How to Navigate In-House Exclusive Rights
For many organizations, utilizing their preferred production team is ideal for program consistency and knowing there’s a familiar team of professionals in place for the event execution. But in the last few years, we’ve seen an increase with in-house AV companies becoming exclusive providers for breakout session spaces in their venues. What does this mean for the meeting planners?
- Meeting planners are being penalized with additional space rental fees (often per room/per day) if they choose to use their own production team.
- Planners are faced with possibly sacrificing the quality of their program by using in-house providers.
- Planners don’t have a main point of contact, beyond the sales rep, for keeping breakout space equipment and room layouts accurate and up-to-date during the planning process.
- Beyond breakouts, meeting planners are being charged high rigging rates in the main session room as another penalty for not using the in-house AV team.
So, what can planners do?
- Read through the fine print and make counter-suggestions in the contracting phase. The AV contract is often separate from the venue contract, but provisions can be found within both. Negotiations may lead to a lower rigging, electrical, or wi-fi rate.
- If you signed your venue contract prior to the AV team signing for exclusive rights, you may be able to opt out of this requirement and/or grandfather it into future years if you return to the same venue each year.
Combine both your team and the in-house team
- Some groups have smaller committee or task force meetings on the front/ backend of the conference. By using in-house for these, you can reduce labor and travel time for your main production team while also pacifying the needs of in-house. For sessions with more demanding AV needs like streaming, utilize in-house for the basic equipment/labor, but supplement with your team’s lead technicians.
Offer exhibit hall AV orders to in-house in exchange for breakout rights
- While this may not always be successful in negotiations, utilizing in-house for AV orders can be a benefit to exhibitors with last-minute needs/requests and can cut back on trucking costs for your main production company.
Utilize an LAI Live breakout producer
- Our Breakout Producers become a member of your team during the event planning process and will keep on top of ever-changing needs for room set-ups, equipment needs, and onsite schedules for these spaces. As a liaison, we’ll stay on top of the primary contact to provide the required diagrams and hold them accountable for missing information.
Onsite, we’ll oversee load-in to ensure setups are correct and equipment is working. We’ll work with the venue and AV team on required room set changes during the program, and flagging any schedule or AV issues and address immediately. Most importantly, your LAI Live Breakout Producer is a knowledgeable professional that will connect with your keynote speakers — checking in with them prior to the session, verifying the presentations are correct and ready to go, and giving the speaker all the information needed to lead their session – whether it’s equipment use or audience Q&A options, or anything in between.
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