What can I rent for a party?

Most party and event companies offer a variety of styles, themes and equipment that are best suited to the occasion.

For parties and events involving children, party planners can arrange inflatable rides and water-play activities, along with appropriate entertainers from clowns to magicians who are always big hits at birthday parties. Some companies will also coordinate animals and staff for petting zoos and cotton candy, popcorn and snow cone machines. A specialty limo can add a touch of class and cool as well. 

If the event is more adult-oriented, most companies will make games, tables and hosts available. Some companies may also have chocolate fountains and even frozen drink machines for making margaritas and daiquiris. (You'll need a liquor license if you're serving alcohol.) 

Most party rentals and event set-up companies will also have a variety of glassware, linens and cutlery for food and beverage service, as well as music and sound equipment, lighting and options for heating and flooring.

You should rely on companies that offer event set-up and coordination to pick up, deliver and set up tents, tables, chairs, coat racks and temporary signs. They will also offer staff to supervise the use of inflatable toys and equipment. Many will also have DJs with sound systems to provide entertainment.

Many can also provide or pick up, deliver and serve food and beverages and then collect and remove recycling and food waste, as well as dismantle and remove all equipment and rentals at the end of the party or event. If the event involves transportation, a party planner can set you up with a limo or party bus as well.

You should research and call to be sure the chosen company offers the services needed, because some only focus on one aspect of service. Some event set-up companies will offer vendor pickup, event delivery, equipment set-up and post-event clean up, but do not rent out supplies or equipment, book event spaces or arrange catering or parking. By taking time to thoroughly discuss options and get an estimate, there will be fewer surprises and nothing will be left to chance.

Some party planners cater to specific niches outside the classic party idea, such as birthday parties for pets. 

What goes into planning an event?

Step one in the process is to call ahead to book a venue, arrange for catering and place orders for equipment and furniture for the event.

Hosting a party or event requires careful planning, communication and coordination, but hiring extra help from professionals can streamline the entire process ensuring the success of any event or party, big or small. They can help you deal with details you might not think about like weather, budget and reservations.

The company that you hire can likely pick up goods from suppliers, deliver items to the event location, unload and set up everything including tents, tables, chairs, coat racks and garbage and recycling containers and decorate and install temporary signage as needed. The service provider may also be able to serve food and beverages and provide entertainment depending on what package is chosen.

After the event the company will disassemble and remove all rental equipment and clean up the event site.

Party rental equipment cost

Each party or event is different, and most companies will customize a package that best suits their clients' requirements. Costs vary based on the type of event, the budget, the number of guests, the venue and specific requests of the host of the party or event.

Before inviting guests to a party or event, setting up a spreadsheet can be very helpful. This is especially the case if tickets will be sold, because you can set the price to help recoup the cost of the event.

In addition to the costs of renting equipment, you will probably need to pay up-front deposits. Although these deposits often go toward the final cost or are refundable, that cash will still be needed before revenue from ticket sales becomes available, so plan very carefully.

Depending on the laws in a particular area, the costs involved with holding charitable events may be tax-deductible, so you should find that out before planning commences. In these cases, you'll need tax-exempt documentation to provide to the company.

When should I sign a rental agreement?

When renting party equipment, companies will usually require you to sign a written agreement. Most agreements will state that the host is responsible for the use of rented items, will assume all risks involved with the operation and use of the rental items and will hold the rental company harmless for damages to individuals or personal property in connection with the event.

The individual renting the equipment will assume all risks relating to the delivery, unloading, installation, dismantling and use as well.

Make sure you know what's covered and what's not before you sign any rental agreement.

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