by Lisa Grimaldi | April 01, 2005

The following checklist was compiled with the help of Les Goldberg, CEO of Orlando-based A/V specialists LMG Inc. (www.lmg.net)

Determining Needs

  • What is the nature of the event (i.e., awards presentation, new product launch, motivational speech)? 
  • What kind of A/V equipment does each presenter require (computer projection, graphics, audio, etc.)? 
  • Does any electronic media material need to be produced? 
  • Are any presenters bringing their own equipment? 
  • If the program includes entertainment, will the performers have A/V needs such as sound or lighting? 
  • Is the meeting venue supplying any equipment (podiums, microphones, stage platforms, etc.)? 
  • What is the A/V budget?
  • Site Visits

  • What is the room capacity? 
  • Can the venue accommodate the event’s A/V needs? 
  • What are the dimensions of the presentation area (height, width and depth)? 
  • Will the audience have an unobstructed view of the stage or projection screen?
  • Is there sufficient electrical power? 
  • Is the ceiling height adequate for projectors? 
  • Is there a built-in sound system? 
  • Is there sufficient rigging for items to be hung?
  • Will noise bleed through from adjoining rooms? 
  • Is lighting adequate for those taking notes? 
  • What are the computer data network requirements? 
  • Is there on-site truck parking? Is there a designated loading dock?
  • Is secure and adequate storage space available? 
  • Can a speaker preparation area be provided?
  • RFP Details

  • Communicate the purpose of the event. 
  • Provide audience size (large groups might require image magnification and more powerful audio systems). 
  • Provide a list of all event details, including date, location, any restrictions on room access, and the venue contact. 
  • Provide the dimensions of the event room, and arrange a date for the A/V supplier to inspect the site. 
  • If the event will be themed, indicate whether any media elements, such as banners and electronic graphics, should tie in to the theme. 
  • Indicate if there will be a question-and-answer session. 
  • Advise the venue if the event is to be videotaped. 
  • Specify if the event will include any pyrotechnic displays that require a fire marshal on site. 
  • If an entertainer will require rehearsals, include rehearsal dates and times in order to determine labor costs. 
  • Set a response deadline.
  • Other Considerations

  • Does the venue only rent equipment or does it provide tech support services as well? 
  • How are costs calculated? Does the price include rehearsals, insurance, security, delivery, labor rates, local and state taxes, and union considerations? 
  • What are the load-in and load-out requirements? 
  • What is the cancellation policy? 
  • What support will be provided for technical problems? 
  • Will a technical director or stage manager be assigned to handle the event from planning to execution? 
  • Who is responsible for lost, damaged or stolen equipment? 
  • Can tapes of the event be mass-produced for distribution? 
  • Ask for at least three client references with similar events.