Canadian Rental Service

Editorial: Calgary, here we come

Patrick Flannery   

Features Business Intelligence

We’re taking the Rental Mart west in 2024, in partnership with our friends at Turf & Rec.

There’s a well-known principle in psychology called risk aversion. Study after study has shown that most people will prefer a sure thing to a gamble, even when the gamble is very likely to generate a better return. The classic example is when a study group is told they can choose to take an 85 percent chance to win $1,000 (with a 15 percent chance to get nothing) or simply receive $800. Any rational analysis of the choice reveals that the first offer amounts to an offer of $850 ($1,000 times 85 percent) and is therefore preferable, especially since nothing is wagered and the person stands no chance of being worse off than they are presently. But almost everyone chooses to take the assured $800. With more study, psychologists have explained that people weight the emotional cost of losing out entirely against the emotional cost of recognizing they could have gotten more money and decide they’d be more upset if they got nothing. Somehow casinos seem to have gotten around this problem, but that’s another topic.

Since we are nothing if not cold-bloodedly rational here at Canadian Rental Service, we’ve made a decision to take a gamble on something we feel strongly could be a very good thing for our biennial trade show, the Canadian Rental Mart, and for you, our reader and potential show attendee. In 2024, for the first time in its 36-year history, we are going to move the Rental Mart out of Ontario and host it in Calgary at the BMO Centre on Sept. 11 and 12, 2024.

We won’t lie, this is a bit scary for us and perhaps for many of you, our long-time supporters. So here’s our steely-eyed look at the risks and benefits that we hope you’ll agree adds up to a good rationale for such a radical change.

The big risk, of course, is that not enough of you will come out. Alberta certainly doesn’t have as many rental stores as Ontario and they are relatively spaced out over a larger area unlike Ontario’s dense concentration in the south and around Toronto. Travel times from B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba are daunting. 


Against that we put the obvious need, communicated to us by many readers and vendors, for a major rental equipment event in Canada’s western region. With the Canadian Rental Association’s western events scaled down to conferences, there’s no other opportunity for our western readers to attend a rental-focused show featuring the wide diversity of equipment they need for their fleets. We’re hoping the novelty of Canada’s largest rental show arriving in this underserved market will generate some extra interest and excitement. 

To boost those, we’ve partnered with our sister publication, Turf & Rec, to make the Rental Mart part of a larger event bringing landscaping and property maintenance contractors together with you, the rental store operator. In addition to the Rental Mart and its exhibits of just about everything you need for a rental fleet, we’ll have an adjacent event focused on the latest and greatest in equipment for lawncare and landscaping: mowers, brush cutters, trimmers, aerators, seeders, loaders, dumpers, sod cutters…you name it. The crossover appeal is obvious, and your ticket to one will get you into both.

We’re taking a chance with our popular event brand because we think we can make it even bigger and better than it is. Whether our bet pays off is up to you.   

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