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East to west

The Atlantic division of the Canadian Rental Association has once again demonstrated good old-fashioned eastern hospitality at their recently completed trade show.


March 31, 2014
By Ed Cosman and Patrick Flannery

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The Atlantic division of the Canadian Rental Association has once again demonstrated good old-fashioned eastern hospitality at their recently completed trade show.

The larger room  
The larger room and higher ceilings gave the show a more open and relaxed feel. Exhibitors have been bringing more and more equipment to the show, so the extra space was welcome.


 

The event took place February 28th and March 1st at the Moncton Casino and Hotel. This facility is a new location for the annual event is much improved over the previous location with high ceilings, excellent lighting and very good PA system. The show now had actual booth spaces instead of simply table top displays and exhibitors were able to bring rental equipment for display on the show floor. Additionally, attendees that wanted to make a voluntary donation back to the local government needed to simply walk a few hundred steps to the brand new 24,000 square foot Las Vegas style casino.

Over 150 rental professionals were in attendance over the two days including more that 60 rental store owners and employees. The event started with the annual banquet and Chinese auction on Friday evening with almost 100 people in attendance. Saturday featured a breakfast, the annual general meeting followed by the trade show.

Nathalie McGregor 
Nathalie McGregor, Paul Kenyon, Jim Bodez, Tim Ranson, Richard Durochers and Paul Everitt arrive at the Radisson Saskatoon.


 

At the AGM Marc Mandin, national president for the Association, gave a presentation and spoke about the 5-year strategic plan that the CRA is working towards. He also mentioned that May will be rental awareness month and gave a recap of some of the many benefits that are available to CRA members.

Representatives from Western Financial gave a report on the self protected insurance program and reminded those in attendance that they are now able to offer many other programs including low-cost group benefits and even pet insurance. New managing director Nathalie McGregor shared some thoughts and thanked Dale and Sara Pardy for all their work in organizing this Atlantic event.

The new Atlantic board was introduced:

  • President – Dale Pardy
  • Secretary – Nancy Crosby
  • Director – Hank McInnis
  • Treasurer – Sara Pardy
  • Vice-president – Murray Salter
  • Supplier director – Chris MacIntosh

The trade show itself was quite busy with many exhibitors reporting brisk buying. The Rentquip Canada booth with Shawn Parks and his team featured its popular Milwaukee “Spin to Win” wheel where rental operators that made a purchase could spin a roulette type wheel and win a prize. Mark Peart from GC Duke also reported having a great show as he sold all of his equipment that he brought to display. Pat Parker-Patterson from Eastcan Marketing was also quite busy talking about the product lines that she represents. The 50/50 draw with the winners portion of over $230 was won by Dan McIntosh who immediately donated it back to the Dorothy Wellnitz Scholarship Fund.

The event wrapped up by at 4:00 with plans already being started for next year’s show.

Prairie show

Party suppliers  
Party suppliers have been getting more involved with Atlantic show. Here’s Dennis Heathcote from National Event Supply setting up his booth. 
It’s tradition. 
It’s tradition. The pipers opened the 2014 Prairie show as usual.


 

The Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta CRA local once again teamed up to host the Prairie show in Saskatoon, Sask., on March 14 and 15. It was managing director Nathalie McGregor’s first Prairie show and Saksatchewan national director, Jill Holtsman, was impressed with her organizational skills. “Everything went so well at registration,” Holtsman said. “You can really tell Nathalie knows what she’s doing. She is great with the suppliers.” The Prairie show brought in 258 attendees.

Judging from the red eyes rolling into the Rental Mart setup day on the Monday after the show, the social action at Prairie was its usual lively self. Hub City Display contributed photo booths and dress-up clothes for both the Friday social and the Saturday banquet. If the CRA Facebook page is any indication, the booths were used to good effect. The banquet drew 200 diners who were entertained by psychic Ross Johnson from Chicago. By all accounts, Johnson was amazing. “It was the best entertainment we have ever had,” Holtsman exclaims. “You couldn’t hear a pin drop anywhere in that room.”

Some serious business got done at the banquet, with the local award winners being announced. Wayne Weight won the Doug Mitchell Prairie Supplier of the Year award, and Wayne Beckett was introduced as the Saskatchewan Rental Person of the Year. The Friday night 50/50 draw and silent auction brought in $1,800 each for the Doug Mitchell Supplier Scholarship Fund and the Dorothy Wellnitz Scholarship.

Ken Johnson of the Rent It Store was the lucky winner of 1,000 “showbucks.” This innovative program awards an attendee with a voucher that can be redeemed for $1,000 off any purchase at any of the show sponsors’ booths. Event organizers set the big cheque up for everyone to see at the Friday social, creating a nice buzz ahead of the announcement of the winner.


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