Part 3: Outside, In-house, or Local A/V Company for your event?
October 19, 2016
Sometimes when talking to prospective clients, the topic of flying in an A/V company comes up.…I get a lot of the following:
“Flying in an A/V company is too expensive”
“Our meetings are too small to bring someone in”
“Local Companies are always cheaper”
I’m not going to lie to you, there are times when it might not make sense to bring in an outside A/V company, but it comes down to what you value.
Let me use a hypothetical story to illustrate why using an outside A/V company like Atema Partners is a great idea (even on a small meeting).
Say you are in charge of a marketing meeting in Boston with 40 people from different sales territories flying in from across the U.S.
You decided to go with the in-house A/V provider as the hotel planner said it was a part of your meeting contract (we’ll save that discussion for another time). Regardless, you have all your breakout rooms and your office set up. You are ready to go!
As your attendees arrive to the onsite office to pick up their badges, several of them are asking to print the latest slide deck. You direct them to the printer in the office and plug it in via USB. Everything is going great.
But after a couple copies, streaks start appearing on the slide decks that are being printed (cue intense hate for the printer a la Office Space). You start to take the printer apart, replacing the toner with a new one to see if that will do the trick. Meanwhile more attendees have arrived to register and are waiting at the desk for you. They need to register as their first meeting starts in 10 minutes.
Then the head of the marketing team pops his head in and says that he can’t get his computer to connect to the projector in the breakout room. You pick up the house phone and ask for the A/V team to help out in the breakout room. They say they will be there as soon as they can, but are helping out in a different room, and they will be there in 10 to 15 minutes.
The meeting is supposed to start in 10 minutes.
The printer is still not fixed and you are getting asked by attendees where certain rooms are, what the wifi password is, and what time the shuttle departs for the team-building event.
This meeting is getting very stressful.
How we help
Let’s go back to the beginning of this story, but now you have a dedicated Atema Partners technician onsite to help with your A/V needs. One who you know can talk to your attendees without scaring them away, a professional!
When the printer starts to streak, you ask your Atema tech (who is sitting at the desk next to yours in the office) to look at it for you. The tech has seen this before and knows he or she needs to pull out the fuser and give it a good cleaning. Problem solved!
With the printer squared away, your Atema tech is already on his way to the help kick off the breakout room that starts in 10 minutes. Once there he or she will help the presenter get connected to the projector with the correct dongle, get the slide advancer tested and working, and connect to the wireless network! (Did I mention the table tent that has all of our contact information if they need us later?)
Accordingly, he waits outside the breakout room to help give attendees directions to the nearest bathroom and confirms that this is the marketing meeting room. Once the meeting starts he closes the door and waits for the meeting to kick off before he checks back in with you at the office.
“Having a technician that’s dedicated and knowledgeable with A/V and Office equipment can keep you focused on your attendees”
Now this is not to say that a local or in-house A/V company can’t help solve these problems, but when you and your company are spending time and resources to further your product or service, you want dedicated support from the moment you arrive until you leave. Atema Partners is there for you only, providing the highest level of service and becoming a part of your team and company.
“Cost savings isn’t always apples to apples”
Flights to a meeting can seem like a big upfront cost, but that can be offset by equipment rental and other fees. In-house A/V prices are often marked up by 50% or more, as they are effectively “renting” meeting space from the hotel or venue. What that means is half the cost of that astronomically expensive projector in a small breakout room goes to the hotel as rent. You may actually save a significant amount by flying in an outside A/V company that has significantly cheaper equipment.
With local companies, the cost of the gear might be lower, but you can get hit with the cost of labor and overtime. Atema Partners technicians are there for you and offer support 24/7 during the event.
“Having to feed another group”
Meals are another expense that you normally wouldn’t have to worry about when using an in-house or local company. That’s not necessarily true though. Everyone needs to eat, and whether that is a local company taking a walk-away lunch with per diem allowance, or the in-house labor going to the cafeteria, the cost is built in. The advantage for an outside A/V team is that they can eat the same food as your attendees (after the attendees eat, of course), which is already paid for. The bonus is that they remain onsite and available should any last-minute meetings or emergencies pop up.
A familiar face
One of the “intangibles” to flying in an A/V company is knowing that you are going to see familiar faces. We strive to build relationships with our clients, and to us that means putting in the time to build trust with you. You won’t get that with a local or in-house provider. Period.
It all comes down to value.
Picking the right A/V team for your event really comes down to what you value. Atema Partners helps alleviate the stresses and frustrations that come with technology and meetings. We are good at what we do and will always look for ways we can save you money while providing the best service possible.
We hope to prove it to you.
Want more information? Get in touch with us!