A small event is one with 30 attendees or less, or one held at a venue such as an office space or restaurant. For an event that size, small-scale equipment is usually sufficient. The setup options are:
- For a smaller room: One speaker to play audio from the computer, plus one projector and projector screen to display visuals.
- For a larger room around 30+ attendees: Two speakers (one left, one right) in the front of the room, a projector and projector screen centered in the middle, and a wireless microphone to reinforce the speaker’s voice.
- Wireless slide advancers should be offered to streamline the presenter’s process to move forward and back through the slideshow.
If your event is expecting 50-200 attendees, you are dealing with a mid-sized event in terms of your audiovisual needs. The venues for these types of events include hotel banquet rooms, larger private dining rooms, larger office meeting rooms, and outdoor venues. The AV setup needs to ensure that each member of the audience sees and hears clearly.
- The suggested setup includes one speaker on each side plus a mid-range power projector and a medium to large screen set up in the center.
- For large rooms, two screens on each side may be necessary, and the presenter should be outfitted with a wireless microphone to ensure optimal audio coverage.
- Often lighting and truss is used to set the ambience, especially if the room’s built-in lighting, usually fluorescents, is not wanted.
Larger venues are those that can hold anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of attendees, and thus call for more powerful A/V equipment. These venues include stadiums, auditoriums, tradeshows, convention centers, main banquet rooms, exhibits, outdoor arenas, and more. Even with the most sophisticated equipment, a traditional front left and right speaker setup will likely not be sufficient. In addition to the above listed setup for the small to mid-size venues, the following might be needed:
- Side fills may be used to provide sound for those in the audience farther back from the stage, in addition to more than two projectors
- In order for the speakers and presenters on stage to be seen, staging and risers are also generally necessary.
- In terms of lighting, this is where the setup becomes more complex and advanced as well. While conventional, non-moving lights are often used for presentations and seminars, moving, automated lights are popular in a live show scenario.
When planning your event and consulting with an A/V company in order to get the necessary equipment, always take the time to consider attendance and venue size. You want to make sure that you don’t order more, or less, than what you really need.