AV rentals can be essential to a wide range of events and presentations. You don't always want to keep equipment around, especially if you're going to be dealing with changing needs. Likewise, it's good to know you can scale up or down to your function's requirements. To get the most out of your efforts, here are some tips for dealing with an AV service provider.
Don't Just Hand Them a List
Putting a giant list in front of someone doesn't help them fully understand your needs. This can become especially problematic if components have to be substituted in order to meet your needs.
Instead, try to provide the folks you're renting from with as detailed a summary of your needs as possible. If you have a list of components, attach an explanation regarding what each one is for. They may even be able to make suggestions regarding better solutions at better prices. There's no such thing as TMI when acquiring rented Av equipment.
Build in Return Time
You may not want to rush to break down a large-screen projection setup and return it to beat a deadline, especially after a long day of holding an event. It's best to be generous in estimating how long you'll require equipment for.
Many companies have penalties in place that are over and above the daily fees for systems that aren't returned in a timely manner. This is to ensure that they can get the equipment out to other customers. You don't want to become a frustrating client who keeps everything too long.
You don't want to plug your laptop into a system only to discover that something is incompatible. Try to have equipment delivered at least half a day in advance so you can do a preflight check. Having the right connector isn't always good enough. Do a full dry run to ensure that everything works perfectly. It's also a good idea to directly ask your AV rental supplier how long they would need to replace something that didn't work.
If you're dealing with a multiday event, preflight the equipment every day. Small bumps and vibrations can cause things to become misaligned or disconnected.
Don't Hesitate to Ask for Help
During an event or a presentation, you shouldn't spend a ton of time figuring technology out. When in doubt, ask for assistance from the professionals. You might end up paying a little more for the help, but you won't regret it.