Mulligan Management Group, LLC

6 Ways to Save on Event Rentals

  If you are like me when planning a meeting or event, the rentals portion of the budget can consume your time and energy. But it doesn’t have to; if you just have the courage to ask the right questions to your boss, stake holders and most importantly, your rental vendor.

Here are some tips I have learn along the way that can help you obtain what you need and preferably get what you want, all without blowing a hole into your budget. These are formulated as questions that you can ask when negotiating your next rental contract.

How Flexible are Your Meeting Dates?

Every event rental company has their slow seasons and days of the week. Find out what times are considered off-season for your vendor. Remember, some business is better than no business.

What do you need? What do you want?

It is really important to prioritize what you absolutely need versus what you would like to have at your meeting. Start with your “deal breaker” needs and work up a continuum listing to your greatest want. This will keep your requests real and you can peel off the nice-to-have items if you must.

Can you engage in a Multi-Meeting and/or Multi-Year Contract?

Rental vendors, much like you, are driven by their numbers and profit margins. If they know they are going to be involved in 15 of your meetings over the next two years, they are more likely to sharpen their pencil and treat the aggregate business as one contract. This can definitely work to both of yours advantage; you get the concessions you want and they get the guaranteed revenue they need.

Can you Obtain Additional Products and Services from the Vendor?

Many organizations offer a lot more than you have contracted with them in the past. For example, a typical audio visual company now offers computers, copiers and Wi-Fi router rentals. A table and chairs vendor can be into lighting and AV.

My point is, find out all their services and see if you can combine your requirements with fewer vendors to save on logistical headaches and ultimately save you on rental fees.

Can you go Local?

I probably don’t need to say this, but if you go with a local organization there are many advantages besides cost. From a cost factor alone, you save on packing, unpacking, shipping and storage charges. From an environmental factor, you are going green because your carbon footprint is much lower. And from a last-minute needs standpoint, a local provider can run across town and get you what you need.

Have You Checked Your Total Spend with Your Partner?

Even if you can’t consolidate contracts or offer the vendor multiple meetings, perhaps your spend with them is still great. And in this case, you should be able to negotiate some comp items that are low cost to the vendor but important to you.


In summary, try and look at the big picture and get creative in your negotiations. No one wants to be hammered on price alone. Look at it through the lens of the vendor and work toward an amicable solution for all. 

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