Trade show season is winding down, and by all accounts it was a very good one.
By Patrick Flannery
Trade show season is winding down, and by all accounts it was a very good one. Reports from the American Rental Association’s Rental Show say the mood on the floor in New Orleans was a more cheerful and optimistic one than people have seen in years. Cheer and optimism have been in short supply in the American construction market for some time, so we can hope this means a turnaround for our neighbours. Canadian rental operators are not closely tied to the American economy, but their suppliers certainly are. Strong suppliers who can provide consistent service, topped-up parts inventories, training and event sponsorships are good for
The Canadian Rental Mart was an astounding success, bringing in significantly more exhibitors and attendees than even our most optimistic estimates predicted. We had the weather on our side (unlike the folks in B.C.) but the steady flow of genuine good news from trade shows lately has my trend detector going off. I think there is a hunger for human contact. I think there is a desire to lay hands on the equipment rather than just a mouse pointer. I think there is a need for community and social interaction that cannot be satisfied through a Facebook page. The Canadian Rental Association and the industry as a whole really should be commended for understanding this aspect of the business and maintaining such a strong network of annual trade shows in this country. You can find wrap-up reports on the Rental Mart and the Atlantic show in this issue. Look for reports on Quebexpo and the Prairie show in May.
An interesting thing happened on our way to awarding Canadian Rental Service’s first-ever Rental Operator of the Year award at the Rental Mart: the CRA Ontario picked the exact same company to win its Image Award. As the person who oversaw the process, I swear on a stack of user manuals that there was no collusion in this. Our judges selected Robertson fair and square from a field of four finalists, and the CRA, quite independently, came to the same decision. It amounts to a ringing endorsement of what Robertson Rent-All has been able to accomplish, and a testament to the energy of Cameron Robertson, who is tireless and effective in driving the profile of his company higher. You can find out how they did it on page 14. The overall reaction to the ROOTY was great to see. Our presentation drew a crowd and there was genuine curiosity about who would win. My goal for next time is to attract even more nominees from different parts the country. If you are proud of what your company has accomplished, don’t be shy, apply!
Make sure you drop in regularly to canadianrentalservice.com to check out the video we shot at the Rental Mart. There are conversations with a number of the exhibitors, giving overviews of the great products that were on display. Our publishers recently acquired a crack team of videographers, and their work is top-notch. I’m hoping to make more use of video to bring you sights and sounds from events around the country in the future.
Next issue: With the mild winter, we probably could have run our compaction showcase in March, but it is appearing in May, as usual. Check it out for a nice overview of the latest and greatest in rammers, plates and rollers.