by Jill C. Lafferty | February 1, 2017
More than 600 tent professionals gathered in Orlando, Fla., in January under more than 40 tents on display at IFAI Tent Expo 2017.
The two-day event included Tent Rental Division (TRD) Boot Camp and Leadership Track training sessions, networking with fellow tent renters and vendors, equipment demonstrations, the Tour of the Tents, a campfire session discussion including owners and crew members and much more. Attendees had plenty of time to socialize as well, at the opening reception, the Brazilian carnival-themed Party on the Pad, and the pre-show golf tournament and “Wild Florida Airboat and Gator Park” experience.
In his keynote address, Scott Burrows shared his story of overcoming a serious car accident that left him paralyzed, transcending his circumstances through the three principles of vision, mind and grit.
During the TRD Boot Camp, participants got hands-on experience in how to square a tent perfectly every time. Leadership sessions addressed how to prepare your business for a disaster, the fine art of job costing, TRD efforts in code revision, and time management on complex projects.
TRD annual meeting
The highlight of the TRD annual meeting and awards luncheon was the honoring of industry leader Spencer Etzel with the Bruce W. Wodetzki Award. Named for founding member and the first chairman of IFAI’s Tent Rental Division, the Bruce W. Wodetzki Award is the tent rental industry’s most prestigious honor. In Etzel’s four decades of innovation, he contributed to features and functionality of fabric structure design that have developed into industry standards. He is a lecturer and leader for the fabric structure industry regarding tent design, engineering standards, code compliance and installation practices. Etzel contributed to numerous custom fabric structure designs and turnkey installations, including the 2011 International Achievement Award of Excellence for Tent Manufacturing and Design.
Also at the TRD meeting and luncheon, Sarah Lapping, Economy Tent Intl., Miami, Fla., was elected to her first three-year term on the TRD steering committee. Tom Markel, Bravo Events, Buffalo, N.Y.; Alexandre Renaud, Fiesta Tents Ltd., Saint-Laurent, Que., Canada; and Tommy Wilson, All Occasions Event Rental, Cincinnati, Ohio, were each elected to their second three-year term. TRD thanked outgoing steering committee member David MacArthur, Losberger US LLC, Frederick, Md., for his contributions.