Looking to add, upgrade, or expand your organization’s audio-visual capabilities? Project streaming media at your next sales meeting. Use an interactive whiteboard to share ideas and tackle problems from tablets and PCs around the world. Create a light and sound show your viewers will never forget. The possibilities are endless.

To make the process go smoothly you’ll need to hire a dedicated AV company who will take care of your project from initial design all the way to the ongoing support your system may require in the future.

Ask for a consulting session. 

Every business is different. You want to work with a an AV company who will be able to offer customized options for whatever you’re trying to accomplish with your new system. They’ll sit down to discuss your needs with you at length while discussing what they’ll bring the table. As them to work through all your options so you can see what you can get at different price points.

This is also a great time to ask questions about the company itself.

Demand a quote in advance. 

You shouldn’t have to play guessing games with your AV company. You should know exactly what you’re getting in to.

Don’t trust any quote that doesn’t cover the entire project. Some AV companies only quote equipment and installation. But a true quote will cover project management and training as well. If you’re entertaining multiple quotes be very sure the quotes are comparable before you move forward with your choice.

Ask about integration.

If any existing equipment will be used, ask how the company intends to make the new and the old work together. Ask, too, how they’ll integrate your AV with your IT.

There is some overlap between the two, and if they aren’t working together well you could experience a host of problems. You don’t want to experience lag time in the middle of an important meeting, for example.

Ask how the AV company will train your team.

User error is one of the bigger reasons why AV systems fail. This problem can be avoided with adequate training.

How many hours of training will the AV company put in? How user-friendly will the equipment be in the first place? You don’t want your team members struggling to use the equipment you’ve just invested thousands of dollars on.

Find out how much support you’re going to get.

Ongoing support is very important. Sometimes things go wrong, even with the very best systems. Employee error isn’t the only reason why the system might fail to work. And when companies start to rely on this equipment it’s often “mission critical” to get it up and running again as soon as possible.

Your AV company needs to provide ongoing support. It needs to be local so they can dispatch a technician in 24 hours. And they need to have made a service commitment, one you’ll be able to rely on for years to come. On the day you finally need it you’ll be very glad that you asked!