Over the past decade, computer rental have become more and more popular. When you invest in these rentals, you get to take advantage of using various computers without having to put up the full amount of money that they cost. Instead, you can use the computers for a limited period of time and then return them. Generally, you will be out only a fraction of the cost of what it would take to actually buy the computers. And while renting computers will come with an assortment of benefits, it is also important that you be aware of the possible drawbacks. Let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of computer rentals for events.
What kind of events are computer rentals good for?
Let’s say you are hosting a business conference meeting. As part of the meeting, you are going to be presenting a large amount of information to the attendees. Ideally, you don’t want to waste paper printing out all of this information because you know the attendees will simply throw the papers away once the meeting is over. Is there a solution to this? Of course, and it comes in the form of computer rentals. A single computer with access to PowerPoint will make it easy to display the information to all attendees. Not only will you be saving paper, but the attendees will be thankful for the organized data and information you present to them in an electronic format.
Another type of event that computer rentals are good for include product launching events, exhibits at trade shows, sponsorship events, and event promotions. Having one or more computers on hand at these events easily allows you to store attendee information, which is great for capturing vital data that you can use in your future marketing endeavors. Let’s say you are doing a product launch at a trade show. Trade show attendees that visit your booth are more than likely prospect customers, and you will want to capture their contact information to ensure you keep them updated with product information. The more you stay in contact with them, the more likely you are to make a sale and convert them into repeat customers. The best way to capture their information is by typing it into a computer at your trade show booth.
Pros of Computer Rental for Events
Access to Today’s Latest Technology
When it comes to renting electronics, you can’t go wrong with gaining access to today’s latest technology. You will spend thousands of dollars when purchasing a new computer with the latest technology, but if you rent one, you will be investing only a fraction of the purchase price. Think about it. Today’s technology advances on a daily basis. New computers are coming out on the market all the time. To keep up with the latest technology, you would have to replace your computers and electronics at least once every few months. When you rent computers, though, you can have all-time access to devices with the latest software.
According to Event technology expert Raj Jain of Aria Technology solutions more and more event planners are also choosing to replace the old technology with latest immersive computer rental technology that features activities, video content, interactivity and more.
So, we’ve already discussed how renting computers is way more cost-efficient than actually purchasing them, but this is a pro that needs to be touched on again. No matter the event you are taking part in, having a computer on hand — whether it be a laptop or tablet — will help ensure smooth functioning of your activities. Unfortunately, though, unless you have good credit, you probably won’t have access to credit to purchase a computer. When you rent electronic devices, though, your credit is rarely looked at; this gives you access to today’s best computers without having to shell out a bunch of money.
Upgrade as Needed
Another pro to renting electronics, including computers, tablets, smartphones, etc., is that you can upgrade as needed. Take for instance that you have a smartphone that becomes low on storage due to all the business apps you use on it. When you rent a smartphone, you can easily upgrade to a phone with much more storage space, making it easy for you to store and access all of your pertinent information.
No Maintenance Required
One of the best reasons to invest in computer rentals is that you don’t have to perform maintenance on the devices you rent. Instead, the rental service provider you rent from will perform all required maintenance for you. Not only can this save you money in the long run, but it can save you the hassle and headache of having to carry out the maintenance tasks. There are four basic types of computer and electronic maintenance:
Large Variety to Choose From
Renting computers is also advantageous because there is such a large selection to choose from. From plasma screens to laptop rentals to copiers, there are electronic devices available to rent for any type of task you are performing. No matter the event you are attending, you can rest assured there are computers and electronic devices available to rent that can be of value to your event. From capturing customer information to displaying information on new products, electronics simplify all sorts of tasks. For example, a2z, Inc provides powerful cloud-based event management and marketing tools that grow your brand by accelerating booth sales, helping boost revenue, and enhancing engagement and value for event participants. And Bartizan Connects is a pioneer in lead capture technology, and they have a educational blog related to trade show content.
Hazards of Computer Rentals
As with all things in life, there are hazards that can possibly make themselves present with computer rentals. Sure, as you read about above, there is an endless number of pros that can be gained, but there are drawbacks, too. Let’s take a look at these possible drawbacks.
You don’t own the computer
One of the primary drawbacks to computer rentals is that you don’t own the computer. This means the money you invest toward renting the computer will not go toward any type of ownership. Even if you decide you want to keep the computer after using it, you still have to return it. Some computer rental places will allow you to go ahead and purchase the computer, but the overall amount that you pay to own it will likely cost up to twice as much as it would cost to go to a store and buy it. This is why it is so important before you rent a computer to make the choice that you don’t want to purchase it.
