SmartSource Rentals Blog


Happy New Year from AV Event Solutions
Dec 31, 2010 by DeDe Mulligan
New Year

May Your 2011 be Your Best Year Ever!

From Your Friends at

AV Event Solutions

2011 New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Meeting Planners
Dec 29, 2010 by DeDe Mulligan
The economy is in the process of recovery which means more companies are likely to increase the number and workload of events in 2011. Some event meeting services planners have already had this happen. "Things have been pretty much the same for the Levi’s brand event landscape for the last five years," said Michael Mecham, CMP, Event Manager for Levi Strauss. "But I am feeling it ramp up now." At Kellogg’s, Senior Meeting Manager Karen J. Sweet, CMP, noted, "We have had a record number of meetings this year, over 700. To meet the logistical demands, we’ve hired a part-time meeting planner and we have someone who works primarily on StarCite registration, which helps a lot."

New Year's Resolutions for Meeting PlannersSo, more meetings, more stress, more workload. What is an event planner to do? Here are some great ideas to get your 2011 started off with a bang.

  • Schedule 30 minutes at the end of your day to outline the next day’s activities. Close your door, turn off the phone, play soft music and schedule.
  • Schedule one time management training seminar in the first quarter.
  • Follow the 15, 15, and 15 rule. Buy a timer and dedicate only 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch, and/or 15 minutes in the late afternoon to email, texting, and social media updates. When the buzzer or time runs out, move onto something else.
  • Work 40 hours a week and negotiate a flexible schedule with your boss. If you are planning on working 14 hours a day for three days straight at a conference, ask your boss for 2 days off upon your return. Do this early in 2011 or better yet, do it now.
  • Take a whole hour for your lunch. Pack your lunch, take it outside (if possible), bring a book to read and best of all, get away from your work. It can wait.
  • Get up 30 minutes earlier or take 30 minutes at the end of your workday to exercise.
  • Exercise three times per week for at least 30 minutes each time.
  • Buy a box of protein bars. Carry them in your pocket or briefcase and when you are super busy or on-site at an event location, eat the bar instead of fast food or heavy appetizers. Protein bars carry less calories than the other option and can provide you with longer lasting energy.
  • Take a multi-vitamin daily.
  • Cut back to 2 cups of coffee per day.
  • Earn your Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation.
  • Earn your Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) designation.
  • Schedule a 30 minute meeting with your boss or take him or her out to lunch. Ask them how you can advance your career. Write down their ideas and follow them. Ask if you can be cross-trained in other areas or learn new technologies.
  • Obtain a mentor in the company.
  • Be positive and open to new ideas, always. The last thing your boss will want to promote is a naysayer or someone who is very rigid in their thinking.
  • Don’t gossip about co-workers, management, or vendors.
  • Compliment other people on their work and if possible, send an email to their boss.

AV Event Solutions, a California event services company, is here to help you make 2011 your best year in corporate event planning.

Audiovisual Basics for Novice Event Planners
Dec 27, 2010 by DeDe Mulligan
So you are new to the event meeting services industry. Congratulations! Now you are ready to plan your first event, and you are wondering about this budget line item called audio visual. Renting audio visual equipment is one of the most important budget line items because it helps make the presentation come to life.

Regardless of the type of event, appropriate sound and lighting rental, projector and screen rental, and Powerpoint presentation equipment will play a part in determining the success of your event, as perceived and remembered by the attendees.



The most basic meeting, under 25 people, will require a flip chart, easel, whiteboard, and/or podium. It is best to ask the speaker what he will need and make certain to get that in writing both from the speaker and the venue or audio visual provider.
Audiovisual Basics for Novice Event PlannersMEETINGS WITH MORE THAN 25 ATTENDEES

Lighting equipment rentals allow the audience to see the speaker. If the speaker is at a podium, the light on the structure helps them easily see their notes. You will want to test it to make certain the light works before the meeting and have an extra bulb handy if it burns out. The audience needs to see well enough to read workbooks, handouts, and their own notes. When using screen rentals, lower lighting makes the presentation more visible and prevents it from appearing washed out.

If the presenter is staying at the podium, a cabled microphone mounted to the podium gives the presenter the freedom to operate the powerpoint presentation equipment. These mics come with a flexible goose-neck holder and allow the speaker to point it in the most comfortable position. Another option for the presenter is a wireless lavaliere microphone that is worn clipped to clothing or as an earpiece. These small mics give the presenter freedom to roam around the room without compromising the sound quality to the audience.

