In-House A/V vs Outside Production Company

We hope this article helps you make an informed decision when planning your next big conference. 


In-house teams are a good choice if you are looking for knowledge on the venue, and easy integration with the hotel. Working with the venue’s own team can simplify logistics and coordination.

Although using in-house AV may be convenient there are some drawbacks to consider:

  • Technology Limitations: While in house might cover basics like projectors, they may not offer newer technologies such as LED walls, which makes a more significant impact.
  • Travel: Your event may be hosted in a different location every year, that means starting over with a new production team every time.
  • Cost Transparency: It might seem like you’re getting a deal, but remember that hotels often receive commissions from these services. It might seem like you’re getting a discount, but you’re likely paying for it somewhere else.
  • Complex Contracts: The technical verbiage can be confusing if you don’t speak the industry lingo. Make sure you fully understand what’s in your service agreement.
  • Limited Personalization: Typically, you meet your in-house production staff only on the day of the event, which can make tailoring the details a bit more challenging.
*Venue Negotiation Tips*

Know what fees will be added to your master account if you do not use the In-House company, BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Remember, there’s always room for negotiation, but only before you sign your contract.

Ask for concessions! Unconsciously the more you things your hotel vendor says no to, the more obligated they feel to say yes to something.. (don’t forget you hold the leverage) – also note that the hotel/venue sales manager probably has a certain quota to meet each month so if you agree to sign the contract before the end of the month the hotel is more likely to agree to your requested discounts. 😉

Possible Concessions to Request:

-Reduce the F&B Minimum 
-Waive the outside production fee
-Waive WiFi fee
-Provide Complimentary parking passes
-Provide Complimentary Champagne Toast 
-Complimentary meeting/function space
-Complimentary rooms for either speaker(s) or staff members
Benefits of Partnering with Utopia Experience Over In-House A/V:
  • Consistency Across Events: If you host your event in a different location or venue each year, we travel with you. This is helpful because you have a team that understands your preferences and requirements year over year which can save you time and improve the event quality.  
  • Advanced Tech and Client Service: This year, we’ve invested in brand new, vibrant LED walls with new technology, we also design digital program assets, overlays, transition slides, and coordinate with keynote speakers on riders and mic preferences, etc.
  • Creative Control: More input on how the A/V setup supports the theme and goals of your event. (stage design – pipe and drape, custom wood wall, etc.)
  • Personal Connection: Meet our team in advance to build rapport, and to make you feel more comfortable and confident. We meet with you well in advance of your event to discuss everything. It’s building a relationship with a company that truly cares and is not transactional.

We encourage you to explore your options, get two-three bids for production to compare the value difference. We hope this has shed some light on what to consider when choosing a production company to collaborate with!

If you’re interested in getting a quote or comparison for your upcoming event, we would love to work with you. Let’s create a memorable and impactful event together! Tell us about your event here

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