If you’ve been put in charge of planning an event, whether it’s a corporate function, family wedding, or major performance, you may find yourself needing professional technical services. Technical event production companies can handle many aspects of your event, like event management, lighting, sound, video or staging. But how do you go about finding a company in the New York or New Jersey area capable of handling your event?

Let’s walk through the steps for researching, vetting, choosing and hiring the best technical t production company for your upcoming event.

Define Your Needs

There are many qualified technical event production companies that service the New York and New Jersey markets. In order to narrow the field, you’ll need to start by identifying and defining your specific requirements. Ask yourself:

  • Will there be live entertainment?
    • If so, will it be music, a speaker, dancing, a presentation etc.
  • Will you need a stage, lighting, video screens, a speaker’s podium, sound support, event management?
  • When is the event?
    • Depending on the technical needs of your event, it may require a long lead-time with possible permits, engineering drawings, etc., required..
  • Where is your event?
    • Do you need a company that understands your local market? How far are they willing to travel? A company with experience in your city will understand its particular logistics.  They may also have working relationships with local labor unions and venues.
  • Will you need support staff?
    • Sound technician, lighting designer, stage manager, production staff etc.

Identifying and outlining your needs can help as you begin your research and allow you to effectively narrow down your results.

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Researching Technical Event Production Companies

Begin your research by asking friends, family and co-workers if they have had experience using a technical event production company and if they might have any recommendations. While you may not get many recommendations, you will most likely get a few names to begin your search.

Probably the best and fastest method for finding potential companies is going to be online. Use search engines to find technical event production companies near you. Google in particular, has a very strong local search component, which should give you a list of companies geographically close to your event.

When searching use a variety of terms that are relevant, including location. You can start with a broad search such as “Technical Event Production Companies, New York and New Jersey.”  Then narrow the list based upon your needs, for example adding terms like, video production, staging, or live music production. This should give you a list of dozens of potential companies.

Another online avenue to explore are the trade magazines.

Some websites to check out include Pro Sound News, Billboard Magazine (which provides an annual production company guide) and BizBash.com.

At the end of this process you should have an extensive list of technical event production companies. Start by visiting their websites. The object is to narrow the field down to the few companies which you will then research more in depth.

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Narrow Down The Field – Vetting Your top Candidates

Once you’ve narrowed your choices, you will need to begin to research specifics to determine who  you will eventually meet with face-to-face. There are two areas to focus on when vetting companies online before making contact:

Reputation

Your event is important and its success depends on working with a reliable, trustworthy vendor who will show up on time and get the job done right, and on budget. Again, return to Google, Yahoo or Bing and type the company’s name into the search field and see what types of hits you get.

Look for reviews and testimonials. Are they positive, neutral or bad? Next, check with your colleagues and ask if they have experience with that company. Finally, check and see if their website has any reviews or testimonials from former clients and if you can, call or email them directly.

Capabilities

You’ve already identified your needs. Does the company you’re considering possess those capabilities? Again, while you’re on the company website check their capabilities. How long have they been in business? Do they handle the specific type of event you’re planning? Do their team members have the skills and experience you’ll need? Do they offer the services you’ll require and do they have any unique skills?

Gather as much information as you can from their website and social media accounts and then contact the company by phone to request additional marketing materials. Ask if they can send you a list of referrals or testimonials and then ask if they have an event portfolio showcasing events they have worked on. Often this information will be available on their websites as well.

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Meeting and Choosing Your Technical Event Production Company

By now, you’ll have a pretty in-depth understanding of your top companies. At this point you will have narrowed down your choices and determined who you would like to meet face to face. You can either meet with them at their location to get a feel for their operations, or meet at your proposed venue to discuss the specifics of your event.

Use this meeting to outline your project and provide information to get a cost estimate. Inquire about events they have done that are similar to yours. Find out if they offer any unique services or can bring anything extra to the table.

As you interview them, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do they listen to you and provide thorough answers to your questions?
  • Are they organized, prepared and enthusiastic? Do they want the work?
  • Is their equipment up to date and well maintained?
  • Can they work within your budget?
  • Do they give you the impression that they have an understanding of what it takes to successfully manage and execute your event?
  • Are they a good fit with your organization?

If you have done your research and feel comfortable after meeting face-to-face, your decision will often come down to price and personality. If they can meet your needs, work within your budget and you feel confident about working with their organization, you’re ready to make your decision and get to work planning your event!

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