InTents June/July 2020 - 6

the news | report

As March events canceled and
commercial work shut down because
of the COVID-19 pandemic, many tent
installers, including Classic Tents &
Events, Norcross, Ga., shifted to providing
tents at medical facilities. Photos
courtesy of Classic Tents & Events.

6 intents

0620IT_CV2_9.indd 6

The tent rental industry contends with COVID-19
ew aspects of the global economy
are untouched by the COVID-19
pandemic, but for the tent and event
rental industry, the crisis has been
especially devastating.
North American tent rental companies
gearing up for a robust spring season
spent the months of March and April
scrambling to adjust as all types of tented
events were canceled or postponed. Face
masks joined hard hats and safety vests
as required PPE on tent installation sites
as companies pivoted from weddings
and festivals to temporary hospitals and
drive-through testing shelters.
"I've been in the tent and special
event industry for 25 to 30 years, my
whole career. This is the absolute worst
thing I've ever seen," says Carol Cundey,
CERP, marketing and customer services
manager for tent manufacturer Eureka!
of Binghamton, N.Y. "To see so many of
my customers but also my friends and
my colleagues hurting bad-it's just
heartbreaking. But we all work together.
We are a strong and resilient industry."
For several years prior to the pandemic,
the industry faced a labor shortage, and
many companies had kept employees on

F

their workforce rosters over the winter
so that they would be available when
the 2020 season got underway. But as
cancellations mounted, one of the biggest
struggles rental businesses faced was the
decision to lay off employees. In a video
conference for company owners hosted
by tent washing machine manufacturer
Teeco Solutions in mid-March, one owner
related the pain of telling employees
that they were out of a job, while others
said they were putting off that step, even
though it was costing them money.
"To me, that's where the rubber meets
the road," says Teeco's Steve Arendt, CEO
and founder of the Kirkwood, Mo.-based
company. "That was a heartfelt moment."

'Survival is success'
Since the start of the crisis, the American
Rental Association (ARA) has been
surveying members on a weekly basis to
monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the
industry. For the survey conducted in the
last week in April, nearly 55 percent of
party and event rental companies surveyed
reported that, given the circumstances
at that time, they would be able to stay in
business for three months or less.

june-july 2020

5/19/20 3:11 PM



InTents June/July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents June/July 2020

InTents June/July 2020 - Cover1
InTents June/July 2020 - Cover2
InTents June/July 2020 - 1
InTents June/July 2020 - 2
InTents June/July 2020 - 3
InTents June/July 2020 - 4
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