The Role of a Technology Rentals Provider for Events
As businesses become more reliant upon their technology for their critical operations, they also find that it’s impossible to keep up-to-date on all the different types of technology they need. Instead, this role is rapidly being filled by the services of a technology rental provider. Technology rental providers are able to offer large volumes of technology and equipment, often for niche and specialized use cases. This technology can then be used at seminars, training events, trade shows or simply in order to expand to new locations. And attract Attendees at Trade show.
What Does a Technology Rentals Provider Do?
A technology rentals provider keeps a large inventory of the technology products. These are products that businesses need for seminars, trade shows, and even their day-to-day operations. Through a technology rentals provider, companies can access the technology they need at a low cost, removing the need to purchase, maintain, upgrade, and ultimately replace equipment and other expensive technological assets. A technology rentals provider will not only ensure that the business has the technology they need, but will make sure that events are hit and profitable. As an additional bonus, this technology can be delivered on demand, and an organization only needs to pay for the technology when it is in use.
What Are the Benefits of a Technology Rental Provider?
At the highest level, technology rental providers save company money and reduce the amount of time they need to spend on administrative tasks. Specifically, these are the major benefits of using a technology provider:
- Getting the most advanced technology. Many companies don’t have the resources to keep purchasing technology and equipment as it comes out. Technology depreciates very quickly, and a single product cycle could bring with it technology that is vastly improved. Rather than falling behind their competitors, companies can instead choose to lease this equipment when they need it. This foregoes the entire researching, purchasing, and decommissioning cycle.
- Acquiring specialized equipment on demand. For seminars, training, and other events, companies may require one-off items that they don’t necessarily need all the time. Rather than keeping these items around, having to store them, and waiting for them to depreciate indefinitely, they can simply lease this equipment as they need it. A good technology rentals provider will have many niche products that a company can requisition at any time.
- Simplifying the management of equipment and assets. With less equipment, the company needs to do less managing of its inventory overall. They need to track fewer items and they have to maintain and repair fewer items. This can be a tremendous boon to a small or already over-taxed internal IT department, and can reduce the amount of employee hours required by the IT department.
These are only the major benefits of a technology rental provider — but they are very significant ones.
When Would You Need a Technology Rental Provider?
Companies most commonly use a technology rental provider when they are attending or hosting a major event. Companies may need large numbers of display equipment, kiosks for special events, or specialized equipment, often to suit large numbers of people. A technology provider can provide flat screens for multiple concurrent displays, or can provide kiosks where companies can deliver information directly to a single user. Technology providers can also provide equipment for smaller scale events — such as providing a projector for a slideshow. Essentially, any time a company is in need of technology that it doesn’t already have, a provider can step in.
Providers can also offer technology to companies that are looking for expansion, that need temporary technology, or that are testing out new types of technology. Temporary programs, teams, departments, or offices, can also utilize the advantages of a technology provider rather than having to quickly requisition and then decommission their equipment.
What Type of Equipment Does a Technology Rental Provider Offer?
Technology rental providers offer a very large selection of equipment. Computer rentals and laptop rentals can be used to keep a business going, while display products are the most frequently used products at trade shows and other events. Display products can range from flat screen televisions (which would be very prohibitively expensive to both purchase and ship) to individual tablets (which can both display and collect information from guests). Technology providers may also have: LED Video Walls, projectors, smartphones, kiosks, iPhones, and a wide assortment of other accessories.
Of course, every provider is different and may maintain a different inventory. Smaller providers may focus on a certain area — such as either computer rentals or display panels — while larger providers will have a full inventory in a wide variety of categories.
What Is the Process for Renting Technology?
- Identify your needs. What event or project do you need this technology for? Exactly how many items are you going to need and to what specifications? Specifications are particularly important — it’s unlikely you’ll get the specific brand or model of an item that you need, but you will get something that meets the standards of performance that you require. This is much like renting a car. After you outline the specifications of your technology, you are then ready to find a provider.
- Find the right provider. Request quotes. Some providers can deliver quotes almost immediately while others may need some time. What’s most important is to properly compare these quotes on an apples-to-apples basis; make sure you aren’t comparing the cost of older technology to the cost of newer technology. Take a look at the provider’s reputation and find the provider that gives the correct cost benefit, with no hidden pricing. We have further details on warning signs and things to look for below.
- Requisition the equipment. Once you’ve selected a provider, they will handle the rest. They will be able to deliver the equipment to you where you need it, will offer support for you with the equipment, and will collect the equipment once you’re done with it. Everything is already taken care of.
Does the Technology Provider You Use Matter?
When it comes to technology rentals, not just any provider will do. An unreliable provider could potentially leave you in a difficult situation during an important time. Providers that are not reliable may not deliver their equipment on time, may not properly maintain their equipment, and may not be able to quickly repair their equipment if it breaks down. Providers that are inexperienced may not have the right types of equipment or may not have a diverse enough inventory for your needs. Furthermore, an inadequate technology provider may also charge more than is necessary, reducing the benefits of leasing technology altogether.
