1. How many times a year do you hire equipment for your shows?
It deapends on what we are doing at the time, for example last year, we had a fault with our analogue lighting desk, hense needed a long time hire of a Demux, we had one on hire for at least 2 / 3 month. But its stock like this which is never really used, I work on a Scout / Guide Gangshow and between them and us, we are the only people that seem to hire it. Not really worthwhile. Due to the fact we were on analogue we never really hired alot, although in the past it has been once or twice a year,but we had a brand new refit over summer and are now completely digital, and hense are hiring more this year than we have in the past, but we are also doing We Will Rock You, so that was expected.
All in all I would say lighting hire once or twice a year from the school, but we do hire on some of the AmDram etc but not so often.
2. Where do you hire the equipment from?
In the past we have always hired from Pearce Hire and Hawthorns, but this year in the aim to get lower prices as we will be hiring a fair amount compared to normal, we have looked further a field and are this year hiring from Mansfield, but this is due to another member of staff knowing the person who runs the company well, which means we have been able to get a good deal for what we asked for. In addition to that one of the theaters I help at had a large stock of equipment and is seasonal, so we have been able to get a good deal from them aswell and some free hire from another show I work on, alone saving us £720. The prices we got are ones I dont think anyone would be able to beat, as we had saved over £2000 between both companies alone against Pearce hire, for the two weeks.
For the Gangshow I am involved in, we hire all our lighting gear from Pearce, but do well due to hiring from them for a large number of years. I really think if you do hire a lot you need good contacts as these seem to help you most defiantly get a better deal. In the past all of our sound gear has come from TEC (Nottingham Student Union), but this year we are hiring from a different company
3. When hiring, what's more important to you apart from safety? (please put 'Y' next to ones that you'd select)N - Age of gear - as long as the gear functions and does what we want we don't mindY - Top industry brands - although not always the better brands tend to have increased reliability, for example, I would not use one of these £300 movers from someone such as CPCY - Appearance of gear - especially if the kit can be seen by the public, it shouldn't look all tatty as what does that reflect on your show.Y - Presentation of gear - as above the gear should be presentable as it is part of the show and people do notice it.Y - Price - price is always a deciding factor in school, some years we have next to no budget, sometimes we do well. It normally depends on how well the last show went.N - Speed of delivery - as long as the kit is there for the day we hired it this does not bother usN - Technical support if needed - we know enough people in the local area who can help us if there is a problem, so this is not always a issue.N - Hirer local to you - if they will deliver and give us a good price we don't mind.Y - Any other - the service and how they treat you, some companies will not even deal with you as you do moot seem to hire enough or often, and when you do hire charge for everything, I guess everywhere does it, but when kit is fitted with 16A we need both 13A/15A - 16A, which very quickly can add up and add another £50 to a weeks hire, which can end up breaking the budget
4. Which kinds of equipment do you hire? (pars, movers, mics, decks etc)As before it depends on what we are doing, this year we are hiring:
profile moverswash moversPAR64s with Scrollers Headset radio mikes DI boxesHazerMirror BallsDMX cable, Power adaptors and Scroller cabling
5. Would a service offering lighting / sound design for your shows be of interest to you?
No, we have both students and staff here interested in light and sound, and hense they design the light and sound, which is then approved and used, as it helps towards there qualification.
Any other comments
I don't know if it is a worth while to start up in this sector, as most school have a preferred company to hire from, due to staff preference and what's been used in the past, schools don't like changing providers of equipment, due to contacts etc, e.g. Most schools get most of there supplies from espo
Thanks for this, this is one of the big questions I have. Is older gear ok to hire or does it need to be spanking new and latest model?
As long as its a reputable brand and not some of this cheap or Chinese knockoffs I wouldn't have a problem, just look at the comments I made in relation to what I wanted from a hire, as long as it meets that, I don't mind. In most cases hires I am involved with we get Mac 250s, which are now discontinued, but they work well so why should we change.
Finally people say about 60 days term for payment, I've never had this problem, actually in the case this year we are paying ahead of the delivery date, so it's just another job out the way, before the stress of a show, but in the past we always paid on drop off back to the company.
If you want any more info just send me a PM.
EDIT: Added information about payment.
This post has been edited by CallumP93: 04 February 2012 - 06:54 PM