CollaboCrate: Low Cost AV Rentals [AV Review]

CollaboCrate is a low cost audio visual rental service. Here is our review.

CollaboCrate: Low Cost AV Rentals [AV Review]

CollaboCrate: What Is It?

CollaboCrate is an affordable service to rent the AV you need for your meetings and events. Specializing in projectors, screens, sound bars, wireless slide advancers and iPads they ship throughout the USA to venues, offices and homes. Event planners can rent items a la carte or procure a Meetings Package with all the equipment delivered in a single case. Return shipping is included and it comes with full instructions and color-coded cables for easy setup.

Not every event needs an expensive stage backdrop, microphones and technicians. In fact, many smaller events just need the presentation basics to allow you to hook up your laptop to a projector and big screen. If you go through the venue’s AV company you will be charged a premium for a simple set up so CollaboCrate offers a budget-friendly service, with projectors starting from just $30 per day. 

CollaboCrate recognizes that for hands-on event planners, speed and budget are often top priorities and they are more than willing to setup basic presentation equipment themselves, particularly if it offers a considerable cost saving in return.  

Let’s explore whether it could be right for your events and how much you could save.

The Main Categories of Features Are:

AV Rental. Affordable rental of basic presentation equipment and all-in-one packages, delivered by courier with an easy setup guide and color-coded cables. Three types of projectors are available to suit your event requirements and budget.

iPad Rental. Rent iPads, with different models available, starting from $10 per day. CollaboCrate will beat any comparable quotation.

Service. Quick ordering service online or over the phone. 24/7 support. The ‘Rent and Relax Guarantee,’ which includes accidental damage insurance, is included as standard.

Atlanta On Site Service. Within Atlanta, there is a full local service available, if required, and free delivery for equipment rental.

Review

CollaboCrate can provide a range of audio visual rental equipment for smaller events and board meetings. They specialize in complete meeting packages, which includes a premium projector, screen, audio, remote, and conference speakerphone. All these items can be rented on an a la carte basis too and ships directly to your venue, office or home. The rental costs are extremely low cost and budget friendly – a fraction of what a hotel or full-service AV company would charge.

Even major meetings can benefit by renting big-ticket items, such as projectors and iPads from CollaboCrate. It is possible to rent the presentation equipment for the break out rooms too, while simultaneously relying on the in-house AV team to set up the rest for the plenary sessions (e.g. stage, backdrop, screens, technical support package). This combined strategy could save event planners thousands of dollars on their AV costs.

Projectors

All of the equipment rented out is less than 12-months old. Three types of projectors are available:

  • a basic projector for groups of 25 people
  • a mid-level projector, with a short throw lens, and full 1080P HD. Ideal for meeting rooms for up to 100 people
  • the premium projector, with a short throw lens and 3500 lumens, for getting the biggest images in tight spaces. This model can be used for up to 200 people

With all rental packages, a thunderbolt to multi-video out adaptor is supplied which works with DVI, HDMI and VGA connections, including Macs and Surface Pro.

Easy Start Guide

A 1-page, 6-step setup guide is included with every projector rental. This explains in simple terms the steps to go through to connect and adjust the projector. Everything is visually color-coded too – for instance, the blue VGA cable goes into the blue socket. The three types of projectors offered by CollaboCrate have all been chosen for the simplicity of getting started and making adjustments. The major buttons are easily accessible on top of the projector, there is no need to dig through menus to make changes, as with some models.

CollaboCrate recommends that event planners should allow ten minutes to get the equipment ready the first time they set up a projector, and then this time will be reduced for future rentals when the process is familiar. There is even a 3-step guide to break down the equipment afterwards. They also offer support to talk you through the process if you need further assistance.

Rent and Relax Guarantee

Every rental includes the CollaboCrate ‘Rent and Relax Guarantee.’ This covers accidental damage, other than liquid damage, theft or loss of the equipment. You are welcome to use your own equipment insurance cover if you have it but the rental price remains the same.

