If you’ve been around the industry for a while, you understand that A/V represents roughly 25% of your meeting budget. With sound, lighting, projectors and bandwidth, you also know the right equipment from the right vendor can make or break your event. Therefore, it’s important to take the suggestions laid out here seriously to get what you want at a price point that works for everyone.
Five Time and Cost Savings Measures
1. Understand exactly what you need.
This process can be a real time burner, but in the end it’s worth it. Identify your speakers, facilitators, exhibitors and attendees’ technology requirements. Confirm it with each person within 90 days of your session. Put requirements in a comprehensive list. Remember to include Wi-Fi requirements, too. Between a presenter’s video clips and live streaming from audience members, the venue’s bandwidth may not be strong enough.
Hint: Farm this out to one of your marketing interns. Since this data may take three to four tries to obtain, remind them to be persistent. Have them assess the venue’s bandwidth capabilities and make Wi-Fi hotspot rental recommendations, if necessary.
2. Overlay the event needs with what you have.
For example, you may need twenty projectors, yet you own ten. However, you need to consider the following parameters regarding your equipment:
- Who will prepare them for shipment?
- How much will shipment cost?
- What about insurance for lost or stolen items?
- Who will track down the items and install them at the meeting?
- Is your equipment compatible with current technology?
Hint: Once you have these answers, put them in a side-by-side comparison of event rentals.
3. Send out at least three clear, transparent RFPs.
Now that you know what you need, solicit Requests for Proposals from suitable organizations. Only solicit from vendors you will consider doing business with.
Hint: Tell them your overall A/V budget and describe, in detail, your equipment needs.
4. Once you’ve made the RFP cut, start the negotiating process early.
You may like two or three of the responses, but they are still over your budget or they don’t have all the equipment you need. Not to worry. Sit down with them and see if you can obtain a “win-win” solution.
Hint: Negotiations are all about flexibility. If a vendor is hard to deal with at the table, they maybe impossible to work with for last-minute change requests at the event. Try and establish a compromise mindset going in and you’ll have a shot at getting some of the things you really want.
5. Remember to run the contract by your legal team.
Contract language usually contains words like force majeure, indemnification, non-performance and cancellation, which can be confusing. Be sure to read it yourself, at least twice, before handing it over to your attorney.
Hint: Follow each negotiation talk with an email of what each party agreed to do. Append the emails to the contract before sending it over to your lawyer.
Hartford Technology Rental is Your Event Technology Provider
We carry the latest technology and will work with you to make your event memorable. Call us at 888-520-5667 or contact us online today!