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Tent Rental News-Feb2016
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  February 2016          

                 MATRA 2016 - New Year Edition

In This Issue

President's Message

Butch Ruggiero,
Special Events Tent & Party Rental

The old adage says, "You can only control costs, but the market determines prices." Today, more than any other time in history, businesses need to innovate in every aspect.  Rental companies must constantly change and improve - from inventory to sales strategy, materials handling to employee relations, right down to how we load our trucks. We cannot allow our competition to control the prices we charge. We need to rise above that thinking and offer more value than our competition.  Success in that endeavor can only happen if we work smarter.  That requires education.,

In addition to the seminars we offer at The Tent Show and Spring Training, MATRA gives members unprecedented access to a brain trust of wisdom via a network of members, both renters and vendors to help deliver innovation.

At the heart of MATRA is The Tent Show, the only yearly conference dedicated to the event rental industry.  It brings together every major tent manufacturer to showcase the latest tent designs... read the full article

Used But Not Abused Resale Section

Check out our members looking to sell products here.

MATRA Logo Usage.

As the main identity of the Mid-Atlantic Tent Renters Association, Inc., we ask that all current/active members use the proper logo on all promotions and collateral materials advertising membership in MATRA. Click here for logo usage rules and regulations.


Executive Corner
Michael Tannen, CSEP,
Executive Director

Combining efforts in Vegas was a win-win for MATRA and for CRA.  For those of you that could not make it out to sunny Vegas during the last week in January because of the snow blizzard that worked its way up the East Coast, CRA put on a great show for the rental industry.  Yes, the tradeshow was intense with heavy equipment, but it was nice to see the party/event section being built up again.  The tent rental companies that attended were pleased to see the many MATRA members exhibiting in support of their industry.

MATRA was instrumental in sharing our education conference team with CRA adding a full day of education to the CRA Rental Rally, the day before the tradeshow opened.  Here are a few comments that were written in the CRA Conference Highlights:  "Attendees of yesterday's education sessions won big.  They are now armed with the tools needed to grow their business and become more successful as rental industry professionals.  What a great way to start the 2016 West Coast Rental Rally Trade Show" and"Movement, change, innovation and progress. These seemed to be the key words throughout the day."

Educating the tenting professional is what MATRA is all about.  Whether it's bringing new and innovative products to assist the rental companies in their operations or educating them on safety and business practices.  MATRA is willing to share education which improves and supports best practices in the tent rental industry.


All MATRA Memberships expired on January 31st, 2016.
MATRA Membership Directories have been sent out! Some have been returned for incorrect addresses. REMINDER: If you have any changes  in your company information, especially an address change, please adjust that information as soon as possible on your profile page. Also, upload a current photo of yourself, or your logo, on your profile page. That's one way we can visually feature you as a member on the website!!!



MATRA Annual Conference and Trade Show Recap

"The Show for the Tent Professional" 2015 was, once again, hosted by the beautiful Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware.  The weather was great until, of course, rain and colder air for takedown arrived on Thursday.  What would "The Tent Show" be without rain on takedown day!  Well over 400 attendees gathered during the four day conference beginning with all tent installations completed on Monday and ending with the Conference's traditional Thursday morning brunch.  Monday also featured a four hour Forklift Certification session which concentrated on the various aspects of operational safety of a forklift, hazard elimination or avoidance, stability and understanding boom lift operations and inspection of equipment.  Kevin Gern, from Best Line Equipment, presented the session and issued a certificate to those completing the training that is valid for three years.

The Education Committee presented excellent sessions.  Honoring our Veterans during the Conference, the opening General Session on Tuesday was presented by Donovan Campbell, a decorated military officer and young Fortune 500 executive whose lessons about leadership and teamwork came the hard way - through three combat deployments - two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.  Other sessions included Drone Photography, Emergency Tent Evacuation planning, tent lighting, staking demos and roundtables.  All sessions were well attended and everyone gained new knowledge in one are or the other... read the full article



Raising over $1,600 for the MATRA Scholarship Fund, this year's fundraising competition was fierce.  Each three man team faced a challenging obstacle course created to test their expert driving skills, balance and timing of their team's drivers.  Maneuvering these pedal cars around safety cones, designated curves, pallets and straight runs made for an exciting race to the finish line. But there could only be one winning team - the team from Anchor Industries! Congratulations to Ryan LaCasse, Steve Lipking and Dan Dalton! We appreciate all the teams that participated in this competition and are grateful for the donation to the 2016-2017 Scholarship Fund.  Thank you to Fred Tracy from Fred's Tents for supplying the pedal cars and for George Szondy, Abbey Tent  Party and Chair, MATRA 2016 Scholarship Committee, for donating the winners' trophies!

