PSAV

  www.psav.com
  www.psav.com

PSAV Reviews

Updated November 15, 2014
Updated November 15, 2014
291 Reviews
3.2
291 Reviews
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PSAV CEO Mike McIlwain
Mike McIlwain
81 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Decent pay for the small amount of work involved (in 11 reviews)

  • Lots of room for advancement, but it will require a lot of commitment (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/Life Balance please know if you are not the person in charge you don't have a life to balance (in 21 reviews)

  • Long hours with somewhat unrealistic expectations for staffing and time management (in 28 reviews)

More Highlights

39 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Long hours, lack of work/life balance, indifferent upper management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at PSAV full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of location and support in the region.

    Cons

    You are a number and nothing more. Employees are treated as less than human. Gross negligence is often overlooked because it's easier to turn a blind eye than to correct the problems or fire people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation was half what it is in any other sector doing the same work. Benefits should never dwindle, but increase over time. If you can't give a decent raise (5% at least), then consider free parking or other perks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    to expesive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Mng
    Former Employee - Production Mng

    I worked at PSAV full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    they are on site at hotels

    Cons

    old equipment, people not trained well and bottom line they are all about the ledger and way to expensive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your people better and train them, have the left hand know what the right hand is doing, get your people some help when they are busy and don't expect them to work 80+ hours a week.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    You can do better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Event Technology Specialist II in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Event Technology Specialist II in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at PSAV full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hands on experience, meeting some cool people

    Cons

    Crappy pay, horrible hours, terrible management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wasted way too much time with this company. If you are going to take a job here, use them to gain knowledge with all the gear you can then bounce for a freelance job or other better paying av gig. Advancement is near impossible unless you constantly screw up then you will achieve a promotion. Good luck.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    I'm Glad I Left, but I wish I would have left much sooner, 20 + months of my life of which I can never get back

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Coordinator in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Sales Coordinator in Dallas, TX

    I worked at PSAV full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    They will hire anyone who can pass a drug test and has the gift of gab, and being a corporate troll is always a plus. Management is a pro at never accepting accountability for their lackluster communication, work ethic, and over all hands off managerial stance, all the while making sure to be little their subordinates, discourage open communication between management staff and hourly staff . Management is classic for being the last one to show up to the office, and the first one to leave, and they can do this because they are salary and will be paid regardless of how few hours they actually work
    This company is classic for moving employees around large metropolitan cities despite how it will affect the employee. Management's point of view on this is "you can either move to this other location, that is not where you were originally hired, against your wishes, or you can be reduced to either part time hours, or no hours at all. Keep in mind, you signed an offer letter that states which property you will be working at, management and HR are so tight, your "offer letter" is just a formality nothing on it is "truly etched in stone, and can be changed base off of the need of the company, / i.e. what ever the RVP wants"

    Cons

    Be prepared to be treated like pawn in a chest game, and the game is all at the amusement of your RVP who may very well be the DEVIL himself.
    Whether working on the Operations side or the sales side, please know that "YOU can be replaced, You are One of many." If you think that working hard, putting in long hours, establishing a great hotel to PSAV relationship, receive positive recognition from both hotel management staff and clients, will be accomplishments that your DET, DOS, RVP or anyone else of "notability within PSAV" will care and value about you, you are wrong. Instead barely learn how to operate any AV equipment, that includes setting it up or striking it, suck up to management by keeping "tabs" on your coworkers, dress nice, but have a sneaky and underhanded attitude and aura, oh and by all means make sure that you greet every one, and you'll succeed beyond your peers. This will set you on the path of climbing that corporate ladder. Oh and I almost forgot, if you want to go straight to the local branch location and get promoted at the same time, do the following: be unbearable, no relentlessly unpleasant to all of your peers, and labeled "hard to get along with" but great with paper work, and reading numbers, you know like a schedule of some sort, or how much is stock of this and that, yeah, good by hotels, and hello regular 9-5 hours with "great" pay.

    Work/Life Balance please know if you are not the person in charge you don't have a life to balance. For some reason life will not go on if you are at the beck and call of PSAV hotel division.

