This interview is thanks to everyone at Millers Party Rental in Akron, Ohio.  While I try not to "promote" certain companies over others, I do have to give a little feedback on my relationship with Miller's. 

I have worked with Miller's over the past 10 years of my career and I can honestly say I would continue working with them for the next hundred.  Miller's has been in business for 60 years and that longevity in the wedding industry is certainly due to their hard work and dedication to success. 
In the essence of this series being about complete honesty, I will say over the past 10 years, I have had issues come up with Miller's.  The times that I have had them (and this is what makes them so good) they are always, always available to fix them problem, whatever it may be, the week, the day and sometimes even the minute I need them.  All rental companies rent equipment, but you will be very lucky if you find another company with the quality of customer service (thank you to Nancy Stevens) that Miller's has to offer. 

With all of that being said I know present you with- Secrets Behind- RENTAL COMPANIES

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: I think one of the biggest misconceptions is a “tent” event is a cheaper way to have an event.  People seem to think they will save money by doing “their own work”.  What they are not thinking about is they are building their event from the ground up.  What a tented event is though is an individual’s highly unique way of expressing their tastes in that they are capable as a customer to rent almost “anything”.  
People believe that the majority of items for an event need to be purchased and don’t have the realization of the rental opportunity and the vast array and variety of items that are available to rent.
What makes the rental industry great are the experience and the service capabilities that are available to the customer as well.  When planning the event we can offer with new ideas, suggestions to make things easier or contacts to bring in that can offer additional products or services. 
Once the event date comes around we can set up the event, stay on site to make sure everything flows smoothly and then knock it down and take it away.  Many times a customer will come to us after the event and ask how everything went, because they were busy supervising other details and were not part of the set up or tear down.   

Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their vendor/site?
A: One of the biggest mistakes in choosing a site is “What is plan B”.  This is especially true of an outdoor event.  A person needs to factor in that plan A is the “perfect” day weather wise.  Plan B is “What can I do if plan A is not really working. 
In addition to having a Plan B, we stress looking at the fine print and the details of the event.  The who, what, when, where and how are the things that need to be understood by all parties involved.  All the vendors involved should have a understanding of the logistics of the event.  The mistakes can be lessened when everyone is on the same page with the details of an event.   

Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a vendor/site?
A: When first selecting the site from a general list I would suggest going off referrals from friends, family, and already hired vendors; as well as the reputation of the vendor/site.
In the final stages of the site selection, start with looks of the site. 
Do you like the look?   
Is it pleasing how it is or do you plan to put money into your décor to “cover up” areas you do not like? 
Are there trees in the way of where your tent is going to be? Do they need trimmed? 
When it comes to a Tent event some of the other questions and points we look for when we spec a location for a tent are:

•    Gas lines, water lines, underground electric.  Driving a tent stake into one of those is not only costly but also dangerous.
•    Power lines … look up… look down… look around…
•    Is your piece of land flat?  Or will the tent company have to adjust a flooring to the piece of land
•    Is there electric? Or will you need generators.
•    Go to your site AFTER it rains. What is the land like…How many days, weeks, months does it take to “dry it out”
•    Is there parking close by?
•    Handicapped accessible? This does not always mean wheelchairs, it can mean elderly, baby strollers, etc… think about HOW your guests are getting to your site.  You may even need to think about a “trolley” or golf carts to get people to where they need to go.
•    Restroom facilities?
•    Outdoor lighting.  When it gets dark, can your guests get to the restroom or do you need to light the way?
•    What way does the wind and rain come from on the chosen property?  This will tell you where you may need possible sidewall.
•    Is the property a “dust bowl”?  Is it so dry and dusty that everything you put on your tables will be dirty before the guests even arrive?

Q: What is the one thing a bride should save on when booking with you?

A: Brides should decide what the most IMPORTANT aspect of their event is.  Actually, make a list. Whatever is on the bottom of that list is what I would “save” on. 
One of the common saving items we encounter are brides purchasing centerpieces or other equipment compared to renting it.  The price to purchase an item combined with the hassle to resell it, store it, or give it away or borrow it out; far out weigh the cost to rent it from a company and let them handle the set-up and removal.   

Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: First and fore most splurge on what is on the top of your IMPORTANT list.  After that, I would suggest splurging on three things.
Have a viable Plan B and Plan C.  Some times things just won’t go perfectly to plan at an event.  When a back up plan is involved, that hiccup in the original plan is less likely to create a disaster. 
A bride should splurge on that little something extra that will make her wedding date that much more memorable, whether its favors, food, or fireworks; what sets her wedding apart from the wedding last weekend or 2 years from now?

Pay for Labor to setup, install, decorate, clean, organize, test, and pickup the entire amount of equipment.  Enjoy your wedding to the very last minute and pay to make sure someone else is around to clean up.  It’s never fun for a bride and groom to clear linens from a table or knock down and stack chairs at the end of the night.

Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made, anyone, ever.
A: The worst thing(s) that I know of that has happened is when a company, who had been warned or knew better then what they did, set up a tent (and a rather large tent at that) in a field and did not secure it properly only to have it fly away and collapse during the event.
The worst mistake a company can make is not knowing the details of the event.  When a company knows the details, they can react timely and correctly if something happens, if they don’t know the details then the situation can be made worse.

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: I would let my customer tell me their dream event and then make it happen. There is no limit.  We would start with on-site labor, decorations, lighting and accenting linens and build from there.  
I have yet to see a private concert by the couple’s favorite band or a fireworks show to end the evening.

Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their vendor/site?

A: The exact details on times and dates of occupation of the site and the included services/labor/products with the agreement as well as the costs of the “extras.” 
Those costs can add up quickly when “extra time”, “extra seats”, and “extra people” are needed.

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: They should come in with an idea of how they want the event to flow, an idea of a budget, allow enough time to make the things that they want happen. 
After that, the biggest thing is communication.  If a bride doesn’t like something let me know.  We will do whatever it takes; to accommodate the bride’s needs or get to a solution that will please everyone. 
I think that even without my initial recommendation of Miller's, the interview speaks for itself.
Another one of my favorite concepts is their Gallery of Ideas- check it out
Miller's Party Rental Center Gallery of Ideas Miller's Party Rental Center Gallery of Ideas Miller's Party Rental Center Gallery of Ideas

As always, would love to hear your feedback, ideas and if you are interested in sharing some "secrets" with the readers, please send me over your information and we can get you featured in the series.