||The Rental Show: a recap - It was one for the history book...
Wayne Walley is editor of Rental Management, the official magazine of the American Rental Association, 1900 19th St., Moline, IL 61265; 800-334-2177 or 309-764-2475, ext. 253; fax 309-764-2747; e-mail email@example.com
| The 50th Anniversary of The Rental Show is now history and what a historical celebration it was at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.|
An estimated 12,600 industry professionals — 6,490 rental attendees representing 2,870 rental business from the United States, Canada and more than 50 countries, and 6,110 exhibitor personnel — helped celebrate the 50th Anniversary of both the American Rental Association and The Rental Show.
This year’s show ranked third-highest in ARA history for rental businesses attending, right behind the 1998 and 2001 shows, also held in Orlando, that rank first and second respectively.
“ARA continues to make it a high priority for The Rental Show to represent the industry for today and tomorrow. While we celebrated the 50 years of ARA and The Rental Show in Orlando, ARA fully realizes that the future is upon us. The Rental Show will continue to deliver the dynamics of the industry upon which the industry can thrive,” says Christine Wehrman, ARA’s executive vice president and CEO.
Allison Box, ARA’s vice president, association services, said the 2006 results speak volumes about the mood of the industry and the value of The Rental Show.
“The 50th Anniversary of ARA and The Rental Show provided the opportunity to plan a true celebration for the entire rental industry. Expectations were high going into Orlando and The Rental Show exceeded the expectations on all fronts — the trade show, the educational seminars, the Anniversary events, the keynote session and the Ford F-250 truck giveaway,” Box said.
“The overall feedback on The Rental Show has been so positive. Look for ARA to build on this success of 2006 as we begin planning for The Rental Show 2007 in Atlanta.”
Energy and enthusiasm were abundant at the event, starting with the pre-show Construction U and Events & Tents seminars on Feb. 4-5, followed by the Feb. 6 welcome breakfast and packed lineup of educational sessions.
The Rental Hall of Fame inductions and former first lady Barbara Bush’s heartwarming keynote address on Feb. 7 set the stage for three days of an active exhibit floor. Exhibit space sold out in October 2005 and ARA expanded the show floor in December to accommodate 750 exhibitors including 150 first-time ARA show exhibitors. Many of the exhibiting companies shared positive experiences and record results.
“This is either the best first day we’ve had at the show since 1998 or our best ever,” said Jack Shea, president, Solutions by Computer, Springfield, Mass.
“The traffic was much stronger than it has been recently and the mood of the people is upbeat. I think everybody had a great 2005 and they are looking for a great 2006. There is no hesitation in terms of them moving forward and making commitments.”
“The show has been very good. It was an excellent first day and we hope to keep it rolling,” said Roger Euliss, president, Multiquip, Carson, Calif.
“I’m encouraged,” added Lynne Woodworth, president and CEO of Stone Construction Equipment, Honeoye, N.Y. “Last year was strong and 2006 is starting out equal or stronger. Things are upbeat and positive. Everyone feels rental is on the rise and there is optimism for the remainder of the year.”
David Navroth, director of sales for Little Wonder, Southampton, Pa., said the show was a huge success for all of their brands, including Mantis, Little Wonder and Classen. “The final tallies aren’t in just yet. On the conservative end, we at least doubled our sales from the 2005 show.”
Adding to the festivities, attendees danced the night away at the opening 50th Anniversary celebration, “Dancing Through the Decades” on Feb. 6 and a big crowd was on hand for the “Rock, Roll and Rent” evening event held in a tent at Epcot® on Feb. 8.
“From what I’ve seen and from people I’ve talked to, the show has been outstanding,” said Chris Ruddy, president of Ruddy’s Rental & Party Supply branch in North Branch, Minn. “The crowds have been great. Our reception had an outstanding turnout. It’s all been good. Our family goal is to make it through the exhibit floor and do our buying.”
Many hopefuls representing their member rental businesses crowded the back of the exhibit floor at noon on Feb. 9, hoping to have their ticket drawn for the ARA’s special 50th Anniversary giveaway — a 2006 Ford F-250 truck as a thank you to members for their support in building the association during the last 50 years.
Rental City, Champaign, Ill., a 42-year ARA member, was the winning general member business. Dan Kemphues, representing Rental City, accepted the prize and seemed stunned. “Unbelievable,” he said, adding that the company would use the truck for deliveries. The truck was delivered in late February (see story on page 51.)
The Rental Show 2007 is scheduled for Feb. 7-10, 2007, in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center.
RENTAL HALL OF FAME
Howard Burnett, deceased
Kaplan and Associates,
Leo Swan, EDCO/Equipment
Development Co, Frederick, Md.
REGIONAL PERSON OF THE YEAR
Region 1 – Richard Frechette Jr., CERP, Quality Rental Centers,
Region 2 – Glenn Hurst,
Eagle Rental/Events by Eagle, Stevens, Pa.
Region 3 – Ray McKibben,
Power Equipment Plus,
Region 4 – Dave Laborde,
The Rental Co. of CENLA,
Region 5 – Tim Farthing,
American Rent-All, Toledo, Ohio
Region 6 – Roger and Laura Vajgrt,
Home Rental Center & Sales Co.,
Region 7 – Herb White II,
Continental Divide Marketing,
Region 9 – Brian Maginnis,
Region 10 – Paul Kenyon,
Absolute Location Support
Miller’s Party Rentals, Edison, N.J.
Busylad, Tupelo, Miss.
Mi-T-M Corp., Peosta, Iowa
Bledsoe Rentals, Olathe, Kan.
Ted Caruso, Granville Rental,
Region 3 – Thomas Nickell,
Nickell Equipment Rental & Sales,
Region 3 – Buddy Stubbs,
Busylad Rent-All, Tupelo, Miss.
Region 4 – Jim Elder,
Region 6 – Michael McReynolds,
Mikerentals, Sikeston, Mo.
Los Angeles Police Department
California Highway Patrol
ARA FOUNDATION LOYAL DONOR RECOGNITION
Thomas and Debra Fouts,
Bledsoe Rentals, Lee’s Summit, Mo.