A-1 Party & Event Rentals, Covina, Calif.

WEBSITE a1partyrental.com

TOP OFFICER Chet Fortney

COMPANY BASICS Family-owned and operated since 1958, this full-service event and party rental company offers a custom in-house manufacturing facility designed to "build-to-suit" client needs, management says.

CURRENT EVENTS Highlights of the year have included work on the U2 concert at the Rose Bowl, "Girl Next Door" Kendra Wilkinson's wedding and events for the Tournament of Roses. WHAT'S RENTING A-1 scores by creating custom velvet cabanas with unique lighting and drapery furnished with couches, love seats, ottomans, upholstered chairs, etc. "Clients love to lounge in a unique atmosphere," they say. Also big: clear-top tents featuring black drapery.

WHAT'S NEXT Forget trying to rent just what's on the shelf: "Our clients are moving more toward creating lifestyle events for a warm and unique experience," management says.

Apres Party and Tent Rentals, Minneapolis

WEBSITE www.apresparty.com

TOP OFFICERS Charlie Feldbaum, Michael Feldbaum

COMPANY BASICS Located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Apres is a family-grown business now celebrating 25 years as a "premier" provider of event rental services, specializing in the upper Midwest.

CURRENT EVENTS This year has seen continued growth in the high-end wedding market, corporate events, fundraisers and galas, management says. Clients served this past year include 3M, Medtronic, IBM, Cargill, GE, Ecolab, Harley-Davidson, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, AT&T, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

WHAT'S RENTING "Clients all want the 'new' item that will set their event apart," management says, such as clear-top tents, tent liners and flooring, lounge furniture, specialty lighting, illuminated bars, custom linens and decor, and "anything Lucite."

WHAT'S NEXT "Even though the economy has required us to work harder for our business, the future growth of our company continues to look positive," management says.

Aztec Events & Tents, Houston

WEBSITE www.aztecusa.com

TOP OFFICERS Todd Johnson, owner and CEO; Scott McShan, COO

COMPANY BASICS Since its founding in 1982, this Houston-based company now operates branches in San Antonio and Birmingham, Ala. Sister company Shaffer Sports, founded in 1913, offers a broad range of temporary structures. Clients can choose from clear-spans, frame and pole tents along with furniture, china, glassware, flatware, specialty linens, lighting, staging, flooring, equipment and accessories.

CURRENT EVENTS This year's event roster has included the US Olympic Trials Marathon Fourth of July Celebration, Texas Mieneke Bowl, Chevron Marathon, Insperity Golf Championship, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and 40 golf tournaments. WHAT'S RENTING Top trends include "shabby chic" along with rustic and modern furnishings that mix wood, mirrors, metal and fabric. For tabletop, "big and bold" 22-ounce Riedel stemware, platinum and gold rim china, and copper and hammered serving pieces. "Multisided tents, clear-span tents and climate-controlled equipment are always in demand," management says."2012 will end on a high note with a tremendous increase in corporate and social business revenue," management says. "The social and corporate market have proven to be on an upswing, and we expect the trend to continue through 2013."

The complete version of this article appears in the November-December issue of Special Events. The magazine is free to ISES members; subscriptions can also be ordered here.

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