Searching for an AV rental company can be a perplexing undertaking. Some companies you research may claim to have the finest equipment in the industry, while others may claim to be able to supply large-scale and elaborate events. Sifting your way through the different kinds of equipment and companies that will suit your event can become baffling at times. This post will give you an informative look at different factors and points to consider when on the hunt for the right audio video rental company. First, the common terminology for these rental companies will be discussed, followed by the criteria you should use when selecting the best company for your needs. Next, typical expectations of rental companies will be pointed out as well as questions that you should ask the rental companies on your shortlist.
Criteria for Selecting Audio-Visual Rental Companies:
Organizational Stability: You wouldn’t want to hire a rental company just for their business to go blow-up when your event is about to start. They should each have an extensive client base, at least three years in the AV rental industry and a stable leadership team and shared vision. You should be able to locate their annual revenue and profits. Lastly, you’ll want to review how many employees they currently have along with their respective responsibilities and positions within the organizations.
Use a Vetting Process
It’s vital to the success of your event that you gain a firm understanding of how successful the audio-visual rental company has been. This means gaining key information through testimonials on the internet as well as requesting the company’s references and contacting them. You should personally take a tour of the companies’ buildings to see how they present and conduct themselves. Get in touch with one of the C-Suite executives to get detailed answers from the top of these businesses.
You want to ensure that the rental company you choose for your AV services have availability on-site before and during the event to manage any issues or necessary changes as they come up.
Your preferred rental company should have employees that communicate and work well with your event’s planner, featured speakers, financial sponsors, and the venue’s representatives. Everyone in these roles has to work cohesively to properly plan and execute the details of the event to ensure that it’s a success.
Security System On-Site
The audiovisual rental company that you want should have secure means of tracking AV devices that are rented for the event, such as tablets and devices to record and track audience responses to aspects of the event. This includes network security, as guests expect to reliably and securely connect to the venue’s wireless signal while in attendance.
How is the company’s customer service? How quickly do they respond to your phone calls and email messages? Do they efficiently and effectively handle client problems and concerns? Can you expect them to support project management efforts? You should be able to answer some of these questions by reviewing the rental company’s website for their best practices, client reviews, and other information about past successful events.
Audio-Visual Company as Single Equipment Source
Provide the Audio-Visual rental company with a complete listing of what your event will require and confirm that they have the rental equipment to meet every equipment need for your event. If the rental company has to subcontract with another company to fully meet your needs, then you should research and vet that subcontracting company as well. Make that the rental company understands that they will have to manage and assume responsibility for any equipment-related questions or concerns that may spring up during the event.
Audio-Visual Rental Terms:
Equipment Rental Rates
Your invoice or quote will charge your equipment rental fee separately from the labor involved. The major pieces of rental equipment such as microphones, screens, projectors, and speakers will be prominently displayed on the invoice as separate line items. Generally, the pieces of equipment that you rent will have different prices, with newer pieces having higher rental rates than the older pieces of equipment. Typically, cables stand, and other accessory equipment are included with rental the main equipment. However, some companies may add a “cabling package” charge that includes these accessories.
Invoices & Quotes
While discussing your needs with an audio-visual rental company, they will want to know the sorts of equipment you will require as a way to determine if they can fully supply your equipment rental needs. Initially, you’ll receive a quote that lists the equipment that you want to rent and their individual prices, called line items. This quote should also include a labor quote or it will be given to you as a separate quote from the equipment. Once you agree to the quote, the rental company will normally respond with the invoice to lock in those prices and rates. Make sure that the total cost on the invoice matches the cost you were originally quoted.
These rental companies will divide the labor-related costs into two separate categories: Day-Rates and Week-Rates. Day-Rates account for around 10 labor hours, with a half-day rate being around 5 labor hours. You may be charged for travel days at a half-day rate if the equipment providers have to travel a few hours or more to reach your event from their company.
Load Out and Load In
Load in is the timeframe that it will take for the rental company’s team to deliver the equipment and/or complete the equipment set up. Loadout is the time that it will take for the team to tear down the equipment, pack it up and carry it out of the event’s venue, also known as a “strike.” You will want to know from the AV rental company how long it will take for them to completely set up the equipment. You will also want to keep the venue’s project members informed of this allotted setup time. Be sure to provide enough load in time to properly test out any intricate equipment you want to use for the event.
Audiovisual Rental Company Expectations:
Reliable, Modern Equipment
Some equipment performs very well and has lasted in the entertainment and event planning industries for a long time. Even so, you will want to work with a rental company that stocks newer, more advanced equipment. It’s a bad idea to go with an audiovisual company that can only provide weathered and unreliable equipment.
A big expectation for your AV rental company should be that they arrive punctually at both loads in and load out times. On-time or early arrival can be an absolute necessity for some venues with tight schedules between events.
The expectation for reaching out to your AV company is a professional response from them within the same day if it’s a business day during normal operating hours. The reply should really come within a few hours of the original message or call. As the industry is very competitive, it would be relatively easy to find a different company that will respond much more promptly.
You should expect all communications with your AV company to be to-the-point and to clearly express business-related information. The communications should be carried out during normal business hours. They should inspire confidence that you’ve made the right decision to work with this company.
The representatives handling your event’s equipment rentals should know what the individual pieces of equipment do and what your event needs are. Certain items of AV equipment have to be operated by properly trained technicians. Ensure that your representatives know how to work effectively with the equipment.
When you’re ready to plan your event, and need a trusted and established audio visual rental company to work with, contact the team at Showtech Productions! We’re experienced with events of all sizes, from small, corporate gatherings, to large music venues!
If you are in the Texas area and looking for an AV rental company, Showtech Productions can help. Fill out our contact form today!