Events: Rent vs. Buy

When many people think of events, they think of the centerpieces + the napkin colors + all of the decor that completes a space. For our team at The Event Company, this is one of the smallest aspects of our day-to-day roles, but it is one of the most fun aspects where we get to exercise our creative juices. As stewards of hard-earned non-profit dollars, in the case of many of our events, we are always mindful of what we spend on decor. Our team is constantly discussing how we can best manage these dollars, ultimately becoming a discussion on renting versus buying decor. 

Here are a few thoughts + tips on the benefits of renting or buying to help save funds in regards to events:

Centerpieces 

Our team members are major fans of renting most centerpieces. We like to keep things new + fresh in regards to our events that are happening year after year. Many florists or rental companies have a large variety of vases or staging items that would work to hold fresh flowers or to be used as other staging items that you could use as a centerpiece or other elements around the room! One of the best aspects of renting vases for floral arrangements is that since the flowers themselves are purchased by the client, those flowers can be given to staff + volunteers at the end of the night to enjoy + thank them for their work!

Linens + Tables + Chairs

In most cases, we are proponents of renting everything when it comes to tables, chairs, linens, etc. It’s a challenge to find the space + the money for larger items like this. Plus, it’s essential to keep things fresh + new. Now, if you are continuously renting small amounts of these items, we do recommend purchasing if you can validate their use over time. It’s much cheaper to buy a couple of table linens with cleaning if you are using them every few months rather than renting them each time…but for large-scale events, we always encourage renting!

Signage + Printing

We use a variety of items for rent or purchase when it comes to signage + printing. Many of our signs go into a small acrylic frame. If you plan to consistently use these multiple times for many years, this is an item we would encourage purchasing. We take the same approach with easels – having a small inventory of these is very handy. In the case of outdoor events or larger events, many rental companies have a-frame or sign holders for larger print items that are great rental pieces because they are expensive + require large storage space. 

We hope these tips will help you when thinking of renting versus buying for your future events. Our rule of thumb, purchase small amounts of things that you will use many, many times…otherwise, rent away!

Happy event’ing!
Kali Trautman
Director of Event Operations

Photos by Sydney Jo’s Photos.