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Show floor abuzz on the first day at The ARA Show 2024

By Erin Jorgensen

February 20, 2024

Attendees flocked to the trade show floor of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans at The ARA Show™ 2024, following a rousing Keynote Session presented by Jon Taffer. The show floor was buzzing and busy with conversations on the first day of the trade show.

“The ARA Show, for us, is one of the biggest opportunities to view new products as they come onto the scene. And it’s where we make the majority of our purchasing. And, we are able to network with the different vendors side by side, so, if we’re ever comparing any different products, it is the most intuitive way for us to understand the pros and cons of different items,” says David Darby III, Rent-E-Quip, Colonial Heights, Va.

Exhibitors were eager to show off their new products and services to new and longtime customers.

“We had a great opening day,” says Mitch Bluethman, Jomar Table Linens, Corona, Calif. “We’ve also had new prospects come through. Some are looking to get started in the business, or they’re new in the business and this is their first show. We had some really good, long conversations with them about how to get started and what they need. That’s awesome.”

“There’s been a lot of interest. With electric, we see a lot of big companies pushing for fleet conversion. They [rental companies] have goals they set for sustainability as corporations. There is a lot of interest in moving to electric where possible,” says Kyle Crosley, Polaris Industries, Medina, Minn.

“What a great event! So many people with diverse backgrounds and ideas. Everyone moving the industry forward … it’s a revolution! We had an overwhelming response and are so glad we made it to New Orleans for ARA,” says first-time exhibitor Dustin Surran, eQuip, Parker, Colo.

Some attendees had a specific shopping list in mind, while others were checking out new products from more than 650 exhibitors.

“I’m here to kick tires, look at stuff, and try to get the pulse of what’s going on,” says Israel Butt, PRB Feed, Blackfoot, Idaho. “I really need a woodchipper and other stuff I don’t have because we’re relatively new — we’ve only been in the rental business since 2017. So, we’re still expanding what we offer. I’m also here to talk to the people I do business with. In the last year we changed our rental software to integraRental Software. I’ve never met them personally — we’ve talked on the phone a lot, but I’ve never met them.”

“This is my first time coming to the show. I’m very new to the industry, so I’m here to learn and meet some new people and, as a purchasing specialist, talk to some vendors and hopefully get some orders in. I’ve met some new people, which is what I’m here to do. This venue is huge and it’s beautiful. Being here is beautiful. I’m excited to see all the equipment and all the vendors,” says Alliyah Taylor, Admar Supply Co., Rochester, N.Y.