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Big Rental Companies Note Customization Trend Photo by Getty Images / © Gumpanat

Big Rental Companies Note Customization Trend

Big party rental companies say more clients are looking for custom products

As party rental clients begin to spend more on special events, they want more--more customization. The big event rental companies profiled in the 17th annual Special Events "30 Top Rental Companies" say that along with rustic looks and farm-style tables, clients are calling for unique products to make their special events stand out.

The full article appears in the November-December issue of Special Events. 

Examples from some of the big players:

A1 Party

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.

Butler Rents

Hot items include resin chairs, chiavari bar stools, rustic tables and chairs, and brush aluminum tabletops.

"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."

The natural look, and skip 'commodities'

Chair-Man Mills Corp.

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

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.

 "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."

Good to go exclusive

Classic Party Rentals

 "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.

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

"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."

Hall's Rental Service

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.

The 3 L's: Lounges, linen and lighting

M&M The Special Events Co.

"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."

Party Reflections

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.

Party Rental Ltd.

"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."

Take a stand on flooring

Peterson Partycenter

"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 Lawn 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."

"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."

Rentals Unlimited

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."

Next focus--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.

Stuart Rental Co.

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."

"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."

Town and Country Event Rentals
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."

The full article appears in the November-December issue of Special Events. 

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