It is extremely pertinent that you read through the entire rental contract that you sign when renting a computer for your event. In doing this, you can become aware of any hidden fees that may be added onto the overall cost of renting the electronic. Take for instance that you sign a 6-month rental contract but you end up returning the computer three months in advance. You may, by the signature of the contract, be obligated to pay for the full six months of rental.
Everything has to be returned
You don’t get to keep anything when you rent computers for your events. Hardware and software both must be returned. If you wish, you can download any of the collected data onto a computer that you actually own or in the cloud, but if you don’t, you will no longer have access to the information you collected. And remember, when you return the software and hardware, it must be in the same condition it was in when you received it. Everything from cables to certificates of authenticity to carrying cases must be in the same condition. If they aren’t, you may be charged additional fees to compensate for any damage that has occurred to them.
You’re losing out on money
When you choose a rental plan that does not allow you to spread the cost of renting the equipment over the term of the rental contract and you have no option to purchase the computer, you are essentially throwing away money because you will end up with no capital asset(s). Even if you are able to use the monies invested toward the rental for tax advantages, you are still losing out on money. However, do keep in mind that as with all drawbacks of computer rentals, you must weigh them against the advantages to be gained — like the ones listed earlier in this article — to determine whether the investment is a smart move or not.
Your data may not be secure
Another drawback to computer rentals is that your data may become unsecured. Think about it. What happens to your data when you return the electronics you have been renting? Unless you do a complete wipe and reset of the equipment, then your data is still on the PC. If the PC falls into the wrong hands, such as a hacker, the data and information can be retrieved. This means all of your financial statements, customer data, and more could be used against you.
There has been much controversy over data leakage and spying when it comes to computer rentals. Take for example CNN’s article on Aaron’s Rental Stores in Anti-Spying Accord.
What do Computer Rentals Mean for Your Company
You should always determine your needs before you choose to rent computers for your next event. In some instances, computer rentals may lead to a tremendous amount of savings in regards to both your personal and business finances. Since you won’t have to pay a large amount of money to purchase the computer, you can use the money saved for other purchases. Still yet, if you intend to use the computer for an extended period of time and you will be saving pertinent information to it, computer rental may not be the best option for you and your company.
Things to Consider When Renting Computers
Whether you are renting computers for a trade show, exhibition, meeting, or to use every day within the office, it is imperative that you consider the following before signing a rental contract.
What services are provided by the rental company?
You want to rent computers, whether they be Dell desktops or Apple laptops, that offers a variety of services. From software training to data center migration and more, having access to these services is essential to getting the most out of your technology & Computer rental. You will also want to make sure the computer rental company offers 24/7 tech support along with venue setup; this decreases the amount of work you have to devote toward setting up the equipment at your next event.
Does the Computer rental contract have an early termination fee?
Always ask the rental company if you will have to pay an early termination fee if you don’t keep the equipment for as long you initially planned to. Some contracts will come with a termination fee exceeding $500. If the early termination fee is not an amount you are comfortable with, you may want to reconsider renting the computers because you never know if you will have to return the equipment early or not.
Are you aware of your contract end date?
Never should you sign the computer rental contract without having a specific end date. Sure, you may agree to a 3-month rental contract, but when are the three months over? 90 days from the day you sign it? Does the day you sign the contract count as day 1? Or are you going from month to month (example: June 1 to September 1)? Knowing the exact end date of the contract is important because it allows you to be fully aware of when the equipment has to be returned.
What happens if you choose to keep the equipment?
A computer rental company isn’t likely to send the FEDs after you if you decide to keep their equipment. They will, however, charge your bank account a hefty fee. You need to be aware of what it will cost you if you decide to keep the equipment you are renting. Just be prepared for this monetary number to far exceed what it would cost you to actually purchase the equipment from a electronics retailer like Best Buy.
What is “fair wear and tear?”
Most laptop and computer rental companies will allow you to return their equipment with “fair wear and tear” and they won’t charge you additional fees. What you need to pinpoint, though, is what is considered “fair wear and tear.”
Who is responsible for data removal?
As discussed under the drawbacks of computer rental, someone will need to remove the data you stored on the computer when using it. Either you or the rental company will be responsible for carrying out the data removal process. It is highly recommended that you perform the data removal yourself so that you can rest assured it was done properly. If you do not know how to remove data from the computer, you should hire a professional to do it for you.
Computer rentals aren’t for everyone. They are, however, advantageous for businesses who don’t have the money upfront to invest in Technology. If you use a computer on a daily basis to operate your business, then purchasing a computer will likely be in your best interest. If you don’t use one every day, then renting one on an as-needed basis will be of immense value. Just make sure you rent laptops and computers through a company that is completely trustworthy and has a good reputation. You will likely be storing confidential and important information on the computer, and you don’t want it falling into the wrong hands.