Typically, high speed internet, power, and rigging are provided by the in-house AV company, but their prices can be ridiculous and unreasonable. Paying fair rates for these services makes sense, however paying unreasonable rates to force you into using the in-house AV provider is wrong. More recently customers have told us their prices change when they decide not to use the in-house AV provider. After hearing about this over and over again, we thought we would provide a few ways to help deal with this approach.
You may be wondering, “What can I do to keep these costs down and still give myself the freedom to choose my own AV provider?” Here are five helpful tips for negotiating high speed, rigging, and power fees with the hotel.
- Leverage your position as the hotel’s client – The hotel wants you to work with their in-house AV company, because they receive significant commission dollars from their provider, (learn more here) they also want you to book guest rooms, food and beverage services, and meeting spaces at their hotel. Ultimately, you are the client and they want to make you happy and keep your business. So don’t lose your leverage by agreeing to their contract without including provisions for high speed, rigging, power, and other fees that prevent you from making your choice of AV providers.
- Get rates on internet, rigging and power before signing the hotel contract – Request rates for high speed internet, power, and rigging before signing your contract. Negotiate specific rates like you do for guest rooms for these services and have those rates included in the contract. It may seem unnecessary; however, the in-house providers increase their rates for these services significantly as soon as they think you may be bringing in an outside provider for your AV production.
- Don’t let in-house AV bid on your event during the initial bid – If you have other bids before involving in-house AV you are in a better place to negotiate when they come at you with ridiculous rates. If they bid first and you move to an outside company, they may try to gauge you on pricing for exclusives. If they bid later, they know what they’re going up against and are at least thankful for the opportunity to bid. Once you have the rates for High Speed, Rigging, and Power agreed to, then you can request bids for the AV production giving you the customer the ability to make the best choice for your event.
- Have your AV provider help you negotiate – If you have an outside AV partner, your AV team should deal with this all the time and they are in a good place to call in-house out on unfair pricing. If your AV team doesn’t help with negotiating internet, rigging, and power, you should look for a new partner who will handle this for you. The trend is changing from using in house AV, and if you haven’t looked into an outside partner for your events it is time to start asking the question to see what you are missing.
- Bring in your own internet – Yes, you can bring in your own internet to the event venue! There are companies that can provide wireless internet for your attendees, as well as companies that can provide dedicated hard lines into the building. These solutions take some upfront work, but they can really help in negotiating with the hotel as it gives you an alternative to their service. If you’re going to do this, there is more you need to know and we’re happy to help. Send us an email to learn more!
These are just five tips on how to negotiate in house exclusives. Every situation is different and will take different tactics to overcome. If you need help negotiating, please don’t hesitate to email us or give us a call. We are experts in dealing with in house and can help you achieve a favorable outcome for your event.