Despite industry consolidation, the event rental industry has blossomed over the past five years, according to the 10th edition of the Special Events Magazine "30 Top Event Rental Companies" list, which appears in the October issue. For the 22 companies that have appeared on the list every year for the last five years, rental volume has tripled, to approximately $676 million. Some of the growth is due to acquisition--notably the rapid buying spree of Los Angeles-based Classic Party Rentals--but other firms show robust organic growth. Compared with 2006, the list shows a 23 percent increase in revenue.
For the most part, operators remain bullish on business. "All indications from our customers in Chicago and throughout the Midwest are that the fall and winter will continue to be extremely busy," say the management team at Hall's Rental Service of Niles, Ill. New York's TriServe Party Rentals goes even further, predicting a 10 percent increase next year.
Others, however, are more cautious. Management at San Francisco-based 523 Capital warns of a slowdown in the consumer/homeowner segment next year.
A theme throughout this year's edition is the growing sophistication of the rental customer. High-end brands--such as Riedel stemware and Frette linen--do well, rental operators say. And many operators predict strength in the high-end market, both corporate and social. The sophisticated client is a great revenue-producer, operators says, because such clients demand customized elements throughout their events.
For more, see the October issue of Special Events Magazine.