If you’ve decided to take the plunge into the exciting world of cutting-edge audio-visual equipment you’ve got some tough decisions ahead. There are thousands of brands to choose from, as well as thousands of specialty AV companies, each clamoring to explain why they’re the best choice.
You need some quick ways to cut through the clutter. Here are a few things you can think about.
What kinds of organizations does the AV company serve?
Do they focus on hotels? Do they specialize in setting up temporary entertainment venues? Do they specialize in offering a wide variety of set-ups to organizations ranging from government and law-enforcement to houses of worship?
You’re looking for a company whose industry expertise aligns with your own. It’s okay if the AV company serves multiple industries. You just don’t want to go to an AV supplier who only focuses on events if you’re trying to set up an interactive web conferencing and collaboration platform that will help teams in four time zones stay more productive.
Will you get a dedicated and experienced project manager?
Most people don’t realize that AV installations can become true projects. This means there needs to be a budget, a timeline, and a dedicated manager devoted to keeping different kinds of professionals on track. At a minimum your AV company will probably need to send an engineer, a technician, and a programmer. Who will keep them on-task and on-budget?
There are other advantages to dedicated project managers. They serve as your point of contact, so you aren’t left in the dark. A good one will send regular reports so you know the status of your AV set-up from moment to moment. This will offer some real peace of mind, as many AV companies are notorious for failing to stay on-task, on-time, and on-budget.
How many programmers does the company hire?
“The programmer’s booked up” is the most common issue AV companies run into when they try to get their projects done on schedule. Each manufacturer requires programmers to train with their equipment before they are certified (or even competent) to create AV systems with that equipment.
You’ll get better results, have fewer headaches, and will be a lot happier if the AV company has multiple programmers trained by multiple manufacturers in-house and ready to go whenever they’re needed. This means you don’t have to wait, and you don’t have to settle for a programmer who did not receive the appropriate training.
Do you like the people that work there?
Moreover, do you trust the AV company’s leadership?
When you’re searching for an AV company you’re really looking for a long-term partner that’s going to serve you through every upgrade, expansion, and maintenance issue you might run into over the life of your AV experience. If you are investing in AV at all you plan to use it for the long haul.
Thus, it makes sense to partner up with people you like, people who are local, and people who you wouldn’t mind calling into your office multiple times.