One of the most common questions we get as an AV equipment rental company is, “How much does it cost to rent AV equipment for my event?” If you are trying to figure out how much you should be spending and aren’t sure where to start then you’ve come to the right place. Today we will break down some guidelines you can use to determine how much your AV equipment should cost.
The Size of Your Event
Often the bigger event you have, the higher your AV rental costs will be. This is due to the fact that depending on the space you are using, the more people you have attending your event the more audio you will need for them to hear and video setups you need for them to see. If you have separate areas and rooms rented out for your event then there will be more AV setups than if you were just using one large room for the event. All these factors have an effect on how much all of your equipment ends up costing to rent.
Consider The Age of The Equipment
Have you ever wondered why one AV rental company gave you a certain quote for equipment and another AV company gave you a completely different quote for the same type of equipment? This is often due to the fact that the age of the equipment plays a large role in how much it ends up costing to purchase or rent. So even if the brand and type of equipment are the same, if it’s older, it will cost less. So when you see pricing discrepancies, consider if the age of your equipment options may be the reason why they are there.
Use The 10% Rule
A powerful rule of thumb guideline you can use to gauge how much your rented AV equipment should cost is the 10% rule. The key is to take the retail price of the equipment you are considering and divide that price by 10, the number you get is likely how much it will cost you to rent it. Keep in mind, this rule does not apply to every single AV company. Some companies will charge 20% of the retail price per rental or less than 10%, it all depends on different factors such as how long the equipment will last and how long they will keep it as a rental option.
The Different Costs of Brands
Just like with consumer brands, the reputation of a brand does have an effect on how much the equipment ends up costing to rent for your event. A cheap speaker from Walmart often isn’t going to give you the same audio quality for your party as some high powered Sony speakers. The higher quality brands end up costing more, sometimes much more than lesser known brands or brands with weaker reputations. This is an important factor to consider along with the age of the equipment to give you an idea of how fair the price you are paying is.
Setting up AV is often not something just anyone can do. There are some basic pieces of equipment that many people understand or can quickly learn how to use such as a karaoke machine and certain audio technology but most of the time, you will need help setting up from experts who understand how to properly use the equipment. This is where labor costs come in. Labor rates are often offered in hourly rates, half day rates or full day rates with typical hourly costs for labor being $50 to $100. This will, of course, depend on the market you are in and the type of company you are working with. Keep in mind that labor can often be the biggest expense when it comes to renting AV equipment and be sure to budget for it.
The Bigger The City, The Bigger The Cost
Another factor that can have a big effect on your labor and AV equipment rental costs is what city you are renting the equipment in. If you are in a small city with very low cost of living then odds are your AV rental equipment costs will be much lower than if you were renting equipment and labor in New York City or Los Angeles where we are based. We operate in LA and throughout Southern California so typical rates in our region are a little higher than they would be in smaller markets. So if you are planning your event in a big city, be sure to consider your costs will also likely be bigger. This also varies on the company but the market plays a big role.
All the factors we have recommended you consider are general guidelines, not all AV companies work exactly the same, however, this should give you a great framework for being able to quickly determine how much it should cost to rent AV equipment for your event or party. The key is to never go into negotiations with an AV company without having at least an idea of what you should be paying and what factors play a role in what your total costs come out to. If you’re based in Los Angeles or Southern California and are looking to rent projectors, lighting, video or even audio for your event then you may want to check out our packages page which can also give you a better idea of the cost for different audiovisual equipment in Los Angeles.