Don’t “DIY” Your Event Into Disaster

With the internet exploding with information, one trend that is going strong is DIY (do-it-yourself). Think about what you see everyday online: DIY furniture, DIY wedding decor, DIY holiday themed desserts. No need for a professional anymore when there’s a YouTube video to show you how to do it, right? AV production is no exception to this DIY trend. But should it be?

The Risks of DIY

professional AV set up at hotel venueWith DIY options for any type of event, it can help your timeline, your budget, your stress level, and your overall mood of your event. But the time and energy you’re putting on yourself to get it all done is extraordinary. Have you considered how many people it will take to install your oversized projection screen? Are you willing to pull an all-nighter coming up with content for your DIY video? Did you think about whether or not your venue’s built-in projector would work the video equipment you brought from home? It’s important to decide which aspects of your event production that you are willing to DIY and what makes more sense to hire an event professional for.

AV Tips from the Professionals

“Don’t sacrifice the integrity of your event by skimping on AV,” says Wired Production Group Vice President of Business Development, Doug Netolicky. Doug has offered up advice to event planners for more than 10 years. While DIY is certainly an option for some aspects of any event, Doug says you may want to reconsider the DIY route for AV production. “You don’t want to spoil the ambience of a large event by shirking the costs of professionally mixed audio, lighting, and video components,” he goes on to explain. “A poorly executed event production, whether it’s live or virtual, is one of the fastest ways to reduce the value of the time you’ve spent planning, not to mention the lackluster feeling your guests will leave with. It can take years to grow a successful event, but it can take only seconds to destroy your event’s reputation.” 


Here are some factors to consider when considering a DIY approach to AV for your next event:

  • TIME: The time spent trying to learn how to generate AV content from scratch could be used instead to negotiate with event venues in order to score the perfect location for your party.  Time is money, and your time allocation is important to create the best event for your guests. 
  • MONEY: By extraneously purchasing or renting all of the AV equipment you would need to create the effect you want at your event, you could very well end up spending more than you would have spent on a custom AV package from an event production company. It’s important to shop around for what would be most cost efficient: renting the AV equipment to do it yourself or hire an event professional to bring in everything you need and run the equipment for you.
  • HEADACHE: Have you ever bit off more than you could chew and only ended up frustrated? While most of us have created an iMovie at some point, it’s very different than projecting live audio and video on LED screens at a concert. You’ll save yourself the frustration and exasperation as to why you can’t hear the lead singer over the blare of the background guitarist.
  • SCALE: If you were looking to project a slideshow at a birthday party, it would be a different story than syncing up 9 different microphones while simultaneously running lights and projectors at a corporate conference for 300. Keep in mind the scale of your production and understand that in most cases, you’ll be better off hiring a production company to help you pull off your vision.
  • EQUIPMENT EXPERTISE: For as easy as expert audio engineers and video production specialists make their jobs seem, they’ve spent years perfecting their trade in order to seamlessly bring AV production to life. Event professionals take their jobs very seriously as your events become their events. They want and expect the best from all people involved in the event production.

Weigh all of your event production options before jumping aboard the DIY train. Your guests may thank you later. If you’re still not sure which way you should go for your next event, it’s better to connect with a reputable AV production company that can work with your ideas and guide you to a solid approach for your event. Connect with Doug Netolicky to discuss your next live, virtual or hybrid event production.