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17th Annual Special Events 30 Top Rental Companies

17th Annual Special Events 30 Top Rental Companies

17th Annual Special Events 30 Top Rental Companies

From tent tops to subfloors, these companies bring it. Taken as a whole, the30 firms listed here pull in more than $821 million in revenue annually, and predict an 4 percent boost over last year’s tally. While rustic looks and farm tables stay strong, the biggest trend is custom work. If the client can dream it, these companies can develop and deliver it.

A-1 Party
Covina, Calif.
TOP OFFICER Chet Fortney
COMPANY BASICS A1 Party is "best known for its depth of experience, impeccable service and diverse rental inventory," management says. "For more than a decade, the A1 team has been providing full-service rental support to leading event professionals in the private, public, and corporate event sectors."
CURRENT EVENTS Event highlights of the past year have included the MTV Music Video Awards, Paul McCartney and Jay-Z/Beyonce concerts, Rose Bowl game, BSC Championship game at the Rose Bowl, the inaugural Made in America Music Festival in downtown Los Angeles featuring Kanye West, NHL Stadium Series Game at Dodger Stadium, the Fame and Philanthropy Oscar after-party, and the Breeders Cup.
WHAT'S RENTING For "under the tent" and indoor events, fabric treatments for walls and ceilings, illuminated color washes accented with decorative lighting, and chandeliers remain very strong this year, management says. Black and bronze Ghost chairs are especially hot for fall, and soft furniture such as fabric sectionals, ottomans and club chairs continue to be in high demand. For  outdoor events, farm and vineyard furniture remain highly popular, they say. Wooden dining tables and cross-back chairs, wooden cabanas, vineyard bars and rattan lounge furniture--all accented with vintage lighting--and decorative wall panels and hedges are A1's most popular items.
WHAT'S NEXT Inventory selection and price point aren't everything, management says. "With the economy continuing to improve and our industry continuing to grow, first-class service seems to be the growing trend in what earns new business," management says. "A helpful and attentive attitude from the first time a customer calls through the end of a event is what clients love." Event producers demand faster turnaround more than ever. "Outstanding communication such as prompt responses on revisions to orders, timely event installations, and professional team members is critical," they say. "It's what keeps our new and longtime clients loyal."
Apres Party and Tent Rentals
TOP OFFICERS Charlie Feldbaum, Michael Feldbaum
COMPANY BASICS Located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Apres is a "family-grown" business now celebrating 27 years as a "premier" provider of event rental services, specializing in the upper Midwest.
CURRENT EVENTS This year has seen continued growth in the high-end wedding market, corporate events, fundraisers and galas, management says. Clients served include 3M, Medtronic, IBM, Cargill, GE, Ecolab, Harley-Davidson, Toyota, Cambria, Red Bull, Northern Tool, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, AT&T, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
WHAT'S RENTING "Our clients tend to look for new items that are unique and will set their event apart," management says, such as clear-top tents, tent liners and fabric treatments, tent flooring with unique carpeting, rustic/vintage decor such as farm tables and benches, lounge furniture, specialty lighting, illuminated bars, and custom linens and decor.
WHAT'S NEXT "Although the economy has improved significantly, it has still required us to work harder and smarter for our business," management says. "The future growth of our company continues to look very positive," they add, as they are seeing a steady increase in corporate, public and private events.
Arena AmericasArena Americas
COMPANY BASICS Arena Americas specializes in providing full-line event equipment rental products and services, including semi-permanent and permanent clear-span structures, tents, HVAC, power generation, lighting, flooring, staging, furniture and tabletop equipment to clients internationally. "Our team has established a reputation for delivering high-quality products, a superior level of service, and unsurpassed design innovation," management says.
CURRENT EVENTS Highlights this year have included the Super Bowl, New York Fashion Week, the Ryder Cup, NBA All-Star Game, Wimbledon Championships, Lollapalooza Music Festival, Daytona 500 and the Chicago Marathon.
WHAT'S RENTING The company takes pride in its custom clear-span structure options, which include single-slope, curved, Arcums and multi-deck structures, as well as fabric and hard facades.
