ERA Convention postponed
Due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, the 2020 ERA Convention will now take place on 9 and 10 September. The event, originally scheduled to take place on 10 and 11 June, will still be held at MECC Maastricht in the Netherlands alongside the European Rental Awards, the International Rental Exhibition and the aerial platform exhibition APEX, which have also been postponed.
The convention, themed around ‘Smart Rental’, is otherwise unchanged. It will explore the role of data and digitalisation in the equipment rental industry and feature sessions on digital platforms in the construction sector, the importance of technological innovation, using data to improve customer experiences and transforming a business with digital technology. With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting rental companies’ usual modes of operation, these topics are given additional focus.
The 13th annual European Rental Awards will take place on the evening of 9 September following the conclusion of the first day of the convention. The awards will celebrate excellence in the equipment rental industry, including in digital innovation and sustainability.
In addition to the convention and awards, the ERA will be present on all three days of the International Rental Exhibition, 8 to 10 September.
Registrations for the convention and awards dinner remain valid for the new dates.
Find out more about the ERA Convention at https://erarental.org/events/category/era-convention/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.
Coronavirus and the rental industry
With the coronavirus continuing to spread across Europe, the rental industry is increasingly being affected by reduced activity in the construction sector, including the closure of some construction sites, and the cancellation of events. The events industry has been particularly hit in some countries, with near total cancellations.
To facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences among our members, the ERA is convening regular video conferences with national associations and is liaising on an ad hoc basis with our international partners in the Global Rental Alliance and representatives of related sectors, such as construction.
Of primary immediate concern for rental companies is the health and safety of staff members, with rental companies needing to change their procedures for customer visits, provide personal protective equipment for staff, which is not always possible as there are shortages in some countries, and decontaminate machinery.
The cancellation or suspension of rental contracts also presents rental companies with difficulties. Customer liabilities may be connected to whether governments mandate the shutdown of sites and the suspension of contracts raises the question of who is responsible for the equipment during that time.
Indeed, with a reduction in business, rental companies need to manage the storage and maintenance of equipment and machinery that is not in use, the latter of which may be affected by the disruption of cross border supply chains. Furthermore, the retention and payment of staff is problematic in these difficult times. Reductions in business leave rental companies with difficult decisions to make concerning the payment of salaries and temporary reductions in staff. Government support is often imperative to help rental companies and their staff through this time.
This article was first published in the International Rental News (April-May 2020).