The green movement may keep party rental in the long green. In one of the toughest economies in memory, the companies listed in the 12th annual Special Events "30 Top Event Rental Companies" list repeatedly cite the "eco-friendly" appeal of rental as one of its strongest selling points now.

Party rental revenue will take a beating this year, respondents say, with the most commonly predicted revenue forecast to be a decline of 15 percent compared with 2008. However, some companies predict a falloff as drastic as 40 percent.

LOOKING RESPONSIBLE

While clients don't want to spend—or don't want to appear as though they are spending—they do favor products that have a "natural" look, such as natural fiber linen, or products that are eco-friendly, such as bamboo disposables that biodegrade.

One respondent says he has seen a "dramatic decrease" in demand for his higher end china patterns, though basic white or white with a platinum or gold rim does well.

Other clients go so far as to demand information about a potential vendor's environmental policies in their bids.

See the full story in the November-December issue of Special Events.

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