• 9 Questions You Didn't Think to Ask Your AV Provider

    FROM THE Winter 2015 ISSUE

Often, the key to the success of a live corporate event is choosing a great audio-visual partner. If you are looking to bring in an A/V partner, it is imperative to qualify the company since in large part you’re relying on them to make the meeting a success. Here are some of the most important questions to ask before you select an audio-visual provider.

1. How long have you been in business? It seems pretty straightforward, but you might be surprised how often this simple question isn’t asked. Let the rookies learn the business on someone else’s dime. You’re better served by an experienced A/V team.

2. Do you have any industry achievements or awards? This is a good way to gain a sense of reputation (or lack thereof) within their industry.

3. What other services do you offer? (i.e. webcasting, mobile applications, production services, video capture, etc.) You may not have anticipated what kinds of additional services are needed until you need them. Don’t wait until then to find out that your chosen A/V partner can’t provide it.

4. What is your process for planning the audio-visual needs of a meeting? A good planning process is very important when it comes to really clarifying the client’s A/V needs, and any credible provider should gladly let you in on theirs.

5. Will there be any change in cost based on the city and venue of my event? In many cases, clients will need audio-visual services at various venues across the country, and as such it is vital to know up front about any possible cost changes.

6. What is your experience in the venue? Every venue has a different layout with specific lighting needs, obstacles, windows, columns, etc.—and this all has a huge impact on the A/V.

7. Can you provide references from events in the same venue or from clients with an event that is similar in size and scope to mine? Taking the previous question a step further, you will want to make sure that they’ve not only handled previous events in the same space, you’ll want to verify that they’ve done so successfully.

8. For cities that require union labor, does the A/V vendor have relationships with the union to streamline the process and help minimize costs? This is a crucial question—and if the answer isn’t an unequivocal yes, you are in potentially risky territory.

9. What differentiates you from your competition? The way the A/V company answers this question is as telling as what the answer is. Basically, look for what they present by way of facts based on experience, capabilities, and credentials, rather than simple platitudes.

Andrew Taffin, CEO of Tallen Technology Rentals, co-founded the Iselin, New Jersey-based company in 2002. A regular speaker at industry conferences and events, Taffin is also one of the founding members and former president of the International Technology Rental Association (ITRA). For more information, please email services@tallen-inc.com and visit tallen-inc.com.

The key to maximizing success (and limiting risk) is for marketers to better understand how their audiovisual team works. 

It is almost event day. You are excited, but you are also stressed.

You have spent the last few months preparing for your live stream: that big product launch, quarterly Town Hall, or video conference that your boss needs to go well. Your marketing and communications teams have been working hard, and everything appears ready.


Retreats and off-site meetings present wonderful opportunities for groups to collaborate, strategize and build relationships away from their normal office environments. With proper planning, these sessions can be highly effective and even pivotal in setting a new direction. However, off-sites may present some unforeseen challenges that can quickly deflate the energy in the room if not anticipated and addressed in advance.


Your meetings and events aren't confined to one place, so why should your bar be? Take your tap to go with a mobile bar at your next shindig.
Hitch & Sip
Hitch & Sip first opened its restored 1970s trailer in May 2018 and has been serving corporate happy hours, trade shows, client appreciation events and more ever since. The cash bar can be set up indoors or outdoors and is entirely customizable.