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  • Writer's pictureJed Villareal

Understanding the Distinction: AV Setup vs. AV Operation Staff

While both play crucial roles in bringing events to life, the responsibilities and skillsets of AV setup and AV operation staff differ significantly. Understanding this distinction is essential for event organizers, venue managers, and anyone seeking clarity when hiring AV professionals.

The Art of Construction: AV Setup Staff


  • Pre-event preparation: Reviewing event layout plans, equipment lists, and technical specifications.

  • Equipment transportation and unloading: Ensuring safe and efficient delivery of AV equipment to the venue.

  • Technical installation: Setting up sound systems, projectors, screens, lighting fixtures, and other necessary AV equipment.

  • System testing and calibration: Verifying the functionality and proper configuration of all AV equipment.

  • Troubleshooting and problem-solving: Addressing any technical issues encountered during the setup process.


  • Technical expertise: Strong understanding of AV equipment, their functionalities, and proper installation procedures.

  • Physical strength and stamina: Ability to lift and maneuver heavy equipment efficiently.

  • Problem-solving skills: Identifying and resolving technical issues quickly and efficiently.

  • Attention to detail: Ensuring meticulous setup and configuration of equipment to avoid malfunction during operation.

  • Teamwork: Collaborating effectively with colleagues to complete tasks efficiently and safely.

The Show Must Go On: AV Operation Staff


  • Operating AV equipment during the event: Managing sound levels, switching visuals, controlling lighting, and ensuring smooth technical execution.

  • Monitoring and troubleshooting: Continuously monitoring the AV system for any technical difficulties and resolving them promptly.

  • Communication and coordination: Collaborating with event organizers, presenters, and other stakeholders to ensure the event runs smoothly.

  • Adaptability and problem-solving: Quickly adapting to unexpected situations and finding solutions to maintain seamless technical support.

  • Technical proficiency: Possessing a good understanding of AV equipment operation and basic troubleshooting skills.


  • Technical knowledge: Familiarity with operating various AV equipment and software.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills: Communicating effectively with event organizers, presenters, and the audience.

  • Problem-solving skills: Identifying and resolving technical issues with minimal disruption to the event.

  • Calmness under pressure: Remaining composed and maintaining focus in fast-paced and possibly stressful situations.

  • Attention to detail: Ensuring all technical aspects of the event run according to plan.

Working in Harmony:

While their roles differ, AV setup and operation staff work collaboratively to achieve a seamless and successful event. Setup staff focuses on building the technical foundation, ensuring equipment is properly installed and configured. Operation staff takes over once the infrastructure is ready, managing the equipment during the event and acting as the first line of defense for any technical challenges.

Choosing the Right Team

Understanding the distinction between these two vital roles allows event organizers to make informed decisions when hiring AV professionals. Knowing the specific requirements of your event will help you determine whether you need a team solely focused on setup, a dedicated operation team, or a combination of both, depending on the complexity of your event's technical needs.

AJ Marks - Your Trusted Partner in AV Excellence

At AJ Marks, we offer a comprehensive team of experienced AV professionals, including both setup and operation specialists. We understand the importance of each role and ensure seamless collaboration to deliver exceptional service and technical expertise for your event, regardless of its complexity.

Contact us today to discuss your event needs and let us help you create a truly successful and memorable experience.

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