The 2023 American Rental Association (ARA) trade show was by all accounts, a success, characterized by high attendance and engagement with both attendees and exhibitors on the show floor and at the show’s events.
The world’s largest equipment and event rental trade show and convention was held February 11-15 at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida.
“It was so good to be back on our normal schedule for The ARA Show and it’s the first time in three years that our exhibitors and attendees were able to interact without restrictions. Our first-time programs like Future of Equipment Rental and EventsU were lauded by attendees, and almost all of our signature events set new attendance records,” said Tony Conant, CEO of the ARA.
The number of rental stores that attended the show increased tremendously from the previous show in October 2021. More than 750 exhibitors attended the trade show – many celebrating milestones from first-time exhibitors to a remarkable 66 years as an exhibitor at the event.
“Being able to see products firsthand, speak with exhibitors, attend education sessions and network on such a large scale all in one place is such a unique opportunity. The energy level was incredibly high over the five days of events. Our industry is poised for another good year,” said Conant.
New this year was the addition of two rental-specific education programs, EventsU (formerly Events & Tents) and Future of Equipment Rental. More than 700 rental professionals attended the full-day education programs in event and equipment rental, respectively. The add-on programs were followed by the traditional full day of educational seminars on Sunday.
The keynote address, sponsored by ARA Insurance, featured Daymond John of ABC's "Shark Tank." John is a NY Times best-selling author, the founder and CEO of FUBU, a global fashion brand, and a phenomenally successful businessperson.
The award-winning entrepreneur empowered attendees with an inspiring presentation on goal setting and achievement strategies. John’s keynote address also marked the opening of the trade show floor.
“Overall attendance exceeded our initial expectations, and the momentum seemed to build from Saturday education programs to the trade show floor opening,” said Christine Hammes, vice president of association services/events. “It was exciting to see the trade show floor buzzing with activity. The feedback from attendees has been positive with many reporting an increase in buying activity, and optimism for the year ahead.”