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Show Report: The Canadian Rental Association (CRA) wrapped up its 2008 trade show schedule...


May 12, 2008
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Jean-Marc Turcotte (right), from Location Turbo, speaks with exhibitor Daniel Desautels at the CRA trade show in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec.
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Joseph MacLeod and Lisa Palermo from Let’s Party in Norton, Massachusetts, display an inflatable product at the CRA trade show in Quebec. Warner Shelter Systems Limited (WSSL) was helping the company introduce its products of interactive inflatable jumps, slides and bouncers to the Canadian rental market.
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Bilingual CRA employee, Marie Nayet made her introduction to the rental industry after a year of working at the CRA’s head office in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Canadian Rental Association (CRA) wrapped up its 2008 trade show schedule in March after hosting a series of successful cross-country expositions. The season began in Surrey, British Columbia on January 11 and 12. According to CRA executive director Mandy Maeren, this show has been gaining in momentum every year. “The local association in British Columbia is really coming into its own. We have a group of really dedicated volunteers running the association who are enthusiastic and trying new things,” she says.

The next event was the Prairie Regional Trade Show in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where the show has taken on a life of its own over the years. Highly popular and widely supported, the trade show boasted 199 attendees representing 85 rental stores. The dinner banquet broke an all-time attendance record with 301 people partaking in the evening festivities. “There are no competitors at this show. The camaraderie is very strong as people realize this is a small industry and networking is very important. The person you are sitting next to may be your competitor, but may also be the person you need to sub-rent from. There is a very positive attitude at this show and it is strongly supported by exhibitors and rental operators,” says Maeren.

The schedule next moved to Moncton, New Brunswick, on February 23 where the local association members have revitalized this show after it was cancelled a few years ago, bringing it back by scaling it down to a simple yet functional event that allows suppliers and rental operators to network in a laid back and social atmosphere. “It was very well attended and the exhibitors were so impressed by the numbers at this small show, they are coming back next year to do business in Atlantic Canada,” says Maeren.

The tour wrapped up in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec on March 26 and 27. This show is strongly supported by L’Association De Location Du Quebec, which started promoting the event at the conclusion of last year’s show. Approximately 400 people participated, making this the largest trade show in the CRA’s program. CRA president Brad Williams (Bobcat Brad) and chairperson/past-president Doug Mitchell joined incoming CRA president Jay William at this event which was highlighted by a comical breakfast meeting where Jay translated an abbreviated version of Brad’s speech in French to the laughter of everybody in the room.

The Hawaiian theme was a warm welcome to the long, cold winter that rental operators have endured, as exhibitors decked out their booths with palm trees and grass skirts. During the show, the association launched a brand new name for this show which will now be called QUÉBEXPO. -end-


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