who SPECIAL EVENTS RENTAL, WARREN, MICH.
what CREATING A SHOWROOM IN THE WAREHOUSE
With a client base that “shops and conducts business all over the world,” this rental company wanted to step up its game with a show-stopping showroom, according to company head Larry Guitar. His team carved out a 5,000-square-foot showroom in the middle of its facility, handling much of the five-month project — demolition, electrical, painting and finish carpentry — themselves. “We have a lot of talented people here,” Guitar says.
The result: A “gallery” setting where the company's 5,000-product inventory is easy to see and reach. Features include a “napkin wall,” with 3,000 napkins spouting from tiny holes, and 14 plasma monitors, which display completed events while disguising steel beam supports. The team designed and built space-saving electric linen rods, which lift to the ceiling to reveal the next row of linen.
Clients love the chic new space, Guitar says, so much so “we have rented it out for two private events already.”
who EVENT SOURCE, CLEVELAND
what INVITING A CLIENT TO DESIGN THE SHOWROOM
This rental company is proud of its redesigned showroom — but it didn't do the designing. Instead, Event Source invited one of its customers — Gala Award-winning event planner/florist Something New Events of Canfield, Ohio — to do the honors.
The talents of the Something New team give the 2,400-square-foot showroom a “cohesive look,” notes purchasing manager Kelly Turkovich. “We get rave reviews from everyone who walks through the doors.” Further, the beautiful tables inspire customers. “It really gives the end- user a feeling of what they can create, rather than just seeing plates or glasses on a shelf,” Turkovich notes. When customers want some part of the centerpiece or table design, EventSource is quick to recommend Something New. “We still get the rentals, but Something New is able to benefit as well.”
And the best part: “We no longer spend days trying to re-create the showroom,” Turkovich says. “Something New sends a crew of people, and we just assist. We have it down to a day and a half of work.”
who MARQUEE EVENT GROUP, AUSTIN, TEXAS
what MAKING THE FACILITY THE MARKETING TOOL
With the turbulent economy, why did Marquee Event Group move last year to a facility almost 75 percent bigger than its old one? The former landlord made it easy. “He was going to bump our rate by 50 percent for a 40-year-old, worn-out building,” explains Damon Holditch, CSEP, CERP, founder of the company. “I thanked him as we were moving out.”
Marquee moved to a new 73,000-square-foot facility designed with that Holditch calls “the best ideas of the last 24 years,” referring to how long he has been in the rental industry. Along with larger laundry equipment, an indoor wash rack and a wood shop, the new facility features the Design Center, which Holditch describes as a “blank canvas” for planners to create their events. The center offers plain tables surrounded by tabletop items, linen and chairs, all ready for clients to mix and match. He adds that the unsettled economy helped seal the deal, as his new landlord gave him excellent lease terms. “These lease rates and tenant finish-out will never be available again,” he warns.
Holditch uses the new facility as a marketing tool, offering what he dubs the “50 cent” tour to all comers. “I feel that if someone sees our facility,” he says, “they will know that Marquee is the one they want to work with for their event.”
who TOWN & COUNTRY EVENT RENTALS, VAN NUYS, CALIF.
what GOING BIG, SAVING BIG
Founder Richard LoGuercio isn't shy about describing his new facility, which should be finished by June 1: “I think it will be the Taj Mahal of rental companies.”
It certainly will be bigger than the Taj Mahal. At 105,000 square feet, the new facility is a third larger than the space he is in now, LoGuercio notes. With his current lease about to expire, he was on the hunt for a new building when he saw the facility across the street for rent. But before he signed a lease, he calculated the cost to buy it instead, taking advantage of depressed real estate prices.
The new building offers plenty of amenities, including a beautiful kitchen, conference room and offices. “No one will want to go home!” LoGuercio says. He is also investing plenty — about $ 1 million — to add features such as mezzanines in the warehouse to move inventory better. “Getting bigger is a nice thing, but you lose efficiencies,” he notes.
These efficiencies should also help offset expenses. LoGuercio is installing super-bright, energy-efficient lighting, and his new water-treatment system should help cut water use by 40 percent, he predicts. “Technology costs more,” he says. “But it will save us a lot of money right away.”
MARQUEE EVENT GROUP
SPECIAL EVENTS RENTAL
TOWN & COUNTRY EVENT RENTALS