In an event space at Tākina, white tables fill the room with black chairs. An audio-visual sound desk is set up in the foreground, with a projector screen on the far wall.

There is no silver bullet solution to reducing audio-visual (AV) spending — equipment is expensive to buy, store, maintain, and manage with skilled labour.

Yet AV plays a vital role in enabling us to communicate with event attendees. NW Group’s Lizzi Lovegrove shares her top tips on how to confidently manage AV on a budget.

How to keep AV costs on budget

AV costs for events are often questioned. However, being clear and communicative will help to stick to budgets.

Talk to your AV provider

When planning events, engage with the AV provider as early as possible. Bring them on the journey and discuss the purpose of the event. If information isn’t provided, assumptions on requirements may happen, which leads to equipment on a quote that isn’t needed. Be clear. By talking through the agenda, acknowledging what’s important and identifying low-priority items, you’ll be positioning the event for the best possible tailored quote.

Be specific about budget expectations

Save yourself time by being clear about budgets in the initial briefing. If you don’t have an exact figure in mind, go for a ballpark. This allows the AV supplier to provide a solution to meet your budget. Don’t be afraid to give a budget and ask what solution they can provide for you, based on your brief and the funds available.

Engage with your speakers ahead of time

Communicate with your speakers about levels of AV support at the event and equipment resources available to them. That way, you can remove unneeded items from the quote. Equally as important, you don’t want them to feel unsupported if they don’t have their requirements met to deliver their presentation. Presenters can be hard to get a hold of, but preparation is the best outcome for your event and their presentation.

Ask for an itemised quote

You are entitled to an itemised quote, particularly if you want to get a better understanding of where your money is being spent and why. If you are over budget and unsure of the equipment description, schedule a call with your AV provider so they can talk you through everything in detail. This exercise is twofold. It educates and empowers you to get a better understanding of what the technical equipment does. Secondly, it helps to prioritise what’s important.