WHAT'S NEXT Management notes an increasing demand for custom work, such as specially designed structures, custom façades, modular wall panel systems, and custom printed graphics.  "These unique requests have been made possible by our talented in-house design team and manufacturing capabilities," they say.
BRATT Productions
TOP OFFICERS Matt Crosby, Brian Jenkins
COMPANY BASICS Starting out with three margarita machines in 2003, BRATT Productions has grown to a $15-million tent and party rental company, management says with pride, specializing in all styles of tents. From 30-meter structures to 100-wide poles to 40-wide frames, we are able to take care of all of Texas’ and Oklahoma’s tenting and event needs."
CURRENT EVENTS The year has been an exciting year for BRATT Productions, with the acquisition of the Aztec Events and Tents Central Texas division.  With this acquisition, "We will be introducing an 'Aztec Select' line, which will include high-end tabletop and furniture," they say.
WHAT'S RENTING The No. 1 trend: The company's "Farm" line of furniture.
WHAT'S NEXT The year 2014 "will end with all six locations showing positive growth, with 2015 showing the same promise," management says.
Butler Rents
TOP OFFICER Barry Reynolds
COMPANY BASICS In business more than 40 years, Butler's inventory includes tables, chairs, tabletop, linens, china, glassware and foodservice equipment in its 80,000-square-foot warehouse.
CURRENT EVENTS The year's event roster has included the ESPN Winter X Games, Aspen Food and Wine Festival, Booklovers Ball, Denver Stock Show, and BMW FedEx Golf Tournament at Cherry Hills Country Club. 
WHAT'S RENTING Hot items include resin chairs, chiavari barstools, rustic tables and chairs, and brush aluminum tabletops.
WHAT'S NEXT "2014 has shown continued growth, and the trends continue along the lines of specialty items, irregularly shaped dinnerware and serving pieces, specialty linen and tabletops," management says. "Unique items that make each event slightly different from the next seem to drive the rental industry now."
Chair-Man Mills Corp.
TOP OFFICER John Van Schepen
COMPANY BASICS Founded in 1911, this Canadian rental powerhouse takes pride in its "stellar reputation" for providing quality rentals and top-flight service to the event industry in Toronto.
CURRENT EVENTS Busy event roster has included Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto Taste, Bloor Street Entertains, and Hockey Hall of Fame inductions.
WHAT'S RENTING Clients call for "nature-inspired items"--anything organic, linen, wood, eco-friendly, simple and natural. On the opposite end of the spectrum, over-the-top gold flatware, cut crystal, and gold-trimmed china are in demand, management says, while the vintage trend stays strong.
Choura Events
Torrance, Calif.
TOP OFFICER Ryan J. Choura
COMPANY BASICS In business since 2005, serving Southern California and parts of the western U.S. Choura offers high-end tenting and event rentals including tables, chairs, lounge furniture, bars, tabletop and more, management says.
CURRENT EVENTS Event highlights this year have included Reebok Crossfit Games, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Weinstein Co.’s Golden Globes after-party, Electric Daisy Carnival, Los Angeles County Fair, Manhattan Wine Auction, and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
WHAT'S RENTING What's hot? "Innovative tenting--especially when used in unexpected places or laid out in a unique configuration," they say. Also lounge furniture with the Mid-Century Modern look, and cabanas.
WHAT'S NEXT "We think clients are bored of rental companies that just sell commodities," management says. "Clients are able to easily compare and shop competitors online, so having a compelling brand that engages with its fans is becoming more important than resting on reputation alone." Also, "Customers are also less forgiving when it comes to average product--they expect, and deserve, great equipment, every time. Companies that truly provide benefits in the form  of  customer service, design and overall 'event support' success are going to rise to the top.  whether you are a planner, venue or just trying to have an event in your home, you should be able to rely on a rental company that can architect an event and design something unique."
Classic Party Rentals
Los Angeles
TOP OFFICER Brent Mumford
COMPANY BASICS With more than 30 years in the event rental industry, this rental company takes pride in "unparalleled customer care, endless capabilities and impeccable service.” Servicing the event planner, corporate, university, hospital and health care, and sports industry markets, and "many more," they say.
