There are many factors that favor a positive 2024 for both equipment and event rental operators in the region, according to American Rental Association (ARA) Region Five Director Robert Copley, CERP, sales manager at Event Essentials, Windsor, Wis.
“Construction is still strong,” he says. “New home construction is ramping up. There was a slight decline because of labor and the pricing of materials, but that has eased. There is talk that this [new construction] will increase for next year, which I think will help the tool industry.”
On the event side, 2023 “has remained crazy, but it has been a bit more manageable because the labor market has turned around a little, depending on where you are. For us at Event Essentials, we are back to our normal staffing levels since pre-COVID. We still have experienced having to turn business away because of capacity restraint, whether last-minute orders or future bookings. We also are building a new warehouse. We plan to move in next spring. We are excited for that new opportunity and new growth for our organization. Being in the event rental industry, we are still coming off of COVID. People still want to gather. They still want to have events,” he says, adding that he doesn’t see this trend diminishing next year.
Rental operators in the region have shared that 2023 was “really good for both tool and party. I think the outlook [by those in the region] is still positive for 2024,” he says.
He doesn’t deny there are challenges to be aware of and prepare for. “I think everyone is watching what the government has to say, what will happen with interest rates and what the larger companies are doing. You hear about the tech companies laying off large amounts of people, but like in the past few years, I think a lot of organizations will continue to see steady growth, depending on the market you are in and what else is going on in your area,” he says.
To remain on top of these issues, Copley encourages rental operators to “stay in touch with local organizations, attend your chamber meetings and talk with your close competitors to see what is going on so you can plan accordingly,” he says. “Also, stay up to date on what ARA is sharing in its regional newsletters, Rental Pulse and Rental Management. Attend state chapter meetings. If you want more information, stay in touch with your ARA state chapter leaders. Get involved so you can continue to keep on the pulse of what is happening.”