When Should AV Companies Start Marketing to Meeting Planners?
Jan 21, 2011 by DeDe Mulligan
Meeting Planners - When Should AV Companies Starting Marketing to Them?Six event meeting services professionals recently weighed in on LinkedIn as to when AV organizations should start marketing to meeting and event planners. Below, is a synopsis of their quotes, but as you will see, the AV company needs to be involved early and have an excellent reputation. Here’s what they had to say:

Katie Jackson, Director at Sg2, states "The AV is a core component of my budgets and can be an area prone to increases, depending on the client needs, so the sooner those needs are brought to my attention, the better. Many of my events are at hotel venues with event audio visual rental staff I have relationships with. I don’t often have a need to put out bids. I look for a stable brand and usually have a few cohorts in the event meeting services industry that I ask for recommendations if I need a new source."

Bob Cherny, Sales Representative at Paradise Show and Design, adds " You are only as good as your last show. If a conference services planner chooses the wrong AV company this show could be their last. So, there is a serious disincentive to try someone new. Meeting planners, for the most part, hate to be sold to. There is no "right" time to market to planners. If the planners know who the AV company is, they will come to them."

Margret H. Williams, Owner of Pizzazz Meeting & Event Planning Group, says "As an independent meeting planner, having one or two corporate audio visual companies you can rely on to be part of your team is key. The AV company should definitely be involved at the beginning of the planning process, not just for budgeting purposes, so they can hear first-hand the needs and desires of the client. They can help with the creative process of bringing the event to life."

Patricia Thierry, Owner of MWP Transcripts, chimed in with this take "As a transcription company, having to transcribe the audio from meetings, the AV companies are an extremely important part of the whole event planning strategy. I can’t tell you how many times a meeting planner has used whoever the hotel provides them with, only to realize afterwords that they didn’t have the technical ability to be sure that everyone was properly miked and able to be heard. The meeting cannot be recreated and all the valuable information they recorded is inaudible."

Joan Eisenstodt, Chief Strategist at Eisenstodt Associates, LLC, said "We suggest clients involve AV from site selection. It’s an integral part of many meetings and shouldn’t wait until months or weeks out!" 

Bonnie Lackey, Former President of Lackey Sound and Light, Inc. added "I have seen a trend over the last few years of customers start to have loyalty to their production/AV providers, as they do, with their DJ’s."

AV Event Solutions, a California meeting equipment company, is available to speak with you about your meeting, event, conference, or tradeshow needs at any time. We carry state-of-the-art interactive technology tool rentals and can provide the technical and creative power to make your event great!

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