When you get the opportunity to inspect a site for your upcoming event, do what you can to replicate the time of day and season with the set up similar to your plans. I am surprised at the comments recently on Linkedin from this photograph I posted at a 5 star resort in Boca Raton. Clearly the hotel sales staff didn't tell the client during a daylight site inspection to expect a fully fluorescent lit gym as the backdrop for her entertainment.
Don't be misled by sales person reporting "everyone loves this layout." Of course they only have limited space to sell and you don't get to see it in action.
Thirty minutes before this party was to start on the pool deck, the décor company placed a noisy portable generator next to the band stage to supply the ambient light fixture set near the pool. He was angry when I told him it could not stay there. "What do you expect me to do?" was his response. He was out of time. I showed him a simple solution that only required an additional 25 feet of AC cable. Place the generator behind a nearby wall.
For those of you who follow my blog you know my complaint about video screens placed below 5'6" from the floor. This looks fine in an empty room, standing in the back for your site visit.
Do what you can to replicate the real guest situations for your upcoming event in a site visit.
Sit in the last row, stand where the VIP guests will stand to address your audience, experience the ambient lights and sounds distracting your guests...inside or out.
If you are indoors insure the air conditioning is on. Are the air handlers too noisy? Listen while a meeting is in progress on the other side of your single air wall, the sound system doesn't buzz, all the light fixtures work, the catering staff is milling about quietly in the service halls.
It is all in the details, of course. But you can minimize the distractions to your event if you site visit each venue in the same set up as your proposed event and experience the venue as a participant.
Should you not be able to do the site visit, ask a professional production person to do the site visit for you.
Follow this blog for more useful event production tips.
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