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Darren Randle — Rental Management's 2023 '12 to Watch Under 40'

By Connie Lannan

August 23, 2023

Darren Randle, CERP

Darren Randle, CERP, 33, wanted to be a sports agent when he was growing up. Now, as the founder and president of Houston Tents & Events, he has stayed connected to his childhood dream by providing rentals to many of the Houston area collegiate and pro sports organizations as well as many local amateur leagues. That segue into rental started in 2016 when he was working for Comcast and became a client of various rental operations. “I was ordering a variety of items for various sporting events, grassroots marketing activations, internal employee engagement events and such. I continually had issues,” he says. After leaving the corporate world, the opportunity arose for him to actually prevent those types of issues from affecting others.

“I started as a sales and operations manager at a rental company in Houston,” Randle says. “After two years, I became a partner and learned how to run a rental business. After four years there, I launched Houston Tents & Events.” As a full-service event rental company, Houston Tents & Events offers everything from tents, furniture, generators and temporary power distribution to climate-control equipment, staging/flooring, décor-related items and everything in between. With 26 team members, the company primarily serves event organizers and planners who, Randle says, “are looking for a turnkey event rental experience. We are able to be the one call a client makes to help bring all the elements together to create a successful event.”

That strategy has worked. Houston Tents & Events has seen record growth, which resulted in being listed as a Rental Management Market Mover in the June/July 2023 issue. According to the article, the company generated $1.2 million in rental revenue in 2020. In 2022, that had jumped to $5.6 million — a 367 percent growth rate. Randle is proud of this achievement and particularly gratified by his work with nonprofits “that may not always have the budgets or staff to help grow and improve their events,” he says. “I’m able to use my event management background to help be an unofficial planner for their limited staff. I know how important it is for nonprofits to fundraise but also create a memorable experience for the attendees so they will continue to donate. Since I founded Houston Tents & Events in 2020, we’ve given more than $400,000 through donations or in-kind contributions to Houston area nonprofit organizations, schools and charities.”

As a young rental professional, he became involved in the American Rental Association (ARA) to not only share his perspective and experiences but also learn from veteran rental operators. “With so much knowledge around, the most important thing ARA provides me is the information, training, etc., to run a safer rental business,” he says.

For Randle, the move into rental has not only allowed him to keep his childhood dream alive but also those of his clients. And it has made him think about future dreams. “My new ‘what I want to be when I retire’ is to help organize larger events around the world such as the Olympics, music festivals like Tomorrowland and the World Cups,” he says. Stay tuned.