Dinner Meetings: How to Streamline the Planning Process

Posted by | Meeting & Event Planning |
Dinner Meetings

Define Your AV Technology Requirements Before Planning Your Dinner Meetings

If your job is to plan a private dining event, an important step will be to determine your Audio Visual equipment requirements.

Having executed over 18,000 events annually, many of them dinner meetings, Tallen can offer some first-hand wisdom and intelligence to help you figure out the best course of action for planning your dinner meetings.

Look for ways to make the entire process – everything from ordering/billing to delivery to breakdown – as simple and streamlined as possible. In order to ensure a smooth execution, make sure that your AV equipment arrives early, is properly set up and tested before the event.

Here are some more of the main issues to consider when planning and executing private dinner meetings:

Inventory of equipment

Typically, the venue or restaurant where your meeting is taking place won’t have AV rental services on site. Instead, the equipment is trucked in from an external warehouse. Upon delivery, its signed for then dropped off. One major disadvantage here is that if it turns out an additional item or replacement equipment is needed and it’s after hours (as dinner events usually are) the restaurant manager or maître d’ is probably not going to be much help to you.  On the other hand, an external AV rental provider, will be less constrained by a limited inventory of equipment, with broader levels of support and more gear available.

Delivery and Setup of Equipment

Hand-delivered AV rental equipment with onsite pre-event assistance  means on-time, dependable delivery; including a meet-and-greet between the technician and the dinner meetings presenter to make sure everything is in order and ensure that any unforeseen circumstances are dealt with. At many AV rental firms like Tallen this is standard, but not all of them, so make sure that this is specifically mentioned on the order form. Also, since you are dealing with technology, make sure you understand what you are getting with regards to support. Optimally, you want an AV provider that offers 24/7 “live human” technical support.

Pricing & Billing

Don’t hesitate to shop around and make the necessary price comparisons. In addition to the bottom line cost, consider the flexibility and ease-of-use factor when it comes to the ordering, billing and reporting system. Look for a provider with a national presence that can deliver consistency on equipment and pricing. This is especially important if your meeting is part of a greater marketing campaign or communications initiative and you are going to be hosting multiple meetings in different cities and regions.

Cancellation Policy

Look for a flexible policy when it comes to cancellations. Again, here is where you may want to consider a national provider over a local vendor. Who is more likely to bend over backwards to keep their client (i.e. you) happy? The outside provider, whose main goal is to win your future AV rental business, or the venue that now has to replace you as a customer?

Every week at Tallen, we supply Audio Visual equipment and technical personnel at hundreds of lunch and dinner meetings nationwide. Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about how we can help support you.

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