Planning a meeting in Las Vegas or attending a convention in Las Vegas and having to organize satellite events?
How to Cut Technology Costs
Audiovisual equipment and presentation technology is essential to meetings and events. Although projectors and 35 mm slides used to be high-tech, the meeting world has rapidly evolved and embraced laptops, remote controls, high-definition screens and two-way radios. The use of this equipment has become a measure of credibility and overall appeal. However, many meetings don’t have the budget to support these meeting must-haves. The following are cost-saving tips for audiovisual and presentation equipment:

  • Bid out AV and other services. Often, meeting planners discover that putting AV services out to bid is less expensive than using in-house providers. It never hurts to get more than one estimate.
  • Negotiate complimentary two-way radios in the contract with audiovisual companies.
  • Make deals directly with the audiovisual company. By communicating clearly with the company, meeting planners can eliminate confusion and middle-man charges.
  • Travel with extension cords, outlet converters and surge protectors. These seemingly obvious tools can cost a fortune if they have to be purchased for every meeting or event at the last minute.
  • When you expect to have extensive AV requirements, book a conference center, most of which include equipment in the cost.
  • Confirm the equipment that the speaker will require for the event. Many speakers request equipment and then decide not to use it once they settle on the actual presentation.
  • Don’t put AV equipment in every room unless the speaker or moderator plans to use technology.
  • Check with the venue to see if any organizations will be meeting before the event and ask if you can you can piggyback off of any of their sets or services. For example, if you are using the same AV provider you might be able to work out a situation where they leave certain rooms set for your event if you will pay the bill for the dismantle and move out.
  • Choose screens and other large equipment based on the actual needs of the event. Don’t rent a screen that can be seen by 500 people from up to 300 feet away if you will only have twenty people at the event. Work with the venue to choose technology that matches the realistic needs of the meeting or event.
  • If the meeting or event is being held at a hotel or convention center that includes closed-circuit television capabilities, ask to use them to post signage, exhibit hours, announcements and activities.

The brightness required by a projector is directly related to the overall intention of the meeting. Projector brightness is measured in ANSI lumens. Most projectors run between 500 and 2200 lumens. The following is a guide to choosing a projector with the appropriate level of brightness:

500-1000 Lumens - Suitable for a meeting in a small room with about 5 to 10 people on a five to six foot diagonal screen and no lighting.

1000-1500 Lumens - Best on an eight to 10 foot screen in a medium sized room. The room can have dim lighting and up to 35 people.

1500-2000 Lumens - Works well in a large room with an audience of 35 to 100 people and regular lighting. The screen should be approximately 12 to 25 feet for this brightness.

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