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Special Events

Party rental sideline moves center stage

Party and event rental companies often find that their special skills are still in demand even after the party is over. Party Reflections of Charlotte, N.C., has grown from being a sponsor of a bridal show to taking over the show. The result has meant much more than just a boost in business. According to company president Dan Hooks, CERP, taking over the show has offset seasonal dips in his rental business, served as an excellent marketing tool, and even burnished his company's credibility with clients.


Known as "The Bridal Showcase," the event takes place twice a year in a 100,000-square-foot hall of the Charlotte Convention Center. The January show draws more than 1,300 brides and 175 vendors; the August show pulls in 500 brides and more than 100 vendors. After serving as a major sponsor and exhibitor over the years, Hooks was approached in 2000 as a potential buyer of the show. "As an integral part of the show already, we did not want a new owner to jeopardize our marketing efforts," he says. "With the exception of selling booth space, we were already providing all of the equipment for the show, helping with registration and providing sponsorship dollars to promote the show. It seemed a perfect fit for us because selling the booth space seemed to be the easiest challenge of them all."


Besides helping boost revenue during slow times, the show has burnished Party Reflections' image with its planner clients. "We realized that it was a good move for our company when the entire wedding industry in our area began to take notice that we were capable of much more than just being a warehouse of rental equipment," Hooks says. "It turned us into producers, which helped us empathize with our event partners and showed them that we were capable and interested in their challenges going forward."

For the full story, see the March issue of Special Events Magazine.

Photo by Glenn Bo

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