by Morton D. Rosenbaum | December 01, 2005

The following checklist was compiled with the help of Robyn Baker, marketing manager, and Les Goldberg, CEO, LMG Inc., 2350 Investors Row, Orlando, Fla. 32837

Determining Needs

  • What is the nature of the event (i.e., awards presentation, product launch, motivational speech)?
  • What kind of A/V does each presenter require (computer projection, computer for PowerPoint, audio, etc.)?
  • If the program includes entertainment, will the performers have A/V needs such as special sets or lighting? 
  • Are any presenters bringing their own equipment?
  • Will the meeting venue supply any equipment (podiums, microphones, etc.)?
  • Does any of the media material need to be produced?
  • What is the A/V budget?
  • Site-Selection Considerations

  • What is the room capacity?
  • What are the height, width and depth of the stage?
  • Is the ceiling height adequate for projectors? 
  • Is there an adequate number of rigging points available for hanging lighting, screens, etc.?
  • Are there enough computer hookups?
  • Is there a built-in sound system? 
  • Will noise bleed through from adjoining rooms?
  • Is lighting adequate for those taking notes?
  • Will anything obstruct the audience’s view of the stage, screen or monitor?
  • Is security provided for the duration of the event?
  • Is there on-site parking for trucks?
  • Is it a union or nonunion venue?
  • The Request for Proposal

  • Communicate the purpose of the event.
  • Provide audience size (large groups require image magnification and more powerful audio systems).
  • Provide a list of all event details, including date, location, any room-access restrictions and the venue contact.
  • Provide the event room’s dimensions. 
  • Arrange a date for the A/V supplier to inspect the site.
  • Indicate whether any A/V elements, such as slides, graphics or lighting, should tie in to a theme.
  • Note whether the event will include a question-and-answer session.
  • Advise the supplier if the event is to be recorded.
  • Advise if the event will include any pyrotechnic displays that require fire marshaling. 
  • If the supplier is to provide an entertainer’s A/V needs, specify rehearsal times and the number of rehearsals involved in order to determine and justify labor costs.  
  • Set a response deadline.
  • Choosing a Supplier

  • Does the company just rent equipment or does it provide technical labor as well?
  • How are costs calculated? Does the price include rehearsals, insurance, security, labor rates, local and state taxes, and union considerations?
  • What are the load-in and load-out requirements?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • What sort of response will the company provide when technical issues arise?
  • Will one technical director/stage manager be assigned to handle the event from planning to execution?
  • Who is responsible for lost, damaged or stolen equipment?
  • Can last-minute equipment demands be met? What are the additional costs? 
  • Be sure all incoming bids are for the same equipment, since pricing depends on the quality of same. If possible, enlist an objective technical director to compare bids with the RFP. 
  • Ask for at least three client references with similar events.