Audio Requirements for Press Conferences

When planning to hold a press conference, Audio Requirements are probably among those items that fall short on your list of priorities. Understanding your audio requirements, and how they effect the overall image of your event, could have very positive or very negative ramifications on the dissemination of your home base message.

At some point in time I’m sure we’ve all been to events and/or Press Conferences where the speaker is difficult or impossible to hear, or where the speaker is distorted and unrecognizable. What about the event that has such a large crowd and the audio system is not strong enough to adequately project the voice of the person speaking? This makes it difficult for the attendees to enjoy the event and could leave a negative impression, but it also makes it more difficult for the media to get their story – again leaving a poor impression.

Optics matter when  producing an event where media might be in attendance! Your job as a PR Practitioner is to assist the news outlets in getting their story fast and as efficiently as possible. Anyone that deals with video knows that you don’t have a story unless you have proper audio, and that is the single most important reason why understanding audio requirements should be at the top of your list.

When tasked with the responsibility of obtaining audio for a press event, you’ll want to focus on the following four most important requirements. We’ll dive into more specifics below this list:

  1. Overestimate Your Audio Needs

  2. Use Professional Equipment

  3. Require an Audio Tech On-Site for your Event

  4. Provide a Mult Box to feed Audio Out to Media

Overestimate Your Audio Needs

 As a small boutique PR Firm having produced over 158 national events, we have learned that there are many ways to be prepared. Overestimating audio needs is just one of them. We try to adequately estimate our attendance and then we double that amount when calculating appropriate audio needs. If you are expecting 200 people at your eventplan on  audio for about 400 people. Overkill is not always a bad thing!Our firm has produced events  expecting 50 people in attendance, and over 150 people have shown up. By overestimating  attendance, there will be no question – you’ will be confident everyone can hear your speakers.

Use Professional Equipment

There are many different options when it comes to providing appropriate audio equipment at an event. In my professional opinion, the best option is to use Professional Equipment. When I spec out an event/press conference audio system needs, I always request 2 Speakers on sticks (stands), 2 wireless mics (in case one stops working), and a soundboard making it possible to pipe music in before and a after the event. We sometimes request a generator if we have reason to suspect that power may be limited or unreliable on-site. I also require the audio company use a playlist of music before and after the event via a laptop to help ease anxieties of speakers and/or the media. Professional high quality equipment in the right place at the right time will go a long way toward reducing stress associated with all aspects of event production and toward pulling off a successful event.

Require an Audio Tec On-Site for your Event

Anything can go wrong at any time during any event. Having an on-site Audio Tech available to spearhead any issues is the fastest way to eliminate any fears or concerns about your event going sideways. Assign that tech   your ‘point-person’ to make sure all things technical are running smoothly. Additionally, they can run the soundboard to ensure no squelching or feedback is occurring.

Provide a Mult Box to feed Audio Out

Press BoxWhen media is expected at an event, it is always important to provide a Mult Box (Here is the one I like) This piece of equipment has long proven to be the best  investmentever!   What is a Mult Box? Well, it’s a device that allows you to use 1 microphone on stage, and through an XLR input out cord you can allow up to 12 media outlets to secure their audio directly from the PA system.  It provides crisp, clean audio the news outlets can use to obtain their soundbites. Having a Mult Box eliminates multiple mics on a podium where the speaker could possibly knock them off – yes, it has happened at events we have produced. That, however, was years ago. It has not happened since thenbecause we use a mult box!

The above elements are key to consider when producing your client’s press conference, or when hiring an audio company to produce your next press conference. Our firm, Chemistry Multimedia, has invested in top quality audio equipment to manage events. We use the BOSE L1 Series II which is one of the most portable and easy to use PA Systems. If you need our expertise, please consider calling us at 314-603-2866 or email us at