CURRENT EVENTS “The company is honored to work with influential clients including Fortune 500 companies, major events such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, PGA Championship and NASCAR, awards shows such as the Emmy Ball and the Academy Awards Governors Ball, and "thousands of incredibly memorable weddings,” management says.
WHAT'S RENTING "Our exclusive Lucca china line has quickly become one of our most popular rentals; the contemporary design has a natural feel and organic shape that pairs well with clean modern chargers, flatware and glassware," management says. Also big: lounge furniture at receptions, and the company's own French country Provence line and sleek, modern Vogue line "have been popular across a wide array of events," they say.
WHAT'S NEXT Event draping and lighting are trending in all aspects of the event world and take a high level of training and experience to execute perfectly," they say. "This level of service and experience is a valuable tool."
DC Rental
Arlington, Va.
COMPANY BASICS A fixture in the Washington area since 1986, DC takes pride in its reputation as being "a company that offers the finest party equipment combined with personalized service," management says.
CURRENT EVENTS Highlights of the year have included big fundraisers, major sporting events including the Preakness Stakes, the Kennedy Center Honors gala, large embassy events, the Leukemia Ball, and "countless corporate events and weddings," they say.
WHAT'S RENTING "Any plate that is white and has a different shape is renting well," they say. "We also continue to see our wedding clients choose rustic looks, including farm tables and rustic-looking chairs."
WHAT'S NEXT DC management "continues to see strong sales growth in 2014," they say. "Having a very dedicated and experienced sales team combined with a solid operations team has made our business stronger than ever. We see more and more customers appreciating and paying for the product we deliver because we really do care. It’s all about  reputation, product and reliability in our business. If the product is not delivered and/or looks terrible, it doesn’t matter how much you paid--your event will reflect it."
Diamond Rental
Salt Lake City
TOP OFFICER Mark Clawson
COMPANY BASICS From locations in Salt Lake City, Orem, and Ogden, Utah, Diamond offers high-end party and tent rental services to customers throughout the Mountain West. The company also operates 10 equipment rental locations. 
WHAT'S RENTING Company offers wide product line, including tents and structures, in support of its core party rental business. "The market continues to ask for all things vintage, from tents to decor," they say. "Rustic looks are hot, as are metallic colors."
WHAT'S NEXT "We feel optimistic heading into 2015 that the market for our event services will continue growing," they say. "Destination weddings and corporate events continue to be good sources of growth for us."
Event Rental Group
COMPANY BASICS Operations comprise Advanced Tent Rental, Exclusive Affair Rentals, Micki's Linens and Top Craft tent manufacturing.
CURRENT EVENTS Highlights of the year have included the Shaw Charity Classic along with annual fundraisers and galas, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Rogers Cup Tennis Masters Series, and plenty of "extraordinary" weddings, management says.
WHAT'S RENTING "We continue to move away from brand-name products, and have instead worked closely with clients to create our own product designs from scratch," management says. "We have found this approach to be highly successful as it brings unique products to our local market. We recently launched a line of glassware made from recycled wine bottles."
WHAT'S NEXT "The public appetite for off-premise catered events remains strong, particularly in Toronto," management says. "We continue to thrive, despite increasing competition in our marketplace. Our company’s emphasis on quality products and strong service set us apart from our competitors, and will continue to serve as the underlying criteria of our mission statement."
Event Rentals Unlimited/Tent Rentals Unlimited
TOP OFFICERS Dan Nolan III, CEO; Sam Wodetzki, CFO
COMPANY BASICS Established in 1992 and 2006 respectively, Tents Unlimited and Event Rentals Unlimited service the tent and party rental markets primarily in the Southeastern U.S. "The companies have a national presence and travel often to other parts of the country to offer their unique brand of service to their clients," management says.
