Potomac Memo - January/February 2011 - (Page 10)

supplier feature It is Critical! How your decision to partner with an audio/visual company affects your event’s success. In the meetings industry, as in life, finding someone you can count on, turn to at any hour and, most importantly, trust, is invaluable. A strong planner and AV company partnership is developed by earning trust, which is done through building relationships. Knowing what makes up the fabric of your AV company and their loyalties, along with their history and goals, will clearly showcase how they can provide the best for the meeting planner and their clients. strike fees, change fees and taxes are often overlooked until the final bill comes. 2. Adhere to deadlines. Give the bidding companies concrete deadlines in every step of the proposal process and make sure the deadlines are met. If a company is late in submitting a proposal, a logistical plan or answering a question, how and why would you trust them to take care of arguably the most important component of your conference or event? 3. Can they be permanent partners? Choose a company that can service your conference every year, in every city, with the same management and staff. Consistency, along with a company that understands your organization, your goals and your members, is a key to success. The permanent partners will separate themselves from the pack by their ability and desire to attend the critical planning meetings at your office and the onsite pre-con meetings. They will conduct site reviews of upcoming cities and sites. Some companies will charge for that service, some will not. An additional benefit to finding a true partner is that you won’t need to go through an RFP/RFQ process and “reinvent the wheel” for every conference. 4. Do they own and control their own resources? Be wary of an AV management company that will only manage your conference and/or signature session while contracting with different vendors to actually provide the necessary equipment and labor. While this can sometimes be effective from a cost standpoint, the managing company does not have a real stake in your conference and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of the equipment and labor that will be brought onsite. Their intentions may be honorable, and they may be adept at coordinating resources, but an AV management company is ultimately relying on someone else’s overall company commitment to standards and training to come through for you. 5. Ask for references and check them all. Anybody can promise anything, right? Check out their story. Your peers in the industry will give you honest, first-hand feedback on a company’s actual performance that will be invaluable in making a decision. 6. Ask for examples. A company’s body of work speaks volumes about their capabilities. Their history of by Derek Suminski, BAV Strategic Events Committee Member Conversely, your technology (AV) company needs to know what is important to you, recognizing that being a really good partner is about more than simply providing bright projectors. Does the AV company exist to serve you first and foremost, or are they in place to serve a particular facility’s interests first and you second? As you experience each day, there are countless moving parts to a conference or event. You have multiple stresses on you, not just making sure that the technology works. Your organization and its membership are counting on you to get it right. Rest assured that all the information you need to make a confident and informed AV decision exists. Equally as important, the ability to get that information, in a format that you understand, also exists. I suggest using the following criteria the next time you select a technology partner: 1. The devil is in the details. You put a lot of thought into your RFPs and RFQs. The responding companies should reply in kind. It should not be acceptable for a company to pile up some overly technical equipment descriptions, match it with a minimalist labor plan and send it your way. The proposal should be detailed, have an honest and upfront labor plan, include descriptions a “non-techie” can understand and offer suggestions or options you may not have considered. Investigate the fine print as well – overtime rules, service charges, setup and 10 PMPI POTOMAC MEMO JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 VOL. 32, NO. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Potomac Memo - January/February 2011

Potomac Memo - January/February 2011
Calendar of Events
President’s Message
Partnering With Your AV Company
What’s Bugging You?
A Brighter Outlook for 2011
Increase Your ROI in 2011
Potomac Profiles
MACE! 2011 – The Secret is Out!
New Member Spotlight
PMPI Out and About
Where in the PMPI World?
Advertisers’ Index

Potomac Memo - January/February 2011