want and exactly what you asked for.
Last minute changes due to incorrect briefing may result in extra charges that you did not budget for when planning this event. So, what is the solution here?
Let’s explore point 4:
You did not personally meet with the technical supplier.
We cannot stress enough how important it is for the corporate client to meet directly with the technical supplier. We are not saying that you need to go behind your event coordinator’s back and meet in a dark alley. Instead, we are suggesting that you request for your event coordinator to arrange a meeting between you, the desired technical supplier, and the coordinator.
This way you can describe what you are looking for directly to the technical supplier, who will be able to translate your requests into technical terms that will become tangible effects. They can also repeat your requests back to you to make sure they understand exactly what you want. You will also have access to previous work of the technical supplier – providing you with inspiration and confirmation of the supplier’s abilities.
Having your event coordinator sit-in on this meeting is a bonus because the technical solutions team can decide how to collaborate with your coordinator in terms of timeframes and anything extra the technical team may need – such as music, logos, brand colours etc.
What if you are not planning to use an event coordinator?
Up until now, we have assumed that you are hiring a coordinator to throw your event. If you (or your department) are throwing the event, you have immediate and direct access to meet with each supplier of your choosing.
Keep a look out for our next blog on how to choose independent suppliers for your next event. For a technical solutions supplier, consider using Avstage.