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A memorable show, brand-new campaigns — and it’s only spring

By Sarah Wilper, CERP

March 14, 2024

Sarah Wilper, CERP

Sarah Wilper, CERP

Hello, fellow members of American Rental Association (ARA) Region One!

I hope you are all gearing up for a busy spring season. It seems like we just got back from The ARA Show™ in New Orleans. I don’t know about you, but to me it really felt like the first “back to normal” show since COVID. While this year’s show featured many highlights, I would like to offer some of my personal reflections on the event and spotlight a couple of the exciting new initiatives ARA premiered down in the Big Easy.

The education. EventsU was a great day of education for those of us in the event segment, with sessions that highlighted leadership, employee development and even some flammability testing! Then, people from all segments came together on Sunday for another incredible round of seminars.

The events. The Young Professionals Network (YPN) event sold out, and the Women in Rental (WIR) Breakfast was another huge success that even offered WIR swag! Among the other memorable events, for me the standout was the Tuesday Night Event at the House of Blues, It offered the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans with incredible live music courtesy of country music star Mitchell Tenpenny, decadent food and cultural entertainment. Although, to be fair, I definitely ran away from the snake charmer at the event.

The networking. A highlight of the show for me was our Regional Reception. Getting back to separate regional events gave everyone time to connect. It was great to see the camaraderie. There was so much positive energy in the room that I couldn’t help but smile. I enjoyed presenting Dan Morris, ARA of Maine president, with the Leadership Impact Award. Dan has contributed countless hours toward making ARA stronger. He has continuously stepped up whenever there was a need, serving as an advocate both locally and nationally, and been a staunch supporter of the association.

Although I didn’t get to present her with her award recognition as it was given outside of our Regional Reception, I also want to congratulate Stefani Donabedian, ARA of Massachusetts president, who received the ARA Rising Star Award for her leadership at the grassroots level. Way to go, Stefani!

The trade show floor. It was one of the best I can remember! Vendors from all segments offered specials and new products, and we all had the opportunity to get hands-on. It was a great buying show.

The new ARA initiatives on display. During the show, ARA looked to the future through the unveiling of its new Born for This campaign. Born for This is an element of ARA’s workforce development efforts. It’s an advertising campaign built around relatable moments from childhood that can eventually develop into a calling as a career. The goal is that it delivers the message to consumers that a childhood passion can turn into a profession (ideally, in the rental industry). Born for This features extremely slick, well-done, rental segment-specific advertising spots that should hit consumers where they consume media today and resonate with those looking for a rewarding career. You can learn more about it — and view the ad spots — here.

Another campaign ARA staff showcased for attendees was the brand-new ARA Certified Forklift Training offering. This comprehensive program delivers a Forklift Train-the-Trainer program and a Forklift Operator Training program that satisfies OSHA requirements and other industry standards. If your operation involves forklifts, you have to check this out.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend The ARA Show this year. The show would not be what it is without all of you and your teams. Attending the show allows you to expand your connection with others in the industry and builds on your investment in ARA membership. I’d also like to thank the ARA team. Their hard work both in front of the house and behind the scenes makes the show what it is. They add value to our membership by putting together an incredible industry convention for us all.

I’m already looking forward to The ARA Show 2025 in Las Vegas.

Thank you!

Sarah Wilper, CERP, ARA Region One director
Taylor Rental Center
Manchester, Conn.