The ARA Show returns to Orlando
By Erin Jorgensen
The ARA Show™ 2023 will return to Orlando for the first time since 2020. The 66th 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. 11, with segment-specific education and networking opportunities.
The trade show, which will feature more than 700 exhibitors this year, opens at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, immediately following the conclusion of the Keynote Session presented by Daymond John.
Christine Hammes, ARA’s vice president, association services, recently answered questions from Rental Management about what attendees can expect at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) North/South Building, this year.
Rental Management: The last time The ARA Show happened was 16 months ago. Are you feeling excitement already from exhibitors and attendees?
Christine Hammes: Definitely! Both exhibitors and attendees are happy to be back in Orlando on the regular schedule in February. Orlando is always a popular and profitable destination for our members. They also love the weather and that there are attractions, shopping and numerous restaurants located near the convention center.
Rental Management: The show is back on its typical schedule, happening in February in Orlando, but has the show changed as a result of what has happened in the world since 2020? What can attendees expect?
Hammes: Our goal is to provide an enhanced experience of the traditional offerings that our members have told us they enjoy and value as well as offer some new experiences. We have two new segment-specific programs on Saturday including EventsU and Future of Equipment Rental. Sunday will include a comprehensive education program including four different tracks hosted by professional speakers and industry panelists. The ARA Industry Awards Lunch will be held on Sunday to honor members who have made substantial contributions to the industry. The Keynote Session with Daymond John will be held on Monday morning, with the trade show floor immediately opening after the keynote. Attendees will have two and a half days to explore an expansive trade show floor full of exhibitors showcasing their rental-specific products and services. Many exhibitors are offering great savings through Show-Only Specials (see list on Page 56). This year, attendees who purchased an All-Access Pass — new for 2023 — will be able to take a break, grab a snack, network and have access to free Wi-Fi in the hospitality lounge sponsored by Perkins off the show floor. Members have told us how much they value networking at events, so we have expanded the capacity of many of our networking offerings in 2023. There are many networking opportunities to choose from including the ARA Young Professional Network (YPN) Reception, the Welcome Reception, the ARAPAC Reception, the Women in Rental Breakfast, the ARA Foundation Charity Auction and Reception, and ARA’s Tuesday Night Event at Universal Studios Orlando. There also are a few added “extras” including coffee available at the Keynote Session on Monday morning, updated coffee-house themed rest stops on the show floor in each department, the Show Floor Reception on Tuesday afternoon, water bottle giveaways for attendees to use to hydrate while shopping the floor, a take home travel swag bag for attendees, an online store to purchase Women in Rental swag during the show, and a cool new contest giveaway at the ARA Member Resource Center, Booth No. 3420.
Rental Management: In Las Vegas in 2021, there were many health practices required by the state and county. Are there any restrictions this year?
Hammes: Currently, there are no restrictions, and we don’t foresee anything changing between now and the show. ARA does have a commitment to sustainability in 2023, as we know trade shows have an impact on the environment. We are working with our partners and exhibitors to reduce waste and be more efficient. Members may notice more digital signage on site, minimized use of carpet on the show floor, and increased recycling capabilities throughout the center.
Rental Management: Why are there two education events on Saturday, Feb. 11, and how do those differ from the day of education scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 12?
Hammes: The one-day Saturday programs offer additional segment-specific education and networking opportunities for our members. EventsU, formerly Events & Tents, is a full day of event-specific education and networking. There will be a keynote breakfast and interactive lunch session as well as an EventsU reception from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. The education is designed to help event rental professionals hone their skills, learn from industry leaders and become inspired to elevate their event rental industry into the future. Future of Equipment Rental is a structured program for equipment-focused members where they can hear from industry experts and fellow colleagues about best practices, new technologies and innovative ideas to propel their business forward into the future. There will be several networking opportunities with a keynote breakfast and lunch, as well as a closing cocktail reception. The education on Sunday will be rental specific, but broader in context. Most sessions are appropriate for all industry segments. There are 16 individual sessions within the four designated tracks: Learn and Lead, Connect and Collaborate, Empower and Engage, and Plan and Strategize. The majority of the sessions on Sunday are led by professional speakers along with a few panels.
Rental Management: The Keynote Session is dipping back into the “Shark Tank” with Daymond John. What will he bring to the keynote?
Hammes: Daymond John has built businesses from the ground up just like many of our members, so he should be very relatable to members due to the entrepreneurial spirit of his messaging. He will be sharing strategies to empower members to make impactful changes to take their businesses to the next level in the future. As a motivational speaker, Daymond’s rags-to-riches success story of sacrifice, hard work and perseverance should also resonate and hopefully inspire members as they focus on the future of their businesses for 2023 and beyond.
Rental Management: There is a Welcome Reception on Monday, Feb. 13, after the show floor closes instead of individual regional receptions. Why has this changed?
Hammes: The Welcome Reception on Monday evening is a newer format that was piloted at the show in Las Vegas. We are bringing all 10 regions together to host an industry celebration rather than hosting 10 separate smaller receptions. The event will be conveniently located right off the show floor, which logistically will be convenient and easily accessible for members. The larger space will provide more exposure for the Leadership Impact Award winners as well. We know that some members like to network in smaller groups within their specific regions, so there will be illuminated balloon callouts for each region strategically placed throughout the space so members can easily locate their designated area if they choose to network within their specific regions.
Rental Management: Is there anything different or unusual about the trade show floor at the Orange County Convention Center North/South Building this year?
Hammes: This year, ARA will have a few different locations on the show floor, all located conveniently close to one another. The ARA Resource Center, Booth No. 3420 in construction, will have four quadrants including a NASCAR simulator, an education/presentation area and a networking area. Within the booth there also will be kiosks designated for the ARA Healthcare Solution, Workforce Development Solutions, ARA Rentalytics™ and the Rental Management Media Group. Other ARA locations include ARA Insurance in Booth No. 3417, the ARA Foundation in Booth No. 3718, and the ARA Resource Center in Booth No. 3217 in the event department. Other ARA partners include National Equipment Register (NER) in Booth No. 3618; Westland Insurance Group, the Canadian insurance provider, in Booth No. 3617; the ARA Healthcare Solution in partnership with HUB International and Allstate Benefits; James Waite Law in Booth No. 3614; Card Connect in Booth No. 3715; Listenforce in Booth No. 3334 and Peer Executive Groups in Booth No. 3714.
On-site registration available
There is still time to register for The ARA Show™ 2023, scheduled for Feb. 11-15 at the Orange County Convention Center North/South Building in Orlando.
Full and exhibits only registration options will be available at the show. The following on-site registration pricing will be available Feb. 10-15.
Full Registration. This includes education on Feb. 12, the Feb. 13 Keynote Session and the trade show from Feb. 13-15. Other show events can be purchased for an additional charge.
ARA Rental Store Member — $399
Prospective Rental Store Member — $899
Exhibits Only Registration. This includes entrance into the trade show from Feb. 13-15. Other show events can be purchased for an additional charge.
ARA Rental Store Member — $349
Prospective Rental Store Member — $849
Saturday education programs. In order to register for EventsU or Future of Equipment Rental, attendees also must be registered to attend The ARA Show.
EventsU — $549
EventsU Reception — $100
Future of Equipment Rental — $549
Networking event tickets. All events listed below require tickets and advance registration. The following advance pricing is available now through Feb. 15.
ARA Industry Awards Lunch — Member $40, Prospective Member $50
ARA Young Professional Network (YPN) Reception — Member Only $100
Welcome Reception — Member $40, Prospective Member $50
Women in Rental Breakfast — Member $40, Prospective Member $50
ARAPAC Reception — Member Only $100