Editor’s note: The Rental Show 2014, organized by the American Rental Association (ARA), is scheduled for Feb. 9-12, at the Orange County Convention Center’s North-South Building in Orlando, Fla. Events & Tents, an all-day workshop for those in the party and event segment of the industry, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, while The Rental Show educational seminars headline the schedule for Sunday, Feb. 9, with the keynote session and the opening of the exhibit floor scheduled for Monday, Feb. 10. As the rental industry prepares to arrive in Orlando this year, Tom Hubbell, ARA’s vice president for marketing and communications, answered Rental Management’s questions and talked about what attendees can expect at this year’s convention and trade show.
RM: The Rental Show continues to evolve. What do you see as the most significant changes in 2014 for the show scheduled for Feb. 9-12 in Orlando, Fla.?
Tom Hubbell: We expanded our rental-specific education this year to have a dedicated construction education track. The track will address things like Tier 4, DOT compliance and a specific Town Hall where critical issues to construction and general tool rental will be discussed. We also have the most Show-Only Specials we’ve ever had with more than 170 opportunities to save money on product purchases that can only be found at The Rental Show. Depending upon the specials you choose, it can pay for your trip.
RM: Many exhibitors were very pleased with the activity and attendance at the show in Las Vegas last year. The show floor is sold out for the second year in a row. Why is there so much excitement from exhibitors?
Hubbell: The equipment rental industry continues to outpace GDP [gross domestic product] growth by four times and the strong forecasted growth is expected to continue well into the foreseeable future. The equipment rental industry is an attractive sales channel for those looking to sell equipment and services due to the significant economic expansion our industry has seen in the past few years and the future growth projections. Exhibitors also know that the American Rental Association (ARA) has a very strong and loyal member base attending the show each year with the intent to purchase. More than 90 percent of the attendees make or influence final purchase decisions. The Rental Show is a buying show and it’s exciting to watch the flurry of business activity on the show floor.
RM: The ARA Rental Market Monitor™ forecast for the equipment rental industry projects significant revenue growth as well as significant increases in investment in equipment in 2014. What does this mean for The Rental Show?
Hubbell: The equipment rental industry is one that is leading our economic recovery. Rental businesses throughout North America have done an excellent job of getting businesses and consumers alike to see the value and benefits of renting versus buying. The high demand for rental translates into a higher turnover of equipment, which means the buyer-seller connection that occurs at The Rental Show is a key part of our members’ success. Where else can you shop for new products, meet with more than 675 vendors, receive rental-specific education and share new ideas with your peers under one roof?
RM: Attendee registrations at press time also were pacing higher than last year. What do you attribute this to?
Hubbell: The Rental Show remains relevant to the success of our members’ businesses. Our members tell us through surveys and in conversation that the show helps them in numerous aspects of their businesses, such as growing top line revenue, increasing bottom line results and learning how to manage their business better. We’re also finding that companies are bringing more people to the show this year. Companies are looking for new products, new ideas and new methods to improve their businesses. In turn, I believe they are going deeper in their companies to get different opinions and to fully cover the show floor, education and attend all the networking events.
RM: Why was a construction track added to the seminar schedule for Sunday, Feb. 9?
Hubbell: ARA is very fortunate to have the voice of our members come through member-driven committees. The members of the Construction and General Tool Shared Interest Group felt it valuable to offer education that is specific to the construction audience. The Rental Show Task Force, as well as The ARA/ARA Insurance Risk Management Committee, also felt that it would be valuable to offer education specific to the construction segment of our membership. It’s a great opportunity to really take a deeper dive into issues that are top of mind for members who operate in this space.
RM: The educational lineup has evolved and is diverse. What can people expect to learn this year?
Hubbell: We have 23 educational sessions that are included with full registration and they cover the gamut. Sessions on profitability, management, marketing, social media and personal development are just a sampling. There is something for everyone and I would urge people to look at The Rental Show Planner to find the group of sessions that are just right for them and their current business situation.
Events & Tents also offers 16 additional party and event specific educational opportunities on Saturday Feb. 8. Sessions on sales, management, client relationships, tenting, case studies and technology are sure to please those who register for Events & Tents. The Inspiration Challenge at Events & Tents is sure to be exciting as two teams, guided by two event designers, will compete to test their creativity and event design skills under pressure.
RM: Attendees have come to expect at least one spectacular event as part of The Rental Show. What will you do this year?
Hubbell: We have an excellent keynote speaker in Billy Beane, who is the real-life inspiration for the movie “Moneyball.” He’s considered one of the most progressive and talented baseball executives in the game today and he’ll share his unforgettable underdog story, along with his winning leadership style of identifying undervalued assets to create and sustain a competitive advantage. ARA’s Big Splash at SeaWorld® also will be an extremely exciting and very enjoyable event for our members. You can watch dolphins play, visit penguins in Antarctica or ride a floorless roller coaster in this exclusive ARA event. There will be plenty of great opportunities to network and enjoy a wonderful park that’s open exclusively for The Rental Show guests to enjoy.
RM: This year’s theme of the show is “The show for people serious about profit.” Why did you choose this theme and what does it mean?
Hubbell: The theme is indicative of what The Rental Show delivers — profit-making opportunities. You can find new revenue streams by looking at the new products from more than 675 exhibitors. You can learn how to get more from your customers, staff and inventory by attending all the rental-relevant seminars. Last, but not least, you can connect with your industry peers on tips that worked to grow their bottom line. If you’re serious about profit, this is the show for you.
RM: What particularly excites you about The Rental Show 2014?
Hubbell: The Rental Show is an exciting time each year. There’s always electricity in the air. People visit with old friends and make new ones. People learn about new products and keep themselves current on issues that affect their businesses through venues like Lunch With ARA and the Keynote Session. The collective gathering of our industry is what’s most exciting about every show and this year will be no exception. People make the difference and our industry is filled with outstanding people working hard each and every day to serve their customers and increase the value of our industry.
Increase your profits at The Rental Show
You’re in business to make money, and attending The Rental Show is one way for you to do that. Here’s how you can increase your profits by attending The Rental Show, scheduled for Feb. 9-12, 2014, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
- Show-Only Special savings: More than 170 exhibitors will have Show-Only Specials, valuable offers available only to those in Orlando. You have the potential to save enough on Show-Only Specials, with free freight and extra discounts, to pay for your trip.
- New products for your inventory: The sold-out trade show floor includes more than 675 exhibitors all offering the latest equipment to help you gain an edge on your competition and grow your profits.
- Profit-boosting education: Choose from 23 seminars included with full registration, such as “Driving Profit With Purpose” presented by Steve Abercrombie and Barbara Nuss. Plus there’s a new construction track with sessions including “Creating a More Profitable and Productive Business Through Regulatory Compliance.”
- Priceless connections: Every year, attendees get some of their best ideas simply from talking with the other rental professionals at The Rental Show. The networking events or even a shuttle bus ride from the hotel provide opportunities to meet and tap into your peers’ profit-building expertise to make a real impact on your business.
- A chance to win $2,500: Be sure to bring The Rental Show coin you received in the mail from the American Rental Association (ARA) last fall and take it to the ARA Store in the convention center lobby — you’ll be entered into a drawing to win $2,500.
Complete show details are available online at TheRentalShow.com.