AV Tips for Planners – FAQ

Speaking the same language as your vendor partners is critical to the success of your meeting.  We’ve assembled a few frequently asked questions and our expert responses below to assist you during those conversations.


  1. What projectors are needed for large and small set ups? It depends on room size, ceiling height, number of attendees and seating style.
  2. How much does it cost to have DMP record and edit presentations?  Roughly, $500 per room, per day.
  3. Are there any new equipment or trends you are seeing? LED & more LED lights & video screens.
  4. Do the Catch boxes come with a microphone? No, an additional dedicated RF lavalier is required and should be placed inside the Catchbox.
  5. How many speakers in a program would necessitate a speaker ready room? Dependent on program preference and speaker’s requirements.
  6. How reliable are the Catch boxes? Very reliable.  To date, no documentation of onsite show failure.
  7. How easy is it to brand the Catch boxes? Fairly easy.  Some additional cost might be incurred, and few weeks for delivery.
  8. When should we add rigging? When budget allows, room size is large enough and ceilings are high enough. An audience size of 300 plus attendees could be considered a good reference.
  9. What’s the difference between a 4×3 and 16×9 screen? 4×3 is the old square format; 16×9 is High Definition widescreen new technology.
  10. What happens when a client provides a presentation in the wrong format?  For example, slides are in 4×3 and screens are 16×9. They can be converted, if time allows.  If not, bars will appear on the sides or top and bottom of the image when projected on screen.
  11. What’s the variance in recording cost?  For example, live camera versus graphic recording. Same recording devices are used; therefore, cost is approximately the same.
  12. Is a 2nd show machine necessary? It is strongly recommended, because there’s always a possibility of technology failure.
  13. When should we use rear projection versus front projection? Provided you have the space and budget, rear projection is a preference – always a much cleaner look. Additional cost for pipe and drape could be incurred. 
  14. How creative can we get with lighting if we have a smaller budget? Gets easier every year with LED technology. LED has color changing ability that changes the look as often as needed.
  15. What’s the difference between a glass and metal gobo?  What’s preferred? Metal is less expensive; however, is projected in black and white. Glass gobos are fragile and will require a backup; however, better image quality and color capability.
  16. How long does a metal gobo last? It depends on usage, and the amount of time it is exposed to light.
  17. Do I need audio or a microphone to play a video for a small breakout of about 10-15 attendees? Depends on room size and quality. A Bluetooth speaker is a simple cost-effective solution.
  18. Do most PCs have HDMI inputs? Yes, and if not, a specific dongle may be required.
  19. How do you manage sound when there are multiple breakouts on the same floor in a venue? Manage frequencies prior to being on site and work with presenters to manage sound levels.
  20. What’s the difference between WebEx and Telepresence? Superpresence is a higher end conference that requires specific devices on both send and receive ends.  WebEx is online web conference.
  21. How does booking a union venue versus non-union venue impact your budget? When is it necessary to add a teamster line item into your budget? You should always review the hotel contract along with guidelines, rules and regulations to be aware of additional costs.
  22. How does booking a convention center versus a hotel space impact your budget? Convention Centers could require additional elements that a hotel would have included.  For example, house lighting, pipe and drape, carpeting, etc. Costs will vary per venue and contract.
  23. How do we know if we are being undersold or over sold in lighting? Work with AV vendor to manage the expectations of the set-up. Follow some simple guidelines for lighting coverage 1 LED per 6’ for up lighting and Leko per 6’ on stage wash. Scenic can require specific lighting instruments.
  24. Who is David Michael? David Michael Pollock, Owner, DMP.
  • Gareth Davies

    Great Article!