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Meetings and conferences are indispensable. You have got to host meetings even in these times of economic uncertainties. However, you must try to cut your costs and ensure that your meeting expenses are adequate to enhance productivity. Your cost-cutting also must not sacrifice quality. Here are some tips that will help you efficiently economize on audio-visual operations.

1. Hotel’s in-house audio-visual equipment is priced very high – much higher than what is available in the market. Moreover, hotels will literally force you to rent their in-house equipment. If they allow you to rent from outside, they will debit you with a surcharge. Make sure your hotel gives you complete A/V freedom before you commit. If the hotel’s A/V is reasonably priced, then there’s no need to look anywhere else.

2. Many meeting venues allow a lot of skylight to come in. Remember this, if your hotel is full of skylight, you will need very, very bright projectors and special screens, which could run up to thousands of dollars every day. So, choose meeting venues that are comfortably “dark.”

3. Will your meeting require the use of A/V equipment throughout its duration? If yes, choose meeting venues that will allow conference room exclusivity. Otherwise, you will have to keep calling technicians to dismantle equipment and reassemble it every now and then.

4. Negotiate a daily rate if the A/V technicians need around 8 hours of labor per day. If a daily rate is unavailable, then ensure that you don’t have to pay labor overtime, mealtime penalties, or face sudden increases in the hourly/daily labor rates.

5. Do not try to overdo things by hosting multiple screenings at once. These may look grand, but end up increasing A/V costs as you will need multiple projectors.

6. Lights placed on floors are simpler to manage than hanging lights, which require more labor, and are cumbersome to manage.

7. Go for functionality, not for glitz. Your A/V content will speak 100 times greater than your hardware or decorations.

8. Hire A/V equipment in advance because hiring in advance will get you a better discount. If you hire at the last moment, you may have to pay a premium.

9. Leave the main work to your event planner. She is an expert at handling meetings. Take her suggestions, brainstorm with her, give her your cost-cutting inputs, but let her handle the show.

These tips will help you get the best out of your A/V equipment and ensure your meeting screenings are top class.

Paulette Swenson is a blogger and meeting planner with a passion for organization and fun at her events. She recommends searching online for meeting venues here.