One topic that I recently dove into, related to B2B Marcom EXHIBIT hardware, is titled: Flat Screen LCD HDTVs: Buy vs. Rent? I learned a lot from the people invovled. and I offered this:
BUYING ON SITE: A person needs to understand the real-world resource drain required to arrive early, travel (rental car vs taxi), go shopping for the monitor and the player, park near the exhibit hall, lug heavy stuff through sometimes very long routes (especially in Vegas) to the exhibit, move your car to some remote parking lot, hike back, set the hardware up (did you get ALL the cables?), keep it running, etc. versus paying for that to all go away.
When it comes to exhibit vacuuming, I have gone to the Las Vegas Wal Mart, bought the vacuum, transported it, lugged it, stored it, used it, then left it on the floor (told the exhibit hall staff they can have it) - so I get the concept.
OWNING/SHIPPING: I was once told (by an exhibit A/V technician) that there is a very high breakage rate for shipped flat panel monitors/TVs - something like 50% per year. It doesn't sound like this is true, based on the comments above.
That said, I dislike the total costs associated with storing, shipping, maintaining fragile hardware. And "old" hardware quickly starts looking tattered - while I do like the familiarity of relying on a known set of equipment that has been dialed in.
RENTING: I hate paying so much for renting a monitor, but I like not worrying about anything in an environment where I have so many other dangerous variables looming (with precious little time to react). I remind myself that, in addition to the actual video output, I am paying for all the lugging, the set-up, the proper cables being present, everything working properly, on-site service, etc.
BOTTOM LINE: I rent while feeling rotten about it.
Read the entire string at LinkedIn, then stop back here and comment with your thoughts.