Clients are like precious jewels: valuable and often hard to come by. But sometimes clients can act a little precious, making demands that just aren't reasonable.
The "Rental Essentials" feature in the May-June issue of Special Events will share some of the realities of event rental that your rental vendor wished you knew. For a preview, here are the comments from Delores Crum, CERP, president and CMO [chief motivating officer] for Austin, Texas-based Premiere Events. For the best event, do as Delores says:
1) Always place your rental order early!
The more lead time you give us, the better we can help you. Most rental providers have very generous change and cancelation policies, so typically, you have limited or no risk when you place your order early. There's simply nothing to gain by waiting, and you dramatically increase the likelihood that your first choices will be available when you give us plenty of time.
2) Choose your venue carefully, and consider all stated and potential event expenses when you're preparing your budget.
If your venue has limited indoor space, and you're planning to use the outdoors for any part of your celebration or occasion, include a rain-plan tent in your expense calculations.
Keep in mind: "It only rains on the unprepared!"
If you're planning a Saturday event (that ends late in the evening) or a Sunday gathering, get a handle early on the additional cost for deliveries, pickups or other tasks performed outside of normal work hours.
Use actual costs for your event parameters to determine whether or not the savings you achieve by booking a venue on an "off day" outweigh overtime and off-duty charges imposed by various vendors.
No one likes surprises, so consider your costs from every angle. Hope for the best set of circumstances, but plan, prepare and budget for the worst . . . just in case.
3) Choose a vendor that matches your budget.
There is indeed a range of prices in the events industry for seemingly similar products and or services, just as there is in any industry. And if you want to shop for the event vendor who offers the lowest price, then by all means, do so. Do your online research, ask for an all-inclusive quote, and then compare the value of what one company offers over another.
But don't insult a business owner by asking that they "price-match" the competition or question why they're more expensive than "the other guy."
Rolex and Bulova are both fine watches, but you don't visit a jewelry store and ask for a Bulova price on the Rolex you'd really like to have. Lexus and Chevrolet are both cars, and either will provide transportation. But you don't visit a Lexus showroom and ask them to price-match a Chevy Spark.
If prompt and friendly service, reliability, reputation, community involvement, fair hiring and employment practices, fiscal responsibility and accountability, and all the other intangibles that characterize a "successful" business are important to you, then choose the vendor whose prices must be a little higher but who, in the end, offers far greater value than their less reputable, less responsible competitors.
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