One item event planners often overlook on their event planning checklists is whether or not their A/V equipment is walking out their venue’s front door.
A/V equipment security is a big deal. Audio and visual equipment can be very expensive, and much of it is small and easily concealed. Items like microphones and laptops are ideal targets for theft and can get lost easily.
Taking a few simple precautions can help save event planners a lot of hassle — and money — down the road.
Event planners, don’t forget these six simple steps to keep your A/V equipment safe at your next event.
1. Keep Track of What Equipment You Have
If your organization owns its own equipment, you should have a complete up-to-date list of everything you own, when each item was purchased and how much each item cost. This information is usually kept for tax purposes, so obtaining it from your company shouldn’t be difficult.
If you’re renting A/V equipment, keep a detailed list of all the equipment you rented. When it’s time to pack it up and return it, make sure everything is there — including cables and instruction manuals.
2. Record Serial Numbers Before Your Event
Keep a record of the serial number of each item in your A/V library. If you have theft insurance and something is stolen, your insurance company will probably require a police report, and the police will be of more use if you have a serial number for each missing piece of gear.
Additionally, a serial number insures that you’ll have a much better chance of recovering your equipment if it turns up at the nearest pawn shop.
3. Keep Track of Who Has What Equipment
Appoint someone to be in charge of your A/V library or storeroom, and make them responsible for everything that leaves the room.
Whether you’re providing microphones for a meeting or a PA system for the office karaoke party, you need to keep track of your equipment at all times.
Create a spreadsheet, calendar or a good old-fashioned ledger that lists all of your gear so you can see at a glance where your equipment is, and when it is scheduled to be taken out by your colleagues.
4. Secure Loose Items Under Lock and Key
A locking storeroom or closet is the best way to secure your A/V equipment when it’s not in use.
It’s also a good idea to invest in podium housings, laptop stands or locking cabinets for times when your equipment is out of the room, or is being kept near the conference room or stage.
5. Protect Your Wireless Networks With A Strong Password
Are you hosting a Wi-Fi network for your attendees? If so, be sure it’s password-protected, and that the password is difficult to guess.
Additionally, configure your router so that the network doesn’t broadcast its name. Your audience can simply find the network manually. Just don’t forget to include the network name and password in your welcome packages!
6. Never Leave Equipment Unattended
Although this tip may seem obvious, it’s a point that is easily overlooked if you have a conference room full of mics and it’s time to break for lunch.
If your venue doesn’t lock easily, make sure one of your engineers is on hand to keep an eye on any idle gear. Don’t assume your venue’s security staff will watch it unless you specifically arranged for them to do so.
If you have to leave equipment overnight at your venue, confirm with staff and security that it will be safe behind locked doors.
How do you keep your audio gear safe at your events? Let us know in the comments.