Production Gear: Rent or Buy?

Make the most out of worship AVL in your temporary facility now, save money for later

One of the biggest challenges of meeting in a temporary facility is creating an intimate and engaging environment in a space that is probably unequipped for your church’s needs.

Introducing strategic audio, video and lighting (AVL) elements is one way to address this issue. But in order to save time and money while continuing to grow your ministry, you’ll need to make smart decisions about renting or buying gear.

While you’ll want to know what can be taken from the temporary location to the permanent facility, renting versus buying is a little more complicated than that. A professional AVL gear rental and installation company that understands your current (and future) needs can help make it simple for you.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Audio

Because their performance is not related to the size or specifics of a space, consoles and microphones are good candidates for an equipment purchase.

On the other hand the requirements for PA speakers in a temporary facility will differ greatly from a permanent structure, making renting a common option. If PA speakers will be frequently set up and taken down in your temporary facility, they need to be more durable than an installed PA system to withstand that usage. In some cases, you may even consider touring-grade PA speakers to minimize any potential damage during the rental period.

Video

It’s usually a good idea to purchase video gear such as cameras and video switchers, as their functionality will remain the same in a temporary facility or a permanent one.

For products like projectors or LED panels you’ll have to consider factors such as the congregation’s distance from the screen, storage availability, front versus rear projection options, and team resources when you’re deciding whether or not to buy the gear.

Renting these items might be your best bet right now. Not only will this give your production team the ability to create a great experience for the congregation in your current space, but it will also provide time to test various options and models to determine what is best in the permanent space.

Lighting

If you’re considering installing standard lighting in your temporary facility chances are requirements for the permanent structure will be similar, making this investment worthwhile in many cases.

Before you make the decision to buy, however, it’s important to consider how quickly lighting evolves. By renting moving lights and other theatrical elements, your production team can take advantage of the latest technology without the high investment or ongoing maintenance and software updating that’s necessary to own.

Additional considerations

When deciding to rent or buy AVL gear, there are a few other considerations to include. Because rental companies are responsible for maintenance on gear, the maintenance costs on owned equipment is higher and increases over time. When renting gear availability and shipping is also a factor, which makes planning ahead very important—especially in more rural markets as well as during holidays and other busy times.

A trusted AVL partner can evaluate existing gear, assess current and future technology needs to help a church make solid investments, and help configure or troubleshoot rental gear in the interim. If a church already owns equipment, an AVL partner can also help determine what makes sense to keep as part of an overall design in a new space.

To learn more about renting or buying AVL gear, get in touch today.