One of the most basic “must haves” of a event where presentations are made before a group of people is the availability of the appropriate audio visual equipment. Be it inside a conference room where there are 10-12 participants, a small seminar venue where there are 20-40 people eager to learn from you, or an auditorium where a crowd of 300 or so have gathered to listen to your whitepaper on the evolution of the widget. Having the right audio video equipment takes away the need to strain your voice just to be heard (try doing that in an auditorium!), or pass out multiple copies of what you want to present, and encourages focus and interaction, thereby significantly enhancing the experience.
If you hold presentations on a regular basis for small groups in a small venue, then it might make sense for you to invest in basic audio visual equipment (i. e. , a multimedia projector, laptop computer, and a simple sound system), which should not cost you too much. However, if your presentation events are, for example, just a couple or so times per year, in venues that are in excess of a sitting capacity of 100, then the option for investment on the appropriate audio visual equipment does not really make dollar sense. This is especially true when your audience size varies from event to event. Obviously, as your venue and crowd become bigger, the bigger your investment in audio visual equipment will be, and this is not limited just to the hardware. In big venues, there is a also a need for technicians to maintain and operate the equipment to ensure that these will not bog down (and if they do, will not be down for long) during the event proper.
One viable option that you may want to consider in scenarios like these is to rent the audio visual equipment you will need for your event. That way, you can focus on the real purpose of your event (i. e. , the presentation) and not worry about such details before, during, and after your event. In case you are charging for the event (which you most likely are if you are into live event management as a profession, for example) renting allows you to avoid depreciation and maintenance costs that are part and parcel of the investment option.
When renting audio visual equipment, make sure that your supplier has a good track record in this kind of business. During times when you may be able to find suppliers who give low rental rates, you might find out the hard way that the reason they are so affordable is that they do not really know what they are doing, do not have back-up equipment on standby in case of emergencies, do not have the flexibility to handle other last-minute issues that normally hound events, and so on and so forth. Getting a reliable supplier goes a long way in ensuring that your audience will see what it is you are showing and hear what it is you are saying as clearly as possible.