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When Hotels and Convention Centers Overcharge « Rentacomputer Today
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Rentacomputer Today A blog about the latest technology rentals

22Sep/100

When Hotels and Convention Centers Overcharge

Seems that convention centers and hotels overcharge for just about everything these days. I have paid $100 for a folding chair that was worth about $25! I have seen centers charge $3000 for a two day plasma flat screen rental ($1500/day) and $1600 for an internet connection.

Outrageous I say! Outrageous because the convention center can charge what it wants. Some convention centers even make secret deals with AV and Computer Rental companies. In these deals, the Convention Center gets a huge cut, often 100% Markup on the technology rental company's base price. Plus the technology rental provider has to pay a huge up-front fee, just for the privilege of providing their capital equipment to the convention center.

Here is the Bad News

You have to pay. These 'back room' deals have the effect of keeping out competition which keeps prices artificially higher than those convention centers who are open to the best technology service providers.  You end up with crappy equipment you that you way over paid to have.

Artificial Inflated Prices at Some Convention Centers

With some Convention Center getting a huge cut  with no competition, many convention organizers and trade show exhibitors pay double or even triple the 'real' market rate for Plasma Flat Screens, Projectors, Sound Boards, Mics, Speakers, Staging and more.

Here is a Money Saving Secret

Truth be known, 'unofficial' technology rental companies get in anyway, as they should. I won't tell you how, but the Tech Army Membership is an industrious techie group. They have come up with many creative ways to get product to patrons at 'reasonable' market prices, wherever the venue.

Example of a Convention Center Blocking Free Trade from Better Tech Vendors

There currently are 4 'Official' vendors servicing Jacob Javitz and 40+ "Unofficial" vendors who are ready to serve this US based Convention market. (This is America, right? Free market and all)

If you rent a plasma flat screen from an Official Jacob Javitz Vendor, you are likely to pay double the price over what these 40 other companies would charge. Plus, where do you think the 4 'official' vendors get their inventory and extra labor? That's right, from the 40 'unofficial' av technology companies. The convention center want's its cut and gets it because they try to channel all transactions through their 'Official' Vendors.

I'm not saying Jacob Javits is bad or doing anything wrong, but.... the tactics a bad convention center would employ may be considered anti-competitive because of 'exclusive dealings' and some agreements can even utilize collusion to get the deal done.

At least one Tech Army Member rental company has changed verbiage on their Jacob Javits Rental Page.

Here is the Latest Update

Due to pressure from companies wanting to select their own vendor for computer rentals and av equipment, many convention centers are no longer being exclusive by allowing only certain companies who pay huge fees, both upfront and on every deal. Convention centers are offering a disservice to their clientèle while lining their pockets with the premium payment for AV and Computer Rentals.

More Good News for AV Technology Vendors and Customers

At the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) executive conference, held August 9-11, 2010 in Boston, MA, the SISO board and its members sent a powerful message to convention centers and hotels who are in the business of hosting trade shows. SISO said they strongly opposed “any policies whereby facilities require show organizers to use only that facility’s appointed and exclusive in-house vendors for services that would otherwise be widely available in the marketplace.”

They added, “Policies whereby the organizer is limited in its choice of contracting for services will, inevitably, drive both exhibitor and organizer costs needlessly higher, endangering loss of business to the city and the facility by driving shows to more friendly venues without such restrictions.” - Source: Trade Show News Network

Its time that independent Audio Visual and Computer Rental companies unite with a voice for fair, free competition. A voice united in breaking down the illegal trade obstructionist policies by some convention centers and hotels. This includes Las Vegas too. Many hotels and convention centers have their own 'in-house' av. But they allow 'certain' companies the privilege of taking care of hotel clients. That privilege isn't completely free, if you get what I am saying.

We will be recommending to all our clientèle 'FREE TRADE' venues. Hotels and convention centers that want what is best for everyone.

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