An Independent Producer (like us works) for YOU. An In-House AV Company Subordinates YOU and YOUR INTEREST to the Hotel (who expects a 50+% Surcharge on In-House AV and adds Nothing) , Conventional AV Companies at the Top 20 Level are great, but Expensive (Think Overhead). Most Smaller AV Companies have answers to your Problems, and that is one size, fits all (Their Inventory and Under-Experienced Staff. One Size does NOT fit all but they are in it to sell you what they are paying for. We take your Specification and shop for the best deals, for the best equipment, and use Professional Media Subcontractors, not "freelancers" or Low paid, under experienced W2s that you pay Scale For. We work like Independent Insurance Agents, Stock Brokers, Attorneys, Doctors, and other Professionals.
NO. It has not in 30 Years. We Have done Live AV & Multimedia Events that Span Multiple Venues and with Streaming, Destinations. After taking time others will not, to learn about you, ask you many questions, visit your site, or even join you on site visits BEFORE you sign, we choose form the best suppliers, the best and newest equipment, and the most Preeminent Media Subcontractors for your event (like Hollywood works). That's why we are often hired by the Top 20 as Project Managers to assure Excellence.
We LOVE what we do. We want everyone to Love it too. We want to Improve what's happened to our Industries after Consolidation by the Big- Box, Equity Fund Companies that think Changing their Name will fool you. I know it does not. They believe it does. They think by Cornering the Market, Making you a Captive Customer, that they can squeeze you and their Hotel Collaborators pretend to care, but remember they get a 50+% Kick-Up for doing Nothing, so if you have really "Mission Critical" AV or other Media you should Engage a Consultant that works for you. We do that and there are others that we can recommend. All this said, I used a term, "Mission Critical" AV & Multimedia if that's you, you will not wait until the last minute to organize your Media. If you do, you kind of deserve the Big Box Treatment. Sometimes you have it very well organized, but the way Hotels work, their In-House AV people will not even book Technical Talent usually more than 10 Days out, so you get the "Luck of the Draw". We book our Crew Leads when you Book us, months or weeks out.
Mission Critical Media applies to the context of its use. For example take 2 types of events. One is a Fundraiser Gala and the other is a Medical Education Radiologists Meeting. In the Fund Raiser you will see Sponsor Loops, Auction Prize Slides, and Names. In the other Radiologists you have an audience of brilliant people who are the guys that look at your Image MRI's say, and write a report to your doctor interpreting what he or she sees. The Gala owner wants his or her content to look good, like the chair covers. The CME Radiologist owner wants the highest resolution and gray scale that is possible within his or her budget, they want the slides bright so the room lights can stay on, and we would insist on Laser projectors and so would they. The Radiologists AV is Mission Critical, the Gala's AV is important but not Data Centric. This is often a problem with some AV Companies, One Size Fits All. NO it does not. The Gala owner has a tighter AV Budget, the Radiologist owner does not care about Chair Covers. In general we love Science and Software events because they expect High Resolution in their Imagery. But we can do and have done great Charity Galas. Here is where hiring a Technical Director as a Consultant, will help you get you the right AV at the Right Price.
This is a classic pricing question. To begin with if you signed a Venue Contract locking the In House AV Company, you are probably paying a 50+% surcharge that is basically a Kick-uP to the Hotel. They provide no more extra value, but that is to be expected from the same people that sell you a Dr. Pepper for $8.00. But even if you use a company like ours where we are obsessed with High Value Offerings, you may still pay a premium not because we are trying to take your britches, but because the venue will resell the meeting rooms up to 3 times a day, which means that to get you ready for a 7am rehearsal, we have to throw in extra manpower, particularly if their is a wedding reception with an open bar going until after 1 am. In this case you made a quality play, but it would be better to negotiate set-up time for the room when you sign your contract, as in for example your favorite AV or Multimedia Company can access the room at 6PM the day before, when that group already in there, complete their Plenary Session.Companies will ask us to go on Site Visits, incident to a consulting for Live Event contract, where we guide usually can get ahead of worthless markups which easily pays or hourly rates for looking out for your all important, Mission Critical AV or Multimedia. You will feel that everyone in your group knows, that you were always in control.
We know that "Value" means different things to different organizations. If you are a Non-Profit paying for things with Memberships dues, Value to you, is very similar to price. However if you are a business that has a budget born of experience, buying AV & Multimedia, your view of Value is things like Pre-Production Planning, Competent, Enthusiastic Technical Staff, and a team of people that will sweat the details, so you don't have to. For you, value means you get to enjoy your event like everyone else does.
We know your time is Valuable! It seems all of our clients wear many hats. It's a balancing act what we do here. We know our prospective clients include CMPs experienced in finding AV Companies in Houston. Yet, we've worked with Professionals new to AV Support so Know this, advice is Free It's how we thank our Mentors.
Having done AV & Video through school in the 70's and then afterwards, I have accumulated 43 years of Hands On Experience. Periodically, I'll share what I have learned about using AV, Video, Audio, Photography and other Media. What's worked. What Didn't Work. How to avoid Mistakes. Where and Why Money was Wasted. Simple ideas that will insure a great project; some more sophisticated. I won't waste our time with filler written by others. It will be my experience. I love what I do, but, like so many things, it needs to be done correctly, or it fails the Mission. If the Mission of your Media is not critical, this won't be for you. Move on, please. If it is, and you want to be that Leader that makes the smart moves, sign up. Whether you are new, or like me, an old hand at this, there will be something in it for you. I'm like Mr. Ed, the Talking horse though. I'll never talk, unless I have something to say. You don't have time for filler, and I sure as heck have no time to write it.
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