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Shaping the future of rental at The ARA Show 2024

By Erin Jorgensen

January 30, 2024

The ARA Show™ 2024 will return to New Orleans for the first time since 2018. The 67th edition of the world’s largest equipment and event rental-specific convention and trade show organized by the American Rental Association (ARA) opens on Saturday, Feb. 17, with event specific education and networking opportunities.

The trade show, which features more than 650 exhibitors, opens at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 19, immediately following the conclusion of the Keynote Session presented by Jon Taffer. Christine Hammes, ARA’s vice president, association services, recently answered questions from Rental Management about what attendees can expect at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center this year.

Rental Management: The last time The ARA Show was held in New Orleans was in 2018. This year’s show floor is sold out. Are you feeling excitement already from exhibitors and attendees?
Christine Hammes: Yes, the overall feedback from members has been very positive. New Orleans has historically been a popular destination for the show, and everyone is excited to be back again. Our members love the world-famous cuisine and extensive nightlife options available on Bourbon Street. With a sold-out show floor and more than 300 Show-Only Specials, the trade show floor will be full of activity.

Rental Management: More than 300 companies are offering Show-Only Specials. What is the draw this year?
Hammes: This year we added an option for exhibitors to indicate on their booth contract that they would be offering a Show-Only Special vs. sending in a separate form. Creating this efficiency allowed us to capture more information for members. We are thrilled that over 300 companies have elected to participate.

Rental Management: Is there anything fun or different that attendees should be on the lookout for on the trade show floor this year?
Hammes: A caricature artist will be available for portraits in the ARA Resource Center located at Booth No. 2827 in the construction department during show floor hours. Attendees visiting the booth will also have the opportunity to participate in a brand-new national campaign to build the rental workforce. Those looking for specific event resources can visit the ARA Resource Center at Booth No. 629 located in the event department. There will be a photo opportunity in front of both ARA Resource Centers and in the lobby near registration. There also will be a Booth Chase game offered in The ARA Show app with the opportunity to win a helicopter tour in Las Vegas for the 2025 show. During the show, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase Women in Rental swag. There will be concessions with seating located in Hall J and a restaurant right outside of Hall J, as well as some food carts sprinkled throughout the lobby.

Rental Management: Why is there only EventsU on Saturday, Feb. 17, and what are the plans for the Future of Equipment Rental? How does the Saturday education differ from the day of education scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18?
Hammes: EventsU and Future of Equipment Rental (FOER) are scheduled to alternate years. EventsU is taking place in 2024, therefore FOER will be back for 2025 in Las Vegas. The Sunday education is rental-specific; however, it is structured to be more universal to the segments offering tracks and topics that apply to both the event and equipment segments. EventsU and FOER programs are segment-specific programs with EventsU targeting the event segment and FOER targeting the equipment segment.

Rental Management: The Keynote Session is featuring Jon Taffer from “Bar Rescue.” What will he bring to the keynote?
Hammes: We are excited for Mr. Taffer to kick things off on Monday as he will bring big energy first thing in the morning which will get members ready and psyched to hit the show floor. More than that, he is a true entrepreneur and entertainer, and will share key insights and provide tangible takeaways that we feel will resonate with members. The goal is for attendees to leave the keynote session energized and armed with new strategies and tactics that can be immediately implemented in their businesses.

Rental Management: The past few years, there has been a Welcome Reception on Monday after the show floor closes. This year, there will be individual Regional Receptions on Monday, Feb. 19. Why has this changed?
Hammes: The individual receptions, one for each region, are back to their original format at the request of members. Members shared that they would prefer to meet in smaller groups rather than in a larger combined reception. We are excited to be able to accommodate that request this year. This year also will include the Canadian Hospitality Reception on Sunday, Feb. 18, which is exclusive for ARA members residing in Canada (Region 10).

Rental Management: What is different about this year’s Tuesday Night Event that will be held at House of Blues New Orleans on Tuesday, Feb. 20?
Hammes: The event at House of Blues will offer great music, networking, food and drinks all with a New Orleans vibe. The entertainment will be phenomenal with Mitchell Tenpenny as our featured guest. It will be a fun evening you don’t want to miss.

Rental Management: What advice would you give to those attending the show to get the most out of their experience in New Orleans?
Hammes: There is so much to do within the span of a few days. Below is what I would suggest to anyone planning to attend this year’s show.

Have a plan. There is a lot to see and do, so know what you really want to accomplish. Using and The ARA Show Planner — which is available on the website — is a great way to start planning your trip. Downloading The ARA Show app is a great way to get all the information you need right at your fingertips. Also, build time into your schedule for networking and fun. Really immerse yourself while you are there and participate in as many activities and sessions as you can. If you are attending the show in a group, it is usually best to divide and conquer the show floor. With more than 650 exhibitors, there is a lot to see. Finally, go beyond your comfort zone and seek out new people to expand your network —  specially if you have been to the show many times. The most successful members are always seeking new opportunities to meet new people and get the latest ideas.

Connect with the show on social media. If you haven’t done so already, please like our page on Facebook and follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter. Use #ARAshow2024 and share your experience while at the show.

Come with a shopping list. Research vendors who carry the products you are looking for and familiarize yourself with the map of the show floor prior to arriving. You can do this online or on the app.

Take time to check out something new. You may not be interested in a certain product or service today but it’s good to stay informed. Check out as many booths as possible to see what’s trending and what’s ahead for the equipment and event rental industry.

Come with an open mind and comfortable shoes. There will be a lot of walking, but it will be worth it!

On-site registration available

For anyone making last-minute plans to attend The ARA Show™ 2024 in New Orleans, on-site registration is available at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Advance pricing ends Feb. 15, so there is still time to lock in savings.

Beginning Feb. 16, on-site registration pricing will take effect. The following on-site registration pricing will be available Feb. 16-21.

Full Registration: Includes all education sessions on Feb. 18, the Keynote Session on Feb. 19 and the trade show from Feb. 19–21. Other show events can be purchased for an additional charge.

  • ARA Rental Store Member – $449
  • Prospective Rental Store Member – $949

Exhibits Only Registration: Includes entrance into the trade show from Feb. 19-21. Other show events can be purchased for an additional charge.

  • ARA Rental Store Member – $399
  • Prospective Rental Store Member – $899

EventsU Registration: Tickets for EventsU, which takes place on Feb. 17, can be purchased separately. To register for EventsU, you must be an ARA member and also be registered to attend The ARA Show.

  • EventsU – $549
  • EventsU Evening Reception – $100

Networking event tickets: All events listed below require tickets and advance registration.

  • ARA Industry Awards Lunch – ARA Member $40, Prospective Member $50
  • ARA YPN Reception – ARA YPN Member Only $100
  • Regional Receptions (Regions 1-9) – ARA Member $40, Prospective Member $50
  • Women in Rental Breakfast – ARA Member $40, Prospective Member $50
  • Tuesday Night Event – ARA Member Only $350. A limited amount of tickets at this price will be available on site to support the ARA Foundation.
  • ARAPAC Reception – ARAPAC Member Only $100