The Rental Show Attendance Up for Sixth Straight Year | Construction News

Attendance at the American Rental Association's The Rental Show 2015 in New Orleans, Feb. 22-25, showed increased attendance for the sixth consecutive year – a milestone not achieved by the show since the early 1980s.

Rental business attendance at the 2015 show increased by nearly 5% over 2014.

While the attendance growth was apparent throughout the exhibit hall when it opened on Monday, Feb. 23, the enthusiasm wasn’t limited to the show floor. The pre-show Events & Tents workshop on Saturday, Feb. 21, had been sold out since November with 450 registrants.

The educational seminars on Sunday, Feb. 22, attracted attendees in great numbers, too. The keynote session featuring Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning on Monday, Feb. 23, drew a capacity crowd that gave the NFL’s only five-time MVP standing ovations before, during, and after his address.

Christine Wehrman, American Rental Association (ARA) CEO, was pleased with the remarkable way attendees and exhibitors were enjoying the show, participating fully in the programs and events, and using the show's networking opportunities.

“Everything at the show was working at the highest level this year. There was strong interest in meeting with exhibitors, purchasing of equipment, excellent networking and positive attitudes from all attendees and exhibitors,” Wehrman said. “There is an optimistic outlook for the future of the equipment rental industry, short-term and long-term. Everyone is very confident of the future being a stronger marketplace and they are investing in the growth of the industry.”

Paul Phelon, now ARA’s chairman of the board from Timp Rental Center in Orem, Utah, noticed that confidence as well. “The show had a great deal of energy, with a lot of people in New Orleans and a high level of buying activity. Members were flooding the show floor and vendors were excited to see people coming.”

Exhibitors felt the energy throughout the show, too. “People were buying from the beginning of the show and others were shopping and then coming back to finalize quotes,” said Clay Eubanks, Takeuchi Manufacturing (U.S.), Pendergrass, Ga. “We knew it was going to be good because the economy overall is doing better. The show this year was like the old days with a buzz and buying activity.”

Next year, a celebration of ARA’s 60th anniversary will be the focus of The Rental Show, which will be held Feb. 21-24, 2016, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.