The must-have audio visual event equipment checklist

March 13, 2019

Before event planners shop around for quotes from audio visual (AV) suppliers to support your corporate event, they need to fully understand what your equipment requirements are.

If you're planning a corporate event, look to your event strategy, special guests and internal stakeholders to determine which pieces of equipment are most relevant. Everyone is likely to have unique requests, so it's important you understand what the different equipment on offer is and what's really crucial to your event.

Microphones

Microphones are a deceptively simple thing. You know you'll need to account for the maximum number of speakers at any given time and provide enough microphones accordingly – but you also need to consider what kind of microphones you'll require.

If you'll only have a single speaker at a time, a wired microphone is a great option as it's more reliable. However, wireless may be the way to go if you have multiple speakers on stage at once, as you don't want wires getting tangled or tripping anyone. Similarly, if you're hosting a panel and expect audience questions you'll need microphones that can be moved freely.

Lastly, think about lapel or headset microphones. These are smaller, wearable microphones that let your speakers present hands-free, which can be especially valuable for product demonstrations.

A sound board helps event management staff handle different audio channels.A sound board helps event management staff handle different audio channels.

Mixer/sound board

Sound boards are electronic consoles used to manipulate and combine audio signals before routing them to your speakers. 

Some venues may include a sound board, but it won't always be up to scratch for what you need. Depending on the external sound systems and number of microphones, you'll need a decently sized sound board to handle multiple inputs. It's important to carefully count (and count again!) the number you'll need for microphones, laptops and other devices.

Projectors and screens

Depending on your venue and event format, you'll need a number of screens to display content on. These may be digital LCD or plasma monitors, LED panels, or projectors and projection screens.

Your choice of display comes down to the layout of the venue and aspects such as a light, content type and audience headcount.

A projector or LED is ideal for large audiences as it's capable of scaling up to enormous sizes fairly easily. That said, you'll need to consider how bright your projector needs to be. A brighter projector ensures better visibility – crucial for presentations. Natural light will impact the visibility of a projection, so you'll need to opt for a particularly bright bulb in venues with a lot of light leakage.

Rear projection (wherein the projector is placed behind the screen) tends to offers one of the best visibility and high-quality images, but requires more set up space. LED panels currently provide the most high-quality imagery you can use, but are more expensive.

Meanwhile, monitors are a great option in intimate panel rooms as no-glare screens can present slides clearly and there's generally less need to lower the lights of the room.

Finding the right audio visual equipment is crucial to delivering a show-stopping event.Finding the right audio visual equipment is crucial to delivering a show-stopping event.

Video switcher

A video switcher is a device that operates much like a sound board, but for visuals. It selects between multiple incoming video signals and directs them to a single output such as a streaming device, video recorder or screen/monitor.

You'll need a video switcher if you intend on having various visual streams presented on the same output throughout your event – cameras, slides and videos. Your AV team will be able to control the switcher and ensure the best content is being shown on-screen at the right times. 

Just like with the sound board, think about how many inputs you'll need for your video switcher. You might also consider adding an extra input as backup in case any devices freeze, so your team can quickly switch to another laptop with the same slides, for example, with just a push of a button.

Adaptors

With so many different devices requiring connection to various parts of your AV setup, you've got to be prepared for any surprises. That means having a backup catalogue of different adaptors, in case a speaker asks to have slides presented from their own devices, and the input provided doesn't match your video or sound mixer.

Deliver a dynamic show with creative AV staging strategies.Deliver a dynamic show with creative AV staging strategies.

Wireless connectivity

What kind of bandwidth does your event need to stay live?

Consider what internet-enabled devices you'll need to run the show. If slides and videos are being broadcast directly from the cloud, you'll need the bandwidth to support that. For livestreamed events, you'll also have to think about the bandwidth required to maintain fast, regular upload speed. 

At the same time, your event delegates are likely to want to stay connected throughout the event to share moments on social media. A high headcount could mean huge amounts of additional traffic – so consider establishing separate networks for event staff and delegates if you're providing free WiFi.

Stage lights

Most venues can provide basic event lighting to ensure your speakers can be seen – but if you're interested in adding some real drama to your event, you should consider a more comprehensive lighting system. From coloured lights to gobos, lighting is an oft-overlooked channel to add dynamic flair and additional branding opportunities. Additional lighting may also be required if you are planning to broadcast your event.

Satisfy your AV and staging needs with CMS Australasia

There's a lot to be taken into consideration when planning an event. Take the burden of AV staging off your back by reaching out CMS Australasia today. Our team of event specialists can hook you up with everything you need from microphones to lighting and even manage AV logistics during your event as a perfect extension to your team.

For more information, reach out to CMS Australasia today.