In October, PSAV announced the completion of its purchase of Encore Event Technologies, which was previously owned by the event management company Freeman. This makes the 80-year-old AV company even bigger. This recent acquisition comes as no surprise, as Encore was the biggest competitor of PSAV. PSAV seems to be concerned with market share and to gain more, they’ve gone the route of acquisition.
Purchase Represents Good News for Independent Audio-Visual Companies
It may seem strange to say that the biggest fish in the sea getting bigger is a good thing. Typically, size matters and a company like PSAV has plenty of brand awareness in the market. But independent AV firms like us still think this actually gives us more opportunities.
The reality is that PSAV has some weaknesses. Event planners often use PSAV because it’s convenient, but they end up paying more than market value. The biggest chunk of this extra goes to hotels or venues as “rent payment.” This amount can be as much as 60% or more. These hotels don’t employ PSAV—they are just an independent provider, along with many other entities that may be associated with the space.
These additional costs aren’t fair to event planners and can cause them to have to cut budgets in other areas of their event. It’s time that all event planners looked at alternatives because PSAV isn’t the only provider in town.
PSAV Should Be “Owning” the Market
If PSAV was efficient and effective in AV services or charged the standard rate for them, they would have total dominance over the industry. Their market share has now grown, but that doesn’t mean they will retain that business.
It’s not that PSAV doesn’t get AV. Their techs are knowledgeable and proficient. They know what they are doing but they don’t have any control over pricing or processes. The sales team at PSAV isn’t to blame either. They have to renegotiate their hotel
commission/rent contract. It’s their business model that's the issue, and it doesn’t work for event planners.
Things Heard in the Industry
Whether you have or have not worked with PSAV, there are some known issues that many of their customers have faced. Some of those revolve around logistics of event setup like elevators not working or docks not being open. They also put customers in a position of being the “exclusive” provider for internet, rigging, and power. Shockingly, internet services for them have been as high as $100,000+! They also often require a room monitor liaison, which means additional costs.
PSAV Practices Hurt Event Planners
PSAV has been known to exploit customers. They say they must charge you tax, which is not always true. You may feel at the end of the event that you have been nickeled and dimed. Plus, you’ll be hit with a 21% convenience fee but they bury this cost in the paperwork, so their pricing seems competitive at first.
Some other alarming prices include $450 a day for a 50” confidence monitor TV rental. You can purchase one for a third of that price and then provide it as the giveaway to attendees. You can do that over multiple shows and still not hit their one-day rental fee charge.
Then there’s the service aspect. Responsive is not a word that’s usually associated with the company’s service. You shouldn’t have to badger or hunt down your vendor. You may also find that your account manager isn’t helpful.
A Better Way to Manage AV
There is a better way to manage AV! You don’t have to be shackled to a vendor that’s costing you too much money and time. You don’t have to overpay for AV rental equipment. Instead, get in touch with us, and you’ll find truly competitive pricing, expertise, and care.