When you are negotiating a contract with your AV supplier, it is best to keep the "win-win" mentality and attitude right from the start. Both the event meeting planning company and the audio visual firm want to achieve the best deal for their respective organizations. For the planner, it is keeping their costs down and for the AV company, it is keeping their profits up. So how can we do this? Below, are six common sense, but creative ways, to work with an event audio visual rental company and make everyone come out of the negotiations with a smile on their face.
- Start with a written Request for Proposal (RFP). Include in the RFP as much information as you possibly can about the event. With respect to interactive technology tool rentals, start with the "must haves" and always include the "nice to haves". If you have worked with this supplier before, ask for their creative input. You might be surprised with the response and it may even save you money!
- Provide the history of the event and trend analysis. If you have been holding the same event for 10 or 15 years, include the AV requirements for each of those years, including the number of attendees, speakers, and rooms in which audiovisual was used. But most importantly, included a detailed 3-year snapshot of your event. This will help the AV company understand whether your attendance is trending up or down and possibly explore alternative methods to reach your audience, such as hybrid technology.
- Determine the flexibility of the day of the week for your meeting. The highest demand for meetings is Monday through Thursday. Can your meeting be held on Friday or during the weekend? Double check with the event audio visual rental company. See when their slowest day or days are. They will be more willing to reduce their fee, if they know it is very likely their equipment will be idle and their people sitting at the home office.
- Schedule your event during a slow time of year. Every city has a "super slow" time of year whether it be Cleveland in January or Tampa in August. Consider hosting your event during that time. Again, check with the AV company to confirm that is the lowest rental time for them. This may not always work for every meeting, but it is a creative option especially when you are working with a really tight budget.
- Get ALL the fees in writing, well before the event. Labor is usually your largest cost for AV, so make certain you understand the labor costs for regular time, time-and-a-half, and any other labor charges you might incur. Determine if this is negotiable (especially if you implement #3 and #4 from above). What about supplies, like batteries, lamps, extension cords? Get this all in writing and see if they will bundle items or provide you with an inclusive price.
- Consider negotiating a yearly or multi-year contract with your AV Supplier. If the rental firm knows all the meetings and their AV requirements up front, it is much easier for them to look at the total picture of profitability.
AV Event Solutions, is your "win-win" audio visual partner! Give us a call today!