The sight of a presenter desperately trying to connect laptops to central systems for PowerPoint presentations is all too common. It is embarrassing for presenters and organisers when the audiences become increasingly restless. And that is only one of the many potential problems that can occur.

Just think of all the things that can go wrong at an event. The list is endless. Most organisers immediately think of the horror of having no one turn up, losing the presenters or having a total electrical failure.

But other many other potential hazards are frequently overlooked. Delegates complain that they cannot see the presenters or the screens due to poor sight lines. Yet these items can cause as much havoc as headline problems over speakers and venues. What if the equipment doesn’t work correctly?

Visuals don’t match accompanying words or music. Lighting effects fail. Video presentations don’t play, microphones don’t work, and internet links disappear. There are not enough sockets for the equipment.

Many of these problems can be avoided. All you need to do is plan. Get your Visual Audio company involved as early as possible in the planning process. This gives them time to check out the venue and identify potential problems with sight lines, audio quality and even the number of sockets. Allow plenty of time for rehearsals.

With time to prepare, they can work with you to minimise potential problems. Rehearsing the lighting effects will throw up any final visibility issues, thus allowing seating to be rearranged before audiences arrive. Roving microphones can be checked out at all locations within the room to ensure that there is no interference.

You can confirm that every delegate can participate fully in the event. They can see and hear everything and provide the presenters hear any questions.

Rehearsals will enable you to check computer links and identify compatible formats. Presenters can then be given a warning. Live links can be tested to make sure that the connectivity is reliable.

Check with your presenters and speakers to identify what they need from your AV systems. Do they need the house lights to be raised or lowered frequently? Will they stand in one place or move around the room?

Allowing time for rehearsals makes sense.

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