About a year ago I wrote about the importance of having a quality sound system at fundraisers and live auctions. In this blog I want to take that concept one step further by discussing the importance of having a quality sound technician.
In the past 20 years I worked with many great sound technicians. They not only dress the role, but they also perform to the level of professionalism not only I expect, but the fundraising event deserves.
With that said up front, I’ve also had the misfortune of working – and I use that term lightly – with some sound techs that should have never been hired. They dress like a “roadie” for an over-the-hill 80’s rock band that’s out on tour. They have little if any interest in the actual event. And they are constantly looking at their watch wondering when the heck the night’s going to be over with.
So why does this frustrate me so much? Well, the auction chairman spends all year and countless hours planning the event. The volunteers stream in from all over the area to make the event both pleasant and successful. The charity retains the services of a great auctioneer and/or consultant to maximize revenues, increase the entertainment value and reduce the stress level of all concerned. Attendees come prepared to support the cause with their presence and willing pocketbooks. And who is the key to a successful event – the engineer whose job it is to bring all these factions together on the same “wave length?” The sound technician.
I know it sounds simple, but without quality sound – in every corner of the room – fundraising events and live auctions often fail to reach their goals. If attendees can’t hear what’s taking place they quickly lose interest, begin talking to each other about the inability to understand what’s being said, and in many instances begin to exit the event early.
Don’t let this happen to you!
What does a good sound tech do? They are at the scheduled sound check or rehearsal with the equipment set up and working – ready for the speakers and auctioneer to plug in their respective microphones to get the proper sound level.
A bad sound tech will show up – many times behind schedule – plug in the equipment and say, “I already did a sound check and it’s fine.”
In the next blog I will discuss why that’s impossible and pinpoint more differences between a great sound technician and a bad sound technician. After you read it you will be able to ask the right questions to the sound tech prior to hiring them for your important event.
Consider it my “Sound Advice” to you.