An interview with Steve Saks, president at AVQuote.com.
Q: Tell us about the business.
A: We are a full service audio visual provider. We call ourselves the "audio visual concierge." No matter the size, location or complexity of the event, AVQuote.com will be there every step of the way, providing in-depth assistance not typically found in our industry. We supply cutting-edge technology, trained professional technicians and assistance with design and concepts. We are dedicated to saving meeting planners valuable time and effort, taking the planning burden off them.
Q: Tell us one unique fact about the company.
A: Our brand is represented by a pineapple. We chose the pineapple, as it is the international symbol of hospitality.
Q: How did the business get its name?
A: We wanted a simple, straight forward name that expresses exactly what we do: provide audio visual quotes and services.
Q: How did the business start?
A: After working with many meeting planners and corporate partners, we noticed that the AV planning of their events seemed to be more stressful than necessary. We set out to alleviate the stress and provide a simple solution to aid in the planning process. AVQuote.com first began to exhibit at local trade shows and later at big national industry events. Our primary focus is in the corporate and hospitality markets. We have been fortunate enough to work with some large corporate partners who have adopted us as their "go to" partner nationwide. Late last year we launched our first social media campaign in an attempt to gain more online recognition.
Q: Where are you located?
A: We started out five years ago with a single office in Aurora. We presently maintain our headquarters here in the Chicago area with multiple locations across the United States and Canada.
Q: How do you cater to the corporate client?
A: Our project managers have years of corporate planning experience and work closely with our clients to provide individualized service and innovative ideas. We understand the needs of both the meeting planner and attendee, and work closely with our clients and venues to ensure a flawless experience. Feedback about our dedication to personal attention has been overwhelming.
Q: What else can customers expect?
A: AVQuote.com prides itself in providing a thorough experience and going above and beyond with the "little extras" to our clients. A few additional services we offer include: assistance with Scenic and Set design, 3-D visualizations of your event plan, a personal and dedicated project manager as your point of contact from start to finish and 24-hour response time to all queries.
Q: How long does it take to plan a typical event?
A: Each event is unique and has its own timeline. While some clients will begin planning two years out, we do get a number of last-minute requests.
Q: What are people talking about in your industry?
A: New and emerging event technologies and how to implement them into today's modern events. Examples of this include livestreaming and mobile device participation and integration. There are many apps for phones that conduct audience polling, act as remote Q&A mics or push additional content to the audience in real time.
Livestreaming has grown exponentially in the last few years. Not only as a way to include employees or attendees who can't make the event in person, but also as a way to reach individuals who normally wouldn't consider themselves potential participants. The technical aspect of streaming is incredibly cost efficient and we are able to broadcast on multiple platforms including Facebook, YouTube and others.
Q: Where is AVQuote.com in five years?
A: A great path for us has been partnering with corporate clients to provide support for all their meetings and events companywide. Building these relationships has allowed us to expand and open offices across North America. We look for continued growth with our corporate partners and are currently planning a few events in Europe next year, and hope that will bring us to new markets for our services.