Is Renting an Audience Response System for You?
An audience response system is a great way to make an audience more connected to a presentation, meeting, or seminar. However, purchasing such a system is expensive and can expose you to the risk of equipment failure. In many cases, it is actually a better idea to rent an audience response system instead of buying one. This post will list the top 7 reasons to rent instead of buying.
Unless you use audience response on a frequent basis, perhaps ten times a year or more, it is hard to justify buying a full system instead of renting it as needed. Purchasing a system is a large up-front investment, while renting means you can control your costs for each presentation. If you buy a system, you might find that you don’t use it as much as you thought you would, then you have overpaid. On the other hand, when you rent, you decide when you need audience response, so if it turns out that you don’t need the system as often as you thought you did, you aren’t wasting money.
Even when you own the system, it takes a considerable amount of time to train everyone in how to use it, set it up correctly for each presentation, and understand how to display the results in a useful way. It is just like training staff in any other new technology. Furthermore, unless the company uses the response system frequently, nobody can learn how it works from just one training session. Which means that presenters need to spend more time refreshing themselves on how the system works each time they present. On the other hand, rental systems come with trained personnel who can set up and install the technology quickly and easily without using up staff time. The support personnel will also explain how the system works to the presenter, so they get customized training from a knowledgeable expert right before they use the system, as opposed to a training session far in advance and then self-directed review as the presentation approaches.
3. Customized Solutions
One of the main problems while buying an audience response system is that it has to be one-size-fits-all. That is, there is no flexibility to change the system for different presentations, which might have different audiences, rooms, types of audience response questions, and so on. The one system that the company purchases needs to be enough to work for every presentation and meeting the company hosts. The rental approach means that the company can choose the best audience response system for every session. That means having control over the number of keypads, for example. Relying on just one system to work well for every presentation is a risk that renting will eliminate.
Once your company buys an audience response system, they are on their own. A rental unit comes with a consultant who can guide the speaker about the most effective ways to pose questions and pull the most valuable feedback from the audience. They have the experience to know what will make the meeting effective. Not only will this improve the quality of the meeting for the audience, it will also save time for the speaker, who can count on some guidance from the consultant to help them frame their questions.
When it comes to using technology for presentations, there is always a risk of a hardware failure. If you purchased an audience response system, a hardware failure is a serious problem. There is no built-in redundancy for a system you own. On the other hand, rental units always have backups. You can expect that if keypads break or some other part fails to work, the rental package includes backups for each piece of hardware. That removes a lot of uncertainty around whether the presentation will go as planned.
The question about potential problems with an audience response system does not stop at hardware. Software is also vulnerable to issues that can disrupt presentations. This can come from the audience response system itself or conflicts between the system’s software and the software on the company’s computers. A rental unit comes with a professional who will test the system in advance to make sure that it works and is compatible. This, coupled with point five above, means that a rental system is far less likely to fail or not work than a purchased system.
7. Large Meeting Support
For particularly large meetings or presentations that involve hundreds of audience members, audience response systems need special, additional setup and hardware to function properly. If you bought your system, you might not know how to configure it for large audiences, and it will take time to figure it out. Rental systems don’t have this problem, because all installation and setup is the responsibility of the rental company. They understand the system will and will be able to set it up so that it works smoothly no matter how many people are in attendance.
For more information visit: www.meridiaars.com/audience-response-event-rentals
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