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Don’t Be “That Guy”: Top 10 AV Tech Don’ts

Don’t Be “That Guy”: Top 10 AV Tech Don’ts

By: Bob Murdock, Director of Education at The Evolve Media Group Academy

Live events have several moving parts, all of which need to be performed without a hitch for a successful show. In light of this, we composed a list of 10 things you don’t want to do as a technician.  Avoiding these 10 things will help you stand out in the industry as a professional and make your life easier.  

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10. Don’t Be The”Talker” 

First, don’t stand around and socialize if there is still work to be done, regardless of whether your work is done.  You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to help and show that you are a team player.  Save the small talk for later and make an impression now! 

9. Don’t Pass Out Business Cards on The Job 

Equally Important, don’t hand out business cards on the job. You have been hired to perform certain tasks.  While on site, give your full focus to the job you were hired to do.  Referrals are a great source of new business. Youre more likely to receive referrals by focusing on the task at hand, rather than soliciting for your next job. 

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8. Don’t Play the Blame Game 

Moreover, things happen and problems arise, it’s Murphy’s Law.  Be that as it may, when challenges do come up you should be proactive, troubleshoot the problem and present possible solutions.  Blaming equipment or teammates does nothing to solve the issue at hand, take a positive and proactive approach that shows you are resourceful and willing to take initiative. 

7. Don’t Procrastinate 

 Ample time to complete a task is not a reason to put the task off or dilly dally. Always try to complete your tasks early when possible, to allow time to check and double check your work. This avoids the last-minute pressure that can lead to increased chances of error. 

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6. Don’t Take Breaks Too Frequently

There is nothing more frustrating for a colleague or employer than looking for a technician to ask a question, get a status, or ask for help, and not being able to find them. Worse still is when this becomes a pattern. Taking too many breaks will make you seem less dependable, even if you do a great job otherwise. It is important to be visible and available, smoke breaks are no exception.

5. Don’t Show Up Underdressed  

Equally important, wear proper attire to show that you are a professional, and frankly for your own safety.  Don’t wear flip flops, just don’t do it! Dressing inappropriately sends a negative message about your level of professionalism and seriousness, and could be a safety hazard. 

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Don't Be "That Guy": Top 10 AV Tech Don'ts 7

4. Don’t Be Negative

Everyone has bad days! But, you should be aware that for every job you do, you will be leaving a first impression with someone. Even faking a positive attitude is better than being a downer, and could save you from leaving the impression that you have a bad attitude. Show up to every gig with a positive outlook towards your coworkers and the job itself, each day is a new day with new opportunities.

3. Don’t Be on Your Phone Constantly 

Put down your phone! You finished your work early and want to check how many likes you got on that cheeseburger you just posted to Instagram (it looks delicious btw).  As expressed in #4, each job presents more first impressions; while you may be done with your work people that walk by and see you on your phone don’t know that.  If you finish early, use that opportunity to help other crew members and showcase what a team player you are.  If you need to check your phone however, just keep it discreet and don’t do it constantly. 

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Don't Be "That Guy": Top 10 AV Tech Don'ts 9

2. Don’t Show Up Impaired 

You need to be sharp and alert in this industry in order to get the job done and ensure the safety of everyone on set.  Best case scenario, showing up drunk, high, or hungover makes you slow, worst case it jeopardizes the show and safety of everyone on set. So, how about you save the celebration for the successful conclusion of the show, you party animal! 

1. Don’t Take a Job You Don’t Know

The phone rings, it’s a gig, hooray! Except, it’s for a job that you’re not familiar with.  This happens, but when it does don’t mislead to take the gig. Once it becomes clear that you don’t know how to do the job (and trust that it will), you won’t be getting repeat business from that show.  Beyond this, it’s dangerous, so just don’t do it.  Be honest and see if there is availability within your expertise. Your honesty will be appreciated and may lead to a job. 

If you are looking to broaden your skills, check out our available workshops at

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We hope you found these items helpful!  Please add any don’ts you think we missed in the comments below and share your stories with us.