On November 19 & 20, 2013, I was a humorous motivational speaker for the Camping in Ontario Conference at the Marriott Rousseau Resort in Minett, Ontario.
This stunning new facility, nestled up on the ridge outside of Muskoka ontario, is breathtaking.
Despite one glaring problem: the hotel has neglected it's internal Audio Visual issues. I served as an opening and closing humorous motivational speaker for conference. During my first motivational speech, the microphone pooped out after ten minutes of use. The AV company, PSAV quickly set up and configured it's own speaker system, taking 15 minutes out of the motivational talk.
The following day, in the middle of my speech, I could hear music playing through the house speakers above the audience. While wandering around the room, it got louder in certain areas and was very distracting. At one point, I stopped speaking and asked the AV technician to turn off the music. Despite the request, the music continued to endure through the whole motivational talk.
When asked about the AV issues, the hotel manager admitted that AV has been a challenge for quite some time and the whole system needs to be rewired, at a pretty big price tag. It also needs to be done when convention season winds down ( right about now).
To me this is not acceptable. Any meeting planner would agree that having a solid Audio Visual system is one of most important keys to an events success.
When you consider the costs, resources and time invested by the meeting planner, the motivational speaker and the meeting delegates -its extensive. Each of the 300 meeting attendees have to schedule time away from work, fly to the venue, rent vehicles to get to the hotel and pay registration fees. Collectively this equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars, likely less than the hotel is investing to fix their AV system.
During all of the guest speakers presentations, the AV continued to be a problem. The hotel could easily have projected that this would happen; yet they chose not to have a back up plan or warn the meeting planner of the potential AV malfunctions.
If a hotels AV system fails to work, should there be kickbacks to the meeting planner? Should the AV company be liable or responsible for neglecting to fix it's AV system?