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Tent Rental News-Sept 2014
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  September 2014           

                     MATRA 2014 Conference Update Edition 

In This Issue

President's Message

Michael Fitzwater
Special Events Virginia

As we move towards the 2014 version of "The Tent Show", I am reminded of the many people I meet each year that ask me the same question.  "Why should I join the Mid-Atlantic Tent Renter's Association?"  While our name is reflective of the beginning of our Association, our membership is really a diversified collection of tent rental professionals and tent related vendors that come from all over.  MATRA members are located in 31 different states, Canada, and Germany.

Our members are attracted to MATRA for one simple reason.  As we proudly proclaim, we are "The Association for the Tenting Professional".  In my opinion, there is no better place where you can come to gain experience and advice, take part in education, and become part of a community dedicated to excellence in tenting.  Please make plans to attend this year's Conference, November 3-6 at Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA.  We have some incredible things in store for you this year including national speaker Ron Black, exciting new products, Tuesday night Brewery Tour and Reception, Wednesday's Awards Dinner and the Entertainment Tent "Lodge" - MATRA style.  Looking forward to seeing you at our 2014 Conference!

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

Have you checked the MATRA website lately?  I can tell, through tracking, that many of our members have checked it out using their sign in and password.  Not surprisingly, September has been very active and I expect October to be even more active for website activity  as members look at information about our upcoming 2014 Conference, "The Sweet Smell of Success".

MATRA has been in the process of re-branding all future Conferences, just in case you haven't noticed already.  Our MATRA Conferences will now be referred to as "The Tent Show" and contain the current years' date.  We still will make each Conference unique, adding a tag line illustrating the theme of each Conference, such as last year's "In It To Win It' and this year's "The Sweet Smell of Success".  First we have the benefit of attaching a specific theme to each Conference that produces a new, annual design as we create our educational content, collateral materials and events.  Second, we then can build a fun night for the Dinner and Entertainment portion of the Conference, where we recognize our Industry Leaders, our Games' Winners and our Volunteers.

So, next year, look for us to be at Dover Downs again for "The Tent Show 2015" with an awesome, fun theme to be announced later in 2015.  For now, let's head to Hershey!






MATRA Annual Conference and Trade Show

"The Show for the Tent Professional" 2014 will be located in the beautiful Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Contracted room rate is $144, for a standard room, plus Resort Fee and Tax. Deadline for room reservations is Thursday, October 2, 2014. You must call directly to Hershey Lodge Reservations at 800-533-3131 or 717-533-3311.  The code for the MATRA Conference, when calling, is #1553845 or just reference "Mid-Atlantic Tent Renter's Association".  Don't delay - rooms are filling up fast!

Registration Continues to include:

  • Sunday - Tent Installation of Registration Tent (Aztec) and (1) Seminar Tent (Olympic) and (1) Exhibitor Tent (Anchor);
  • Monday - NEW for 2014 - All tent installs will take place on Monday.  No Tent installs will take place on Tuesday;
  • Monday - Annual Meeting and Elections at 7:00 p.m.;
  • Monday - Monday Night Football (Food provided with a Cash Bar);
  • Tuesday - NEW for 2014 - General Session and Seminars;
  • Continental Breakfast on Tuesday & Wednesday;
  • Wednesday - Seminars, Grilled Luncheon, Dodgeball and MATRA Games;
  • Wednesday - Trade Show opens at 4:00 p.m. (Food/Beverage served);
  • Thursday - Trade Show Opens at 8:30 a.m. (Coffee service);
  • Thursday - Brunch at 10:00 a.m. - Give-A-Ways.  Noon Breakdown.

Additional Conference Events:

  • Monday - IFAI TRD "Bootcamp"; (additional fee required); CERP Exam (Pre-registration required);
  • Tuesday  - Welcome Reception (ticket required; must be 21 years of age to attend);
  • Wednesday -  Awards Dinner featuring MATRA Games' Winners and the coveted Golden Sledgehammer Winner as well as the Volunteer of the Year Award.  Another evening highlight will be the presentation of the 2014 Hall of Honor Award to Robert "Bob" Markert, R.A. Markert Associates. (ticket required);
  • Dodge Ball Tournament supporting the MATRA Scholarship Fund (entry fee required);

Join us for great educational sessions, tent installations, networking opportunities, the Dodge Ball Tournament and the MATRA Games. Once again, Exhibitors will be featured under three large trade show tents.  Look for our weekly updates via email and Twitter.  Early Registration Pricing ends on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 so REGISTER now to avoid an increase in fees.  Go to  or to register online today!  Click here to see educational sessions and timeline.

