Whether it’s the use of projection technology for a company presentation or a stage design for a theatre production, audio visual (AV) is a common part of many events. AV is often mistakenly associated with sound or the theatre side of event production, but the true power of AV lies in the ability to combine the senses of hearing and sight to deliver a fuller experience for your attendees.
The term AV is short for audiovisual and can refer to a wide range of technologies that combine both sound and visual elements to create an effective presentation or event. Some common AV equipment can include projectors, screens, microphones, speakers, web streaming and broadcasting equipment, and even virtual meeting tools like interactive whiteboards.
It’s important to work with an AV integrator that can both design and integrate your AV solution, so you can have input early on in the process. This allows for a system that is tailored to your specific needs rather than a cookie-cutter solution that doesn’t quite meet your goals.
A good AV integrator will also be familiar with the requirements of ADA laws and other regulations, such as those regarding accessibility for those with disabilities. This means ensuring your equipment is properly configured to make it as accessible as possible for all your attendees. For example, installing a switch at a certain height above the ground so someone in a wheelchair can reach it or providing listening assistance devices for those who are hard of hearing.
One of the key aspects of a great AV presentation is that the sound is perfectly synced to the visuals. This requires not only a high-quality audio system, but a lot of showmanship and timing. Think about how the straight man and comedian act on a vaudeville stage. On some lines the straight man will remain still, while on others he’ll move into the center of the stage and speak loudly to keep the audience engaged.
The best way to become an audio visual technician is through on-the-job training with a company or other large venue that offers this type of service. Many AV companies and venues offer this, so be sure to check with them for available opportunities. Additionally, if you’re a student, your college or university may have an internship program or other programs to get you on your way to a career in the industry. You can also find a mentor or find a place to practice your skills in the community, such as a local theater or community access television program that is receptive to trade work. This can be a great way to build your resume and learn the ins and outs of the industry before you jump into it full time.