    Compensation: I know for a fact that PSAV could afford to give me a 15% increase, that's because they started my initial so low, I'm not even classified as "working poor" I actually made in the salary range of "Poor, and working"

    Culture & Values: Culture - if you're not management you don't matter. Value- PSAV values the ability to suck the joy and life right out of you, if they could take your soul they would, but since they don't have one of their own, they don't see any value in yours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow employees to give an anonymous evaluation on their managers, so that you know how your employees are being treated. If there was a way to give PSAV an F- (negative F) I would.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    PSAV is a company where hard work, determination, and self motivation is a survival skill not a trait that is reward.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Directto Event Technology
    Former Employee - Assistant Directto Event Technology

    I worked at PSAV full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I find there was NO professional or personal growth, life-work balance for property level management, over worked, under paid no corporate management or HR support.

    Cons

    No corporate management or HR support for property level management teams. No logistical support for regional properties.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If they don't know then, then problem is worse than I thought!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Unless you're in sales or a manager, this job is basically manual labor with AV.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AV Technician in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - AV Technician in Austin, TX

    I worked at PSAV part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn and expand your skills in AV/Rigging, although you won't get paid much for it. You get to witness and experience how the Customer Service Industry in hotels and venues are run, from firsthand.

    Cons

    Very low pay - severely underpay their employees; inconsistent scheduling; They overhired too many people as well as swallow smaller companies in nonstop mergers, therefore adding more unemployed, underemployed employees to their workforce. They pay and schedule (outside) freelance AV techs way more than they do their own employees. No advancement or growth, except for management, no benefits or perks. And if you are one of the lucky few who receive regular full-time hours, your schedule changes weekly and are discouraged from pursuing other (freelance) opportunities outside of PSAV. Company culture and morale is very poor. The only ones who are doing in this company - middle management (Directors etc.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do better. Change the culture and the way you you do business with your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 8 people found this helpful  

    certain to collapse at some point

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PSAV full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Every region and location is different, and there are some good managers and techs out there. Despite the long hours, AV work can be tons of fun when it’s going well. So I imagine somewhere there are some locations that are well supported and have what they need to do the job right and the employees at those locations are happy. I've never been to one, but I suppose they could exist.

    Cons

    PSAV has no unique selling proposition, no specific benefits to offer clients to differentiate themselves. Instead, PSAV offers the highest prices in the industry, coupled with the most sub-par equipment and talent less technicians. It is a middle man business model and with just a bit of shopping around potential customers will quickly find they can get much better services for drastically better prices from any number of competitors who are not burdened with hotel contracts.

    PSAV wins contracts by making offers to hotels that are so ridiculously in the hotel’s favor that the hotel has very little to lose by signing them. Winning as many of these contracts as possible is priority number one; no expense is spared and no terms are too outrageous. After these horrible contracts have been won, a management team is put in place (sometimes just one person), but they are not given the equipment, people, or tools they need to do the job properly – providing AV services for meetings and events. If you complain about this arrangement promises are usually made of new equipment and more staff and training programs etc, but these things never materialize. Then, when things go bad, that manager or management team that was never given what they needed to be successful in the first place will be blamed, and their careers will be in jeopardy. You see, there is a really thick layer of discombobulated corporate bureaucracy to insulate senior leadership from anything that doesn't go well, and the lower operational manager is always at fault for not following some policy they were never made aware of, or for not filling out some form that they had never been shown before. “It’s on the website” is usually the defense, as if simply publishing some instructions somewhere on some un-navigable intranet site with thousands of pages is all one needs to provide to managers for them to successfully run a location.

    I have watch this cycle play itself out now with several colleagues. A few of them have been some of the hardest working and dedicated coworkers I've ever had, and their lives have been ruined by this process. It is completely demoralizing and soul crushing to watch.

    I suppose the idea behind winning so many hotel agreements no matter how bad the terms was part of a strategy to create a monopoly within the industry that would look great to investors. Pretty much every major decision of the past few years was made to make to company look good to investors. So little was being put back into the business before the merger, before the buyout, and now it feels as though there is even less to work with. That’s too bad. The company is spread so far and so thin that from my perspective it seems destine to implode unless it gets a major infusion of capital. It seems unlikely that anyone is going to want to make that investment as long as the company is perpetually for sale.

    I think it’s worth mentioning that I sincerely fear for my safety working for PSAV. AV can be dangerous stuff, particularly on big shows. I’ve sustained a few injures already, luckily nothing serious, but all of them could have been avoided if I had simply had enough people working with me. That’s how tight they are, trying to cut labor cost is the second biggest priority after signing bad contracts. Seriously, what type of company consistently has 300+ open positions on their website month after month in this job market? One you do not want to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    64%of all US hotels now offer guest free internet. I hope your future business models include the rapid disappearance of this revenue stream. You’re kidding yourself if you think you can “educate the market”. It works the other way around.

