Shaping the Future of Rental

The ARA Show 2024 theme was "Shaping the Future of Rental." If you think about it, the only people that can do such a thing are rental business owners.

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If you attended the recent American Rental Association Show in New Orleans, congratulations. You survived the miles of aisles. I've attended tradeshows in that convention center before (it had been awhile) but I completely forgot the length of that place. To make my point, I took the opportunity and recorded a video from one side (all the way down from 6900 on the construction side to events at 0). This walk through the center row took 7 minutes. I condensed the footage and shared it on our social media channels. 

Between the EventsU and sessions over the weekend and the tradeshow opening, Jon Taffer took the stage for the keynote. Insightful. Motivational. Dang near inspiring. You've likely seen him on television. Let me tell you that he brought that energy to ARA 2024. 

Before attending, I connected with Christine Hammes, ARA's vice president, association services and informed me a bit about how and why they brought him on: much like many of you, he's an entrepreneur. Commenting on motivational speaker seminars, "even if it doesn't fit [you] exactly, what are some tangible takeaways that [you] can implement into [your] business? It's one thing to walk away and feel super motivated - which is great - but it's, like, what did [you] get from that?" says Hammes. Their tactic in recent years has been to bring personalities from the business world to not only entertain but to speak toward change. I think that was key here. The show's theme was seen throughout the center and now stands tall as the headline of my column. 

A proud renter of equipment and event supplies, he didn't want to tell people do this or that. Instead, his objective was the way you think. "If we don't think differently in a world that's changing, we do get left behind," says Taffer. A fitting comment with the world changing from fossil fuels to alternative energy solutions like electric and hydrogen - not to mention a refocusing from lead-acid battery technologies to lithium-ion options. (Don't worry, there are plenty of advancements in the diesel category out there.)

Taffer had a lot of insight but I think the part that's still echoing in my ears was his ability to capture opportunity as they arise. He recognized opportunities to grow his business and career. To share learned experiences with others so they may improve their businesses and identify their own potential. A lot of it started with an example from Bar Rescue, an owner who was unable to take ownership of their failure. 

Quote, "If you can blame somebody else for your failure, you have no reason to change...if you own failure, you find success." In a way, it's knowing your history to avoid repeating the past. If you're looking to change the future of rental: what can you do to better your business. Let's start there.

For my first convention in the rental space, it was great. I'm thankful to having had attended. See you next year when The ARA Show moves to the Las Vegas Convention Center January 30 to February 1, with sessions starting on January 28.