As we've noted throughout 2012, this is the 30th anniversary of Special Events. We got our start in 1982 as a little quarterly insert devoted entirely to party rental.
It's fitting that we close out the year with our annual look at the event rental industry. (And we don't even call it “party rental” anymore.)
To me, event rental is the touchstone of our business. If anyone knows who's getting jobs and who's just talking about them, who's making money and who's passing up making payments, it's the rental pros.
The 15th edition of our “30 Top Rental Companies” story brings some good news. Our data shows that sales volume for the companies on our list should be up 6 percent over last year. Of course, some of this has to be credited to the special events that come around every four years — the Olympics and the U.S. presidential elections. Both of these mega events bring a welcome jolt of juice to event professionals in a wide range of disciplines.
But if rental is a bellwether for events as a whole, then the remarkable growth in this segment shows how far we all have come. It's amazing to see one rental company I wrote about 10 years ago bringing in $4 million a year; today, it's $14 million. That 10 years has brought plenty of tumult, but it also has brought the flowering of our industry.
Turn to page 19 to see the full article.
As I've collected stories for our 30th anniversary, it has been a joy to hear the tales so many of you have shared about your own event journey.
When Special Events launched 30 years ago, some of you were working in other careers but felt an itch that told you somehow you were meant to be in events. Others were in high school helping plan the prom. And, much as I hate how old this makes me feel, some of you weren't even born yet!
Wherever you are on your event-career journey, I want to thank you again for sharing your stories with me. I don't know of another profession where the sense of community and commitment is so strong.
There are a lot of big dreamers in special events, but not a lot of big egos. OK, there are a lot of big egos, but any sense of self-importance is always tempered by the reality that no one pulls off a great event alone. No matter how brilliant you are, you are going to need the skills and dedication of others to get the meal ready, the lighting installed, the tables set, and so on.
Thanks for taking me along on your event adventures.