Reasons why you should choose Production Headquarters over an In-House AV provider:

#1 – R.O.I.  Return on Investment:
    The most important factor in choosing an AV provider, vs the In House AV company, is
the correlation between what you invest vs. what you receive.  While their quotes may seem similar to ours, keep in mind that every In-House provider must pay the venue a percentage of your overall program.  This percentage is typically 50% or higher!!  When you invest in your program, do you want only 50 cents of every dollar to actually go towards your event success?  Most venues will make commission when booking audio visual services through the In House AV provider.  If you bring in your preferred provider they can’t contract the work out and they don’t get incentive pay.  However they make more money from Food, Beverage and Hotel Meeting Room Rentals than Audio Visual, so let them know you will NOT be using the In House AV company BEFORE you book the hotel.

#2 – Watch out for their Tactics
    In order to overcome the above R-O-I issue, most In-house providers will use tactics like:

-Donating or Discounting your Internet Fees.
This is their largest mark up as the service is already there for the guests of the hotel.
Since it is already paid for it costs them nothing to discount the inflated cost.

-They will require you to pay for using the existing power in meeting rooms if you
    use an outside provider.

-They will add in a required “Liaison” to oversee your vendor and to be on “Standby”
    just incase you need anything.  This “Liaison” is usually just the in house AV tech
    already on duty in his office.

-They will tell you “Outside AV companies won’t be able to accommodate last minute
    changes.”  Don’t let this deceptive statement fool you! Much of a hotel’s equipment,
    especially any specialty gear, is actually shipped from other hotels or their warehouse
    since hotels have very little space for AV storage.  How is that different from us
    running back to our warehouse?

-Some venues even say you “have to” use their preferred Provider.
KNOW your rights and know the law.
YOU have the choice to bring in your own provider. 
Don’t be fooled by the lure of Free Internet & Power to hide your true R-O-I.

#3 – Gear Is Gear
    While anyone can obtain nice state of the art equipment.  Not everyone knows how to use it to it’s potential.  This is what makes us different.  With our broad knowledge base, our experience with working many unique events and working in many different venues, we are able to provide you with superior service.  We don’t inflate the cost of internet access, charge ridiculous rigging fees, or make you pay for existing power so we can discount those items to win your business.  

We earn your business by providing you an experienced crew, a fair price, state of the art equipment, and a solid Return On your Investment.

#4 – Experience & Ownership
    This is actually the key to our success.  100% of every dollar you invest, stays with Your Program.  We are able to provide you with experienced AV technicians, Audio Engineers and Lighting Designers vs the AV techs on duty at that hotel.  Most of our front line techs specialize in their specific field and some have toured with Major Acts.  Our Audio Engineers for example can provide sound for small groups in an intimate venue all the way up to full concert systems and have worked with many national headline acts.
     We take ownership of you event’s success.  You have 100% of our attention.  Our crews are not pulled in several directions as is the case with In-House providers.  If you did not buy out your venue 100%, you are NOT getting 100% of their attention.  Our people have extensive experience working in diverse situations and in many different types of venues.
Be confident with your selection, not bullied into it!  Relax and enjoy your event with us.

From an article in an industry magazine:

  Hotel Audio Visual: You Don’t Have to Use the Hotel AV company.

Many of our current customers never knew they could bring their own audio visual provider into their hotel meeting room rentals until they started working with us. Bringing in your own audio visual provider can save you up to 64% on your audio visual spend. We put the following information together to help explain why using an outside audio visual provider is often better than using the hotel AV company.

More and more companies are holding meeting planners accountable for expenses. Just as travel budgets have been tightened, audio visual budgets have been targeted for savings. Hotel audio visual contracts limit competition, which equates to poorer service and less value than an outside company can provide.

Why does the venue want me to use the hotel audio visual company?

Most venues will make commission when booking audio visual services through a provider they have contracted with, often an “In-House AV company”. If you bring in your preferred provider they can’t contract the work out and they don’t get incentive pay.  However they make more money from food, beverage and hotel meeting room rentals than audio visual, so removing the clause that restricts working with your choice of provider is easy to do BEFORE you book the hotel. It’s also a good idea so you can bring outside quotes into your negotiations to drive down in-house costs regardless of which provider you choose.

WiFi at the venue is expensive! How can I negotiate cheaper internet?

Sometimes you may need to use the in-house internet. In cases where you have an event wide app, key presentations or videos streaming from the internet, it’s probably in your best interest to request dedicated bandwidth from the venue. However, it can be challenging to know what services you really need and how much you should be paying for them. In house AV providers tend to lead with a lower rate, with the stipulation that they must be the sole AV provider for the event.

Contracting an outside audio visual provider makes you the top priority.

Hotel audio visual providers are often responsible for multiple events happening in the same hotel or venue. This means you don’t get their full attention if technicians have to run in between events. By bringing in an outside audio visual provider of your choice, you pay for dedicated support for your event – not anyone else’s.

When it’s your event, you should choose who works with you.

At the end of the day your event is about one thing – making sure your audience understands what you’re saying. The audio visual component is the physical channel for this message. You are liable for getting that message across, it should be your choice who will reliably deliver it.

How to protect your right to work with your choice of providers.

Take some extra time to double check your contract before signing. Hotels may try to charge additional fees if you use an outside company, but they cannot limit your right to bring in your preferred providers for audio visual needs. A hotel cannot prohibit you from bringing in equipment or support personnel provided it is within local safety standards laws and you are not modifying their utilities or mounting equipment on walls or ceilings. Ask to have any clause removed that restricts your rights to bring in your vendor of choice.

Before signing anything for a hotel meeting room rental get this clause added to all contracts:

Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers

Buyer will not accept or agree to any proposal or contract containing conditions, terms, or clauses which unreasonably restrict our choice of third party suppliers for our event(s) at any meeting facility, whether such conditions are expressly stated in the proposal or contract, or whether they are contained in the general operating policies of the facility, be they published or unpublished. Furthermore, Buyer will not accept or agree to any fees, surcharges, or penalties of any type charged by a meeting facility that are in any way based on or tied to our choice of third party suppliers, whether such fees are expressly stated in the proposal or contract, or whether they are contained in the general operating policies of the facility, be they published or unpublished. This “Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers” clause shall be appended to all contracts that are executed by Buyer, and if it is determined that this clause is in conflict with any other clause, portion of any contract, or any general operating policy of the facility, then this “Buyer’s rights regarding third party suppliers” clause shall be deemed to take precedence over the other item(s) with which it is determined to be in conflict, unless specifically agreed otherwise.

** Source**

Exhibition Services & Contractors Association website: Position Paper – Freedom of Choice