Hotel Audio Visual: You Don’t Have to Use the Hotel AV company.
Many of our current customers never knew they could bring their own audio visual provider into their hotel meeting room rentals until they started working with us. We put the following information together to help explain why using an outside audio visual provider is often better than using the hotel AV company.
Bringing in your own audio visual provider can save you up to 64% on your audio visual spend.
More and more companies are holding meeting planners accountable for expenses. Just as travel budgets have been tightened, audio visual budgets have been targeted for savings. Hotel audio visual contracts limit competition, which equates to poorer service and less value than an outside company can provide.
If you have multiple meetings at hotel meeting room rentals across the country it’s a guarantee you will save money by using a nationwide provider who can provide consistency on-site, one-point of contact and flat rate pricing in every venue your events are at.
Why does the venue want me to use the hotel audio visual company?
Some venues will make commission when booking audio visual services through a provider they have contracted with. If you bring in your preferred provider they can’t contract the work out and they don’t get incentive pay. However they make more money from food, beverage and hotel meeting room rentals than audio visual, so removing the clause that restricts working with your choice of provider is easy to do. It’s also a good idea so you can bring outside quotes into your negotiations to drive down in-house costs regardless of which provider you choose.
WiFi at the venue is expensive! How can I negotiate cheaper internet?
Sometimes you may need to use the in-house internet. In cases where you have an event wide app, key presentations or videos streaming from the internet, it’s probably in your best interest to request dedicated bandwidth from the venue. However, it can be challenging to know what services you really need and how much you should be paying for them. In house AV providers tend to lead with a lower rate, with the stipulation that they must be the sole AV provider for the event.
Here’s a few tips for negotiating internet so you don’t get overcharged:
Determine your bandwidth & infrastructure (access point) needs before talking to the venue.
Send out RFIs asking for the base WiFi cost per Mbps and connection.
Lock in your internet cost up front, before signing. (include bandwidth, infrastructure, support etc.)
*Bonus tip: If your goal is simply to have a network for your attendees to check emails, then bringing in your own network may be your best choice financially. The FCC clearly states: No one can ban you from bringing in your own MiFi devices or blocking their signals.
Contracting an outside audio visual provider makes you the top priority.
Hotel audio visual providers are often responsible for multiple events happening in the same hotel or venue. This means you don’t get their full attention if technicians have to run in between events. By bringing in an outside audio visual provider of your choice, you pay for dedicated support for your event – not anyone else’s.
When it’s your event, you should choose who works with you.
At the end of the day your event is about one thing – making sure your audience understands what you’re saying. The audio visual component is the physical channel for this message. If you’re liable for getting that message across, it should be your choice who will reliably deliver it.
How to protect your right to work with your choice of providers.
Take some extra time to double check your contract before signing. Hotels may try to charge additional fees if you use an outside company, but they cannot limit your right to bring in your preferred providers for audio visual needs. A hotel cannot prohibit you from bringing in equipment or support personnel provided it is within local safety standards laws and you are not modifying their utilities or mounting equipment on walls or ceilings. Ask to have any clause removed that restricts your rights to bring in your vendor of choice. Before signing anything for a hotel meeting room rental get this clause added to all contracts.
Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers
Buyer will not accept or agree to any proposal or contract containing conditions, terms, or clauses which unreasonably restrict our choice of third party suppliers for our event(s) at any meeting facility, whether such conditions are expressly stated in the proposal or contract, or whether they are contained in the general operating policies of the facility, be they published or unpublished. Furthermore, Buyer will not accept or agree to any fees, surcharges, or penalties of any type charged by a meeting facility that are in any way based on or tied to our choice of third party suppliers, whether such fees are expressly stated in the proposal or contract, or whether they are contained in the general operating policies of the facility, be they published or unpublished. This “Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers” clause shall be appended to all contracts that are executed by Buyer, and if it is determined that this clause is in conflict with any other clause, portion of any contract, or any general operating policy of the facility, then this “Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers” clause shall be deemed to take precedence over the other item(s) with which it is determined to be in conflict, unless specifically agreed otherwise.