Despite a frosting of snow, event rental operators from a dozen countries converged on Atlanta over the weekend for ARA's "Events & Tents" show. The two-day event took place at the Georgia World Congress Center.
After an insider tour Saturday of warehouses at Reece Tent Rental in Marietta, Ga., and Event Rentals Unlimited in Atlanta, attendees headed back to the GWCC for the NASCAR-themed opening reception. Inclement weather moved the event from its original site--in a TopTec tent in Centennial Park--but guests still enjoyed interactive racing games and a race-themed menu from on-site caterer Levy Restaurants. Event Rentals Unlimited's Brenda Maynard oversaw the event.
The education roster included sessions on job costing, lighting basics and online marketing tips. For a recap on the job costing session, see the April issue of Special Events.
At Sunday's luncheon, decor experts David Halsey of Chicago-based Meetinghouse Companies and independent Ira Mitchell-Steiman addressed the hot topic of eco-friendly events, cautioning attendees against the practice of "greenwashing," or claiming to be environmentally friendly yet using wasteful and polluting practices.
Halsey urged attendees to "know the vendor supply chain," asking their florists, for example, where they buy their flowers. He noted that his company often mixes fresh floral with what he called "permanent botanicals." "We don't call them 'silk flowers' anymore," he explained.
Mitchell-Steiman suggested attendees that when aiming to create a green event, "Look at the event in total, not just one element at a time." Noting that some venues claim to be green while failing to recycle, he said, "Better to leave out one thing than to create a false positive and then be found out."
Photos by Special Events Magazine