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With IT and A/V, you have to know more than your ABCs.

Avoid the epic fail 

If you’ve been in the meetings business as long as many of us at Q Center have, you remember the days when A/V consisted of 35mm slide shows and overhead transparencies. Technology glitches were limited to burned-out projector bulbs and slide trays that wouldn’t advance. 

Meetings in the 21st century are technology-packed. In the last year or so, mobile devices have made the meetings technology terrain even harder to navigate. And the more technology you use, the more you run the risk that something will go wrong. 

So how do you minimize the probability of an epic fail?

A ssess the property’s equipment QA process.How is the equipment stored? Is there a preventative maintenance plan in place? What process does staff follow when checking installed equipment before meeting start time? Ask properties to describe their process so you know how to prepare for potential glitches.

B eware of the pitfalls associated with bringing your own equipment. Will the property allow you to hook your gear up to their network? If you’re planning to blend your equipment with some provided by the property, are the hardware and software compatible? What will you do if your equipment fails? Chances are the onsite tech staff will not be able to help troubleshoot. It might seem like a way to save money, but in reality, the cost of a stalled meeting is greater than what you’d save.

C alculate response time. Is the venue’s technical support staff on-property? Or will you have to wait forever for assistance with anything worse than a blown projector bulb? Look for a venue with on-site support and a response time guarantee. 

But don’t stop there. Your tech support team has to be able to follow through all the way to…

Z ero in on experience. How long have tech team members been on staff? Having staff with degrees or certifications in technology is a definite plus. But what’s most important is the team’s experience at the property. Every meeting room and piece of gear has its own quirks. An experienced team knows what they are and how to avoid them.

 What has your experience been with A/V? Any epic fails? Leave a comment and share your story.

Click here to see more photos of our technology support. 


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Katie Raymond, Navigant

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