When using sound with PowerPoint, you need to plug the computer into the sound system in the meeting room or utilize a set of external speakers to ensure the attendees can hear.

Powerpoint presentation equipment reigns as the most widely used presentation system with event meeting services companies. Relatively simple to master, PowerPoint allows users to create slide presentations featuring a variety of backgrounds, fonts, audio, and visual effects.


When setting up the screen, you should make certain the bottom of the screen is at least 2 feet off the bottom of the floor to insure the audience can see the entire screen.

When should you work with a professional corporate audiovisual provider?
If you are coordinating a meeting or event with break out sessions in several rooms or if multiple microphones are being used in one room or the audio visual requirements are becoming too complex, it is probably time to bring in audio visual specialists. An event audio visual rental firm will analyze your needs and budget and then recommend the best equipment for your desired results. Consult an AV service provider early in the process so expensive, last minute changes can be avoided due to poor planning.

When searching for a California event services company, look no further than AV Event Solutions.

Happy Holidays from AV Event Solutions
Dec 24, 2010 by DeDe Mulligan

Wishing You and Yours a Happy, Safe, and Wonderful Holiday Season!

From Your Friends at

AV Event Solutions

Audio Visual Technician: What they do and Why they are Important
Dec 22, 2010 by DeDe Mulligan
Audiovisual Technician - Services Available from AV Event Solutions
Audiovisual technicians set up, maintain, repair, and tear down audio visual equipment used to enhance events, from microphones, video recorders, and projector and screen rental, to sound and lighting rental equipment. They may record meetings and presentations with video cameras, operate spotlights, adjust amplifiers, coordinate graphics, and provide technical support. In addition, AV techs may edit, copy, and store digital media, track inventory, and order supplies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this industry should have an 13% job growth through the 2008-18 decade, which is faster than average compared to other job categories.


There is no one standard. At a minimum, employers usually require a high school education or GED. Some require an associates degree in audio visual technology, while others insist on a bachelor’s degree. Credentialing, such as a Certified Technology Specialist, is offered through InfoComm International.  When selecting an audio visual company, you may wish to request what educational level and certifications the technicians have at that organization.


According to, audio visual technicians must be able to transport, assemble, maintain, and repair equipment used in a sales meeting or event. Knowledge of camera and light equipment rental techniques are essential, as is familiarity with editing equipment and software. Audio visual technicians must be creative, flexible, have strong communication skills, and be able to interact with co-workers and clients. Here is a list of  skills conference and event meeting planners may wish to keep on file when renting audio visual equipment from an event meeting services company.  Does the AV company and/or technician perform the following?

  • Repair and clean the equipment
  • Notify supervisors when equipment repairs are needed
  • Diagnose and resolve media problems on a timely basis
  • Understand interactive technology tool rentals from iPads to audience response systems
  • Compress, digitize, duplicate, and store data
  • Obtain, set up, and load digital media for scheduled events
  • Mix, regulate, and control sound and lighting rental inputs and feeds
  • Maintain inventory of equipment and supplies
However, the primary reason event planners should consider renting corporate audio visual equipment from an  event services company is because seasoned audiovisual technicians can determine approaches, content, and mediums that will effectively meet your objectives within budget constraints — utilizing research, knowledge, and training.

If you are event planning in California, give AV Event Solutions a call. They have qualified and experienced technicians that can make your next event a great success!

Top Tips to Control Event Expenses
Dec 20, 2010 by DeDe Mulligan

Even though the consensus is the recession is over, controlling event expenses still remains the top concern for event planners. At the PCMA Convening Leaders conference, Plan Your Meetings led a "Making Cents" round table with attendees. Here are some tips and suggestions from event planners and conference service professionals.