CURRENT EVENTS "This year we launched our flooring division, Event Flooring Solutions, with nationwide service," management says. "Our companies have always done a robust flooring, elevated platform, and coverings business, and we have been focused on the growth of that market segment for several years. With the addition of key personnel, we are able to service much larger events, and we are continuing a robust growth in the flooring segment."
WHAT'S RENTING Custom flooring options are continuing to be in high demand, they say. "We made significant investments in high-end outdoor lounge furniture, driftwood chairs, and farm tables. There is a demand for unique/decorative charger plates and clean, flat tent linings this season."
WHAT'S NEXT What's the good word? "Growth!" management says. "Everyone is busy. We are finally seeing the overall good health of our industry return. The companies doing business the right way are seeing the growth that has traditionally followed the downturn in years past. It took a bit longer this time, but it’s here! That is good news for everyone."
Hall's Rental Service
Niles, Ill.
TOP OFFICERS Jack Luft, Tom Luft
COMPANY BASICS A fixture in Chicago since 1958, Hall's offers a 3,500-square-foot showroom, 125,000-square-foot warehouse, and inventory including 15,000 tables, 60,000 chairs in 25 different styles, and 80,000 place settings in more than 50 different patterns. And it's all available for delivery nationwide.
CURRENT EVENTS Big events this year have included gala fundraisers for the Field Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art “David Bowie Is” opening, Ravinia Festival, Lincoln Park Zoo, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago History Museum,  Museum of Science and Industry, Nature Museum and Shedd Aquarium.
WHAT'S RENTING Clients clamor for Lucite tables in clear and black with Mirage chairs in clear, black and white. Also hot: farm tables with French country chairs and matching barstools or metal “industrial look” chairs and bar stools. Vintage flatware and glassware still popular, and lounge furniture appears at more and more events.
WHAT'S NEXT Budgets and guest counts are up for fundraising events and social events, management says. "The fall season has been strong, and we are optimistic about an increase in holiday events with increased budgets, although many events are still booked last-minute."
Kirby Rentals
Orlando, Fla.
TOP OFFICER Paul Weidner
COMPANY BASICS Locations in Jacksonville, Orlando and Ormond Beach, Fla., with a satellite office in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla.
CURRENT EVENTS Kirby's event work has included work for the PGA, LPGA and Champions tours, along with galas and fundraisers.
M&M The Special Events Co.
Carol Stream, Ill.
COMPANY BASICS In business since 1980 serving the special events and hospitality industry in the Chicago metro (northwest Indiana to southern Wisconsin) and the DFW Metroplex. "We offer a one-stop resource for event needs with everything but the food with a single call, single delivery/pickup and a single invoice," management says.
CURRENT EVENTS Corporate clients have returned and are nearing their pre-recession spending levels, M&M says; "Social business--weddings, mitzvahs, parties--continue as a strong base and our college, hospital and foodservice clients are growing exponentially."
WHAT'S RENTING "Lounge furniture, lighting and linen continue to be the mainstays of most events," they say. "Our floral and non-floral decor continues to grow, which enables us to offer the client a seamless event, getting everything from a single resource."
WHAT'S NEXT "As our clients' events continue to grow in size and scope, our ability to provide superior logistics proves to be a real value to the customer," management says. "Providing a larger share of the event enables us to link the creative team with the ops team to deliver great events at a true value."
Marquee Event Group
Austin, Texas
COMPANY BASICS From its start in 1985 as a small general rental store, the company has evolved into a full-service event rental company with three divisions: Marquee Tents, Marquee Linens and Marquee San Antonio.
CURRENT EVENTS Marquee's event roster this year has included Austin City Limits Music Festival, State of Texas Book Festival,  Austin Food and Wine Festival, SXSW Music and Interactive Festival,  and "many large, high-end weddings and Events." The opening of a second location, Marquee San Antonio,  now taking reservations for spring 2015.
WHAT'S RENTING Clients continue to search for unique, customized products not previously available, management says; "The market drivers are being easy to work with, providing quality rental equipment, and outstanding customer service."
WHAT'S NEXT "Events continue to do better than the economy," management says. "Events will continue to show an upswing for the next year. As the economy recovers, events will accelerate and continue to outperform the economy. Marquee is in a growth mode again!"
