What makes the ideal room for audiovisual support?

As a meeting planner, you have a lot to think about when choosing a space for your next event. You want a room that’s big enough for your typical attendance, convenient to hotels and restaurants, wheelchair accessible, cost effective, and a myriad other considerations.

What about the audiovisual? This is often a last-minute consideration, how you will light and amplify your speakers and panelists. Here are five things to consider when choosing a venue for your meeting.

Ceiling Height

The first consideration for AV is a high ceiling. A height over twelve feet is optimal. That leaves enough room for a lighting tree far above the heads of the audience and a tall stage that can still hold set pieces.

Room Depth

The depth of the room will determine whether the projector can shoot from behind the screen or from the audience. If the room is too shallow, the ceiling has to be high enough so that the projector clears the heads of the audience (remember, the path of its light gets wider further from the screen).

Room Décor

Consider the décor of the room. A low-hanging chandelier reduces the height to which lights and projectors can be raised. Mirrors make a room look larger, but if they are behind the stage, they will need to be covered with pipe and drape. In any ballroom, pipe and drape is essential. It separates your stage from the wall and creates a neutral backdrop for each speaker.


A room’s acoustics can sometimes be too “live” for ideal sound. Cement floors, exposed beam ceilings, and metal surfaces bounce sound, filling the room with reverberating noise. A professional audiovisual crew will sound a room in advance, placing the speakers so that they best utilize the room’s natural acoustics and even deadening the room by hanging fabric.

Electrical Power

A typical audiovisual setup requires at least a 100 amp, single-phase electrical connection. All of the equipment combined for the average conference requires only 60 amps, but a 100 amp connection allows enough leeway for various other pieces of equipment to connect to the same circuit. Overloading a circuit can cause blackouts or even electrical fires, so hotels usually keep a document on file that shows which outlets are connected to the same circuit. A power drop will prevent phasing and grounding problems as well as assure that a specific amount of power is coming through a single circuit. Power drops are ideal for large conferences or concerts.

An ideal meeting space goes a long way toward headache-free audiovisual support, but a good crew can overcome these shortcomings with a site survey and flexibility.