Creating a unique theme for a marquee annual event.

The challenge

The American Rental Association (ARA) is an international trade association for the owners of rental businesses as well as the manufacturers and suppliers of rental equipment. Every year, it plays host to The ARA Show — the largest equipment and event rental trade show and convention in the world, seeing thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors annually. It’s a premier industry event that rental businesses depend on for buying and selling equipment, discovering new trends, gaining education and building relationships within the rental community. Attendees typically come from all corners of the world representing rental segments ranging from construction and general tool to party and events, which presents a complex target for branded campaign messaging around the event.

Three photos, one of the 2021 ARA Show planner cover and the others showing the planner opened up to interior pages.
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2021 Planner

Our approach

To create annual, on-brand campaign themes that appealed to the diverse rental audience of The ARA Show — while remaining completely unique to campaigns from prior years — PM drew inspiration from ARA’s strategic business goals, economic themes and characteristics of the host city.

Three photos, one of the 2019 ARA Show planner cover and the others showing the planner opened up to interior pages.
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2019 Assets

The solution

While holding true to the ARA brand colors and identity, PM concepted campaigns that created a unique identity for The ARA Show with messaging that carried that year’s theme and secondary palettes that complemented the vibe of the host city.

Each campaign contained a set of specific marketing materials aimed at driving show attendance as well as recruiting exhibitors. These materials included direct mail and event reminders, web banners, a show prospectus and a planner that detailed everything featured at The ARA Show as well as information on where to stay, how to travel and things to do in the host city. 

During The ARA Show, PM also managed the on-site and online press rooms — connecting exhibitors with media members as well as educating exhibitors on public relations best practices. Our goal with the press room was to provide a first-class media relations experience for exhibitors and rental industry media alike, to maximize positive exposure for the industry.


Strategy
Branding
Trade Shows
Events
Public Relations
Paid Media

ARA Show 2020 direct mail front and back shown overlapped on a grey background.
Three images, one of the 2020 ARA Show planner cover and the others showing the planner opened up to interior pages.
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2020 Assets

The outcome

PM has been partnering with ARA to create unique event campaign themes for The ARA Show for close to 20 years. And even with a rental audience as diverse as The ARA Show’s trade show floor, our efforts to develop cohesive messaging and event communication materials has continued to help spark interest among attendees as well as grow attendance year over year.

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