As The Rental Show returns to New Orleans for the first time in 10 years, the focus for 2012 is on “new.” In addition to new and innovative products available during the trade show annually, the show will include new and expanded educational opportunities, new events such as an evening at Mardi Gras World and new inspiration from keynote speaker Aron Ralston, the subject of the Academy Award-nominated film “127 Hours.”
The Rental Show is Feb. 5 to 8 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Registration is now open, with special discount pricing available for a limited time. And with the trade show more than 90 percent sold and hotels filling up quickly, there’s a great enthusiasm about revisiting a place that has put into practice its own new and improved outlook since The Rental Show was last there in 2002.
“It’s fitting that the American Rental Association is having a brand-new show in a city that has achieved renewal. ARA will be recognizing the significance of New Orleans’ revitalization during The Rental Show,” said Chris Wehrman, American Rental Association CEO. “The association’s goal with the upcoming Show is to provide an engaging celebration of the rental industry as we move into the pivotal year of 2012. Show attendees will be able to see, learn from and take advantage of everything the industry offers. Most of all, attendees and exhibitors alike can share in a vision for the renewed spirit of rental as we continue to define and build market opportunities much like the spirit attendees will find in New Orleans. It’s definitely a can’t-miss event for all within the industry.”
Here are highlights of The Rental Show 2012.
• More educational opportunities, with 30 total seminars on Feb. 5, 7 and 8. New indoor/outdoor half-day product demonstration sessions are included, plus a half-day financial seminar with Steve Abercrombie, the session “Up Close and Personal With Dan Kaplan,” a new town hall session on family business issues and round-table discussions.
• The keynote session with Aron Ralston, who will share the account of his remarkable will to survive that was the basis for the movie “127 Hours.” Ralston’s story made headlines worldwide in 2003 when he was pinned by a half-ton boulder for nearly a week while hiking in Utah. He narrowly escaped death by severing his right forearm with a dull pocketknife. After applying a tourniquet, he hiked and rappelled for five hours before searchers in a helicopter miraculously rescued him.
• New events include Crescent City Carnival on Feb. 7 at Mardi Gras World. A producer of floats, sculptures and props, Mardi Gras World creates most of the parades held for Mardi Gras in New Orleans from concept through completion. ARA’s Crescent City Carnival will feature a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the floats and how they’re created, with live entertainment, networking, food and beverages. Also new for 2012 is An Evening for ARAPAC, an event for ARA’s political action committee on Feb. 6 at the National World War II Museum where invited guests will be able to tour the displays and exhibits.
• Returning events include Lunch With ARA, Next Generation Reception and a revamped The Rental Show Golf Tournament on Feb. 5; Regional Receptions on Feb. 6; International Reception and the Reception With a Purpose featuring the ARA Foundation charity auction on Feb. 7.
• Three days of trade show, Feb. 6 to 8.
• Events & Tents on Feb. 4 to 5, continuing its Saturday/Sunday schedule from 2011 with an industry tour, networking reception, breakfast speaker and focused education including an indoor/outdoor demonstration seminar.
Registration is open now for The Rental Show online, with a special $99 Internet-only rate available for ARA members through Oct. 31. (The prospective member rate is $199.) This includes three days of trade show, all show seminars and the keynote session. In addition, there are special early-bird hotel rates available for a limited time through Travel Planners, ARA’s official housing company.
For more information, call 800/334-2177 or visit www.TheRentalShow.com.