Rental Show 2017 sees highest attendance in more than a decade

Rental Show 2017 attendees check out the JCB booth. Photo: Chris HillRental Show 2017 attendees check out the JCB booth. Photo: Chris Hill

The 2017 Rental Show, held  in Orlando, had its highest total attendance since 2006 at 11,648. The show also and had nearly 6,300 rental business attendees, also the highest number since 2006, according to the American Rental Association (ARA), which puts on the show.

Extending to 16 years, the number of rental business represented by attendees, at 2,730, was the highest figure for that category since 2001.

ARA says these figures reflect the “overall positive mood” it says was represented during the event.

“The sentiment among attendees and exhibitors was one of optimism,” says ARA CEO Tony Conant. “Several exhibitors I spoke with were a bit surprised by the buying activity. They said that the buyers were replacing fleet and adding fleet, which means that the rental operators are preparing for growth.”

“We had lots of traffic, made lots of quotes on the first day and had a steady stream of people coming back to close on things,” says Clay Eubanks, president of Takeuchi Manufacturing-U.S. “People had a great year last year and they are very optimistic for the future. The optimism level is at an all-time high for us and for the rental industry in general.”

EDCO of Frederick, Maryland, which has been exhibiting for 59 years at The Rental Show, reported the highest receipt count it has ever had at the event. “I didn’t have time to talk with anyone besides buyers, it was that busy,” says Jason Stanczyk, marketing director.

These experiences also reflect recent positive outlook for the rental industry. In its latest five-year forecast, ARA expects equipment rental revenue for 2017 will reach $48.9 billion, and grow 4.3 percent per year to reach $56 billion by 2020. The latter is an increase of $500 million compared to the previous 2020 forecast of $55.5 billion released in November 2016.

The Rental Show for 2018 is scheduled in New Orleans Feb. 19-21. Click here for an extensive photo gallery of equipment on the floor during this year’s show.