PSAV

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PSAV Reviews

Updated Jul 20, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 249 reviews

74% Approve of the CEO

PSAV CEO Mike McIlwain

Mike McIlwain

(66 ratings)

53% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

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

  • Decent pay for the small amount of work involved(in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • This work will consume you if you let it so work/life balance is important(in 18 reviews)

  • There are often very long hours especially during busy season(in 27 reviews)

249 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
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    AV done Right if your looking right now

    Director of Event Technology (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsCompany keeps growing and there are a lot of opportunities to move up but you have to be willing to relocate a lot. In a year I went for tech to director but they will make you work for it and you will be working 60 plus hours at a starting managers location. If you are a team player it will go a long way for you

    ConsPay always seems a little under what it should be. It is also very hit or miss for good team leaders from region to region. Health care coverage is not that good that is the biggest kick on top of the salary issues.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    As a part-time on call it's okay.

    Lighting II (Current Employee) Atlanta, GA

    ProsBetween jobs if I get a call it could be a good option for a little extra money.
    Descent equipment to work with.
    You can apply for other positions with the company.
    You can negotiate your hourly per project.
    Fair treatment for women working in this field.
    They do have training classes should you need it.

    ConsNo benefits as a part-time.
    Last minute calls to which I cannot always work.
    Hourly pay is okay however, when I freelance with other companies I negotiate a time and half compensation when I work over 10 hours in one day. I worked one project with PSAV for 30 hours straight and received nothing additional! Not even a couple of hours to sleep in the hotel we were working at. I felt this was taking serious advantage of part-timers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would like to work more with PSAV but I also work as a freelancer and tend to get booked in advance. I had hoped I would be able to pursue a career with PSAV but find that more times than not when I am called it is so very last minute (ie: can you work tomorrow) that I am already in the middle of a project. I would love some advance notice of projects.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    It is rather amazing that the company has survived

    Manager (Current Employee) Schaumburg, IL

    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.

    ConsThere 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 Senior ManagementOn 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    Tons Of opportunity, if your willing to work hard

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsAlot of career development opportunities. Promotes from within. encourages personal empowerment and ownership. a great environment for natural leaders to thrive.

    Conslong hours. inconsistent job duties.

    Advice to Senior Managementfocus on the passion our employees have and why they are in the technology field in the first place.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Secure & Challenging

    PSAV Sales Manager - Hotel Divisions (Current Employee) Orlando, FL

    ProsGreat opportunity to move up and about in many different regions worldwide. Decent pay. Challenging but attainable goals.

    ConsWork gets repetitive after a while but I guess that happens in most industries.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore money needs to be spent on keeping our equipment current.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Showed their chauvinistic side within 2 days.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsDecent pay for the small amount of work involved.

    ConsNever able to get my system set up after being there for weeks. I also heard horrible stories and rumors from multiple coworkers. I was pulled aside and told to be "cognizant of my reputation" on my second day for laughing with a coworker of the opposite gender during training. I later found out I was ratted out on by a senior manager who seems to like said employee and only promotes males in the office regardless of seniority or experience. I requested training day after day and got told there was none and they didn't have time to train me.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPromote some women... Only one female manager in sight is a huge red flag for a new female employee...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Seasonal furloughs & long hours, with an ability to move up quickly

    ETS II (Current Employee) Palm Springs, CA

    ProsGreat, if you love event technology in a corporate environment. Lots of properties around the world, which provides ample opportunity to move—and move up—if you're willing to move, sacrifice your personal life (when in-season/at busy properties) and know how to "play the corporate game."

    Cons18-plus-hour-days way too common (not bad with OT & DT, when you're hourly - not as good when you're salary). Most properties aren't well equipped with quality gear - let alone state-of-the-art. Pay is below average, unless you negotiate hard for it - and then, it's about average.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter training and more accurate measurement of skills might ensure higher quality of service for the client and more pride in the work for the employees. Certifications and better pay may have potential for attracting superior career-oriented professionals in the event tech industry.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    10 people found this helpful  

    Replaceable, Numbers focused

    (Current Employee)

    ProsBig company, plenty of staff rollover so not hard to move up the ladder. (If you're willing to forfeit a raise.)

