Testing 1, 2, 3: Event Timing for Your Audio Team

event timing for your audio teamTiming is everything. We hear that often, but when it comes to producing an event, this expression really says it all. Event planners always create a detailed production schedule leading up to the big day, so nothing is overlooked. It’s just as important to have a game plan when you go live, because event timing is crucial if you want everything to go off like clockwork.

The more information your AV folks have in advance, the better job they can do advising you on how to create an experience that’s flawlessly functional and impressively impactful. Sound is just one part of that, but it is fundamental. And it has to blend beautifully with visuals, staging, lighting, and any special effects you have planned.

So, what does your audio team need to know about event timing?

Things like:

  • When will your vendors show up to prep?
  • What time do guests arrive?
  • When will your entertainment or speakers begin?
  • When will meals be served?
  • Where will each of these take place?

Eliminating timing surprises for your audio team avoids unfortunate surprises for you and your audience during the event. So, start coordinating with your AV team as soon as possible. Once you’re on their schedule, you can solicit their professional advice and creative input.

Arrange for each presenter or entertainer to communicate directly with your AV team about their needs. You may not care whether some speaker wants a wireless handheld mic instead of a lavalier, but your sound folks sure do.

Time for testing

Why risk your event being marred by some equipment malfunction that could easily have been prevented? Testing is crucial for your speakers and entertainers, too. Experienced as they may be, every venue is different, and if they haven’t worked with your AV team before, rehearsal also gives everyone a chance to do that. Make sure your schedule includes adequate time for rehearsals and equipment testing, beyond the time you allot for setup.

Be considerate of your crew’s time

Smart event planners treat their AV folks well. Your crew may not even be visible during your event, but they are dedicated, hard-working professionals. Their work is physically demanding and requires creativity and concentration. They’ll go the extra mile for you if you:

  • Take time out of your own hectic schedule prior to the event to introduce yourself to any team members you don’t already know. Acknowledge and thank them as you encounter them during the event. After all, they’re making you look good and sound sweet.
  • Keep them fueled up. Providing snacks and beverages (especially water), saves them time and ensures they are eating and hydrating throughout the day/night.
  • Find ways to ensure they get breaks. This can be a toughie, given your event schedule, but physical and mental fatigue can lead to mistakes and accidents. That’s why the law and unions usually require rest and lunch breaks.

AV production companies live and die by their reputation. They want to do a bang-up job for you, one that pleases your budget and thrills your attendees. Detailed event timing information tells them what they need to do in advance and what to expect the day of the event. That way, they can be perfectly prepared — for all of that as well as anything unexpected.