3 Tips for venue setup

When you are giving a presentation, whether it is a keynote speech or seminar, the venue and facilities can have a huge impact on the success or failure of your presentation, so here are three tips to make your presentation successful.

Small is more

A few years ago, my band was offered a headline gig in one of the live music venues in Cape Town. The problem is that while our band could draw a crown of about 50-100 people, the venue held over 700 people We reluctantly turned down the gig and instead asked to play in their smaller venue downstairs that only held 80 people. The downstairs gig was great – it was full, crowded and had a great vibe – we would have needed at least 500 people upstairs to get the energy we had downstairs.

The same happens when we speak. Sometimes we think "let’s rather book a bigger room – just in case," but in general, the small yet full room has far more energy than the large and empty room. Resist the temptation to book the larger room. You can always bring in extra chairs at the last minute if necessary.

Arrive Early

What has been promised by the venue, and what they actually provide are not always the same thing. If you arrive early you have plenty of time to make last minute changes to the room setup. If possible, check it out a day or two before so that you have time to see the room and make adjustments adhead of time.

Get to know the AV Guy

The AV (audio-visual) guy (or girl) is the person that is responsible for all of the audio visual equipment. He is the person who know where the hidden button is that lowers the projector screen, or where to get an extra extension cable at the last minute etc. If you are speaking at a large conference, you might have a dedicated AV guy in your room, but if it is a smaller function, the venue might have one person responsible for the entire conference setup.

This person can make or break your presentation. Befriend him and he will be willing to assist. Antagonize him, and he might not be able to find that extra adapter that you left at home!

I hope the tips help – good luck with you next presentation!

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