Welcome back everyone, this month’s question comes from Rex in Vermont, he asks,” How does my tech team secure our equipment from being stolen or borrowed without permission?”
One item Tech teams often overlook on their planning checklists is whether or not their A/V equipment is walking out their church’s front door. I know, why would anyone take anything from a house of worship? It happens.
A/V equipment security is a big deal. Audio and visual equipment can be very expensive, and much of it is small and easily concealed. Items like microphones and laptops are ideal targets for theft and can get lost easily. Taking a few simple precautions can help save event planners a lot of hassle — and money — down the road.
Team leaders & tech team members, please don’t forget these simple steps to keep your A/V equipment safe at your next event.
1. Keep Track of What Equipment You Have
If your house of worship owns its own equipment, you should have a complete up-to-date list of everything you own, when each item was purchased and how much each item cost. This information is usually kept for budget purposes, so obtaining it shouldn’t be difficult.
If you’re renting A/V equipment, keep a detailed list of all the equipment you rented. When it’s time to pack it up and return it, make sure everything is there — including cables and instruction manuals.
2. Record Serial Numbers When Purchasing New Gear
Keep a record of the serial number of each item in your A/V library. If you have theft insurance and something is stolen, your insurance company will probably require a police report, and the police will be of more use if you have a serial number for each missing piece of gear. Additionally, a serial number insures that you’ll have a much better chance of recovering your equipment if it turns up at the nearest pawn shop.
3. Keep Track of Who Has What Equipment
Appoint someone to be in charge of your A/V library or storeroom, and make them responsible for everything that leaves the room. Whether your house of worship provides one single microphone or a full-sized sound, lighting & video, you need to keep track of your equipment at all times. Create a spreadsheet, calendar or a good old-fashioned ledger that lists all of your gear so you can see at a glance where your equipment is, and when it is scheduled to be taken out by your tech team or colleagues.
4. Secure Loose Items Under Lock and Key
A locking storeroom or closet is the best way to secure your A/V equipment when it’s not in use. It’s also a good idea to invest in podium housings, laptop stands or locking cabinets for times when your equipment is out of the room, or is being kept near the conference room or stage.
5. Protect Your Wireless Networks with a Strong Password
Are you hosting a Wi-Fi network for your attendees? If so, be sure it’s password-protected, and that the password is difficult to guess. Additionally, configure your router so that the network doesn’t broadcast its name. Your congregation can simply find the network manually. Just don’t forget to include the network name and password in your welcome packages!
6. Never Leave Equipment Unattended
Although this tip may seem obvious, it’s a point that is easily overlooked if you have a stage or conference room full of mics and its time break for congregations get to together, and suddenly no one is watching over your equipment.
If your house or worship doesn’t lock easily, make sure one of your tech team members is on hand to keep an eye on any idle gear. Don’t assume your house of worships security staff, if you have any, will watch it unless you specifically arranged for them to do so. If you have to leave equipment overnight at your house of worship, confirm with staff and security that it will be safe behind locked doors.
How do you keep your audio gear safe at your events? I would like to hear your ideas or options. If you have any question you would like to briefly discuss send me an email. Talk to you next month.
About the Author
Bill Di Paolo has worked in live production for over 30 years, He is the owner and technical director of Entertainment Services, a production company based in upstate New York that handles lighting, audio and video for events of all sizes in the Northeast. If you have questions for Bill you may send them to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.