The Rental Show 2018 poised to be bigger, better than ever

While it may seem trite to describe The Rental Show 2018 as bigger and better than ever, there is truth to what seems like a cliché. And those enhancements for the New Orleans show cover all facets: the keynote session, exhibit hall, education and networking.

The Rental Show 2018 is slated to take place Sunday, Feb. 18, through Wednesday, Feb. 21, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Jonathan Scott, left, and his twin brother Drew, right, the co-stars of HGTV shows Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother, will pair up once again to deliver the keynote session at The Rental Show 2018.

The keynote session on February 19 will offer double the entertainment, as twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott, co-stars of HGTV shows Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother, will speak. Jonathan, a renowned designer and licensed contractor, and Drew, a seasoned real-estate agent and expert, have bought and renovated real estate for more than 20 years. They have a rare knack for finding fixer-uppers and turning them into stunning properties, while entertaining audiences with their winning blend of sibling rivalry and humor. They are the co-founders of both Scott Brothers Entertainment and Scott Living, two rising global lifestyle brands with multiple extensions into music, media and retail. The Scott brothers are the hosts of multiple top-rated HGTV series, and their shows are watched by millions of fans in more than 150 countries. Their memoir, It Takes Two: Our Story, was published in September 2017.

In addition to the keynote, show attendees will have the opportunity to meet and have a photo taken with the Scott brothers. Following the keynote session, the two will be at the ARA Resource Center on the show floor from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a meet-and-greet session.

The show floor itself, which will be open Feb. 19-21, will be expanded for 2018. With the show selling out annually since 2013, demand for exhibit space each year has been high. The fact the equipment rental industry is strong and projected to keep growing also has added to both the demand and the interest. For the New Orleans show, a solution presented itself for the American Rental Association (ARA).

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will feature additional space for The Rental Show 2018.

“A unique opportunity arose to expand the exhibit space at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center,” said Chris Hammes, ARA vice president of membership, who oversees The Rental Show. “ARA made the investment to add Hall D to the show floor, which means the trade show will now extend from Hall D to Hall J.” In 2012 and 2015, The Rental Show’s most recent times in New Orleans, the show floor was from Halls E through J.

According to Hammes, the addition of Hall D has allowed returning exhibitors that wanted to increase booth space the chance to do so, as well as give new companies the opportunity to exhibit at The Rental Show. There will be more than 700 exhibitors total in New Orleans. Booth space already has sold out for the expanded show floor, extending the sold-out streak to six years. A waiting list has been started for those companies interested in exhibiting in case there are any booth cancellations.

Prior to the Feb. 19-21 trade show days, February 18 offers a full day of education for The Rental Show attendees (see schedule below for times). Seminars will be offered on topics ranging from leadership skills and financial knowledge to buying a business and power distribution. Among the speakers are Kevin Harrington, an entrepreneur known as the original “shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank, who will present “Building a Winning Team and Leading Them to Success,” as well as sales expert Victor Antonio, who will present “Sales Excellence Through INFLUENCE” and branding authority Bruce Turkel with “7 Steps to Building Brand Value.” Attorney James Waite, noted for his work with ARA, will present “Buying a Business: What You Need to Know,” while a panel of rental industry experts will discuss “The Principles of Power Distribution.” The popular Rental Town Halls will return, with three sessions — based on rental inventory — held throughout the day.

Networking-wise, The Rental Show’s biggest event will be the “Bayou Bash at the House of Blues” at House of Blues New Orleans on February 20 from 7 to 10 p.m. The evening will feature what the city is famous for — its music and its cuisine — with several bands playing throughout the venue, uniquely New Orleans activities such as tarot card readers and caricature artists, plus a variety of authentic food and beverage options.

Also on the networking schedule are Lunch With ARA; the Regional Receptions; the International Reception; the ARA Foundation Charity Auction and Reception; and the ARAPAC reception, which is a fundraiser for the association’s political action committee. ARA’s Young Professional Network, for those between the ages of 18 and 40, will host a reception as well.

There are 24 hotels in New Orleans in The Rental Show’s housing block, although those hotels closest to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center have sold out. The available hotels offer a variety of room rates and amenities, and ARA will provide free shuttle bus service from many of the hotels to the convention center — the exceptions are those within walking distance of the convention center. More information and online booking are available at

Discount registration pricing is available for The Rental Show through Tuesday, Jan. 2, while advance registration prices will be available from Wednesday, Jan. 3, to Friday, Feb. 2. Registration details and pricing are available at

Complete show information is available at

(Location is Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, unless otherwise noted.)

Friday, Feb. 16
1 – 5 p.m.
Registration open

Saturday, Feb. 17
7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration open

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Events & Tents

6 – 8 p.m.
Events & Tents Reception
Grand Oaks Mansion – Mardi Gras World

Sunday, Feb. 18
7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration open

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Rental Show Seminars

8 – 9:30 a.m.
Educational Sessions
* 4 Conversations for Success – Stuart Knight
* 7 Steps to Building Brand Value – Bruce Turkel
* Creating a Powerful Corporate Culture – Robert Stevenson
* Enjoy the Ride – Steve Gilliland
* The Principles of Power Distribution – Rental industry panel

9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
Educational Sessions
* Influencing Safety – Garrison Wynn
* Learning to Put People First and Why You Should Even Care – Scott Christopher
* Party and Event Rental Town Hall – Rental industry panel
* Run to the Roar: The Keys to Leading Unified Teams – Rolfe Carawan
* The 12-week Year – Brian Moran

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lunch With ARA

1:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Educational Sessions
* 5 Decisions All Winners Make – Stuart Knight
* Buying a Business – What You Need to Know – James R. Waite, Esq.
* Construction/Industrial Rental Town Hall – Rental industry panel
* New Ways to Grow Sales with Social Selling – Kurt Shaver
* Resilience: Springing to Success – Mark DeVolder

3 – 4:30 p.m.
Educational Sessions
* Building a Winning Team and Leading Them to Success – Kevin Harrington
* From Damage to Delight – Making Things Much Better Than All Right! – Kirk Weisler
* General Tool Rental Town Hall – Rental industry panel
* Hide Your Goat – Steve Gilliland
* Sales Excellence Through INFLUENCE – Victor Antonio

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
ARA Young Professionals Network Reception
Fulton Alley

7 – 10 p.m.
Canadian Rental Association Hospitality Reception
Generations Hall

Monday, Feb. 19
7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration open

8 – 10 a.m.
Keynote Session
Jonathan and Drew Scott, stars of HGTV’s Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibit Hall open

4 – 5 p.m.
Canadian Rental Association Annual General Meeting

5 – 6:30 p.m.
Regional Receptions

7 – 9 p.m.
ARA Political Action Committee (ARAPAC) Reception
Mulate’s – The Original Cajun Restaurant

Tuesday, Feb. 20
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration open

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibit Hall open

5 – 6:30 p.m.
ARA Foundation Charity Auction and Reception

5 – 7 p.m.
International Reception

7 – 10 p.m.
Bayou Bash at House of Blues
House of Blues New Orleans

Wednesday, Feb. 21
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Registration open

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Exhibit Hall open


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