Anticipation builds for The Rental Show 2013
A different convention center, different hotels and an industry on the rise with rental revenue growth outperforming the general economy by fourfold all factor into the building anticipation for The Rental Show 2013 in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas has been the site of The Rental Show many times, but excitement this year is reaching a fevered pitch, partially because the world’s largest equipment rental industry-specific convention and trade show has moved to The Sands Expo and Convention Center near the center of the famous Vegas Strip, creating a potentially new experience for attendees.
“There is a unique combination of all things coming together. It’s a face-to-face experience for attendees who can see all the suppliers in one place. The Rental Show can help those in the equipment rental business solve problems and make more money,” says Allison Box, senior administrative director for the American Rental Association, organizers of The Rental Show.
The exhibit floor sold out for the first time in the last five years and attendee registration has been pacing well ahead of The Rental Show 2012 in New Orleans, a convention last year that was punctuated by attendee enthusiasm with plenty of equipment buying and selling.
“The No. 1 reason people come to the show is to learn, maximize inventory and train people, which all point to increasing profit,” Box says. “Despite the economy, people in rental are doing better. They need to buy equipment because they have been putting it off and because some need to expand their inventory to better serve their customers. A sold-out show floor this year also is encouraging. We are back to where companies are increasing space and having bigger booths.”
The exhibit floor, which opens Monday, Feb. 11, following the keynote session, has more than 600 companies displaying products and services, including more than 60 first-time exhibitors.
This year, ARA also worked closely with exhibitors to expand the use of Show-Only Specials. At least 140 companies are offering some sort of special this year, nearly triple last year, giving attendees many more opportunities to take advantage of programs and offers that can save money and increase profit.
Themed “Right on the money: The show for people serious about profit,” this year’s lineup of seminars on Sunday, Feb. 10,
also are focused on profit potential, covering a wide range of issues from customer service and financial management to Internet marketing and health care.
“The topics this year are very timely,” Box says. “We have a session about what people need to know about the implementation of Tier 4 as well as what businesses need to know about how to implement the Affordable Care Act. That’s a little bit different this year.”
Tuesday morning’s lineup of seminars includes a Rental Town Hall for those in party and special event and another Rental Town Hall for those in construction and general tool. In addition, there is a session titled “Being Profitable in the New Economy.”
A special Wednesday wake-up session, “Never Fly Solo,” will be presented by Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman. “People like his upbeat style. He shares a good message and uses audio/visual to make his points,” Box says.
Waldman overcame a lifelong battle with claustrophobia and fear of heights to become a combat-decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and a successful entrepreneur.
For those in the party and special event segment of the industry, Events & Tents offers specific educational opportunities as well as a fabric fashion show and much more this year on Saturday, Feb. 9.
The keynote session on Monday, Feb. 11, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., features Capt. Mark Kelly, commander of the space shuttle Endeavour’s final mission, and author of “Gabby,” his best-selling memoir that chronicles his experiences following the January 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Also during the keynote session, Robert Elmen of Elmen Enterprises and Paul Coogan, past president and CEO of Aggregate Equipment and Supply, will be inducted into the Rental Hall of Fame during a special ceremony.
ARA President Mike Flesher, Taylor Rental Center, Vestal, N.Y., also during the keynote session will “pass the gavel” to Mike Blaisdell, vice president, Bunce Rental, Tacoma, Wash., and ARA president-elect, who will assume the position of ARA president at the conclusion of The Rental Show.
While the seminars offer some time for questions and answers as well as networking with peers, ARA also has scheduled specific events that allow attendees to meet and share information in social settings.
This year, these include:
- Lunch with ARA. This event at The Sands Expo and Convention Center is a break between the morning and afternoon educational sessions on Sunday, Feb. 10, starting at noon, and offers the chance for attendees to interact with their peers over a meal. The ARA volunteer recognition awards and the ARA Foundation donor awards will be presented, plus the Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP) graduates will be recognized during the lunch. Tickets are $20. Advance registration and ticket are required.
- ARA Young Professionals Network Reception. This event at FIRST Food and Bar inside The Shoppes at The Palazzo starting at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10, is for young professionals between the ages of 18 and 40 and their parents, providing an opportunity for younger attendees to expand business contacts and others to discuss goals for a family business as future generations enter ownership. Tickets are $50 per person and the event is limited to 200 attendees.
- Regional Receptions. Each of ARA’s 10 regions will host a reception exclusively for its members on Monday, Feb. 11, starting at 5 p.m. at The Sands Expo and Convention Center. Tickets are $20 each. Advance registration and ticket are required.
- Reception With a Purpose including ARA Foundation Charity Auction. The main entertainment at this event scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at The Sands Expo and Convention Center, will be the seventh annual charity auction, which supports the ARA Foundation and its programs. For more information about items up for bid, see the story starting on page 60.
- International Reception. International guests attending The Rental Show from beyond the U.S. and Canada are invited to this reception in their honor scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Tickets are complimentary for international attendees from outside the U.S. and Canada. Advance registration is required.
- A Night in Fabulous Las Vegas. Each year, The Rental Show hosts a special event to celebrate the industry and this year, the Nevada Ballroom at Harrah’s Las Vegas on Tuesday, Feb. 12, will be transformed in vintage Rat Pack-era Vegas style. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature disc jockey Jammin’ Jon, food and beverages. Tickets are $40 per person with food and two drink tickets included.
“This is the show for people serious about profit. People are responding to the changes. Attending is a smart investment and people are registering for the show,” Box says.
Elements of fiscal cliff deal benefit equipment purchasing
In order to avoid the repercussions of the “fiscal cliff,” legislators passed H.R. 8: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 on Dec. 31, 2012. This bill addresses three items that have been key issues of concern for the American Rental Association (ARA) and the equipment rental industry for the last several years. Below is a brief overview of each provision. ARA recommends you consult your tax advisors for further information on how they can impact your business.
- The 50 percent bonus depreciation allowance has been extended through 2013. This provision provides equipment rental businesses with 50 percent bonus depreciation for capital investments placed in service after Dec. 31, 2011, and before Jan. 1, 2014. Bonus depreciation applies to new equipment only and does not include used equipment or software.
“This provision is very timely for members who are anticipating the purchase of new equipment at The Rental Show in February,” says John McClelland, ARA’s vice president for government affairs.
- Section 179 has been extended for both 2012 (retroactively) and 2013. These deductions are available for most new and used capital equipment and some software. The 2012 deduction limit has been raised to $500,000 retroactively, which means qualifying purchases made in 2012 now fall under the higher deduction limit. The 2013 deduction limit also is $500,000 with a $2 million limit on capital purchases.
- The estate tax has undergone some modification in H.R. 8. The exemption of $5 million per person has been made permanent. However the maximum rate on estates greater than $5 million has increased from 35 percent to 40 percent. If H.R. 8 had not been enacted, the estate tax would have reverted to a $1 million exemption with a top rate of 55 percent.
“Making the estate tax exemption permanent at $5 million was a major victory for small business interests and the increase in the top rate to 40 percent was a small price to pay for the certainty of a permanent provision in the tax code,” McClelland says.
“As rental and supplier businesses plan for 2013 in particular, these provisions of tax law will be of assistance. The ARA has worked tirelessly on behalf of our membership to gain permanency to the estate tax and now estate planning can take place with certainty,” says Christine Wehrman, ARA’s executive vice president and CEO. “In addition, bonus depreciation and Section 179 are beneficial
for keeping the rental inventory current for businesses to remain competitive and to keep manufacturers steadily providing innovative
products to the rental channel.”