Odds Are On Rental

The Rental Show returns to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas next month for the 52nd annual trade show and convention. The show seminars begin on Feb. 10, while the exhibition runs Feb. 12-14.

For the fourth consecutive year, exhibit space for The Rental Show is sold out. The exhibits for the 2008 show will occupy 354,700 net square feet — more than 17 acres. The overall floor space the trade show will occupy in Las Vegas is larger than the 2007 show in Atlanta. There will be 650 exhibitors in Las Vegas, with 63 companies exhibiting for the first time.

This year's Rental Show keynote session, sponsored by Multiquip on Feb. 12, will feature Christopher Gardner, whose autobiography “The Pursuit of Happyness” was made into a film starring Will Smith in 2006. Gardner will present his remarkable story of struggle, faith, entrepreneurialism and fatherly devotion, as well as how to break the cycle that holds a person back. He not only overcame a lack of college and business school degrees, but most astonishing, homelessness.

“Christopher Gardner demonstrates the value of perseverance and determination,” says Chris Wehrman, American Rental Association (ARA) CEO. “It's a motivating and uplifting story with a message that will inspire everyone who attends his presentation at The Rental Show.”

The keynote session on Feb. 12 will also include the Rental Hall of Fame inductions, which this year includes Bill Begley, founder of Hire-All Event and Party; Tom Hawthorne, founder of Hawthorne Rent-It Service; and the late James Keenan, former chairman of the board for Keenan's Rental Service and a former ARA president.

Live and silent auctions are on the agenda again this year after they successfully debuted in 2007 and raised more than $91,000 for the ARA Foundation. The auctions are scheduled on Feb. 13 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, with Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers sponsoring the live auction for the second straight year. Fifty-four of The Rental Show's exhibitors donated new equipment for this year's auctions, with auction items ranging in value from $135 to nearly $18,000. Auction items represent all areas of the trade show floor and include heavy construction, light construction, general tool and party/special events.

The ARA will also recognize members for their volunteer service to the Association and the industry during The Rental Show. Award recipients will be honored during Dessert with ARA, the Association's annual volunteer recognition ceremony on Feb. 11, and include J. Barry Ghiglione, Handyman Rental Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Joe Jabbour, Doosan Infracore Portable Power, formerly Ingersoll Rand, Mocksville, N.C.; and Dean Eklund, Lew Rents, Olympia, Wash. In addition to these awards, each of ARA's 10 regions will recognize individuals during the regional lunches on Feb. 11.

The Rental Show Convention Schedule

All events held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center unless otherwise specified.

Saturday, Feb. 9

7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Events & Tents opening reception

Sunday, Feb. 10

7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Construction U

7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Events & Tents

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Next Generation of Rental Owners

12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Golf Tournament at Tuscany
Golf Club sponsored by ARA Insurance Services

4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
First-time attendee reception

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Next Generation of Rental Owners reception at the House of Blues, Mandalay Bay

Monday, Feb. 11

7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
Welcome breakfast

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Education seminars

10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Canadian Rental Association annual general meeting and Region 10 lunch

11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Regional lunches

12:40 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Dessert with ARA

6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
ARA Rocks the House at the House of Blues, Mandalay Bay

Tuesday, Feb. 12

7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Keynote session with Christopher Gardner

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Exhibits open

5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
RER Innovative Product Award reception

5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
International reception

Wednesday, Feb. 13

7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Exhibits open

5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Equipment auction

Thursday, Feb. 14

7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Registration and Employee Day

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Exhibits open

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Valentine's Day Giveaway Drawings

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