International Technology Rentals Overview
The International Technology Rental Association is the first client that I have ever had the pleasure of doing digital marketing. My experience started by writing blog posts and managing social media. Fast forward five years to today, I am still managing social media, but now I also cover the live conference. This job includes everything from taking videos and pictures to live streaming the event. I would highly recommend the annual ITRA conference for any company within the technology rental industry looking to grow their business.
February 12-14th was this year’s annual ITRA conference. I had the pleasure of both attending the event, while also running the social media. Today I wanted to take some time to go over what the ITRA conference covered and my own experience. This event is the 4th annual conference I have attended, and the second that I have run social media accounts. Running social media for the event means taking pictures, videos, and updating the channels about each speaker.
The conference started with myself flying into Las Vegas from Phoenix. The short flight was easy, and within no time, I was at Bally’s hotel, where the conference was. Wednesday was the setup day for the event, so a few members started trickling in. Once the setup was complete for the conference, it was time for the first happy hour of the conference. Here there were various crab and shrimp offerings, with an assortment of multiple sliders. To top off a great night, all drinks at the bar were complimentary. A perfect end to a great setup day, now it was time to prepare for the event.
Day 1 Morning of Conference Presentations
Now it was onto the first official day of meetings! The morning began with a great selection of breakfast options in our dining room. Once everyone had their caffeine to kick start their days, it was time for the opening remarks presented by Bruce Johnson. Bruce welcomed all the different companies from around the world and laid out the conference schedule. There were going to be many opportunities to network and connect while learning about products and services within the technology rental business.
IntelliEvent was the first sponsor presentation at the conference. This software focuses on the event rental management on a cloud-based model. For technology rental companies, this type of software is essential for adequately managing inventory and business practices. The presentation ran through how businesses can use and optimize the software to fit their custom needs.
After a short break, it was time for Epson to present their projectors. The presentation began with a brief history of projectors and the primary differences between different types. This explanation helps breakdown the aspects of the product that affect quality the most. Epson presented a large variety of projectors ranging from low range to extreme high range.
Next, it was time for iMag to present their custom screens and software, goPremio. Brian Gardner showed off iMag’s latest release of customizable screens for trade show booths. These products are both available to rent and to purchase. You can take a look at what the technology looks like in the picture below!
Day 1 Afternoon of Conference Presentations
Now it was time for the lunch break. The first half of the day had flown by, with lots of great presentations. Unfortunately, Viveka Von Rosen had to cancel her presentation, so the second half of the day had to be changed up. Instead of a presentation on LinkedIn, there were going to be multiple ITRA members presenting.
I was excited to see my father, Dan Kallen, give a presentation on how the ITRA has helped him and Hartford Technology Rentals grow their business. Throughout Dan’s time in the association, he has been on the board of directors and been president of the association. Within this period, Dan has been able to generate millions of dollars in revenue from member companies. This point drove home how impactful the ITRA can be to growing technology rental companies.
During these presentations, I was also able to record video segments from our various speakers. You can find these videos on the ITRA social media channels. The easiest way to access them would be checking out the ITRA Facebook page.
Once the presentations had finished from various ITRA members, it was time for Flex Solutions to present its customer relationship management software. The presentation ran through workflows and typical customizations made by clients. By watching this presentation and IntelliEvent, it gave the industry a good grasp of the top technology rental CRMs.
The last presentation of the day was from Terry Lowe of PLSN Magazine and Timelessjobs.com. Terry had a history of working in the copywriting business for over 20 years. He has started various magazines and publications. Currently, Terry focuses on PLSN magazine that showcases the latest and greatest in event technology. The focus is primarily on AV and scenic equipment that is pushing the norms. Similarly, Terry also launched the job site timelessjobs.com to focus on hiring seasoned professionals in their industry.
Cocktail Hour Round 2
After the final speaker finished, it was time for a brief break before the cocktail hour started. This time is one of the most important of the events because it is prime for networking. One of the strongest appeals of joining the ITRA is the ability to get face-to-face time with both clients and competition. Within the world of rentals, cross-renting is enormous. For some companies like Rentacomputer, it is their core business model. Utilizing the cocktail hours to meet with and create connections is essential for a great convention.
Day 2 Morning of Conference Presentations
For a conference in Las Vegas, I took it relatively easy. This reasoning was mainly due to my responsibilities the next day and needed to be on point to capture all the action to post on social media. I had gotten some great clips and pictures for day 1, so I was excited to wrap the event up today.
The day started with the general elections for who would be on the new board of directors. Our returning board members were Bruce Johnson as President, San Malik as Vice President, and Lisa Fossler as Secretary. Michael Hollmen of APG Rentals became the new Treasurer. For members at large, Burt Van Engelenburg was re-appointed. The newly appointed members at large were Joel Martin and Randy Moore. Finally, John Beagle became the honorary chairman of the board.
Day 2 Second Half of Conference Presentations
Once the board elections were finished, it was time to dive into the presentations for the day. The first presentation was from Cube i. Cube i is an event software company that creates mobile applications and games specifically for conferences. This software helps engages audiences and capture their information in a more effective way than most generic methods.
Barco was the final sponsor presentation of the day. Barco is a projector company that is moving towards using laser projectors entirely. This reasoning is due to the increased strength and overall picture quality. I was able to live-stream the entire presentation directly to the representative Jaz’s Facebook profile. If you are interested, I would recommend sending us a message, and we will put you in touch!
Now it was finally time to conclude the conference. The finale was the award for the ITRA “Deal of the Year” award. This award was between Rentacomputer and Mac rentals. Then, as quickly as it started, the ITRA annual conference for 2020 at Bally’s in Las Vegas had concluded.
I had a wonderful overall experience through different presentations and networking opportunities. My new contacts extended over several different countries all around the world. I was also able to increase engagement with people within the ITRA. I hope that by next year more members will be interacting with myself so I can help promote ITRA members to the best of my ability. For any prospective companies interested in the annual ITRA conference, GO! It is a very affordable event that will end up paying for itself.