    If you're skilled enough, you can force their hand into calling you for a gig.

    ConsFrom a Part-time/As needed (8 years) perspective.

    90% of the time you come in, you get no diagram, a sub-par list of gear and told to use your best judgement (Which gives management the opportunity to save face and throw you under the bus.)

    If you are missing gear or pieces of the gear you are simply told to "Do the best you can do..."

    Management is completely disconnected from labor and will cut corners to make their numbers. I've had to Run Audio, Moving Lights, Switch for Projection, and Switch for Record ALL BY MYSELF for a show. They lost that client yet the client requested me as a tech for another vendor.

    Constantly being told I'm too expensive when my rate is $10/hr below their 2008 standards of pay email I was sent.

    All full-time techs are severely mistreated. I've witnessed very talented techs being told that "You don't have to work here, we'll find someone else." after the techs would express safety and/or logistics concerns. They would also be told when they are allowed to take time off which is subject to change even after it's been approved and if the tech had a problem with it they would be told the former quote up above. If mistakes were made you were yelled at in front of the client and for all to see.

    Full time techs are also not guaranteed 32 hours a week. I've seen them get 8-10 for three weeks straight and get to hear them stressing out over rent and bills for a job that should be fun and busy.

    After being called in for a ballroom set which would be 2 guys (3 if you're lucky) for a 6-10 hour call, management would waltz into the ballroom before leaving and say "Oh yeah, you guys need to set 10 or so breakouts when you finish here."

    If it's after 5 O'clock forget the management and/or sales dept. to have facetime with the client... It's all on you.

    Have been asked to use my personal auto insurance when I was involved in a minor collision with a building. Considering that I was driving illegally because I had worked 20 hours straight prior to getting into the cab of the truck which I packed by myself top to bottom (24ft. truck, which I'm sure was close to overweight.) and was instructed to skip weigh stations.

    When you train someone (When management asks you to.) you are training your cheaper replacement. I went from making $20,000/yr off of PSAV to $2,500/yr.

    They start talented technicians at around $11-15/hr (Even in California, I've called) and they won't see a dollar over for 5+ years. You can make $11/hr delivering pizzas and I'm pretty sure this is a SKILLED LABOR industry. Their benefits package costs more than it does for me to pay for my own insurance so don't let them throw that in your face either.

    Now saying all that, I know it's because local management is constantly under the gun by regional management and so on up the ladder. That's how they get talked to (I've been privy to walking in on these conference calls and here the absolute belittling undertones.) so then that attitude gets passed down. I COMPLETELY SYMPATHIZE with lower management and have padded my hours before so they could make their commission.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease ask yourself what you're worth and then treat your techs better, they are the reason you have the job you do. Your success depends on their success and they are currently not being treated that way. Right now the money you make is coming out of their pockets NOT the clients.

    Employees should never be under the constant threat of replacement.

    And if you're reading this post in disgust and not concern? Then fire yourself.

    I'm writing this with the knowledge that you could potentially track me down, but after 8 years and diminishing gigs (Even though your clients absolutely love me and have proactively asked for a business card and sent care packages to my door) I believe this is a worthy wake up call.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good Company to work for.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThey provide you with a lot of tools to do your job

    ConsFinding opportunities as you progress through the ranks

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the teams in the hotels.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Big company with an entrepreneurial spirit

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsAmbition and work ethic are rewarded. Thousands of locations mean a ton of opportunity, depending on what you want to do. Fiscally responsible with a good profit margin means stability.

    ConsSome planning is a bit seat-of-the-pants. I don't know if this is at the executive level, or just because of poor inter-department planning. Nothing huge, but it creates some inefficiencies.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter planning at the corporate level.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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