What to look for in an audio-visual equipment rental supplier

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Bill Columbus, owner of AValive

This is a guest post by Bill Columbus, owner of AValive in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Read more from Bill at http://www.avalive.com/

If you need to rent audio-visual (AV) equipment, it probably means that you’re involved in an important event, and it probably means that a lot of other people are counting on you to help make the event run smoothly. Choosing the wrong AV equipment or failing to properly set it up on time can ruin an entire event, or at very least have a negative impact on your event’s success. If you think that the AV equipment supplier you rent from is insignificant, think again. Selecting a quality AV supplier is as important to ensuing the success of your event as the equipment itself. Here are some key guidelines for choosing your AV equipment rental supplier.

On site support

One of the first things to consider is whether you’ll need on site support from AV experts. This may depend on the size and scope of your venue, the complexity of your AV needs and your own level of expertise. Most quality AV rental companies do offer on site support – and even if they are not local and don’t have staff in the event location, they probably have partnerships with other trustworthy AV equipment providers in the area that can be subcontracted to offer on site support. Even if you don’t need on site support, the fact that an AV company offers it is a good sign that they are a full service business with true AV expertise and good customer service.

No conflict of interest

Some AV providers may be tied to local venues. The venue may offer AV equipment rental and support staff at substantially inflated cost to the event participants. Going directly to a local AV rental company instead of renting through the venue can save you as much as 100% – 200% on rental costs.

Experience and expertise

Some AV rental companies just rent equipment, but you want to find a company with years of proven experience, a high of level of expertise and the willingness to act as a proactive AV advisor. Today’s equipment and technology has become very advanced and true industry experts can not only help you avoid problems (like compatibility issues) but they can also enhance your project by recommending the ideal AV options to match your specific needs and venue.

All too often I see customers that have paid for High Definition (HD) screens and projectors, but don’t have the HD computer to support it. The screens and projectors don’t matter if the computer doesn’t have HD capacity; and the quality of the audio and visual suffers, making the event less appealing.

Streaming events live is also a popular new event tactic, but it requires a minimum of 600K of bandwidth. Most hotels and event facilities don’t offer that level of bandwidth, but a good AV advisor would have known to ask that question and provide a solution as part of the rental package.

Don’t settle for an order filler, look for an AV rental partner that will go the extra mile. They should ask lots of questions about your event, anticipate potential obstacles to success and recommend solutions and options that will ensure success.

On time and on budget

A reliable AV rental provider will have a wide range of up-to-date inventory to fill any need and meet a variety of compatibility requirements. They should also have comprehensive tech checklist and take a questions-based approach to your event. If they are thinking ahead and planning properly, then your AV equipment should arrive on time and your event should stay on budget.

Finally, check references and ratings. If an AV company has a proven track record for success there should be plenty of customers to verify it. And if they have a proven track record for failure, that will be evident too.

Bill Columbus founded AValive in 1992. AValive is guided by a simple principal—provide AV customers with superior service and audio-visual equipment, through both sales and rentals. Along with his knowledgeable staff, Bill has been providing top-notch service and technical product support for over 21 years. With thousands of satisfied customers, AValive has earned its place as a leader in the professional audio-visual market place.

View AValive’s product selection at avalive.com or contact them at 1-866-93PRO-AV (937-7628).

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