Canadian Rental Service

At your service: Remember to keep your event-rental business professional when on site

By Russ Dantu   


Call me picky, but details matter in event rentals.

I recently attended my son’s wedding. It was a proud day for this Papa. I wanted to be there ahead of time to help out with setting everything up. A party rental company had been hired and they were there right on time to get started. 

It was 34 degrees out when the party rental truck showed up. Three guys jumped out, were very friendly and the supervisor chatted with my son about the location of everything. Only the supervisor had a logoed t-shirt on so I was assuming the two other guys were casual labour from a labour agency. The two labourers removed their shirts right away and they all started to build the 20- by 30-inch tent.

I mentioned I was in the trade show industry for over 25 years and had done lots of similar set-ups and worked with many party rental companies in the past. I asked if I could unload the pipe and drape so that I could get the wall covered behind where the head table was going. I quickly noticed that five of the white panels were short by about four inches more than the rest of the drape. Another two panels were more of a cream white as opposed to a bright white. The white chairs also looked like they were due for a new paint job as they had lots of chips in them. 

Being in the trade show and event industry that long, I know that rental equipment gets abused and it’s hard to keep it looking top notch, but I also know that many rental companies pride themselves on properly maintaining equipment and making sure their crews know how to handle the equipment. I also know that I am very picky because of my background. I’ve worked with some fabulous rental companies where their equipment almost always looks top notch. I’ve also seen many shops with equipment like what was dropped off to us.


Here are some things to consider:

  1. Organize your storage area to keep the same lengths and colours of drape together. Not hard.
  2. Establish and follow a regular maintenance schedule for everything in your fleet.
  3. Provide branded apparel for all your employees and casual labourers. Having temps show up in their worn-out t-shirts with skull heads on the front won’t leave a good impression with most customers. 
  4. Don’t make excuses, make it right. Saying it was unlikely that they’d be able to get more drape up there wasn’t acceptable. 
  5. Even if you are the only game in town, don’t act like it. One day, you truly may have competition. 

All in all, the wedding went beautifully, and everyone had a great time. I’m picky, I know, but so are many others who are spending their hard earned money on rental products.

Take care of yourselves, your employees and your customers!  

Russ Dantu is a 30-year veteran of the rental industry and has been delivering workshops, seminars and keynotes on customer service for over 15 years. Visit 

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