Today’s guest post is by Andrew Taffin, CEO of Tallen Technology Rentals
When you undertake the planning of a series of meetings in multiple cities, key to success is figuring out the best way to form relationships with nationwide AV providers. Who is your first point of contact for each event? How do you negotiate pricing across the board? How can you ensure you’ll receive consistent levels of service?
Here's a brief guide to help planners better manage and leverage relationships with nationwide vendors when sourcing audiovisual gear for multistate meetings.
One Point of Contact
The most optimal setup is to work directly with one POC who will coordinate all aspects of the logistical requirements for all of your meetings around the country—you don’t want to be dealing with a different POC for each AV vendor for each specific meeting. This saves a great deal of time, because the vendor can replicate efforts where possible. In other words, it won’t be necessary to reinvent the wheel for each event. Because the account management team is going to know you (the planner) and the meeting owner, the vendor should be able to put together the correct combination of equipment and personnel each and every time.
Fees & Pricing
While comparing AV vendors and budgeting internally for costs, be sure to get a complete overview of all fees and pricing involved with using each vendor. Logic may suggest that better pricing is available with a local company for a local event; however, in the meeting technology rental industry, this often is not the case. By working with a national AV provider for multiple meetings across different states, you may negotiate better pricing than with individual local vendors since you will be operating at higher volume or activity levels. The bottom line is that it’s also going to help you to negotiate better prices across the board simply because you are using one supplier—and spending more money with said supplier.
One of the most significant benefits to using a nationwide AV provider is that you can demand a consistency of service—no matter where the meeting takes place, make sure to take advantage of the opportunity to work with the same lead technical personnel. Along with consistency on the human capital side, the nationwide provider can call upon inventory resources all over the country—and that is an important aspect, because not only will the planner be able to depend on access to the same state-of-the-art equipment for each meeting, it will drive overall costs higher if the vendor has to ship or truck the gear across significant distances.
Andrew Taffin, CEO of Tallen Technology Rentals, cofounded the Iselin, N.J.–based nationwide audiovisual company in 2002. A regular speaker at industry conferences and events, Andrew is also one of the founding members and former president, of the International Technology Rental Association (ITRA). For more information please email [email protected] and visit www.tallen-inc.com.