Party ReflectionsParty Reflections
Charlotte, N.C.
COMPANY BASICS Family-owned and operated since 1958, this full-service rental firm has operations in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., and Columbia, S.C. Along with tents, tables, chairs, tabletop and custom linen, the company offers CAD services, logistics management, custom draping, production services and on-site management.
CURRENT EVENTS Highlights have included the 2014 Wyndham PGA Championship, Wells Fargo Queens Cup Steeplechase, Carolinas Cup Steeplechase, furniture for 2014 US Open PGA Tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., the Course d'Elegance Pinehurst car show, Family Circle Cup tennis tournament, NASCAR Speed Street festival, UltraSwim 14, and many "high-profile" weddings and corporate events, management says.
WHAT'S RENTING Hot items include farm tables, benches, crystal and other unique chandeliers, custom linen sizes and applications, specialty glassware, unique custom furniture, vintage pieces, custom tent liners, custom bars, and kitchen equipment for client caterers, management says.
WHAT'S NEXT "Weddings have continued to increase in size and complexity, challenging our crews to create even more unique and customized venues for our clients," management says. "Corporate spending has rebounded dramatically. We are even more optimistic about our opportunities for growth in all of our markets for 2015."
Party Rental Ltd.
Teterboro, N.J.
TOP OFFICER Gary Halperin
COMPANY BASICS The legendary “pink hippo” continues to service the entire U.S. Northeast corridor, serving a diverse mix of clients and events that range from national sporting events to high-visibility social events to corporate functions and social gatherings.
CURRENT EVENTS As for noteworthy events this year, "All of our events are noteworthy," management says. "They are all a special occasion or important function for those attending. We treat all of our events with five-star, five-diamond service."
WHAT'S RENTING "We continue to invest in the eclectic look, such as the newly introduced Regency goblets and Berlin flutes," they say. "The natural look is also in style, with new items such as the Birch folding chair and Flaxen and Nu Weave lines of linens. Mini ceramics are hot, as well as modern bowls and trays."
WHAT'S NEXT Party Rental Ltd. is optimistic about the new year: "We expect continued slow growth in 2015, continually bringing new products and ideas to the market is what we do. As the leader in service and creativity, we look forward to 2015."
Perfect Settings
Landover, Md.
TOP OFFICER Peter Grazzini
COMPANY BASICS As the company enters its 17th year, "We will focus on building our brand name in the Washington D.C. market with a focus on service and a commitment to providing one of the finest rental inventory in the area," management says.
CURRENT EVENTS Politics rules this market: "Traditionally the year after [a U.S. presidential] inauguration is soft, and 2014 is proving follow that trend," management says. "This year was still full of the traditional D.C. events including the AIPAC policy conference, the Corcoran Ball and the IMF spring and fall meetings. Microsoft also had a large convention in D.C. in July that we provided equipment for."
WHAT'S RENTING Make mine modern: "The modern look in the rental industry continues to strengthen," management says. "Lucite chairs and steel-frame tables are all doing very well, even in the very traditional D.C. market."
WHAT'S NEXT They saw it coming: "2014, as predicted, was flat," management says. However, "We feel that 2015 will be a very good year for the event industry in D.C. The November mid-term elections will bring new congressmen and senators to Washington, and Maryland will be getting a new governor in January. As the freshman class of congressmen and senators come to DC., there will be lots of politicking as the power in Congress shifts. This should translate to more entertaining in D.C."
Peterson Party Center
Woburn, Mass.
TOP OFFICER Robert Traina
COMPANY BASICS The company got its start in 1877 renting chairs to funeral homes; this year, the PPC team takes pride in announcing the acquisition New England’s leading specialty linen rental company, Table Toppers of Newton. "Adding a specialty linen line to our full range of rental products, including tenting, offers our customers a comprehensive array of high quality event products from a single source," management says.
CURRENT EVENTS "Several high-profile events at the Museum of Fine Arts as well as significant events at prestigious colleges and universities have showcased our talents" this year, management says, adding, "Our participation in the emotional return of the 2014 Boston Marathon was one of our proudest moments of the year."
