Preserve Cash Flow- Rent Your Scenic Design!
September 14, 2022
In order to maintain a healthy cash flow, it is important for businesses to keep unnecessary expenses low. We want to help you do that. Evaluate the frequency with which you will need a scenic design. If you partake in 5 plus events a year, you may want to consider purchasing the scenic design. However, if you only hold one or two events a year, renting a design is a fabulous option.
When considering renting equipment instead of purchasing it outright, what are your options? Scenic design includes backdrops, podiums, flat walls, and masking. By renting these items rather than buying them, your business can preserve its cash flow and stay afloat during difficult times, like a Global Pandemic for example. . . Rental allows you to customize a design for every client and adapt to the many different size ballrooms they are likely to inhabit. In addition, renting scenic design pieces allows you to save money on storage and maintenance costs.
If you already have a full staff, is it not more lucrative to just buy the materials and bring in the extra money yourself? Not always. Under the right circumstances, this can be done and will be worth it, however, more often than not, it ends up becoming more expensive and time-consuming. In the event planning industry, we see this situation often with Audio Visual companies. They often decide to invest in a singular scenic backdrop that they can then rent out to their book of clients. And it can work successfully if you appoint a member of your team to oversee and own the management of that purchase. But in this situation, there is a decent number of potential issues that may arise.
Event Backdrop Rental Vs Purchase
While owning the products you include in your packages may sound ideal, there are certain criteria your business will have to meet for it to be lucrative. So, before you commit to investing in the materials necessary to provide scenic event backdrop rental services, consider the following factors and what hidden costs may be associated with them.
Branding- The price tag of the backdrop itself is not where the buck stops for this particular business venture. Consider any custom branding your client will most likely request to tailor it to their event. Ideally, you contract with your scenic vendor to provide custom printing and absorb the strain of staying current with fabrics, finishing details, as well as best practices for art file handling. If you decide to handle the custom printing through other vendor relationships, be prepared for unexpected hidden costs and headaches as it will be your responsibility to manage all the details.
Staff- While yes, you already have a staff ready to go, consider the job duties those staff members have currently. The number of staff needed to provide AV services in addition to scenic backdrop design services is considerably more than providing just one. Remember, these two services are not one and the same. Each requires man hours, skill, and experience in order to get it done properly. Adding in the amount of extra staff, or hours needed will mean adding cost to your current payroll and time to your team’s already full schedules.
Modularity & Shipping- This is probably the most important factor of all, the modularity of the scenic design. The cost of shipping will be significant, this is a cost that is ever-changing and unavoidable. The bigger the shipments, the more costly to ship. Creating an event backdrop that is modular enough to break down into affordable shipments takes a certain level of skill to be achieved. Not to mention, you will need your backdrop to be modular enough to make its way through the narrow hallways of the venue. One thing we know to be true: not all loading zones, hallways, and elevators are backdrop friendly.
Labor- The cost of installation and tear down is also important to consider. You should certainly add an upcharge for this additional feature, it is something that you will need to consider when adding up your bottom line. Not all events you rent out to will be local and any laborers you use will need to be vetted. This is time and money that can be spent on your core business.
What Will It Take To Make Purchasing A Scenic Design Worth It?
Purchasing instead of renting means appointing at least one staff member to own and understand this new product. They will need to develop the skill and experience necessary to handle all problems that will inevitably need solving. Just because you have set up a scenic backdrop before, does not mean you will know what to do when something goes wrong and you may not have the scenic network to help resolve the problem in time for your event. For this venture to be lucrative, you will need to have a client who will reuse the same scenic design multiple times. If you are only working with a client 2-3 times a year, this will be more costly. If you have one client whom you will take on 10-15 times a year, this may be a profitable venture. It all comes down to the details. Ultimately, unless you know for a fact you will reuse your design over and over, it is best to leave it to the professionals and go with an event backdrop rental. If you have any questions, problems, or inquiries, please feel free to reach out to the team at Expressive Structures. With many years, clients, and event types under our belt, we pride ourselves on our ability to find a solution to any problem you can throw at us.All Blog Articles