Before you hire a party rental company, know that the difference between having an awesome experience that will go flawlessly and one that you will want to forget about often depends on your homework. Expert party planners already have a list of local party rental services they have vetted and worked with in the past to call upon for their clients, but what if you’re planning the event yourself? In this article we will explain the main qualities the pros use to evaluate and select the rental companies they do business with.
Simply follow the guidelines below when compiling your short list of candidates then use your critical thinking skills to effectively decide which one is best. Take your time when asking your questions and don’t get ahead of yourself or take shortcuts in the research process and you’ll be able to find the best one for your needs. When you’ve finished reading this article, click here for more in depth tips that you should consider when hiring a party rental company and creative ways that you can save money when doing so.
Hiring a Party Planner
Before you decide on going it yourself on hiring a party rental company (or any other service for your event), think if it is important enough to hire a creative party planner instead to handle all the details. He or she would be able to take your ideas and help you establish a solid budget for the event. They will then deal with the stress of finding and hiring your vendors while you sit back and dream of how awesome everything will come out! While their expertise will add some to the costs, hiring a professional party planner will guarantee you get the best rental company as well as any other local service needed. Remember that it’s what they do for a living and their reputation is on the line, so if the wedding or event is important enough, hire a party planner with confidence!
If you prefer to do your research yourself, know that the most important thing to consider is the reputation of the party rental company that you are looking into. Although you will likely not have any previous experience with any of the services you are considering, by leveraging established sites like Decidio, Yelp, Facebook, and The Knot you will get a great idea of what kind of service to expect from them. While reviews may or may not be trustworthy on some sites (they can be easily bought or manipulated) they can give you a general sense of what kind of business it is.
Another good indicator is if the rental company you are considering has a social media presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. Services engaged on social media are generally more transparent and accessible to their customers, meaning they care about their reputation.
Another great way to determine the reputation of a party or wedding rental service you are considering is to simply ask them during the interview process if there are any local banquet facilities or related businesses that have them as an approved or preferred vendor. Businesses are very careful of their own reputation, and will not recommend any vendor that will reflect poorly on them.
Reliability and Responsiveness
How reliable is the party rental company that you are looking at? Do they promptly answer your phone calls and give non-evasive answers to your questions? What are their policies about changing orders? While it may seem like a lot of questions, the truth is that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask about the party rental company’s reliability and responsiveness. Make sure that they are responding to your emails in a timely fashion, are open to exchanging ideas, and actively listen to your needs and concerns before you hire them.
A good party rental company will usually have the latest high quality equipment in inventory. Pictures on a website may look great, but if your event is important enough it only takes a few minutes of your time to check out their website or warehouse to verify. Does the actual equipment look worn down? How large is their inventory selection?
Remember that the equipment will be used by YOUR invited guests, which means that the condition of the equipment will reflect on you. Your guests will eat and drink off plates, silverware, and glassware. They will dance on rented dance floors and be sheltered in weatherproof tents. Children will play in giant inflatables and bounce houses. If the vendor’s inventory is not in good condition, give yourself a pat on the back for your due diligence and move on to the next company on your list.
Creativity and Experience
Like party planners, rental companies are all different and each one specializes in different things. Some specialize in only tents, others on creative events, and yet others on inflatables and backyard kid’s parties. Find one close to your event location that provides the rentals you are looking for (not outsourced to a third party) then drop by their location to see for yourself and sign the rental contract.
Ideally, you will want a party rental company that has the experience and creativity that you’re looking for. What is their experience and can they adhere to your specific style? Are they creative enough to match the needs of your party? Also keep in mind that if you are the one hosting the event, you’ll want a team that is professional and represents their company to the best of their ability.
Quality of Team
How does the party rental company handle their on location and off location customer service? Is their team experienced enough to handle your desires professionally? The key to a good party rental company is how well they interact with you as well as the other people coming to the event. While there are many small things that someone with experience will know, you’ll ultimately want to interview them and make the decision yourself whether or not you feel comfortable with them around your guests.
Regardless of the state of the general economy, it is important that you know that any local party rental service you hire will actually be around on the date of your event. Since events are planned months in advance, you’ll want a team that isn’t likely to go out of business during that time. A good indicator that you can use to determine this is whether or not the party company has a variety of new and well-maintained inventory. An even better indicator of stability is how long the vendor has been in business, with older and more established companies being preferable.
Regardless of how confident you are, whether the company has been around forever, has the latest equipment and has five star reviews online, ALWAYS GET A SIGNED CONTRACT. Always make sure that you receive an itemized list of specific services provided and some type of guarantee when dealing with a party rental company. The reason you want a written guarantee is to cover you in the event the company does not perform as expected or show up with broken items or incorrect items. This way you have legal recourse and can get your money back in the case something happens.
Make sure that you understand the value that you’re receiving when hiring a party rental company. Some companies that provide superior service may be justified in charging higher prices than others in your area. Also make sure that you are aware of hidden fees and know exactly what you are going to be charged for in the contract. Always get both an itemized list and the final amount in writing and make sure that you understand everything before signing the dotted line.