MEA facilitated a forum with AV companies, hoteliers and PCOs recently to discuss ways to iron out issues with technician on duty fees.

The four-hour meeting held at MEA’s North Sydney offices saw representatives from the audio-visual sector and hoteliers come together to discuss issues surrounding the technician on duty fees.
TOD fees are charged by hotels to event planners when outside audio-visual companies are used. They have created confusion and some controversy in recent times because there is no standardised price, with many AV companies believing they and their clients are being unfairly targeted for additional costs.
The MEA-hosted forum was facilitated by Bartier Perry executive lawyer, Matt Crouch, and attended by representatives from some of the leading AV companies as well as representatives from the hotel and convention centre sector, and a technical director from one PCO company. MEA CEO Linda Gaunt said they had some good outcomes from the meeting.
“The outcomes were that we’re looking to provide a checklist that clients and AV people can use when discussing TOD fees,” she said.
“Generally the discussion was basically that nobody around the table had a problem with charging a technician on duty fee. They just had a problem of the abuse of it.”
This specifically relates to the hotel or venue charging a technician on duty fee and then having the technician being inexperienced to the point of offering no value to the external AV provider.
One attendee, Scene Change Director Ian Whitworth, said:
“There was reasonable agreement on all sides that having a TOD sitting around for the duration of the event is a burden on clients and the industry as a whole. It’s early days yet, but I believe the meeting laid the foundations for a positive, workable arrangement between venues, clients and the AV industry.”