I've been in the event industry on one side of it or the other for the better part of 15 years. I've worked on weddings, birthday celebrations, baby showers, board meetings, corporate galas, the list goes on. They each have obviously separate purposes and, therefore as you might imagine, each event looks and feels very different from the other.
Several years ago, I helped plan a donor appreciation gala for a nonprofit, their first of many to come. Besides the basics like chairs, linen, drapery, lighting and audio-visual expenses, a pretty hefty portion of the budget was appropriated for decor -- themed centerpieces for 80 tables, custom seating display walls, table numbers, and specialty menus. As we planned the look and theme of the gala we researched rental prices versus the price to purchase certain items and found it less expensive sometimes to just buy.
Though we looked to rent whenever possible, some items were just less expensive to purchase; and we further justified buying by deducing the items could be reused at later events. What we found is what I'm going to share with you and what I share with all of my clients looking to save time and money.
Buying event decor is typically a waste of money and a waste of valuable time. This is particularly true for individuals but can also rein true for many organizations. You see, you typically don't reuse those items. Unless you are an event planner or you host multiple same purpose events or themed activities where purchasing decor would be useful, it can end up being just unnecessary hassle. The items we purchased for that nonprofit, gather dust in a storage location as each gala or event we hosted looked differently and served different purposes. There are some items that we got multiple uses from, but on a whole, the powers that be wanted each event to feel grandeur than the next and so our purchases, though cost them a bit less, now incur additional expenses in storage space.
But to be clear, I'm mainly talking to my DIY brides, my best friends throwing baby showers, big sisters putting together graduation parties, and siblings hosting mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary. These one time special events can require a lot of decorating and a lot of money, and unless you'll reuse the items, it's an easier option to just rent. There's the obvious understanding of renting chairs and tables, linen and utensils, then many people just buy the decor; but what do you do with 30 candleholders or 25 tall vases after the event is over? You have to store them, give them away, or find a way to sell just to make space in your home or garage. To avoid all of that, 876 Events & Rentals offer low rental rates to make renting more cost-effective than buying. Here are the top 5 reasons we give our clients on why renting makes more sense:
1. No post-event storage required
2. No hassle of trying to resell or give away items
3. You're not going to use it again anyway
4. We offer it for less
5. Help setting up and breaking down is an enormous time value
Ultimately, be sure to always shop around for the best prices and keep in mind what happens after the event. Consider if having an item temporarily is more sensible for you, your space, and your needs or if it's worth keeping or storing indefinitely.