08 May What is PA Hire or Sound Hire?
What is PA (or ‘Sound’) Hire?
(PA & Lighting Hire for a party at The Fence, Farringdon)
This probably should have been one the first blog posts I wrote, because apart from DJing, PA hire is the first service that we’ve ever offered at VNV Sounds. We have certainly been doing it for a very long time now. Over the last few years we have expanded our offering at VNV Sounds into audio-visual (AV) event production services including lighting, presentations, staging and more. Yet the longest running service apart from DJing has been PA Hire in North London & across the UK. We have been doing it for up to 10 years! Our experience, equipment quality and inventory, the team of sound engineers and AV technicians who put it all together make us one of the most knowledgeable and professional sound / PA hire businesses in North London. We are, after all, called VNV Sounds for a reason.
(DJ, PA & Lighting Hire for a wedding reception at The National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place)
What is it then? PA, not ‘personal assistant’ in the events or sound industry, traditionally stands for ‘Public Address’ or ‘Professional Audio’. Whether you call it PA Hire or sound hire it is usually one and the same. It is the art of sound reinforcement or amplifying audio significantly louder than its usual volume. I like Wikipedia’s definition ‘PA’: “A public address system (PA system) is an electronic sound amplification and distribution system with a microphone, amplifier and loudspeakers, used to allow a person to address a large public, for example for announcements of movements at large and noisy air and rail terminals.” Most people think that PA equipment is quite niche or specialist to just a few of us, but almost everyone is exposed to PA at most times of the day, especially when we are out and about. Music being played in shops or announcements being made at work, in a supermarket, or on a train platform all use PA. You might not always be able to see the equipment due to clever installation, but it is definitely there.
(London Underground Tube Station, Photo courtesy of TFL)
However, in the world of events, people hire PA systems & equipment everyday to get their message heard at conferences, exhibitions, fashion shows, weddings and more, usually via speech or music. Hiring PA equipment is usually more economical for private clients, companies and venues. They do not have the need or budget to buy the various bits of equipment usually needed for a full PA system as well as maintenance, storage and insurance facilities. Several venues across London & the surrounding counties hire VNV Sounds’ PA equipment to meet the requirements of their various clients such as Fortnum & Mason who have used us many times for several different business & charity conferences, networking receptions & other events for the 1st half of this year. Here are just a few… A breakfast conference involving Cirrus, Pentland Brands & 3 mobile, Feb 26th:
A charity conference on March 3rd: Another charity conference on March 26th:
Here’s what the Senior Private Dining & Events Coordinator at Fortnum & Mason, Stanislava Ziakova, thought:
“I have worked with Dean and his team for a couple of years now and am always delighted with the work carried out. VNV Sounds are highly organised, professional, and most efficient in delivering high standards of equipment and personal service. Thank you for another amazing event at the last breakfast conference, we have had some amazing feedback from colleagues and customers alike! I would highly recommend VNV Sounds to anyone looking for a reliable supplier who goes the extra mile every single time.”
…and here’s another one from the event organiser; Jane O’Hara, Head of Marketing at Cirrus:
“VNV took the time to visit the venue before our event to ensure we had the right solution, they also thought of and provided extras that helped with the running of the event, and they were also competitively priced. A very friendly, professional and personal service.” Jane O’Hara, Head of Marketing at Cirrus
Here’s a few other events that we have hired our PA equipment for:
(PA Hire with AV support technician for a conference for The Department Of Transport at The Abbey Centre, Westminster)
(PA & Staging Hire with AV support technician for a conference at The Emirates Stadium, Islington)
Knowing how to use PA equipment effectively is also very important; as spending thousands on equipment would be pointless if it isn’t operated to it’s full potential. This is where the experts, like us, come in. When required we also supply a sound engineer, or AV technician to ensure everything works correctly throughout the event. This helps to quickly rectify any issues which may occur, and means the client won’t have to spend time trying to work out what is wrong. We can always determine whether an engineer / technician is essential for an event based upon the amount of equipment being used, the size of the event and how ‘tech-savvy’ a client is when it comes to PA & AV. Week in, week out VNV Sounds provide professional audio (PA) equipment to a range of events for short or long term hire. PA is hired for various reasons, but usually with the same end goal in mind; to ensure that a message is heard for both small and larger audiences. A system like this, for example, would easily serve clear, good quality loud music to approximately 250 people at a party or disco type event:
(DJ, PA & Lighting Hire for a wedding reception at Catthorpe Manor, Leicestershire)
In the pic above you can see how the PA system is really brought to life and made into an attractive party feature with some nice uplighters, disco lights and a starcloth DJ booth to complete the sharp & slick effect. That’s all for now folks. Watch out for part 2 of “What is PA Hire” next week. Get in touch with VNV Sounds for expert advice on PA hire or installation for your event or venue space today.