The 2023 Tent Conference saw the launch of the division’s first NextGen event. “NextGen” is short for “Next Generation,” defined by ATA’s Tent Rental Division (TRD) as anyone who meets at least one of the following criteria:
- You have been in the industry for less than 10 years.
- You may be under the age of 40.
- You are in the process of becoming an owner, even if this is many years down the road.
- You consider yourself to be the “next generation” or the future of the tent industry.
- Those who don’t meet at least one of those criteria are considered to be an “OG,” which is short for “older generation” (aka “original gangster”). These individuals carry the institutional knowledge of the industry, and TRD is launching the NextGen program in an effort to help pass that knowledge on to those who are currently rising through
“TRD continues to recognize the importance of the NextGen to the future of the tent industry,” says Steve Belliveau, sales manager at Anchor Industries Inc. and new chair of the TRD. “This is just one of the division’s many efforts to provide programs that serve specific needs and enhance relationships and growth within the membership as a whole.”
The NextGen program aims to play a vital role in supporting the education and training that is so vital to ensuring a vibrant and successful future for this industry.
“This program is focused toward the NextGens, who are the future of the industry, and the passing of the torch so to speak,” says TRD immediate past chair Michael Tharpe. “By torch, I mean the passing of the knowledge forward from the older generation. Events like this first one at Tent Conference provide opportunities for the two groups to focus on communicating that knowledge and helping one another for the betterment of the industry.”
The next TRD NextGen event will take place at the 2024 Tent Expo, Jan. 16–18 in Daytona Beach, Fla.