Using an audience response system (ARS) can be a fantastic way to liven up a conference or allow training sessions and workshops to run more smoothly. But before you can enjoy the benefits of an ARS, you need to make a decision: do you buy or do you hire? Undoubtedly there are advantages to both options and what is right for you will depend on your situation.
The advantages of buying:
- More choice – there is a greater variety of ARS options available to buy than there are to hire, so if you have very specific requirements for what you need from the system you may prefer to buy
- Exactly what you need – there’s no need to compromise; when you are buying you are entirely in charge of your purchase so you can choose the exact system requirements that you need
- Value – if you are planning to make use of an ARS regularly then you will find the better value for money in buying outright, rather than hiring. There are many applications for an ARS so you may well find that you can use in a number of aspects of your business including meetings, training sessions, conferences an workshops
- No planning required – once you have your own ARS it’s not necessary to go through the process of planning to hire out a system. Instead, it is always immediately available for your use so you can simply set up your ARS whenever you need it
The advantages of hiring:
- Flexibility – hiring gives you extra flexibility so that you can choose a relevant ARS for the task you need it for. It might not be sensible or possible to buy an ARS that can be used across all of the potential occasions you will use it. If you hire, you can pick one dedicated system for each task
- Affordability – if you are only using an ARS for a one-off task then the most affordable option will definitely be hiring
- Range of rental options – if you are renting an ARS you have the choice to either simply hire the equipment for your use or to have additional services such as coaching sessions so that you know how to use it correctly
- Simplicity – there is also the option for fully managed service, where technicians will be available on site to help with set up and running
Both hiring and buying:
One very popular option is to combine both buying and hiring.
- Buy and hire – in this scenario clients will outright buy a smaller ARS that covers them for the majority of their usage. Then whenever they have a need to use the ARS on a larger scale they can simply hire additional keypads. This way they can continue to use the system that they are familiar with but take it large events as well
- Trial rental – often you can ‘try before you buy’ where you rent an ARS so that you get to understand and become familiar with it. Then if you decide to buy, the provider will discount part of the rental cost from the price of buying