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The live sound guy
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14 Tips for PA Companies
doing a Corporate AV Gig

1) Anticipate that the presenters will show up late - If the paperwork says they'll be there at 7am for a rehearsal they'll show up at 8:30am for the 9am meeting.

2) Remind them to turn off their Blackberry's or iphones, as they interfere with wireless mics, and this crowd has tons of them.

3) Powerlock wireless mics on - This alleviates two problems: a) The delay after you turn the transmitter on, which the client won't remember about and will blame you for, and b) Most people will try to be "helpful" by turning off the mic, forget to turn it back on, and blame you endlessly.

4) You won't get a second chance from these people. Even if it is entirely their fault as in the above, you won't be back. Needless to say feedback isn't appreciated. I'd rather get a dirty look because they can't hear it loud enough than a dirtier look for feedback.

5) Ask if they have sound with their PPT or Video, and expect them to forget until the last second. People forget about videos embedded in their PPT presentations.

6) Don't ever let a presenter put a lav mic by themselves. I've seen them put everywhere by their shoes, and they think a mic within 8 feet of their mouth is close enough. The whole concept of closer = louder is lost on the general public.

7) Instruct them how to use a handheld wireless mic. Frequently used for questions after the end of a presentation, mic runners are interns or newbies without a clue. I tell them to shove it in the person's face and don't be shy. Also I instruct them to raise their hands so I know which mic to pot up.

8) Get a copy of the meeting agenda, so you know when to do what. No one will help you in this regard, you have to fight for it.

9) Some people will eat the mic no matter what they do. Sometimes a turn it up to get them to back off, but huge egos like to hear more of themselves regardless of how distorted it becomes.

10) Try to get your information from as close to the source as possible. There are lots of intermediaries in corporate work, and most are technically illiterate. Guess what? It'll be your fault.

11) House sound systems in hotels & corporate meeting spaces frequently have feedback eliminators on them, and set poorly. As you try to ring out the room it will work against you, and usually there's no way to turn it off.

12) Ask about music for walk-in, walk-out, dinner, breaks, etc. and who provides it.

13) Take care of your own food. I've seen a guy who got in trouble just getting coffee. He was NOT back the 2nd day. Food is for people, and for this gig, you're not a person.

14) Bring your own entertainment. There will be loads of down time, and the meetings can be boring beyond comprehension.


About the Owner
photo of Lonnie Bedell of AVlifesavers.com My name is Lonnie Bedell, and I'm the guy behind AVLifesavers. Unlike big companies, I've been doing actual live sound work since 1995, and live recordings since 1985.
It's that kind of real world experience that I feel makes AVLifesavers stand out. It's one thing to examine problems theoretically, it's a whole different thing to deal with frantic last minute changes from an inexperienced client who wants it done yesterday.

Been there, done that, so I've designed products to solve live sound problem fast.

All products are assembled right here in the USA. Living Wages to American workers is and will always be part of the fabric here, despite the temptations.

Click to Read more...


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