The Meetings and Events Association Conference has been and gone and whilst the content of the conference was the best in years sadly the subject of Technician on Duty Fee’s seemed to be pushed aside.
It appears it wasn’t such a hot topic, with only 5 people showing up at a facilitated meeting during lunch to look at the issues – 3 AV Companies and 2 venues.
Some small and medium AV businesses are worried about going under because these policies are really hurting them. Holding onto existing clients who go into venues that charge TOD’s is the issue.
The TOD fee is where an in house provider of audio visual and staging services protects their turf by having the venue levy an hourly charge against clients who do not use the inhouse service. In the case of a small event, like the CX Roadshow, this may just be a supervisor sitting around to monitor the load in. But the hourly rate is usually stiff – $65+, for 3 or 4 hours each way.
At a large event, there is a ‘shadow’ tech from the in house team, paid to do zero while the outside tech firm works on site. For some events this can be many thousands of extra dollars, paid by the client who has preferred to stick with a technical team that knows the product.
Unfortunately as these AV and event producer businesses feel a lot of pain, it appears the MEA is not about to take the issue any further.
MEA took a stance on secret commissions, what’s the difference here?
AV companies are always willing to help out and sponsor MEA and other Industry events but when they need the help of the association regarding policies that have now been exploited by many venues to the point of blatant robbery for no value – it appears MEA see nothing they should stand up for on behalf of PCO’s and AV Companies.
Very out of touch with the members, we think.