You’ve done your research. You know what kind of party you want to throw, you know your budget, you know what items you’ll most likely need to pull off the shindig, and you’ve researched the party planning companies in your area. You’ve read reviews to confirm that your favorite event rental company is reliable, punctual, and rents clean, high quality items. The pricing seems fair for the quality of items you’ll be renting. You’ve spoken with them on the phone and even visited their showroom— but are you ready to sign the contract yet?
Not quite. There’s a lot that goes into throwing the perfect party or event, and it’s important to know the details before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Do they have experience with throwing the kind of event or party you’re planning? Do they have a portfolio of past events that they can show you?
The last thing you want is for your party to fall flat because your event rental company didn’t have the experience to know how to handle certain events— such as to always plan for extra tableware if food will be served; you will inevitably need more than you thought you would.
But don’t write off new companies, either. Most event rental companies are started by people who have some experience in the field. That’s why it’s important to talk to them about their past experience. They get bonus points if they are willing to provide references!
2. Do they have all of the items you’ll need for your event?
If it’s not something that they regularly carry, are they able to acquire a quality item to meet your needs? If you need any custom work done, are they able to accommodate these items? It’s better to know if you need to look elsewhere before you sign any contracts or make any deposits!
3. If they do not, do they partner with any other companies that they can vouch for?
And will they handle any necessary coordination with these other companies? It’s important to know what you’ll be responsible for managing. Some party rental companies have specialities, such as Bounce Houses or floral centerpieces, but often team up with other companies. Referrals can give you a great place to start if you need to hire any additional companies for your event.
4. What additional services do they provide?
Do they handle pick up, set up, and drop off? Is there an additional fee for these tasks? Again, it’s important to understand what you’ll be responsible for so that you can plan ahead. No one wants to spend the precious hours before an event on unplanned table set ups.
5. If you need people on-site, such as a bartender or a DJ, do they staff these roles?
It’s better if it’s a professional who they have worked with before, rather than someone they just found through word of mouth.
6. What do they do if an item you rent becomes unavailable?
Sometimes items get damaged at events, and this can affect other clients. If the event rental company doesn’t have a contingency plan or policy in place, it may be smart to look elsewhere.
7. What is their damage policy? Do they offer insurance for their items?
Again, damage happens. Make sure that your responsibility for damaged items is clearly defined and consider purchasing insurance for spendy items. It’s better to have the insurance and not need it than be stuck with a hefty repair or replacement bill.
8. If any certifications are needed to install items, operate machinery, or provide services, do they possess these valid credentials?
Some equipment requires a certification to operate or install. If someone is injured because the person operating or installing the equipment didn’t have the proper knowledge, skill, and certifications, this could count as negligence and you could be held liable. It’s a good idea to check to make sure your event rental company understands and adheres to any safety rules and regulations that may apply to your event.
9. What is their cancellation policy?
While we all hope to never have to cancel a party, it does happen. Make sure you understand any cancelation and deposit policies regarding your event.
10. Do they seem uncomfortable with you asking all of these questions?
If so, run away! Any company that is not willing to take the time to answer your questions isn’t the right company for you. Your perfect event rental company will be attentive and happy to answer any and all of your questions!
There you have it! While this is not an exhaustive list of questions, we do think it’s a great place to start when delving into the business side of planning your event. The key components boil down to understanding your responsibilities and the responsibilities of your event rental company of choice. Once the business side of things is taken care of, you get to move to the fun part: picking out all of the event decorations!