5 Tips for Renting Event Gear

December 9, 2011 by CHAUVET DJ

by Allan Reiss, CHAUVET DJ Product Manager

You’re a dedicated DJ; you constantly improve your rig, and you like being in charge of your event. Sometimes though what you bring to the (DJ) table is not enough. The event you are trying to book might be too big, and you don’t possess enough lights or you need lights that are not part of your inventory. This is when you consider renting extra gear. But before you do, read below and do your homework. Here is what you need to take into consideration when renting:

1. You will have to ‘deal’ with your dealer. A good idea is to work with a dealer you already know and have a good rapport with. If you don’t really know what extra lights you need this person will recommend some for you. Make sure you are clear about pricing and transportation. Most likely the dealer will not provide transportation, so you will have to take care of getting the fixtures to the venue. Quick note: Take care of the gear you rent like it’s your own. Rental houses will charge you for damage, and more importantly you could damage the relationship and not be allowed to rent gear from them again; or they will offer it to you at a significantly higher rate.

2. How much extra labor will you need? Before you decide to hire people to help you out, inspect the venue, see how big the area is, know how many lights you have to install and how fast. Timing is very important. Some facilities have back-to-back events, which means you will be allotted the exact time for setup. If you only have a half-hour to do what normally takes you one hour, you will need to have extra help to get the job done.

3. Transportation. The minivan that you usually use might not be enough, so you have to consider renting a truck. Just schedule everything in advance, and things should run smoothly. Also, if you hire people to help you, make sure they have the means to get to the event and they don’t expect a ride from you.

4. Coordinate everything. Jot down a list of tasks, create an agenda on your tablet and keep track of your schedule and costs. Being organized is key to a successful event and will add to your professionalism.

5. Seal the deal. If your quote is accurate and backed up by your research, present it to your client and remember to get a deposit to lock in the deal. After all the efforts, you deserve some compensation!

Quick tips:
•    Don’t forget the cable!  Having an extra 20 wall uplights won’t do any good if you can’t turn them on. Unless you’re using wireless fixtures, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough extra power and data cables for all of the lights you’re adding.
•    Watch for extra costs! When you check out the venue inquire about extra costs. Some facilities charge extra for electricity (making battery-powered fixtures more cost effective) or require temporary insurance—when running a fogger for example—which is something you have to bring to the attention of your client.

Now that you know how to handle renting, make some efforts to book that big gig. You can do it!


Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs