Renting audio-visual equipment can be a harrowing experience if you are unfamiliar with the various pieces of equipment required, here are some tips to help you unravel all the mysteries of AV rentals.
Before we start on the tips, first of all, consider the following indicator:
Never consider renting AV equipment without a pre-defined budget. The variety of devices and the types of configurations can make renting an extremely expensive affair, especially if you don’t know what you need. Therefore, the first tip that will help you fathom the budget is:
Consult an expert
If you are not an AV expert, find someone that you trust that is. Do not trust the rental company, their purpose is to make as much money as possible, and when an unsuspecting customer comes in, it’s like selling insurance at a beer festival.
Check with your Event Participants
If you are bringing in talent, consider asking them what they prefer to use, this will help you narrow down the equipment listing. However, don’t rely on them alone since they will also demand the best equipment and more than is actually needed.
Crosstabulate the Data
Once you have the data input from your professional advisor and the attending artists (musicians etc.) you can sit down and go over the lists, comparing what the artists want, what your advisor considered and finding common ground.
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Its time to find your rental company, and there are a few in most locations, so don’t get stuck with the first one you find. First of all, prepare the list in a tabular form and give it to the rental agency, asking for each item to be priced including insurance and taxes. Always make sure you get the full price for all the equipment, so include all cables and accessories and consider take anything extra that the rental company might try to “persuade you” is mandatory, but before you commit, check to see how it is mandatory and what benefit it will add for the extra cost they demand.
The best locations online for AV checking is a straight forward online search for audiovisual renting companies. However, if you want to get more intel, consider going to Yelp!, BBB and even checking reviews about AV equipment.
If you are not sure, consult again, you can go to wedding planners and events organizers that you might know of and ask where they rented their equipment, or where they recommend going to get a good price. (A lot of event organizers own their own equipment) so if you know of an event organizer or are friends with one, you can possibly rent their equipment and their services too.
Always make sure you have pre-ordered the equipment early, even two months earlier is good if you have that time frame. Otherwise, you might find that all the best equipment has been rented out.