While every event is a little different, there are staple pieces of AV equipment. By having a core set of equipment, you’ll be able to tackle any curve ball your event throws at you.
Verify all your equipment works and works together – and be sure you’ve got all the cables you need when packing your bags.
It doesn’t matter how fancy or basic of a set up you have. If you’re going to have multiple microphones in the same area, you need to be able to control each microphone individually. Having a soundboard or mixer will help you accommodate soft- and loud-spoken individuals easily.
Your audience members will thank you.
Be sure to pack any additional cables and receivers for the mixer. If you’re renting a space, check with the venue. They may have a soundboard or mixer available for use.
For visual components of presentations, especially in larger rooms, a projector is the best option. Any slides or videos will be prominently displayed for your audience.
When packing a projector, remember you’ll also need peripherals to go with it. Don’t forget the following:
- cable hookups
- extra bulbs
You’ll also want to coordinate with any presenters. If they want to use the projector, will they be bringing their own computer, or do they want to use yours? You’ll want to bring one anyway, just in case, but it’s good to know ahead of time who plans on using it.
One of the backbones for AV equipment, there are a number of different types of microphones available. Even if you’re not working in a large space, if you’re planning on recording the event or live streaming it, have your speakers use microphones to get the best quality audio possible.
Wired microphones are good if your speaker isn’t going to move around much. There’s no battery so it won’t die unexpectedly, and it can’t lose connection when it’s hardwired into the system.
But many speakers like to be able to walk around while talking, whether it’s because they want to interact with the audience or because they simply express themselves better like that. It’s best to have a selection of microphones available – along with plenty of backups.
Be sure to pack any accessories the microphones call for too. With wireless devices, you always want to have extra batteries on hand – and to charge them regularly for multi-day events.
Wireless Handheld Microphone
The wireless handheld microphones look much like wired microphones. They tend to have the highest audio quality of wireless microphones because of their size and shape – as well as the generally solid construction.
The lavalier microphones have become a staple for wireless, hands-free microphones. Often called lavs or lapels, these are commonly clipped onto the presenter’s shirt, which allows them to move about the stage as well as do things with their hands.
Technically a type of lavalier microphone, the countryman microphones are smaller and more discreet. They also have built-in features to reduce ambient sound, which makes them an ideal option for outdoor events.
As the name suggests, fitness headset microphones are primarily used by fitness instructors. They’re waterproof and generally extremely durable. If you’re expecting inclement weather and are presenting outside, these could be useful regardless of your event type.
It’s not enough to have microphones. You’ll need speakers to go with them. When packing speakers, consider the space you’re working with. Are you trying to cover as much ground as possible in a big open field, or are you working in a large auditorium that naturally has decent acoustics?
You’ll want your audience to be able to hear your presenters well without giving anyone a headache, so be prepared ahead of time.
If you’re renting a space, you’ll also want to contact them to find out if there are already speakers on site. There’s no need to pack them if you have access to a solid sound system already.
This seems like an obvious item, but it’s important to remember that a computer is crucial for pulling off an event. They’re incredibly versatile. What’s more important is to have a dedicated computer that’s available for presenters. Don’t just pack your personal computer thinking it’ll be enough.
Also, ensure that whatever computer you bring has the necessary software. Whether it’s presentation software, a good internet browser, or a video player, you don’t want to be all set up and ready to go only to realize it’ll take thirty minutes to download the necessary software.
Sometimes there isn’t a place to project your presentation. Whether the room is too small, you’re outdoors, or there are too many windows, projectors aren’t always the solution. In that case, a large, high-quality monitor may work instead.
Even if you have enough space for a projector, a monitor can provide additional information, such as a looping presentation or short video, outside of the presentation hall. You can use a monitor for any number of things – not just in conjunction with a speaker, so put one in your kit even if you’re sure you’ll always use a projector.
If you’re looking to live stream the event, or are wanting to record it for later distribution, you’ll want a high-quality video camera to capture everything.
You’ll also want to grab a good still camera for capturing moments for social media and other promotional materials.
Of course, cameras don’t come on their own. When packing your cameras, check you have the following as well:
- tripod and/or monopod
- external flash
- extra memory cards
- computer hookups
- charging cables
- extra batteries
- additional lenses
Pack all your AV equipment with care for your event and remember that even the best equipment will sometimes fail, so pack extra just in case. You don’t want to have to run out to the electronics store in the middle of the day because you forgot an HDMI cord!