WHAT'S RENTING "Specialty flooring and custom products are hot right now," management says. "We have many clients looking for structures with high ceilings and clear tops. The Lark on D [public park] is an example of new urban public spaces popping up in unexpected places and becoming seasonal venues for our tent line.” They add, "Our new Infinity chair is another unique addition to the Boston market."
WHAT'S NEXT "We are seeing sustained growth and expanding markets," management says. "Clients are better informed and are looking for ways to differentiate their event designs with a unique, personalized look and feel. We participate with them in the design process and offer an expanding variety of new, current products and services to meet their needs. High quality standards and excellent service will continue to be the hallmarks of our business plan."
PRO EmPRO EM Event Management
COMPANY BASICS The company "delivers quality rental items and excellent customer service to events of all sizes and scope—weddings, high-profile sporting and cultural events, corporate meetings and social gatherings." The services portfolio includes event management and consulting, valet service, security guards, logistics, traffic control and other event personnel.
CURRENT EVENTS This year's event roster has included all ASU home games, Waste Management Phoenix Open, Scottsdale Culinary Festival and Phoenix Pride Festival, as well as many events for both private and corporate clients.
WHAT'S RENTING "As the economy gets stronger, we are seeing a spike in high-end linens and design concepts that push the envelope of creativity," they say.
WHAT'S NEXT The secret to success in rental today? PRO EM says, "Creative, turnkey event solutions, solution selling, producing unwavering service, and nonstandard tent structures."
Raphael's Party Rentals
San Diego
TOP OFFICERS Raphael Silverman, Philip Silverman
COMPANY BASICS Serving southern California with rentals, lighting, floral, lounge furniture, and trade show services. The new Raphael's Event Works division, providing event planning and decor services, is doing well, management says, and the company has added 12,000 square feet of warehouse space. "We have put in a large workshop to build product as needed.  As we have now expanded with Raphael’s Party Rentals, Floral Works by Raphael’s, Raphael’s Event Works, Convention Services by Raphael’s and with our import business--PRE Sales--we have become a complete one-stop shop. Never running out of equipment has become a great selling tool to our clients. Our motto when a client calls and wants 30,000 chairs is, 'When do you want them delivered?'"
CURRENT EVENTS Busy this year with the Miramar Air Show, Rady Children's Hospital Gala, Mardi Gras, Balboa Park December Nights, and San Diego Pride.
WHAT'S RENTING New inventory that is moving well includes lounge furniture, rattan pieces, X-back wood chairs, farm tables and chairs, and lighting.
WHAT'S NEXT The high cost of workers' compensation insurance is a challenge, but, "With that said, what we have adopted is going through a temp agency on all new hires for the first six months," management says. "It costs a little more, but we have found that most accidents happen within the first six months."
Rentals Unlimited
Stoughton, Mass.
COMPANY BASICS Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Stoughton, Mass., Rentals Unlimited offers "exceptional service and quality products for all party rental and catering needs throughout New England," management says with pride, serving southern New Hampshire and Maine down to Connecticut and "everything in between."
CURRENT EVENTS The company supports several large-scale community events every year: Pan Mass Challenge, Gloria Gemma Flames of Hope breast cancer charity, James Beard Taste America, Asperger's Association, WaterFire Providence, Rodman Ride for Kids, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Curing Kids Fund.
WHAT'S RENTING Unique tables and chairs are hot right now, management says. "The trend of the traditional farm table from 2013 has morphed into a variety of interesting linen-less tables. Hand-in-hand with unique tables are complementing chairs that range from industrial to modern to high-back dining chairs."
WHAT'S NEXT Focus on the food: "Our product development team is predicting a growing trend for 2015 in food presentation in the form of interesting china and smallwares to nontraditional buffet components," management says.
Signature Party Rentals
Santa Ana, Calif.
