ARA’s 2004 Rental Show Draws Record Attendance, Sales at Georgia World Congress Center in Atla

Wed March 17, 2004 - Southeast Edition

From Feb. 26 to 29, rental delegates converged on the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for the largest rental trade show in the world.

The 48th annual American Rental Association (ARA) Rental Show featured more than 735 exhibitors –– 150 for the first time –– as well as presentations and demonstrations.

This year’s show attendance increased nearly 40 percent over last year’s Anaheim, CA, show, according to the ARA. In addition to the increased volume in store attendance, the number of rental stores represented was up. There also were more attendees from each store, with 2,267 rental stores represented and 5,568 rental store attendees.

The ARA show is a “buying” trade show, where transactions take place on the floor. This year, buying on the show floor was very strong, said Chris Coleman, ARA marketing manager, and the buying was strong each day throughout the show.

“Rental store companies of all sizes were buying from all exhibitors, throughout all departments on the show floor,” Coleman said.

Frank Abagnale, the inspiration for the movie Catch Me if You Can, gave the keynote speech, and home improvement guru Gary Sullivan, host of “At Home With Gary Sullivan, broadcast his national radio show from the show.

The final day of the show proved to be a good one for Joel D. Nichols, who won the Harley-Davidson 100th Anniversary V-Rod that was the grand prize of the ARA Foundation’s Building the Future raffle held during the Rental Show. The raffle –– sponsored by Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power –– raised $56,525 for the foundation to support its educational programs.

The ARA is an international trade association for the owners of equipment rental businesses and the manufacturers and suppliers of rental equipment. The organization serves three categories of rental: construction and industrial equipment, general tool and homeowner equipment, and special event and party equipment.

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