As noted in last week's edition of "Eventline," the business mood is beginning to brighten for party rental in the last half of 2010.
After a dismal 18 months where "too much inventory was chasing too few jobs," as one rental operator told Special Events, the outlook in some markets is better today. And certain items are proving especially popular with clients:
It's crystal clear: Clear furniture—such as the crystal chiavari—is a hit with clients, notes management at Chicago-based Hall's. Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Tents Unlimited, part of the Nolan Brothers group, agrees. "Clear flooring, pool floors and glass walls seem to be making their impact this year like never before," management says. "The clients are choosing to spend more money on the elements that used to be covered or hidden and bring them into the design."
And sparkly works, too: "Anything with bling" is big, notes Edmondton, Alberta-based Special Event Rentals. "From crystal chiavari chairs and candelabras to cut-glass candleholders and charger plates—the more sparkle, the better."
Eco-chic rules: Management at Los Angeles-based Classic Party Rentals sees strong demand for items such as disposable bamboo plates and products made with natural fibers. The company has responded with its own "Green Zone" eco-initiative to encourage sustainable special events. Perfect Settings of Landover, Md., notes that the company's new "Camillion" line of sustainable bars and cocktail tables "is doing very well."
Elegance is back: "What's old is new again," notes management at Toronto-based Chair-Man Mills, including gold-decorated flatware and etched and cut-crystal stemware.
For the full story, see Special Events' 13th annual "30 Top Event Rental Companies" list, which will appear in our November-December issue.For a look at chic new plates, see our new "Fashion Plates" Photo Gallery.