A technology provider is going to operate as critical support to you during fairly tumultuous times. Trade shows, events, seminars, and new projects are already very complex, and the last thing you want to do is overly complicate them. By spending some additional time finding the right provider for your business, you can sidestep some major problems later on.
What Do You Need in a Technology Rentals Provider?
- Affordability. Ideally, a technology rentals provider should be able to offer equipment at a fairly low cost. But that doesn’t mean that you should always go for the cheapest provider. A balance of cost and features is usually desirable. If a provider is very unusually cheap or is far cheaper than the other providers, then there’s either probably something they are skimping on (such as support) or there are hidden costs (again, such as support). Make sure that you question unusual quotes thoroughly and ask them exactly what is included.
- Inventory. A diverse inventory is necessary if you want to both stay on top of new technology and acquire exactly what you need. Each individual event or project could need radically different equipment. If your rental provider doesn’t have the equipment you need, you’ll find yourself having to find a different provider each time. You may also want to ask your provider how often they refresh their inventory or how often they bring their newer products in, as this will be an indication of whether you’ll have access to cutting edge product lines.
- Reliability. It’s not just about the equipment; it’s also about how well the equipment is kept and maintained. Old, poorly maintained equipment is more likely to break down or function erratically, which could ruin whatever plans you have in store. And if the equipment does breakdown, the company needs to be able to respond to the incident quickly with troubleshooting or maintenance calls. The right technology solutions should also be able to outline their contingency plans in the event that something occurs such as an item simply failing to work altogether.
- Accessibility. When it comes to events, it’s very likely that you’ll need technology delivered all across the nation. For that reason, you should always work with a rentals provider that can send equipment all over the world — and it’s best if they have locations in multiple states. A smaller provider is going to have some difficulty getting your equipment to the areas that you need it, especially if you need large volumes of equipment.
How Can You Compare Multiple Providers?
Once you’ve outlined your technology needs, it’s time to request quotes from all of the providers. As mentioned, you want to be comparing the quotes on an apples-to-apples basis, so you may want to familiarize yourself with the different products. Your IT department can help. For instance, both companies may have similar quotes on laptops, but one laptop line could be a substantially older model. An IT professional will be able to tell.
But comparing multiple providers should never be just about the products, it should also be about their customer service standards and their guarantees. Your provider should be able to outline the technical support that they can offer, how their process works, and how quickly you can get the equipment. Once you have all this information, it’s up to you to decide which provider works best for your company’s needs. It may ultimately come down to the speed of delivery and setup, or the amount of comprehensive customer support they can offer.
How Can You Save Money on Technology Rentals?
Every business wants to reduce their expenses. But when it comes to technology, it becomes important to reduce expenses without reducing utility. A technology rentals provider already vastly reduces the cost of rentals, but there’s still more that you can do:
- Make sure that you aren’t requesting redundant equipment. Your IT professionals can find ways to streamline your event. For instance, if you need to collect data and also display information, a kiosk may actually be a better and more functional choice than a variety of tablets that float around the event.
- Choose the right equipment. Though it’s tempting to go for the top line models, you don’t always need them. Take a look at older models; as long as they meet the requirements that you have, there’s nothing wrong with going a little bit older at an event.
- Be realistic about your needs. Delivery costs, in particular, are usually one of the most expensive areas. Don’t rush shipping if you don’t need it — just plan in advance. Likewise, you don’t need to include setup costs if your employees are already going to be on site and are capable of doing it themselves.
What Are Some Warning Signs When Selecting a Provider?
- Poor reviews on the Internet or open issues with the BBB. Though a provider can make any claims about themselves that they want, they cannot control negative reviews on the Internet. Likewise, any open issues with the BBB will be public record. Doing some research on the reputation of the provider can give you a better picture of how reputable they truly are — and what problems they have encountered in the past.
- Pressure to commit to a contract right away. A solid technology provider has more than enough clients to keep themselves busy; they don’t need to engage in high pressure sales tactics. If a sales representative won’t let you end a conversation without signing a contact, it’s generally a bad sign.
- Inability to produce a line-by-line breakdown of costs. A line-by-line breakdown prevents any unforeseen items from coming up later. If the provider cannot offer this type of breakdown, it’s very likely that you’ll see other hidden costs emerge later on. It also makes it very difficult to compare one provider with another.
For many businesses, a technology rentals provider is now absolutely essential. But that doesn’t mean that any provider will do. As you can see, it’s also very important to choose the right provider for your organization — the provider that can offer the best inventory, the best quotes, and the best support. Event Technology Rentals can provide quick quotes for all your technology needs, written to your specifications and entirely hassle free. Aria Technology Solutions specializes in large volume laptop rentals for trade shows.
About the Author:
Jim Jain is SVP at Event Technology Rentals, a leading national provider of iPads, Laptops, Tablets & Computer rentals for Events, Trade Shows and business meetings.