How to Partner Productively With a Production Company

Rachel Portela, Director of Production Services, shares her tips on maximizing a production services partnership.

Q: How do production companies add value?

A: Most meeting planners are not AV experts. A seasoned production company gets the best gear at the best price while also creating the most engaging experience for attendees. Going straight to AV suppliers can compromise a production if a planner isn’t sure what’s needed technically or doesn’t have time to explore creative opportunities.

Q: What’s needed to support a production company’s success?


  • The budget
  • Positives from previous years and areas to improve or expand
  • The conference agenda, theme and visual identity, if established
  • The featured executives’ presentation styles

Q: What common mistake can be avoided?

A: Get leadership buy-in early. Once initial creative documents are provided (stage set renderings, etc.), review with internal stakeholders before giving approval to the production company. This saves time and reduces revisions during the production process.

Q: What are some best practices for designing a custom set or production?


  • Clearly articulate any specific vision before the production team begins the creative process.
  • Discuss content use – big and/or multiple screens create a dynamic look, but also require an extra level of content work. If the show is mostly PowerPoint, a modular set may be a better option.
  • Share any items already created for the program (ex: signage, conference identities, websites). Sets and productions that integrate all program elements reinforce a branded experience.

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