Nobody can or should own everything - it isn't practical. Even the biggest AV services companies subcontract for certain event technologies. According to the American Express 2019 Global Meetings & Events Forecast, mobile apps, facial recognition, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics are just a few of tools that will be used in 2019 to stimulate attendee interaction. But it typically doesn't make sense for a hotel to invest in these types of technologies. How would Bill (whose primary job responsibility is catering sales, not managing technology) evaluate the qualifications, competence, and capacities of the local AV rental company to provide these resources? And, how would he know how to negotiate an agreement that guarantees your hotel receives a fair commission while the guest pays a fair price?
Finding the right outside AV services partner isn't an easy task. Terms and conditions need to be included in contracts to ensure that events go smoothly, and that no damage is done to the hotel or to its built-in systems. Even though an outside company is bringing in equipment, it's the hotel's responsibility to support the guest and provide a seamless experience. A strong working relationship with outside service partners ensures they value your business and won't try to poach the business and ask the meeting planner to work with them directly the next time they bring an event to your destination. Most local companies appreciate a good working relationship with a hotel and are happy to receive a new revenue stream from your customers, but there must be a formal understanding of roles and responsibilities.
So, there are two ways a hotel can manage this situation.
Bill can do his best to find a local AV partner and negotiate the best agreement. To help with that process, here are 20 questions to ask of prospective candidates:
After looking at Option No. 1, your head may be spinning. Unfortunately, there are no "How To" books on the AV negotiating process. As a self-managing hotel and user of AVaStar, however, you can leverage the expertise of AVaStar's professional services team to search and select a reputable AV services partner and negotiate the contract on your behalf. Not only will the AVaStar team work with hoteliers to secure outside provider agreements, AVaStar provides tools to audit actual performance against the terms of the agreement to ensure that what was promised is being delivered. AVaStar gives people like Bill the ability to manage those contracts by monitoring spending and comparing that spend with what was charged to make sure the AV department remains profitable.
AVaStar is for everyone. It's ideal for hotels that prefer to self-manage AV services. But when outside services are required, AvaStar can help with that too.
Electro-Media Design, Ltd.
973-C Russell Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Eric Bracht is managing director of AVaStar, an event-technology SaaS designed to provide a comprehensive suite of services for self-managing a hotel owner’s AV technology investment. It’s an interconnective software that provides systems and templates covering the entire spectrum of activities associated with operating and managing presentation technology systems and services.
Phone: (440) 930-5770