Putting up an event is a monumental task. There are a lot of variable elements and requirements that can greatly affect how it turns out. In many cases, the success of an event relies on how well the planning and the organisation were done way ahead of the event date.
Part of the planning process is making the right decisions on how to source the numerous supplies and materials that are to be used for the event such as event tech. One of the most commonly asked questions is whether it makes more sense to purchase your own or should you just hire what you need?
The answer to this question would depend on your specific needs, however, there are important things that you should consider to help you with your decision.
The price of the equipment plays a major role when deciding whether to buy or rent it. If the price of a tech device is very affordable, most event suppliers will not think twice about buying a brand new one, especially if the cost difference from hiring one is almost the same. However, when a piece of equipment is very expensive, then it becomes more logical to rent one.
Another financial advantage of renting event tech and equipment is that you won’t need to shell out a huge amount in one go. This gives you better flexibility when it comes to your cash flow, allowing you to devote your funds to other parts of the event, and prevents you from going over budget.
Deciding whether to rent or buy a device is also dependent on the quantity you need. Even if a piece of tech does not cost that much, purchasing a large quantity can still put a dent on your event budget and can even be inconvenient.
For example, if you need one laptop for a business conference, then buying one will not be too costly. However, if you need fifty laptops all at the same time, acquiring all of these computers will not only cost a lot, it will also require you to invest time and effort to purchase and make them ready for use with the right software and applications.
Not only that, when you buy a laptop you have to make sure that you apply laptop security measures to protect it from data theft in case it gets hacked or stolen. Prepping one laptop is manageable, but imagine having to prep fifty laptops! It will be more convenient to hire laptops that are already secured, insured, and have the essential software ready for use.
Another consideration that you should take note of is whether you can use the equipment again for other events. Will it serve you again in the future or is it only good for one use?
Going back to the laptop example, purchasing one laptop makes a lot of sense because you can still use it for other tasks inside the office after the event. However, if you need multiple laptops now, you have to ask yourself first and be realistic about whether you’ll need fifty laptops again. If you are unsure, it is better to just rent the laptops instead of just having them lying around unused after the event is done.
This is also applicable for specialised pieces of equipment that are not commonly used at every event. Most of these specialised devices cost a lot of money so it is often recommended to just hire one at a fraction of the price if you’re only going to use it once.
Even if you can afford to purchase the equipment if it is not available or easily accessible in your area, then hiring one is often advisable. For example, if you need a high-tech 4K projector but it is not available in your location, it could take time for you to purchase it and get it delivered from another city or country.
If you have a lot of time in your hands, then this might not be an issue, but for most event planners, they don’t really have the luxury to gamble with all the potential problems that may arise in this situation.
Will the equipment get delivered on time? Will it function properly when delivered? What if the equipment is not working when it arrives? Will you have time to send it back and wait for another one? These are just some questions you need to think through when weighing your decision on whether to acquire an equipment from faroff location.
Specialised Skill to Operate
Many event planners who decide to supply their own event tech are mostly swayed by the price factor, without considering whether they have the manpower or the technical knowhow to operate a piece of equipment.
While it might be easy to operate common devices, more complex pieces of equipment often require people who have the expertise to operate them. If you disregard this particular consideration, you may risk damaging your assets.
For example, you need a professional to set up your lighting equipment for an event to ensure that they function properly. Audio-video equipment like cameras and sound systems also require the expertise of professionals who know what they’re doing. For some equipment like advanced video cameras, it can take years for cameramen to master how to use these devices.
Unless you are an expert yourself, you may benefit more from hiring from a rental company that will provide you with the tech support you need, to ensure that what you rented are all working properly. This will give you the peace of mind in case something breaks down or an unexpected issue occurs.
Weighing your decision
There are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to supplying your own event tech. At the same time, there are also pros and cons if you decide to go for the rental option. Every event is different, therefore, what may be advantageous for one event may not necessarily be applicable to the next one.
Before making your decision, evaluating the situation using the five factors mentioned in this article will help you arrive at an informed choice.