Tuesday 24 April 2012

Creemore Home and Garden Show & First Big Tent

Busy, busy weekend. Good indicators of Summer being well on its way.

This weekend if you had explored the “Get Growing” Home and Garden Show in Creemore you may have found yourself bombarded with free popcorn from Happenings.

Amongst the tractors, trailers, solar panels, and temporary garden and landscaping booths, we stood sheltered under our 10’x10’ frame tent. We connected with other local business owners, discussing the show, economy and marketing strategies. We spoke with passerby’s, handed out our new inventory, price list brochures and pens baring our name and number.

The popcorn was a hit. Kids put out the fire at our fireman carnival game, while adults looked over (what we could fit in the booth of) our linen, table and accessory inventory. Collections were donated to the Tree Society of Creemore, a volunteer organization “committed to preserving and promoting beauty in [their] tree-lined streets”.

Thanks goes out to anyone who came out to visit.

During the show we also had a crew in Hillsdale for Geoshack, our first decent sized job of the year. The winds were tough and the ground was denser than diamond, though we still managed to raise a 30’x30’ Navi-Track Frame and four 10’x10’ frames. Props to the boys who spent their Sunday to 3-man-wield the gas pounder just to get the stakes to stand on their own.

Completed tent site.

Tent surroundings appeared to be some sort of  massive-ant city.

Some sort of gigantic ant party?


Wednesday 18 April 2012

The Matra Spring Training Trip

        March 27, 2012 the Happenings guys attended Matra’s second annual Tent Renter’s Spring Training session. Mike Carleton, owner; Chris, Ryan and Ed, well seasoned staff; dragged themselves out of bed the Monday of the 26 to get an early start to the 10 hour trek ahead of themselves.

        The destination, Elmsford, New York.

Taken during Ryan's bathroom break.

The guys housed themselves up in a hotel in Elmsford for the night and rose the next morning eager to absorb all the contents of their day.
            They arrived at PartyLine Tent Rentals at 8 am. Coffee, tea and breakfast was served while attendees registered and were given name tags to pin on their shirts. Between registration and 9am the boys wandered the shop, observing Kenny Puff of Party Line’s warehouse organization storage in a paced free-for-all.
                Seminars filled the remaining morning block of the day. The first presenter discussed the hazards of improper tent anchoring. The audience cringed as a multitude of torn, collapsed, imploded and upside-down tents flashed on the screen. A setting of un-stake-able anchoring was common throughout the slideshow.

Tent chewed up and spit out by high winds.

         The solution? Concrete blocks as the heir to the tired and time consuming water barrels.

Happenings downtown on Porche's rooftop, concrete blocks.

         However the practical hurdle embedded in their weight; 500lbs blocks are not simply be dollied around (efficiently). The presentation went on to analyse experimental modes of transportation from onsite forklifts and flatbed trucks to some very unusual contraptions.

1 guy, 1 block. Genius.
        The second seminar discussed the execution of newly implemented methodology from the president down to the labourer. The speaker also urged the use of cues that predict customer influx to help determine where businesses should be allocating their resources. It was very informative and led to the development of in-house surveys to better understand the customer and deliver on their needs. Our crack marketing committee came up with this:

There wasn't much in the budget for it.

          The final seminar was by the author of PartyCAD software himself, Hank Hufnagle. He demonstrated live, how the new PartyCAD12 could be used to draw event layouts quickly, noting the improvements since PartyCAD10. Marvel at a sample drawing we offer to our clients.

PartyCAD12 Sample

         Lunch Followed.

         After lunch tours were given by Kenny Puff around the warehouse. More informative than the free for all tours, Kenny highlighted solutions to tremendously increase practical efficiency and productivity around the warehouse. Here are a few snaps.

Pulley system hung from cable.
Chivaris stacked with individual bags.
A peek inside the kitchen trailors.
No staples in the tables!
So many tops.
Kenny Puff addressing the crowd.
Plate carrier 2.0?

        For the remainder of the day attendees gathered in the tent adjacent to the main building. Kenny presented the industry owners tough questions given various scenarios. “What do you do?” spurring a chatter of solutions. It was settling to see others in the industry struggling with the similar matters and how they adjust.

         After a few goodbyes, the boys piled back in the half-tonne truck and set the GPS to Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, 45 Sanford Fleming Drive. Driving straight through the night, they arrived back at home base at 2am. Early enough to have a brief nap in the tarps before clocking in on the Wednesday, 7am.


Thursday 12 April 2012

Look what came in the mail!

The CRA is a not-for-profit association that raises the standard for rental organizations in today’s market. They support community networking, leadership development, professionalism and integrity in the rental industry and its members.
The CRA Ontario offers many educational workshops and seminars, newsletters with up-to-date Ontario information and events that help promote useful products, practices and connections in the industry. Further, they provide tangible recognition for the most outstanding companies through their comparative feedback surveys and annual awards. Recipients can be proud of their yearly efforts and others can make goals to work towards.
We are proud to announce Canadian Rental Association (CRA)- Ontario has presented Happenings Party Rentals the Party and Special Events Image and Innovation Award for 2011. Awarded to the Party Rental store/organization that best exemplifies the highest standards of the Party Rental industry on the following criteria:
·         Attractive exterior and interior
·         Well maintained equipment
·         Innovative ideas
·         Excellent customer service
·         Good house keeping
2011 was a good year for us at Happenings, we can be sure of that after receiving this:

Truthfully, this was no cake walk. Hard work and overtime went into this merit.
Our warehouse underwent a massive reorganization during the early months of the year in order to optimize delivery loading. Even the most seasoned crew members found themselves needing directions to the new center pole home (Until they warmed up to it).
It was our greenest crew in years, trained them from scratch to be content with only the best. We committed to the new company logo and a fresh crew uniform to match. The boys are looking quite dapper now with their collared shirts.
New asphalt laid deeper into the parking lot shouted professionalism at our customers picking up their orders. A shed was added adjacent to the main building for more convenient storage.
            Brand new Kedar tents were added to the inventory. A 20’x 40’ and a 30’x60’. Their tops simply slide into and remain in the frame, always staying tight and sleek without lacing or tightening maintenance.
There was a score of unique jobs too, all requiring problem solving and some serious tent knowledge. Tents were slung high above trees, overhanging off 8 foot decks and perched on large rooftops; just to name a few. Locations ranged as far as Kincardine, Bracebridge and downtown, Toronto.  We really should have taken more pictures.
Always working to prevent the unavoidable was standard during all the new additions to our company.  Things like remembering the proper equipment, repairing it as soon as it fails, maintaining order and cleanliness, and always putting the customer first. Firming up these routines keeps everything about the company young.
We deserved this one. We worked hard last year, helped a lot of people, made significant improvements and are excited to see how far we can drive ourselves.
A big thank you for anyone who had a part in it all.