Europe remains open for business despite the setback of Brexit. Businesses whose trading horizons are beyond UK shores continue to engage and take part fully in in-person events on the continent.
The logistics of taking equipment from the UK into Europe has become more convoluted and of course associated costs have risen. But it can be done, and is being done. It’s interesting to explore what the options are for clients attending exhibitions and trade shows in Europe.
There are three good reasons why an exhibitor might choose to use a native supplier for their equipment rental.
- Cost. The IT and AV rental market in Europe is less developed than in the UK. There are fewer suppliers and so the rental costs are higher and the availability of kit is less.
- Keyboards. This might sound trivial, but European keyboards are different to English keyboards. Try looking for the @ button on a European keyboard! This lack of familiarity affects people working on the stand and interacting effectively with delegates.
- Language. This can be a barrier when it comes to both ordering the kit and having to deal with staff on site during the set-up and de-rig stages as well as providing IT support during the live event.
The options available to a UK exhibitor attending an event overseas are:
Rental company arranges a carnet for its own kit
In our experience this proves not to be a cost-effective solution for the client. We would need to arrange our own carnet and the cost of this, plus transportation become impractical, especially if the client is taking other collateral to the event themselves.
Client takes rental equipment under their carnet
Exhibitors are most likely taking literature, signage and other marketing materials to their event. They will need to arrange for their own carnet, so it makes total sense for us to provide all of the required equipment to their UK address and for them to ship kit alongside their other materials in a single consignment.
It’s worth mentioning here about our approach to pricing up overseas rental projects. The number of days our own kit is out of stock from our stores will be longer than the number of days the equipment will be ‘in use’ at the event. Travelling means there is a fair amount of non-productive time. We take a fair and pragmatic view on this matter and tend not assume that number days away is equal to the number of hire days. We will look at this on a case by case basis.
A business makes it own local rental arrangements
A company may choose to make its own local arrangements or do something through the event organiser. There is nothing wrong in doing this, we just flag up, so you are aware, the possible issues of equipment (keyboard) configuration, language and costs.
Rental company has a business and equipment within the EU
This is an approach where a rental company sees an opportunity to grow a sizeable revenue stream from international events. The model would most likely see a company formed in Ireland for administration purposes and a storage facility on mainland Europe that could supply popular venues in France, Spain, Germany and Italy.
This is certainly of strategic interest but only in concept at this time. The important thing is that if you are attending an event in Europe and need IT and/or AV kit, we will be able to fulfil your requirements both in terms of product and people to support you if needed.