What’s your name, company name, job title, and segment your business serves?
Brandon Ahlgren here, owner of Elite Events and Rentals out of sunny Tampa, Florida! We serve the party and event segment of the rental industry.
How long have you or your company been involved with ARA and the YPN?
Too many years to count! I've been a YPN member and ARA member for many years and I've loved everything it's brought to my business.
How many times have you attended The ARA Show? Outside of Orlando, what's your favorite show location and why?
My first show was back in February of 2012 and I haven't missed one since, which brings my total to 9! After Orlando being my favorite since it's the home state, New Orleans is hands down my second favorite. I absolutely love the culinary, the whole atmosphere of the city, and of course, the music.
What YP Reception at The ARA Show has been the most memorable?
The most memorable YP reception for me was actually last year in Vegas. It was awesome - had a great open floor plan to network, great food, and an open bar! It's always good to be able to connect with my fellow YPs and spend time with people I don't normally get to see.
What, in your opinion, makes Orlando such a great destination that continues to draw the largest attendance year over year?
Being from Florida and knowing a lot of other rental operators around the country, I would say the biggest draw for this location is the weather being amazing, and the access to all the family attractions like Disney, other theme parks, and of course the beach. It's also easy to travel here and always a good time!
Any insider secrets or hidden gems attendees may want to check out while in Orlando?
There are so many great options. If you have time take a road trip over to my neck of the woods, visiting the #1 beach in the USA - Clearwater Beach - is a must do. Taking a short ride over to the east coast and checking out the Kennedy Space Center is also super cool. Here are a few of my favorite places to eat in the Orlando area while you're here:
1. Santiago’s Bodega
2. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin' in Downtown Disney (The fried chicken is amazing)
3. Morimoto Asia in Downtown Disney
Interested in becoming a YPN member? Visit ARArental.org/Young-Professional-Network to get started!