The phones and online chat are manned 24 hours a day in case of any problems. CollaboCrate offers programs that provide replacement equipment from a local provider, or include backup equipment with your order, so mission-critical events can continue when the unlikely occurs. Everything is checked and tested before leaving the warehouse.

Big Screens

The screen rental cost you would pay from a hotel is generally more than the cost of buying a 7ft screen outright. If you rent a screen from CollaboCrate you get to keep the screen forever to use it again in the future. Alternatively, CollaboCrate will put you in contact with a local good cause who would benefit from the screen being donated to them, such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs and other local charities. This genuine honesty and commitment to helping good causes is refreshing and another good reason to work with CollaboCrate.

iPads

All of the iPads available for rent work on the latest iOS. They are not restricted in any way in terms of the applications you can load onto the tablet. As part of the quality control process, every device is re-imaged after every rental to ensure all of the data is wiped ready for the next rental.

Staff

CollaboCrate was established a year ago by a husband and wife team with 10 years of experience working in AV within venues and theme parks, running small events right through to projects with 1,000 people attending.

CollaboCrate has grown to a small team of seven people including sales managers, quality control specialists, and operations & logistics managers. By working with CollaboCrate you are supporting a US small business who recognizes that event planners often just want a speedy and straightforward service. There is an online rental portal and orders can be placed over the phone. There is no need to go back and forth with a sales manager if you don’t want to. Long introductions and sales patter can be simply frustrating and unnecessary if you just want to quickly order what you need and move onto the next job on your list!

Shipping

CollaboCrate ships nationwide to 48 states. They offer a wide array of shipping options, including a next-day air service. Small meetings will receive a single box with all the items inside, sent by UPS or Fedex. The equipment is shipped in hard ‘pelican’ crates which are 20 inches wide, 8” deep, 16” tall. There is a $50 plus tax delivery rate as standard to any location outside Atlanta, although this will increase for urgent rentals. Orders can be cancelled up to the day of delivery.

CollaboCrate can provide full-service audio visual setup, execution and strike within the Atlanta area if you prefer. Alternatively, self-service orders have free delivery within the local Atlanta area.

Features

AV Rental

  • Rent specific items or meeting packages with everything you need
  • 3 types of projectors are available to suit your requirements and budget
  • Easy setup guide and color-coded cables as standard
  • Sound bar, VGA cables, wireless slide advancers also available
  • Most rentals for a basic meeting presentation kit arrive in a single hard case
  • A thunderbolt to multi-video out adaptor is supplied with all rental packages

iPad Rental

  • Models available include iPad Mini 2, iPad Air and iPad Pro
  • WiFi only and cellular models are available
  • Prices start from $10 per day (3-day minimum hire)
  • Will beat any quotation

Service

  • Order online
  • 24/7 support
  • Return shipping labels sent with the package
  • Rent and Relax Guarantee – includes accidental damage insurance
  • Keep the screen (or donate to a good cause)

Atlanta On Site Service

  • Within Atlanta there is a full AV service available if you prefer to have someone on site at your event
  • Free delivery within Atlanta

Who Is It For?

CollaboCrate is for meeting planners and anyone looking to save money on audio visual rentals, based in the USA. The equipment is ideal for smaller scale meetings, tradeshow booths, social events and one-off events with less than 200 people.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Considerable cost savings. Projectors start as low as $33 a day and meeting packages are available
  • Every rental includes Accidental Damage Insurance and 24/7 support
  • Keep the screen after the event, or donate to a local good cause if you do not need it

Cons

  • Rental-only equipment requires someone on your team, or a third party, to set it up
  • No shipping outside of the USA
  • Not suitable for large events over 200 people

Pricing and Plans

The prices vary based on the items hired and the length of the rental. You can get a quote online or over the phone by contacting CollaboCrate.  

In Conclusion

For simple audio visual requirements and AV packages for US events for 200 people or less, CollaboCrate offers tremendous value for money. The self-service option won’t be right for every event planner but for anyone wanting to save money it could be a wise choice and is definitely worth getting a comparative quotation.

Disclaimer: Prices are correct at time of publishing but may change in the future. Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.

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Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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