  • Divide one large event into 2 or 4 smaller, regional meetings. This will allow you spread your expenses over the year instead of having all the outflow over 1 or 2 months.
  • Look at "total meeting spend" or "per-person inclusive rate". This allows you the flexibility to cut back on some items and spend more on others without getting bogged down in the budget details.
  • Look at sponsorship opportunities differently. Are you going to rent iPads, rent Tablet PCs, wireless audience response systems, or computer kiosks? Have the sponsor information on the the top or bottom of the unit. Have it integrated into the software. Ask the sponsor to shoot video and have it running on a loop on the kiosk or iPad. The ways to market this are endless, the exposure is great, and it can add much needed and wanted dollars to your income stream.
  • Go green. Rent iPads, rent Tablet PCs, or download information to attendees mobile devices and eliminate paper by sending every handout, agenda, and contact information to their mobile device.
  • Use online registration and wireless audience response systems. Online registration will eliminate paper, digital signage can be utilized through computer kiosks, and audience response rental units can take care of surveys. Get rid of the goody bags and printed materials.
  • Nurture your relationships. "Our approach is to continue working the strong relationships we have with our clients — corporate groups and associations," says Jill Cecala, Hershey Resorts Director of northeast sales and marketing. "Our clients know us, know the quality of products and experiences we offer, and know that we will work hard to meet their needs."
  • Work toward the "Wow" event. "Event planners still insist on having the "Wow" moment," says Marianne Moore, Director of catering and conference services at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis. Jim Douglas, Founder of Prime Time Entertainment says "Planners are expecting more value from their core vendors. We’ve seen more communication going on and a willingness to create stronger partnerships and awareness across the board."
  • Think of sponsors as partners rather than donors.
  • Partner with the local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) These organizations can help with volunteer staffing for your event, marketing assistance, venue selection, and/or local attraction tickets.
  • Consider entering a multi-year contract when renting audio visual equipment.

  • If holding meetings in multiple cities, let the audio visual provider know. You may find that the AV company can handle the meeting for the entire state or region.
  • Negotiate a yearly contract with the audio visual company to handle all your meetings and events. If the event audio visual rental organization knows about all the events, small and large, that will need AV, it will help them put together a competitive price knowing that they will receive a yearly award from the organization.
The bottom line is event planners are getting creative with strategic relationships to meet client needs, while continuing to manage close to the budget and/or cut costs.

AV Event Solutions, a California Event Services Company, will be happy to work with you on your next meeting or corporate event. Give us a call today!

“What did he say?” Why Sound is So Important to Your Meeting
Dec 17, 2010 by DeDe Mulligan
mikeIn producing an event, sound quality is of the highest importance. It takes a lot of time and attention to coordinate all the audiovisual elements of a successful business meeting, presentation, or corporate event. Great sound services during an event or conference can improve the interaction between the presenter and the audience. 

The sound equipment most frequently used for events consist of microphones, mixers, and speakers for amplification of sound in the room. The microphones used most often are either (or mixture of) the following: lavaliere, wireless, or cabled. These mics send their system to the mixer. The size of the mixer depends on the number of microphones or sources of sound expected during the event. A mixer allows the audio visual technician to adjust the volume and characteristics of each sound input, mix the signals, and resend them to the speakers.

The basic objective of a professional sound service is to "amplify" the:

  • Voice of the presenter,
  • Music playing,
  • Presentation services audio visual,
  • Video,
  • Internet demonstration or
  • Video conference.
The intent is to make it easily audible to all persons present in a meeting, conference center, or event room.
If the event takes place in a small room, that has no or little outside noise, the speaker’s voice is loud, and there are 25 or less attendees, a sound system rental may not be necessary.
However, if the room is large, there is a lot of environmental noise, the speaker is soft spoken, and there are more than 25 persons at the meeting, a sound system should be considered.

Additionally, if the meeting is large and Q & A is expected, your event or meeting should have at least 1 wireless microphone for every 40 participants. It is also possible to use wired microphones placed throughout the room in strategic areas.

The main question event meeting planners need to ask is this: "Is what is being said, or listened to, important to be heard by all"? If so, use a microphone! The event audio visual company can inform microphone users — where to stand, how to use the mic, and set up microphone stands exactly to the height of their mouths. The presenter needs to take the time to adjust the mic stand if necessary and speak clearly into the microphone. Many novice speakers think they are speaking too loud and back away from the mic which causes more problems because people cannot hear them.

It is very important that sound systems provide clear, clean, and reliable amplification. Feedback or noise in the signal may go unnoticed by the presenter, but can be very uncomfortable and annoying to the attendees if it is constant. The equipment and the advice of the event services company can provide resources that event planners should leverage to avoid audio atrocities.

AV Event Solutions has veteran technicians that can assist you in bringing top quality sound to your audience. Let our staff be your sound solution! 

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