Good event production is often taken for granted. Professional staging, state-of-the-art lighting, massive LED displays—no matter how visually impressive something is, for a lot of people it all just fades into the background. They don’t know how it works, they just know that it does. And that’s okay! After all, that’s why they’re hiring a production company. Even if they don’t understand the details, clients can appreciate the years of experience needed to make sure that the program runs smoothly and the technology works as intended.
But there’s a part of event production that’s almost universally overlooked. Something that even some production staff take for granted—good audio. Audio is deceptively simple. It’s just… sound. It’s just making people louder, playing music, playing videos. It’s just a microphone and some speakers, right? It just works.
Obviously I’m kind of belaboring the point; audio is one of the most technically challenging aspects of event production. It requires highly specialized knowledge and expensive equipment. It’s also critical to the success of your event. Despite all this, though, because most people don’t notice audio technology when it’s working well, many event organizers will underestimate its importance. They’ll under-invest in audio technology, assuming that any system will work. They’ll avoid paying for experienced technicians, assuming that anyone can handle it.
Here’s a short video I made showing just how big of a difference audio can make in our perception of something’s overall quality:
And in that example, the only variables were the microphone, cables, and recording software. At an event, it gets way more complicated. You need to consider the acoustic properties of the venue; how many speakers will you need to cover the room? What’s the best placement to avoid feedback? Will you need subwoofers? At larger venues, you may need to consider the time it takes sound to travel from one end of the room to the other, and factor in delays so that your speakers sound in sync no matter where in the room someone’s sitting. It’s a lot to think about.
My goal, though, isn’t to impress upon you how difficult audio is, but how important audio is. Audio matters; don’t make the mistake of under-investing! Consult your production partners on what equipment you’ll need, and ask if there’ll be a dedicated audio tech at your event. You may not really notice exceptional audio, but you’ll definitely notice bad audio.
If you have questions about what kind of audio system is right for your event, book a discovery call with us!