 Ron Black - General Session Speaker

The educational sessions for this year's Conference will begin with an Opening General Session featuring Ron Black who will be opening with his topic:  "Trust Your Cape-Transforming Everyday Leadership Skills into Extraordinary Results".  Learn how to tap into your superhero, harvest the wisdom of those around you, utilize what you have, and find the traction to move forward.  Build your CAPE with clarity, attitude, people, and engagement - and take your results from ordinary to extraordinary!! Ron created a special welcome video just for MATRA Conference attendees. Click here to view and we know you will be excited to attend his presentation!

Tuesday afternoon sessions will cover a variety of topics. While you won't want to miss any of them, some of the content that will be covered includes the latest version of PartyCad presented by Steve Kohn. Need an refresher on equipment safety? Kevin Gern will concentrate on "aerial" equipment with great hands-on demonstrations. Interested in making a 20% operating profit, join Tom Ross as he suggests a simple ten step program already used by many profitable companies. Before severe weather strikes one of your job sites, be sure to attend the session presented by James Waite, Esquire who will help you protect your rights by creating the proper contracts. Kenny Puff shares the most common causes of heater failure and how to prevent and repair with an in depth, hands-on demonstration.

Kick off your Wednesday morning with our General Session Speaker, Ron Black, who will present an entirely different subject regarding productivity and life balance for owners and managers.  Join the Roundtable Discussions with various industry professionals covering Kentucky Code, Pennsylvania 811, Ballasting Tents and Tent Cleaning just before the Tour of the Tents! This year's education will cover something for everyone!

IFAI Presents "TRD Bootcamp"

We are again utilizing Monday afternoon for our popular IFAI TRD "Bootcamp" afternoon Seminar.  This training session is dedicated to educating teams and promoting safety during installation and public usage.  Watch for additional program details in the coming weeks.  This session will be located in the Hotel from 2:00-5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 3, 2014.  (additional fee required)

CERP Exam  Held at Conference

MATRA is pleased to also offer another "sweet" benefit to its members at this year's Conference! MATRA will offer an ARA - CERP exam at the Conference to be administered on Monday, November 3, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. inside the Hershey Hotel.  You MUST register for the exam by contacting ARA.  To register, contact Cole McFarren, project coordinator at ARA, 800-334-2177 ext 255 or email:  Best of luck to those sitting for this exam!

MATRA Dodgeball Tournament to Benefit Scholarship Fund

After an exciting competition last year, the Dodgeball Tournament will, once again, take place on Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 p.m.  Your team must be registered to participate! You can pre-register online OR on site.  The fee is $120 per Team/6 to a Team.  Don't have a full team?? Stop by Registration and put your name down as an interested player and every effort will be made to create extra Teams.  Proceeds will benefit the MATRA Scholarship Fund for 2015 scholarship awards.


Can YOUR team unseat last year's winners? You won't know until you try!


It's Board Election Time!

Once again, it is time for MATRA Board elections. Each year, the Nominating Committee accepts nominations for either the Rental Member board positions or the Vendor Member board positions.  This year, we are seeing candidates for Vendor Member board positions.

Click here to download the Nomination Form.  If you would like to be considered for a two year Board position as a Vendor Board Member, please download and review the Nomination Form.  The Form outlines some of the needs and requirements to be considered for a board position with MATRA. The nominee must be a current active Vendor Member of MATRA.

The deadline for receipt of the Nomination form is Friday, October 10, 2014.  The Nominating Committee will then begin the process of researching the information and submitting an Election Slate to the Board.  Final election process will take place during the Annual Meeting on Monday, November 3, 2014 at the Hershey Lodge, the site of our 2014 Annual Conference and Trade Show. Don't you want to be part of this group, effecting change and promoting education in the tent rental industry??!!

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

Manufacturers and 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 MATRA is to uphold safe practices and promote the professionalism and integrity of the tent rental industry, through education, networking and leadership development.