It takes a lot of composure to organize an event successfully. First you have to take care of the event itself, then you need to make sure the proper mood is set and finally you have to take care of foods, drinks and other party supplies. To top it all you also need to give people a place to sit, and enough space between that for the waiters to walk around. When all this becomes too much we usually turn to a party rental company.
Party rental companies need to know exact details about everything, otherwise they'll just assume you want the standard. To stop them from unpleasantly surprising you make sure you clarify everything. Just so you don't forget anything consider the following:
1. Book your event as early as you can
Most party rental companies have busy seasons; March through June and October through December are incredibly busy. Try to book your event as early as 2 months in advance, just to be on the safe side.
Understand that companies have a hard time adding items to your order but it's easy to simply reduce the order. You should always book a larger order simply because you can't predict everything. Otherwise you might need a few more chairs they simply might not have.
2. Don't expect perfection
Rental items get reused all the time, and some have been used for years. Naturally, they won't be perfect, but they'll be clean and in decent shape. To eliminate the risk of getting completely trashed items try to inspect them beforehand. The least you can do is ask what is the state of the items.
But you can always get chair covers and never have to worry about that. Try to gauge how serious and pleasant the company is from the time you're talking on the phone with them. If they're unresponsive and slow look for another company.
3. Know what you're paying for
Be realistic about what you're actually paying for. Usually party rentals will charge a delivery fee and they'll drop off the rental items in a mutually agreed location. Then you're free to move them and set them up any way you like.
If you want help in setting up the rentals, for example if there's a huge event and you can't do everything yourself, they'll usually do that for an extra fee. Afterwards they'll probably come pick the items up but you'll have to pack them up yourself, etc. You deserve a perfect event, so don't let asking stop you from getting what you want.
You can also ask about help in other areas. They usually know other vendors and may even bring a good deal to the table if you're clever about it. You can save yourself a lot of pain, stress and time if you use party rentals. It's virtually impossible to organize a large event without them.