By Dionne Cordell
For the 2006 Lexus Dealers’ Conference, Chicago Party Rental (now Classic Party Rentals), Countryside, Ill., created three distinct areas—75,426 square feet of tents and structures, complete with climate control. After guests were greeted on the red-carpet entrance surrounded by floodlights, they moved to the cocktail area, which had a modern look, with exposed beams, truss lighting and a large waterfall bar. The cocktail area led into a covenant tent that transitioned into a custom-designed business tent. The shimmering white tent was enclosed on three sides with white sidewalls, and clear gables on the fourth side allowed guests to view the fountain’s magical light show.
The event came together beautifully, but not without stress for the team at Chicago Party Rental. Two days before the event, Countryside received 1.26 inches of rain and hail, which caused flooding. As the weather forecast worsened, the event team decided to add a 33-by-50-foot entrance tent.
Also, the install team was faced with limited daytime truck access to the event site due to traffic congestion, pedestrian crossings and a lack of parking. “The deliveries had to be scheduled accordingly, which required intricate planning, especially when onsite changes and additions were being continuously made,” says Valerie Braun, Chicago Party Rental. A very tight schedule was established because the rental fee for the fountain area was $25,000 per day. The install team was scheduled on two 12-hour shifts each day for 13 days to cover installation and removal. “We took advantage of every hour in order to maximize the time allowed and to avoid additional charges,” Braun says.
The result was a memorable event that was sure to bring recognition to its producers. “Chicago Party Rental entered the IAA contest because it provides an opportunity to be recognized by the industry,” Braun says. His company won the award of excellence for party tent rental. “The most important thing we gained from this event was the exposure and recognition that an event of this magnitude creates,” he says.