Rental Show Attendance Reflects Optimism and Enthusiasm

The 2012 show saw double-digit growth in both the number of attendees and the number of rental businesses represented.

For the second straight year, there was double-digit growth in both the number of attendees and the number of rental businesses represented at the Show. Attendance for 2012 increased nearly 20 percent over 2011, with the number of rental businesses up nearly 25 percent. Those traveling to New Orleans came from all 50 United States, nearly every Canadian province and more than 40 countries.

The Rental Show demonstrated that this industry continues to be a driving force in our economy,” said Christine Wehrman, American Rental Association executive vice president and CEO. “Enthusiasm, optimism, pride and purchasing of equipment were seen throughout The Rental Show, which is the message everyone can take forward from New Orleans. I foresee a very favorable year for the rental industry in 2012 with equipment rental penetration increasing and a fundamental shift toward the value of rental by the customer base. It felt good to experience the upbeat atmosphere and mood of great things ahead for our industry.”

Attendees and exhibitors at The Rental Show agreed there has been increasing positive change in attitude, which bolsters the fact that the equipment rental industry is positioned for continued growth and further market penetration. Nearly every exhibitor in all areas of the exhibit hall reported good traffic, many qualified leads and plenty of sales in New Orleans.

The Rental Show was well attended and the mood of stores from around the country was positive,” said Pierre Pereira, vice president of sales and marketing for Billy Goat Industries, Lee’s Summit, MO. “The majority of customers we visited with mentioned improvement in their year-over-year performance and looked to replace both fleet and try newer, more productive models to grow their businesses and differentiate from the competition.”

Finding those new products was a reason many attendees were at The Rental Show. “My main reason to be at the show is shopping and taking advantage of the Show Specials,” said first-time attendee Angela Meadows of Mitchell’s Rental Yard, Leavenworth, KS. “We are here to learn all we can from others.”

Pam Meyer, equipment sales manager for Subaru Industrial Power Products in Lake Zurich, IL, said her company saw a definite change in attitude among rental owners. “We started seeing the change last year, but there was much more optimism with everyone this year. I didn’t talk to one dealer who didn’t have good things to say about their business in 2011 or what they anticipated for 2012. That was a refreshing change,” she said.

ARA President Mike Flesher said The Rental Show in New Orleans was the most fun and exciting show in more than four years. “Given the improving economy, especially as it relates to rental, we expect the show floor will be even busier and even more exciting in 2013 when the show returns to Las Vegas. Once again, we will offer top-notch seminars, networking opportunities and energizing events. I always come back to my business after the Show with renewed energy and great ideas, and The Rental Show 2013 will be no exception,” he said.

With the 2012 Show completed, ARA is now starting to focus on The Rental Show 2013, which is Feb. 10-13 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. It will be the Show’s first time at this venue, which was the host site to 10 of the largest U.S. trade shows in 2010.The Venetian and The Palazzo will be the headquarters hotels. The new site will be a more convenient location since it is more centrally located in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip and offers more dining and entertainment options.