April 1, 2016 - Statistics have shown that casinos overpay on production in approximately 90% of cases. For presenters lacking the right expertise, production expenses can break the bank. And although many casino presenters turn to local production companies to guide them on equipment rental, it is not uncommon to find those same casinos overspending on production by over 50% without even knowing it.
For most casinos, having a superstar production manager on staff with thousands of events worth of experience is not an option. And while there is no good substitute for experience, here are some tips that casinos should keep in mind while renting production equipment:
Avoid Equipment Vendors that Over-Deliver
Artists’ production riders are generally considered “wish lists”. Often times, a certain piece of equipment can be substituted for a less expensive one that will achieve the same objective; other times, it can simply be crossed out. And while the potential for huge savings on equipment may exist, one should never forget that the more equipment a vendor rents, the more money he makes.
Therefore, a presenter should never rely on a vendor who profits from equipment rental to minimize costs through aggressive cuts and substitutions. Rather, before renting production equipment, casinos should have an unbiased production expert – someone other than the equipment vendor – separate the true requirements from the wish-list items.
Avoid Equipment Vendors that Under-Deliver
Bidding out to multiple vendors is generally good practice. But when it comes to production equipment vendors, the lowest bidder often under-delivers without the presenter’s knowledge in order to win the business. Alternatively, the highest bidder is often perceived as offering best quality but is actually under-delivering in favor of greater margins. In both cases, despite overpaying, the low production values result in poor experiences for both artist and audience.
So, before renting production equipment, casinos should have an unbiased production expert – someone other than the equipment vendor – properly assess the bids for both quality and cost.
Explore Beyond Local Providers
Local equipment providers often have little competition on the local level, allowing them to charge a premium on rentals. On the flip side, local vendors also have a limited pool of local clientele to draw from, which is why they will often jump at the chance to venture several hundred miles out of their area if an opportunity arises. Ultimately, most production vendors finance their equipment purchases, so they cannot afford to have equipment lying idle.
Once a presenter starts exploring non-local vendors, the competitive dynamics among equipment vendors change significantly in favor of the casino. Even so, the casino should still have an unbiased production expert – someone other than the equipment vendor – identify the deal that will yield the ideal combination of low cost and high production value.
Piggyback On Volume Deals
Some production companies like Yapsody manage production logistics for multiple presenters and have no financial interest in the rental or sale of production equipment. Instead, they generally have pre-negotiated deals with equipment suppliers that rival the quality and price that a casino can achieve on its own. Such companies not only allow casinos to piggyback on volume equipment deals, but they act as a highly reliable resource for assessing equipment suppliers’ bids from both a quality and cost perspective.
Relying solely on a production equipment vendor is tantamount to putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. However, having unbiased representation gives a casino the checks and balances required to ensure high production quality at a very attractive price.