TOP OFFICERS Randy Berg, Valdur Tamme
COMPANY BASICS In business since 1986, this company has locations in the greater Los Angeles area in addition to a full-service location serving the Palm Springs, Calif., market. With a warehouse over 75,000 square feet, Signature is "heavily focused" on providing a high-quality, affordable rental experience for event planners, caterers, hotels and coordinators, management says.
Special Event Rentals
Edmonton, Alberta
TOP OFFICER Neil Goodkey
COMPANY BASICS Special Event Rentals is the largest event rental company in western Canada, with locations in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer and Banff, Alberta. Since 1985, the company has offered a full range of event equipment including tents, tables, chairs and linens; its broad inventory allows the company to service the entire Alberta market, they say.
CURRENT EVENTS Busy this year with the ITU World Triathlon Grand Championship, ATB Financial Open, Canadian Derby, Government of Alberta’s Canada Day celebration, Athabasca University convocation, Servus Credit Union Heritage Festival, Taste of Edmonton, K-Days, International St. Albert Children’s Festival and the Keyano College Foundation Gala.
WHAT'S RENTING Clients continue to demand clearspan tents, specialty chairs and linens, management says. "Requests for specialty draping and lighting have increased, and we are expanding our inventory in these lines," they add. "Linens with bold patterns and texture have become popular for corporate and social events, while our catering clients are looking for modern flatware, dinnerware and serving trays."
WHAT'S NEXT "The event industry in Alberta continues to grow," management notes. "While we have expanded our inventory, we are also working at becoming more efficient operationally. This will allow us to better serve our customers as we look forward to a strong 2015." And variety is the spice of life--and special events: "Our clients are looking to us to provide more options in terms of products and services," they say, "and we will continue to grow as we add new inventory and find creative ways to use current products.”
Stamford Tent and Event Services
Stamford, Conn.
TOP OFFICER Stephen Frost
COMPANY BASICS "Enjoying our 61st year in business," management says, while "staying focused on our core business of tenting, flooring, and related products and services. Having two locations has helped maintain our high level of service and keep costs down."
CURRENT EVENTS Noteworthy events this year have included the Opening Night Gala at Carnegie Hall with a custom AirBeam structure on the ninth-floor rooftop terrace, several "very high-profile" celebrity weddings, and unique and challenging custom projects, management says.
WHAT'S RENTING Sailcloth tents are still hot, management says, and wide-plank floor coverings continue to be strong sellers. "Custom tenting is very hot right now," they add.
WHAT'S NEXT "There’s been a decent but modest increase in sales, with a corresponding increase in costs, so margins are flat," management says. "There’s been a recent surge in consulting work and custom projects. New code regulations--or new interpretation of existing regs--are challenging, and cost-cutting by competitors is always a challenge." But the big picture is sunny: "Overall business is good, and our outlook continues to be optimistic," they say.
Stuart Rental Co.
Milpitas, Calif.
TOP OFFICERS Michael C. Berman, R. Andrew Sutton
COMPANY BASICS Serving the Bay Area and northern California market since 1849, Stuart provides tent and party rentals for all occasions, from custom-designed dinner parties to 5,000-guest sit-down events. The company also offers services in event planning, basic event design, logistics and guest flow, and CAD drawings.
CURRENT EVENTS This year has been packed with exciting events, management says; "From large-scale corporate events to beautifully designed weddings, Stuart has been a part of events spanning the industry spectrum." Projects have included destination work in Pebble Beach, San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Calif., which "has allowed us some great opportunities to show our creative flair." They add, "International yoga festivals, premium car shows, and worldwide company fly-in meetings have made 2014 a fun year at Stuart Rental Co."
WHAT'S RENTING Rental items that are constantly in demand include no-linen wooden tables, premium chairs, lounge furniture, and custom lighting, they say; wine-barrel inspired items are also popular. "We have added rustic and gold-themed tableware to our offerings for the 'shabby-chic' events that have become increasingly popular."