    I’ve been around senior leadership. They’re not bad people, but they are not the least bit curious about how anything works at the operational level. In my many year of running locations, not once has anyone above me ever asked me “what could we be doing to help you be more profitable at your location?” It’s always “you need to be doing this, you need to be doing that” almost always from someone who has never done my job or even curious about how I do it.

    We have these little cards with 15 corporate values on them that we are supposed to keep in our pockets and carry around with us and talk about every day, things like honesty, integrity, etc. We should throw them out, and replace them with new cards that just say one thing: EBITDA

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    A Terrible Company To Work For

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - ETS III in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - ETS III in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at PSAV full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Hotel's free lunch is a nice perk. Lots of locations in lots of cites all over the country and globe.

    Cons

    The biggest problem is that this company is that they are Cheap. Techs are way underpaid and further made to use shoddy equipment. There is no chance on getting a raise at this company without doubling your workload. Loyalty is not rewarded. This means, as is my case, you can work here for two years and be very dependable without any big issues and you will see something like a $00.22 wage increase. It's not a raise. It is a slap in the face. On top of this there are dreadfully slow months with no work so you are forced to use your vacation hours to compensate instead of for when you might want to actually take a vacation. Techs are woefully underpaid compared to rest of the hotel staff.

    HR is a disappointment. They are only looking out for the corporate structure to make sure that techs not screwing up. No one in this company has the tech's backs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat you lower rung workers better. Communicate with them and reward them for how hard they work without automatically expecting them to work harder.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in Boston, MA

    I have been working at PSAV full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay check cashes. On job training is ok. Lunch included when working at a hotel. Pay for half of transportation costs if you are a manager.

    Cons

    Poor director management. Poor quality production. Too expensive for clients. Pays techs and managers too little. Directors are manipulative to get good numbers and bonuses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Review the culture of fear sowed at the local level. PSAV is not a happy place to work. Worse 3 years of my career

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 11 people found this helpful  

    It is rather amazing that the company has survived

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Schaumburg, IL
    Current Employee - Manager in Schaumburg, IL

    I have been working at PSAV full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -It is indeed the world's largest provider of corporate audio visual, much in the same way that McDonald's is the world's-largest restauranteur.

    -There are so many layers of dysfunctional management that mediocrity is unlikely to get you fired.

    -If you want to work in the AV profession, have rudimentary business knowledge, but have absolutely no knowledge or experience related to to any discipline that is AV-related, you will probably do very well here.

    Cons

    There are AV companies that own a lot of equipment, but have a small number of employees and use freelance labor, and there are AV companies that hire very accomplished professionals, and choose to subrent the majority of the necessary equipment. PSAV has made the odd choice of being neither of these. The meager equipment that they own is abysmal, out-dated, and not up to the industry standards, and the majority of the legacy employees are technically clueless. There are seemingly never-ending layers of flailing, misdirected management, and very few employees (that have not been acquired via a merger) that are even remotely technically experienced enough to actually do their job effectively.

    Most of PSAV's clients choose the company either because they feel bullied to do so by the agreements that PSAV makes with the hotels that it operates in, or because they are simply ignorant that there are other choices. You will not see companies who have any knowledge of the AV profession using PSAV. The companies with large budgets that want outstanding AV technology and service will always choose another provider.

    There are layers of management who are responsible for making decisions on equipment and procedures, and it is painfully clear that few of these people have any actual experience as operators or designers.

    If you work here, you get very good at saying "I'm sorry your event did not work out. How about we refund 20%?" It is a daily exercise in soul-crushing futility and professional embarrassment.

    There is very little company-provided training, so outside of a very small number of employees (mostly acquired by merger) who do have technical knowledge, there is little chance for employees to improve.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    On paper, a business is simply a business and it does't matter whether you are selling AV services or janitorial supplies. However, in the real-world that exists outside of the balance sheet, clients expect professionals who know what they are doing. You fail to understand this key fact, and the company is surviving on it's size alone. The talent that you acquired through merger is leaving the company in droves, and it is only a matter of time before you see this manifest itself in the numbers (the bad ones). Additionally, PSAV has a very weak reputation in the industry. The bigger clients know better than to trust PSAV with their events. Shall we wager on how long it is before this stench becomes obvious to the smaller clients as well? The plan of simply improving EBIDA a few notches to try to attract the next venture capitalist investment firm is not a plan for long-term success.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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