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Region Two members focus on the future at The ARA Show 2023

By Brock Huffstutler

March 14, 2023

Region Two people at The ARA Show 2023 in OrlandoThe long 16-month wait came to an end on Feb. 11 when The ARA Show™ 2023 kicked off at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

The last time the equipment and event rental community gathered face-to-face at the American Rental Association’s (ARA) premier event was in Las Vegas in October 2021. With the opening of the show in Orlando, it was time to get back on track with the show’s normal operating schedule. For those in attendance, there was no better place to be to reconnect and focus on the future.

“We’re here to see what’s new, what’s out there and to see what the lead time is on equipment. We’ve got to get orders in for next year,” said Steve Creamer, ABC Rental Center, Rosedale, Md., from the trade show floor.

The 66th edition of the world’s largest equipment and event rental industry-specific convention and trade show offered attendees plenty of opportunities to network and learn from peers, industry experts and vendors.

Saturday, Feb. 11, featured two brand-new education sessions, Future of Equipment Rental for those on the equipment side of the industry, and EventsU (formerly Events & Tents) designed exclusively for those in event rental, brought unique insights.

The education continued on Sunday with presentations delivered by engaging, expert speakers and rental industry panel discussions covering tracks grouped into four themes: “Learn and Lead,” “Connect and Collaborate,” “Empower and Engage” and “Plan and Strategize.”

Region 2 people at The ARA Show 2023The mix of the serious and the funny in Sunday’s education sessions resonated with attendees like Suzanne Horn, Action Party Rentals, Allentown, Pa., who, following speaker Tim Gard’s session, “Who Says Leadership and Laughter Can’t Mix?”, said, “My big takeaway was to remember to just have fun with everything and stay in the moment.”

Following Monday’s Keynote Session presented by Daymond John, attendees focused on the trade show that featured more than 700 exhibitors.

Show floor comments from Mark Buri, Ed’s Rental, Sicklerville, N.J., suggest that his expectations were surpassed concerning equipment pricing and availability. “The show has been good. Everyone has been helpful and prices have been better than I thought they were going to be. I was expecting them to be a lot higher,” he said.

Tim Clark, Zartman Equipment Rental, Northumberland, Pa., said he and his team like to come to the show “to see what the new innovations are. We appreciate being able to get some good deals for our stores.”

Show networking favorites like the Young Professional Network (YPN) Reception, Women in Rental Breakfast, ARAPAC Reception benefiting ARA’s political action committee and the ARA Foundation Charity Auction and Reception also returned.

The ARA Show 2023Brian Richardson, L & A Tent Rentals, Trenton, N.J., attended the ARA Foundation Auction and had the $3,000 winning bid on a John Deere X330 lawn tractor. “I’ve seen firsthand what the ARA Foundation has done,” Richardson said of his motivation for participating in the event. “We have sent employees to CDL tractor training driving school, and the Foundation has generously supported us, giving us a rebate for that. We want to give back to the ARA Foundation for everything they’ve done for everybody in the rental industry.”

Just before the wrap-up of the show, many attendees kicked back at the sold-out Tuesday Night Event at Universal Studios Orlando. It was one of the biggest parties ARA has ever thrown because the association reserved special areas of Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park just for show attendees.

ARA CEO Tony Conant summed up the experience this way: “The ARA Show proved again that it is the best place in the world to see rental equipment and products, get rental-specific professional development and network with the best group of people around!”