Reviews were mixed on the American Rental Association’s The Rental Show in Atlanta last week. While attendance numbers were not available, most attendees and exhibitors spoken to by RER felt attendance had dropped off from the past couple of years, and were disappointed in the foot traffic after the brisk first day. However, in general, most exhibitors reported strong buying activity and an upbeat optimistic attitude. Attendance figures were not available at press time.
“It’s an optimistic time for the industry,” Christine Wehrman, CEO of ARA told RER. “People are very upbeat about 2007. Exhibitors were getting good buying activity and an increase in pieces of equipment per order.”
The number of exhibitors increased from last year’s show to 717. A record number of new exhibitors — 94 — participated.
One of the show highlights was its first-ever live auction, sponsored by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, which raised more than $80,000 for the ARA Foundation. Twenty pieces of equipment were auctioned, with more than 100 registered bidders participating. All proceeds from the live auction and a separate silent auction were to help fund ARA’s scholarship program, the rental executive advisory program and the association’s disaster relief fund.