Sound Advice: How Many LoudSpeakers Should I Use?
Sound Advice for Best Conference Audio!
Sound Advice, Polite behavior is normally best practices. What polite behavior may not get you however, is a great seat at the conference.
When it comes to sound advice, many of the questions and rental RFQs we see are for 1 to 2 loudspeakers. I almost never see an event planner requesting a four speaker sound system. Many times people believe one speaker will be sufficient. In the other instances people believe two speakers is the most you could ever need in any given situation. Early on in my A/V equipment rental career I was advised to use surround sound systems. This meant, put a speaker in every corner. This was applied in order to achieve full coverage.
We now operate under the premise that single speaker rental request are basically rental suggestions demanding our professional experience and recommendation.
Unless a client is blatantly demanding a single speaker set up I will never supply an estimate for a single speaker rental. Having so said, I will always recommend a four speaker sound system for groups of 50 or more.
Sound Advice: 50 is the cut off?
In my experience, that is where side conversations start to have a devastating effect.
Side conversations are what happens when some conference attendees are engaged wholeheartedly and some attendees are less than engaged.
What happens in this situation, is the attendees that are less than engaged will start to have a side conversation discussing anything but what is relevant to the conference. The engaged conference attendees, being polite, will not say anything, will completely be distracted and completely miss out on what could be valuable information pertinent to their careers, education or personal life. The engaged attendees would like to hear what the presenter is saying but the nearest loudspeaker is too far away to penetrate the side conversation occurring at their table.This situation is dire to the overall conference experience of each and every attendee. This is important because as an event planner or conference organizer, your attendee feedback will be mixed.
Your conference reviews may include negative comments, impacting the conference’s future attendance.
For this reason I have developed a chart to assist in deciding the appropriate sized Sound system for speech and music applications.
– Factors that should also be considered; exterior applications, concert level sound, extremely high ceilings and extremely large ballrooms.
Please use tables as a guide and not in place of consulting your AV professional for advice. Comparable powered speakers can be used in place of passive speaker sound systems in the above tables.
This last tip is written in jest but can still be somewhat useful. In an attempt to make the guidelines scale-able, I present a very casual rule and I use the word ‘rule’ very loosely. If your events are larger than the above guidelines reference, then for every additional 100 people add 4 more speakers and about a 750-1000 watt amplifier or better yet call or email me for more advice. bruce@RentAVHere.com