Spotlight on Meetings and Conventions

Event rental companies: Top 4 tips to selecting the best one for your event

Credit: Location Gervais Québec

While you may have covered the theme and overall decor, venue, catering and entertainment, are you sure you’ve gotten your event rental equipment down to a T? You can have the most unique and engaging theme, but if your rental products—dining ware, furniture, accessories and décor items—are not up to par in terms of availability and quality, you’ll achieve lackluster results at best. 


We spoke with Janie Gagnon, Advisor at K Par K / Location Gervais Québec on the importance of choosing the right rental company for your upcoming event.

Founded in 1919 and with locations in Québec City, Montréal and Ottawa, this turnkey rental company boasts over 50,000 square feet of warehouse space, chock full of rental equipment, and a network of third-party partners that help it design custom products for one-of-a-kind themes.

Credit: Moodboard Zoom

“By understanding our clients’ visions, we can work to find the best and most affordable decors aligned with their chosen themes,” she explained. “In fact, many times, clients come to us with many different images, and we make it our goal to create a mood board that reflects the look they are looking for.”

Once you’ve got your mind set on the theme, now it’s time to research rental companies. Here are some top questions you should ask potential suppliers:


Does the company know the host city’s venues?

“You want to make sure that the rental company knows the pros and cons, the configuration, the people, the accessibility of your host city’s venues,” said Ms. Gagnon. Without this vital information, a rental company may not be able to replicate the theme you want due to infrastructure issues or city regulations.

“For example, we are a one-stop shop for everything—accessories, cutlery and dishes, furniture, carpets, tables, chairs, centrepieces, tents, BBQs…you name it! 

Does the company offer a lot of variety, quality and availability?

A good rental company would either have a lot of inventory to choose from or partners that can readily provide items that you need for your event. “For example, we are a one-stop shop for everything—accessories, cutlery and dishes, furniture, carpets, tables, chairs, centrepieces, tents, BBQs…you name it! 

K Par K / Location Gervais has its very own sewing department, which is useful for table linen or curtains, and workshop to create tailor-made furniture in its Montréal location. Ms. Gagnon added: “If the client wants an Alice in Wonderlands ambiance, we have everything to create it.” Ms. Gagnon also recommends making sure that the rental company has enough inventory.

Credit: Location Gervais Québec Zoom

Finally, visit the show room or ask for images if you cannot visit the company. “Quality is key in rental equipment.” Make sure that you and the rental company are on the same page as to the level of equipment and décor quality you want,” Ms. Gagnon said. 

What services does the rental company offer?

Surprisingly, some rental companies don’t offer setup or takedown services. Others may have restrictions regarding delivery and pickup times. Read the fine print of any agreement and ensure that you fully understand what costs are included in your package and those that require that you fork out extra sums. Above all, work with potential rental companies to hone out realistic schedules, responsibilities and guarantees in the case of late deliveries, no-shows or damaged items.

Credit: Location Gervais Québec Zoom

Does the rental company have a solid reputation and good client references?

Not all rental companies are created equal. Some specialize in large-scale events, while others focus on smaller affairs. If you are organizing an awards ceremony, for example, that will play host to over 300 delegates, make sure the rental company has the wherewithal to handle such a big function.

Don’t just rely on a snazzy portfolio or glossy pics. Ask for client references—and follow up with them! Inquire how past client events occurred, along with the hits and misses. And ask around! Representatives from your host city can provide guidance on which rental companies fit the bill for your unique event.

Event rentals companies are a key supplier for your overall event. “Event planners needs to work with seasoned professionals to create the atmosphere of their dreams. Setting aside enough time is your surefire way of making it happen,” Ms. Gagnon concluded.

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