With audio-visual technology gaining a lot of traction in recent years, an increasing number of organizations depend on the expertise of a reliable and dedicated audio-visual partner to seamlessly navigate the complexity of audio-visual system integration.
Having a talented, experienced, and trusted team of AV professionals plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of any event, irrespective of its size or place. Collaborating with a team of skilled and highly invested audio-visual installation partners also ensures that your overall brand messaging is shared clearly and effectively with your audience.
However, given the vast array of audio-visual solution providers available in the market today, it often becomes challenging to shortlist and select the best, largely because there’s no specific process of choosing an AV system, and it gets modified as per individual requirements. For instance, an AV system used for conference rooms vastly differs from the one used in business events.
To ease the decision-making process and enable you to make an informed decision, this guide aims to highlight certain basic factors you need to consider when shortlisting an A/V solution provider.
a. Expertise and Track Record
This is one of the most important factors to consider when hiring an audio-video service provider. Vendors with professional expertise and a proven track record are not just well trained in the field but also have sufficient hands-on experience with audio-visual equipment installations.
In order to efficiently operate intermediate event technology equipment, hiring a professional vendor ensures that you have the right person to man AV equipment properly and that the event is executed seamlessly. A vendor with a proven track record can also offer valuable insights into what kind of technologies your competitors are using and how you can stay ahead of them.
However, it’s important to ensure that you do your thorough due diligence by checking out everything from the website and the various social media profiles for any audio-visual company you’ve shortlisted to hire. Some of the proof points that you can look for include:
- Current Partners – Professional A/V setup solution providers display a great commitment to their clients, even past the installation date, in terms of meeting their customers’ ongoing service and maintenance needs and successfully maintaining customer relationships past the initial installation.
- Testimonials – Competent audio-visual companies often request testimonials from their earlier partners to share them with prospective clients in the future. Other places to check out include business review websites and various company social media accounts for customer testimonials.
- References – Another excellent way to verify your prospective audio-visual vendor’s track record is to ask for references and have a quick chat with one of the past clients to understand the working style of the service provider.
Overall, to offer you the best services and solutions, the audio-visual services company should have the relevant expertise and a qualified/knowledgeable team, with every team member having a deep understanding and technical knowledge of the latest AV technology, along with hands-on expertise in installing AV systems.
In case you’re hosting an in-house event, you may already have some of the audio-visual equipment you need. Talking to the company you’re considering will help you find out what extra equipment you might need. A good A/V vendor will make sure to incorporate your equipment wherever possible, thus making it more cost-efficient for your business.
If you don’t have enough of the right equipment or are hosting an event in a hired venue, then the business you use should be able to provide any needed equipment. Ensuring that the audio-visual equipment installations company you choose has an excellent supply of high-quality equipment is vital.
Further, it’s best to go with a service provider who is equipped to offer end-to-end services from designing, building, to servicing and maintaining your newly installed AV infrastructure. A professional vendor should offer comprehensive end-to-end audio-visual solutions, including:
- Audio-visual solution design
- A complete site and environmental survey along with capturing user needs
- Complete system installation and integration
- Seamless product/component sourcing and procurement
- Provision for ongoing services, including troubleshooting support, maintenance, and any kind of repairs required.
c. Excellent Customer Support
Setting up audio-visual equipment for a big event isn’t easy, mainly because the technology required for the process can be complicated based on the occasion. To ensure that the equipment installation is executed smoothly, it’s important to choose a service provider that’s known to offer excellent customer service.
Some of the things you need to consider here include:
- How quickly does the vendor respond to your queries, phone calls, and emails?
- Can you expect your A/V solution provider to support your project management efforts?
- Are they equipped to efficiently and effectively handle all client problems, queries, and concerns?
Another thing to keep in mind is that in case of any inconvenience resulting from delays that come with installing sound equipment, there are chances that your event’s value might be lowered. Therefore, it makes sense to use online reviews to understand and gauge a vendor’s ability and expertise in offering excellent customer services. You can also visit the company’s website to understand their best practices, testimonials, and other information about successful events they managed in the past.
4. Options for Customization
Variance and uniqueness of audio-visual project environments are some of the key challenges associated with designing and installing A/V systems. No two A/V projects/jobs are similar in terms of features such as seating, lighting, acoustics, etc. In addition to this, customer requirements also vary significantly with each new project.
This makes it important to pick a service provider who can customize individual project requirements to suit the specifications given by the client. Ideally, the vendor should follow a customized design process for your audio-visual implementation that includes detailed information collection, a thorough site survey, and complete project scope.
Since the needs of every audio-video installation project vary, a good A/V system provider will ensure to build you a tailored design and setup that will be fully compatible with your business setup. The company should also provide you with all the details of your design before finalizing a proposal. This ensures that the A/V service provider you have partnered with is well equipped to offer customized solutions based on your individual needs rather than offering you a generalized product.
e. Value for Money
Although factors such as quality and safety should never be compromised to cut costs while choosing audio-video services, it still makes sense to go with a vendor that will offer you the best value for money. The best way to go about this is to thoroughly research the average costs for the services you require to have an idea of the amount of money you should budget.
Remember that a good A/V vendor should be able to offer you options at various price points and should also actively work with you to customize the event to fit your specific needs. When discussing pricing and quotes, it’s important to inquire about some of the relevant details listed below:
- What are the labor rates, including over-time and double-time rates?
- Can they provide you with a line-item quote that clearly lists out all equipment in each department? (This will help you make an easy cost comparison between different service providers)
- Check if the quote given includes travel and shipping estimates (if applicable), as these are variable costs that are not always included in early drafts of budgets.
Going with a professional service provider gives you the advantage of knowing the charges upfront and getting a realistic quote. You could also ask the business to break down the overall costs to understand different cost heads and where your money is going to be spent.
Like any other industry that employs the latest technology, audio-visual technology is constantly evolving and changing. While certain A/V trends come and go, many innovative and newer technologies in the A/V industry are likely to carry on into the future and are often adopted by professional and pro-A/V service providers. Some of these include wireless AV systems, virtual and augmented reality, custom cable assemblies, etc.
If your business also decides to invest in A/V technology, the above guide can help you select professional A/V service providers. Apart from considering the above factors when choosing an A/V vendor, you also need to have a clear and thorough understanding of how long it will take to see a positive return on your investment.
Once you’re ready to plan your event and are in search of a trusted and established audio-visual service provider to work with, contact the team at Pinnacle DSL. With our expertise and many years of experience in the field of A/V in Canada, we make sure that your event (irrespective of size and place) is a grand success.
Disclaimer: Mentioned information is sourced from the internet available resources and Pinnacle DSL shall not be held responsible for any misconveying of facts or otherwise.