As in-person gatherings become a safer reality after pandemic-related disruptions, event organizers are increasingly faced with the decision to either use the venue’s in-house AV team or outsource their AV and live-streaming production partner for hybrid events. While this is a difficult choice, it is crucial for the success of the event. In the post below, we lay out a list of considerations for both options, along with our recommendations based on our experience.

in-house providers vs outsourced

 1. In-house AV team considerations for hybrid events

Depending on where in this world, the venue you’re planning your next event at is, your in-house AV team might have had a very long break of being fore-load. That’s not to say that some of the AV techs might have not found freelancing gigs to work, and pay those pestering bills, which I hope they did, however not having consistent work means missing on that team dynamic working events together for a while, which will affect your event, whether you consider it or not.

The in-house team might not have the same level of expertise and experience working virtual events, not because they’re not capable, but because of the prolonged shutdown they had to endure during the pandemic.

Keep in mind that, as a general rule, most in-house AV teams fill a more general, well-rounded tech role, but not necessarily specialized in any one particular area, especially an area such as digital events and proficient in producing event via/on virtual event platforms with the latest technology.

  • Not having the same time and hands-on exposure to producing virtual events at the same rate an outsource AV team would have had during the pandemic, (see next post for the assumption taken here), and not being as seasoned on the technology that evolved at a lighting speed, means a higher liability for making mistakes that will negatively affect your event.
  • In-house AV would have less updated gear and tools to produce a hybrid experience, due to the shutdown, although some venues did put a good effort to upgrade their in-house infrastructure, equipment and spaces to support the events of the future. Ask the right questions.
  • The AV bill would most definitely include a service charge in the range of 20 to 30% and that’s just that, unless your negotiation acumen is off the rooftops.

All that to say,
an in-house team could be great at working with you in maybe providing you with bundling of services as it relates to broadband, power, multi-room AV equipment discounts, maybe even a discount for the in-person AV vs live-streaming technology, etc. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

2. Outsourcing the AV production partner for your hybrid events

The assumption here is that the production partner you’re planning to bring in to host and produce your hybrid event has been quite busy pivoting to virtual events in 2020, and continued to pivot to hybrid events in 2021, all the while improving on their skills and expertise of hosting this new breed of events. And this SHOULD be an important consideration when bringing in any AV production partner.

If you’re not sure who’s still relevant in this new space, send us a message, call and we’re more than happy to make specific recommendations. Our business relies 100% on key partners, local and global, in the event, production and technology world, and have worked with many top-notch production houses to produce many of the virtual and hybrid events we’ve hosted this far. Don’t be shy, reach out, more than willing to help and share our tips.

OK, now that’s out of the way,

  • a proficient outsourced production partner would have done hundreds of virtual and hybrid events by now, and they would have made all the mistakes and learned all the lessons, because flash news, there are A LOT of moving pieces in a well-produced, high quality virtual/ hybrid event,
  • they would have invested in a lot of new gear and tools to support these type of events and because of the number of events worked, also got proficient at operating this new gear,
  • they would be more flexible in cost negotiations than an in-house because they don’t work on quantity but quality, and also they would have a lower overhead,
  • more specialized in each and every particular tech role, with more expertise especially as it relates to virtual/hybrid technology and productions,
  • assuming you’ve build a relationship with this partner, they would know your event much better than anyone else,
  • no service charges of any kind, known or hidden.


In conclusion,

Building a long-standing relationship with an external AV partner allows for a deep understanding of the event planner’s preferences, brand, and objectives. Over time, an external partner becomes intimately familiar with the event planner’s needs and can provide personalized and tailored solutions. This level of familiarity and trust is harder to achieve with in-house AV teams, who experience high turnover and burnout.

In the end, it’s important to consider the expertise, experience, and flexibility of both in-house and outsourced AV options when deciding which to choose for your hybrid event.

Let us know your thoughts on whether to go with an outsource AV partner or the in-house AV team.

Are you considering a hybrid event? We can help.   

At Tree-Fan Events, we have expertise in event planning, high-end production, audio-video visual, live-streaming technology, virtual event producing, scripting, and event directing. With two decades of hands-on experience in production and technology, as well as full-service world-class partners, we are your best choice to create and customize an enriching virtual or hybrid event experience that meets your objectives.

Let’s have a conversation so we can help you make the best decision for your event.

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