Category Archives: Hire

Drive in movie

On the 7th of March we helped stage Fife’s first drive in movie! Lots of interesting stories to tell from the night but basically a huge success for all involved. The event was organised by Events students at Adam Smiths College with any profits going to CHAS.






2 films were shown, Toy Story for the family and later in the night Texas Chain Saw Massacre (2002). About 150 cars attended over two screenings, or should that be ‘truckings’? Yes the screen was the side of a truck provided by the organisers, unfortunately the promised white truck when picked it up had the hire companies logo on the side… Dooh! Thankfully we happened to have enough white material to cover part of the logo to make a reasonable screen area possible. It looks smaller in the picture due to the wide angle of the lens used… honest.

Sound was an interesting problem, normally such an event would be broadcast via FM radio, to be received by car radios, but the timings meant that there was not sufficient time to apply for a licence so a combination of IR transmission and Ch 70 radio was used. Each car was issued a receiver which was plugged into aux inputs or low power FM transmitters, designed to connect your mp3 player to your car radio.

The weather was a miracle, after gale force winds, snow and hail during the day the wind died and the sky cleared to perfect conditions through out the night!

Film goers showed their appreciation by massed tooting of horns after each performance. A memorable night which we are sure will be repeated.

Mobile phone services to be discontinued

We are sorry to announce that Mobile Phone Voting and SMS services are no longer available through AV Department Limited. Keypad alternative based services however are proving very popular.

Technologies and expectations have moved on since we introduced the service over 6 years ago. Though a product that continued to generate some interest inside a wider portfolio its popularity in recent years dwindled together with increasing operating costs so as of the 31st of January 2014 the service will no longer be available.

The main barriers to continuing the service were:-

  • The fact that the service may cost the delegate the small charge of a text message at their service providers standard tariff. Unlike keypads which are free to the delegate as the cost is paid by the congress. While this was not a problem with a single question it became an issue when 5 or more were asked…
  •  Text messaging is generally seen as a ‘free’ service and it was expected that our services would also be free.
  • The reality was when clients could see the benefits of a keypad based system with additional features they would want the keypads.
  • Not all venues had signal for all networks so elements of the audience could be left out. Unlike keypads which operate on a local radio network set up specifically for that purpose and all participants are issued a keypad ensuring 100% coverage.
  • The service, if using a short code, could exclude international roaming mobiles.
  • We could not take the service abroad. Unlike our keypads which work on internationally agreed frequencies.
  • The time taken to generate a result was not instantaneous. Unlike keypads which generate a response graphic as soon as the poll is closed.
  • Simple text messaging is now available through keypads with better graphical and data management tools.
  • For more information please contact us.

Inventive solutions to your on site problems… Over the last couple of weeks AVD have been supporting the Aberdour Festival. The Festival mainly takes place in a 40m long Marquee and when it rains the water rushes down the roof … Continue reading

“Thank you”


Feed and water your team  for the best results!

Here at AVD we love to do a good job. Our industry is based on trust and confidence to provide the services needed by our clients. Here is a testimonial received today for an event completed last week.

“Thank you for all you did to contribute to the success of last week’s Conference which is widely considered to be the best ever.  The technical side of things was absolutely first class.  You have a very skilled and professional team.”

Lets concentrate on that last line, “You have a very skilled and professional team.” We like to think we have a good team of full time staff but like every other AV company we rely on freelancers to support our full time staff. This they do very well in addition they also represent AVD while on site and our clients see us a single team. We believe that as such they should be treated with the same respect and equality as our full time staff.  Quite right too I hear you say… in this day and age why should this even be mentioned it should be taken as a given. Bear with me on this I am getting to the point…

So why is it that there is an industry trend to not pay freelancers their full invoice? But instead to string out payment for a couple of months if they want 100% of the value and if they insist on being paid at the end of the month they get 5% deducted. This is in our view not a fair and equitable practice, we do not pay our full time staff 2 months in arrears, we do not reduce their wages if they want to be paid at the end of the month.

Freelance staff are individuals, people with monthly bills to pay and families to support. They are not companies, who have resources and agreed credit terms with suppliers, when they do work they expect to be paid.

So we at AVD operate in a different way, we pay our freelancers as soon as we can, irrespective of being paid for the job as yet, usually this is within 14 days. If the funds are there they get paid even quicker. The event commented to above completed on Friday last week (3rd of May) we have paid all the freelance staff today (7th of May). Thanks guys for doing a grand job. 🙂

Treat your staff well and they will promote you, pay them late at your peril.


We don’t do Turning Point…

We sometimes get asked if our voting systems are Turning Point compatible or if we have Turning Point keypads. The answer no it is not compatible, and no we do not stock Turning Point, and finally we will not be going down that route either!
The reason we don’t use Turning Point is it is too inflexible, it is also a PowerPoint ‘plug in’ which needs to run on the main presentation machine. This has risks in terms of presentation stability which if it fails it will knock out both voting and presentation so leaving no space for recovery.
Our systems runs on a separate PC that runs in parallel to the presentation machine and is cut in via a seamless switcher. This allows us to edit the questions and test while the main presentation is being run. It is not unusual for us to be carrying out last minute editing, at the request of the speaker, while the main presentation is already running. It also allows for much greater control in terms of screen content. The presenter need only verbalise what they want to see on the screen and it will be made so by the technician. This unshackles the presenter from the lectern and allows a more dynamic presentation. The operation of Turning Point requires key strokes that can’t be controlled by an industry standard cue light so the presenter has to control the presentation from the lectern.
Turning Point Keypad

Turning Point
Good for Education Bad for Event Production

We also find that the Turning Point graphics are not flexible enough to cope with the production demands of  larger shows. Turning Point is a good education and training tool but we feel it is not suitable for use in larger events where the voting content is mission critical or where the event has higher production values.
Just so you know we have available 3 different keypad types (Reply IQ, Reply +, and Reply mini +) and 4 different softwares (ARS Pro, Win Quiry, Power Com and SNAP) to suit varying client requirements. Please view our Audience Response pages here to see the full range of interactives we can provide.  We can use any software and keypad combination where as Turning Point will only ever work with Turning Point software so there is no upgrade path for clients to travel. Snap is a simple software (like Turning Point) which works with our Reply Mini + keypads for dry hires but also we can use the same keypads with the ARS Pro software which is a true event production voting software.
We undertake to programe our systems and require in advance the questions, in an electronic format, and the master slide of your presentation.These need to be submitted to us a few days before the event. Edits can be made on the day but this allows us to proof read the content and format the graphics.
Turning Point has its place in the market as a training and education tool but we do not perceive it to be suitable for event production.
We hope this helps.