Event rental operators are bullish on business this year, with 76 percent predicting they will handle more events in 2007 than 2006, according to the latest survey from Special Events Magazine.
The survey, now in its fifth year, also shows that only 9 percent of respondents are concerned about the recent wave of consolidation in the industry. In fact, concern about competition dropped from the No. 2 spot as a challenge for business last year to No. 5 this year.
"Consolidation of event rental businesses has been good for us," says Philip Silverman, head of San Diego-based Raphael's Party Rentals. "It's less competition, and customers still like the family, locally owned businesses."
But some things never change. The No. 1 issue for rental operators since this survey began remains the same: the problem of increasing costs in the face of pressure to keep prices down. Mark Clawson, head of Salt Lake City-based Diamond Rental notes, "Most of the 'not apparent to a customer' costs such as insurance, fuel, labor rates, etc., continue to skyrocket."
And while the outlook for event rental is robust, all that could change if the economy hits a snag. "Our corporate clients still show signs of strength with record earnings and increased hiring," says Michael Berman, president and CEO of Milpitas, Calif.-based Stuart Rental Co. says, "but geopolitical risks and a sluggish housing market could slow everything down quickly."
For more, see Special Events Magazine's February issue.