WHAT'S NEXT "The economy this year has continued to strengthen, as it has since 2012," management says. "Some folks at Stuart believe the Northern California economy seems to be approaching the boom years of 2006-2007. Obviously, the technology and financial sectors are leading the charge, which means corporate event planners have the budgets again to push the boundaries. Planners want interactive experiences rather than just a party, which means additional technology, sound and projection are usually involved. The good news for event companies is the return of the planners’ desire for a customized look and feel, which they can’t achieve in static venues. Corporate designers want customized structures on which to paint their visions. In the event rental industry, we are seeing a separation now between the event companies that have the technical capabilities that can provide that flexibility and those that don’t."
Stuart, Fla.
TOP OFFICERS Nate Albers, Gary Hendry
COMPANY BASICS This award-winning event rental company specializes in innovative tenting solutions, event flooring, and event rental products throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Also offers a full line of event rental products including pool covers, furniture, staging and dance floors, HVAC, restroom trailers, tables and chairs, linen, glassware, china, flatware and catering equipment.
CURRENT EVENTS Notable events supported this year include NBAA, "Untitled" Art Basel in Miami Beach, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the Gartner Symposium ITxpo, Ultra Music Festival, and "a number of professional sporting events and celebrity affairs throughout the United States," they say.
WHAT'S RENTING What's hot: Engineered structures with 17-foot and 26-foot eave lines, Arcum curved-beam structures, Mono-Pitch Structures, two-story structures, glass walls/tinted glass/printed graphic glass walls, custom fabric interiors, PVC and insulated EPS hard walls, and integrated HVAC solutions to create event structures with a more permanent look and feel. Highly customized event structures with stadium entrances, porches, recessed gables, curved sections, and printed graphics on the tops and gable ends allow discerning clients to create their tented environments from the ground up, management says.
WHAT'S NEXT Customization of tenting, unique event furnishings, and the  introduction of new products currently not available to the rental market continue to be hot trends in 2013 and well into 2014, they say.
Thorns Group
TOP OFFICER Graham Langley-Jones
COMPANY BASICS Graham Langley-Jones, Thorns managing director, celebrates his 20th anniversary at the helm in January 2015.
CURRENT EVENTS The Thorns team handles jobs at many of the biggest venues in the U.K., management notes with pride, including London’s Earls Court and ExCeL, Birmingham’s NEC and Manchester’s Central, and at leading hotels. Thorns also supplies a host of top sporting events including Royal Ascot, Twickenham, Epsom and British F1 Grand Prix, and supplies equipment at the RHS shows, Goodwood and "many of the leading corporate hospitality events nationwide," they say.
WHAT'S RENTING Classic drapes have grown significantly over the last 12 months, management says, with conference seating another very popular item.
WHAT'S NEXT Event organizers continue to demand colorful "bespoke" [custom] furnishings and seek Thorns' input for creative ideas, they say.
Town & Country Event Rentals
Van Nuys, Calif.
TOP OFFICER Richard LoGuercio
COMPANY BASICS Approaching its 10-year anniversary, Town & Country continues its philosophy of providing its clientele with an ever-expanding palette of unique and exciting event furnishings in large quantities, management says. "Over $2 million dollars has been spent this year alone on items that include new tabletops, decor and furniture, along with a major expansion into tent structures up to 120-feet wide with glass windows and doors," they add.
CURRENT EVENTS Management points to "continued growth with larger projects throughout L.A., Southern California, and a growing number of out-of-state productions. Events include the Golden Globes, Breeders' Cup, Comic-Con, and Rose Bowl New Year’s tailgates, along with major entertainment industry events, notable fundraising galas, and the high-end wedding market."
WHAT'S RENTING Another strong year for vintage and the industrial steampunk look, management says; "Tidewater tents, glass walls for structures, along with custom-built hardwalls and wood plank subfloors are flying out the door."
WHAT'S NEXT Where the smart money is: Management is investing in advanced technology to improve order processing and operations.
NOTE: All information is supplied by the companies listed unless otherwise noted. Companies listed are full-line event rental companies offering a range of products from tabletop to tenting. Special Events estimates are based on interviews by staff, industry experts and research. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, errors and omissions sometimes occur; it is the policy of Special Events to correct errors promptly. All figures are in U.S. dollars. Should your company be on this list? Tell us at [email protected].


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