The American Rental Association (ARA) has praised the “optimism and energy” of visitors to its annual Rental Show after it reported an increased attendance for the sixth year running.

Footfall at the event, which took place in New Orleans from 22 to 25 February, was up nearly 5% on 2014. The pre-show Events & Tents workshop alone, held on 21 February, sold out two months in advance with more than 450 people registered.

It was the first time since the early 1980s that The Rental Show has attracted rising visitor numbers for six successive years.

Christine Wehrman, the Association’s chief executive officer, said: “Everything at the show was working at the highest level this year, and a strong interest in meeting with exhibitors. There is an optimistic outlook in the industry, short-term and long-term. Everyone is confident of the future being a stronger marketplace and they are investing in the growth of the industry.”

Chairman Paul Phelon noted that: “The show had a great deal of energy and a high level of buying activity. Members were flooding the show floor.

Exhibitor Clay Eubanks of Takeshi Manufacturing (US) added: “People were buying from the beginning of the show and others were shopping and then coming back to finalise quotes.

“We knew it was going to be good because the economy overall is doing better. The show this year was like the old days, with a buzz and buying activity.

The ARA represents more than 9,400 rental businesses and nearly 1,000 manufacturers and suppliers in the US, Canada and more than 30 countries worldwide.

It is part of the Global Rental Alliance, whose member associations account for revenues of US$75.4 billion (€69.5 billion).

The 2016 Rental Show, which will take place from 21 to 24 February in Atlanta, will also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ARA’s foundation.

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