THIS is the Team to Beat in 2016! Watch for future information on the Scholarship Fund Competition at The Tent Show 2016

Spring Training 2016 Set!

Tents for Rent, LLC will serve as host for our 2016 Spring Training educational sessions on Tuesday, March 22nd from 8:30-3:30 p.m. at their facility in Lititz, PA.  Founded in 1972 by Paul and John Martin in conjunction with an auction company to provide tents for auctions, Marlin Sensenig purchased the business, as a six year employee, in 1984.  Over the last 32 years, he has moved the company from storage in the front room of the historic Durlach Hotel, to a three car garage, the addition of other buildings and now to their newly constructed showroom, warehouse and tent washing facility in 2015.

MATRA continues to strive to present interactive, informative and up to date education to its members.  Join us for "Taking Your Tent Rental Business to Another Level".  Sessions presented will provide detailed information on professional sales methods from customer demands to selling in a seasonal industry, a case study review on large tent/rental jobs from the proposal phase through job completion, benefits of GPS tracking on vehicles, Emergency Evacuation planning for tented events and Table Top Vendors.  Marlin Sensenig will share the planning and building process involved in constructing a new building including a tour of their new facility.  Session descriptions are located on the MATRA website.

Registration is open!  The fee for Spring Training is $79 for members/$99 for non-members.  Exhibitor space is limited at $199 for members/$299 for non-members.  Early Registration expires on March 7, 2016 - add $20 to each registration after that date.  On-line registration expires March 18, 2016.  Lunch is included in your registration.  You won't want to miss this educational opportunity!

 MATRA Scholarships Available

As a member of MATRA*, we are, once again offering Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year. We are pleased to announce that TWO (2) academic scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each will be awarded to a full time university, college or technical school/community student entering their sophomore year or higher.  Applications with supporting documentation are due on or before April 1, 2016.  Award recipients will be notified on or before May 15, 2016.

Should you or someone within your company be interested in pursuing higher education, consider submitting an application for MATRA Scholarship funds.  In today's economy, every little bit of assistance can certainly be helpful!  Take advantage of this economical MATRA member benefit.  It is very easy to apply!  Just download the MATRA Scholarship Application.  Complete the form, attach required documents and return to the MATRA office, either via email, on or before April 1, 2016 or regular mail which must be postmarked, on or before April 1, 2016

*MATRA member eligibility requirements are located on the Scholarship Application 


Meet the MATRA 2016-2017 Board


Welcome your 2016-2017 MATRA Board. Elected during the annual meeting on Monday, November 9, 2015, Butch Ruggiero will serve as President, George Smith as Vice President (not pictured), Scott Pickel as Treasurer, Kenny Puff as Secretary and Mike Fitzwater as Immediate Past President. Board members are: Daryl Benz, Bryan Bolt, Dan Dalton, Keith Eismann, Melani Kodikian, Rob Markert, Pat Moughan, George Poston, Fred Tracy and the newest Board member - Liz Cann.


Thank You to our Advertising Sponsors

 Aggreko  AllState Tent
 American Turf & Carpet
 Anchor Industries
 Aztec Tents
 BeeHoppy, LLC.
 Celina Tent Inc.
 Choice Party Linens
 Construction Accessories, Inc.
 Economy Tent International
 Fiesta Tents Ltd
 Flagro, USA
 Flash Furniture
 Fred's Tents
 Granite Industries
 HeatStar by Enerco
 Herculite Products
 Isolation Systems, Inc.
 Keder Solutions
L.B. Breck Sales Group
 Lightweight Manufacturing/Eurokeder
 Losberger US, LLC
 Mainline Carpets
 Pioneer Tool & Forge Inc.
 R.A. Markert & Assoc.
 Rainier Maximizer Tent Systems
 Rhino Tools
 Signature Systems Group, LLC
 Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.
 Top Tec Products LLC
United Site Services

Mid-Atlantic Tent Renters Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 9826
Wilmington, DE 19809
302-765-3945 ext 2   

MATRA - The Association for the Tenting Professional

Contact Us

Mid-Atlantic Tent Renters Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 9826
Wilmington, DE 19809
Phone:302.765.3945 Ext 2
Fax: 302-241-2177

Connect With Us

Mission Statement

The mission of The Mid-Atlantic Tent Renters Association is to uphold and promote the professionalism and integrity of the tent rental industry, through education, training, networking and leadership development for the benefit of its members.