If you don’t already have an event rental partner, consider making it your short-term goal. The benefits of diving into an event rental partnership are exponential. You might receive increased business referrals, gain a beautiful showroom where you can meet with your clients, provide feedback that can influence the products the rental company purchases, and more. It also benefits the rental store: as you grow your business, you'll help increase orders for your rental partner.
Let’s take a look at four reasons why it’s time to find an event rental partner for your business and how to take the next step in finding the right fit.
1. The space
Oftentimes, rental companies have established showrooms curated with the latest and most popular event rental products. If you don’t have an office, partnering with an event rental business can give you one—and if you do have an office, the showroom expands on it. The rental company’s showroom provides the ideal backdrop for you to meet with customers and showcase the available rental items. You can work directly with the rental company to schedule your clients' appointments in the showroom or utilize dedicated consultation rooms, if available.
Plus, it gives the portrayal that you are part of a larger team with more expansive capabilities than your internal planning team alone. It’s a surefire way to build trust with current and potential clients—and who doesn’t want that?
2. The relationship
Event rental companies regularly receive questions about event planning services, which is not something they typically provide. The more you grow your relationship with the rental store, the more prospective customers they might send your way. And as you work together regularly, the rental store employees will know exactly where to send them—to you! Once you are a preferred partner, they will do so willingly and excitedly, knowing you’ll bring this business—and more—back to the store.
Most rental stores are looking to form these types of partnerships as they benefit both parties. It’s an easy "yes" for them, and it should be for you, as well.
3. The influence
As a planner, you have a solid understanding of which trends are on their way in, and which are on their way out. In the partnership, it’s smart to hold an annual business review so each side can share what they are seeing as upcoming hot trends. This valuable information can lead to purchasing decisions and new items being added to the rental inventory based on what will be popular with customers.
For example, if you’ve received requests for similar items for multiple upcoming events, the rental store may be willing to purchase the item to add to their existing inventory based on your feedback. This increases their potential for regular rentals.
4. The simplification
The partnership may also allow for a streamlined invoicing process for your clients by having all rental invoices go through you first. If an invoice comes to you and it’s higher than the original estimate due to more items that have been added, you can work with the event rental business first to find alternative options that could be presented to the client that still meets both their design style and budget. This way you are able to present your customer with options and solutions and alleviate any potential stress or concerns.
You have full control of what gets sent to your client—ensuring every invoice is correct before it reaches them. No confusion, no mistakes, and no surprises.
What to look for
You can’t reap these benefits until you find the right partner. Don’t rush into it though, as diligence is your friend in this situation. There are a few questions to ask yourself. The first is: Do you trust them? In the business of events, there are no do-overs. It’s of utmost importance that you can trust your partners to hold up their end of the deal. The second is: Do they have a showroom/location clients will enjoy visiting? One you’ll be proud to showcase? The third is: Does the store have the majority of the rental items in their local inventory, or do they outsource to others?
When you find the right partner, grow together and don’t let them go. Start your research today. Search for event rental stores in your area by visiting RentalHQ.com to find ARA-affiliated and qualified rental stores in your region.
James Auerbach joined the ARA in November 2020 after spending 25 years in the event rental, event planning/production and hospitality industries. During his career, he managed businesses of various sizes from small owner-operated companies to large corporate or private equity-owned businesses. When he’s not working to support the event rental industry, Auerbach loves spending time with his wife, two kids and two small dogs—Bella and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The American Rental Association, Moline, Ill., is an international trade association for owners of equipment and event rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers of construction/industrial, general tool and party/event rental equipment. ARA members, which include more than 12,000 rental businesses and more than 1,000 manufacturers and suppliers, are located in every U.S. state, every Canadian province and more than 40 countries worldwide. Founded in 1955, ARA is the source for information, advocacy, education, networking and marketplace opportunities for the equipment and event rental industry throughout the world.