Whether it’s an annual fundraiser, holiday party or family gathering, the holiday season is a busy time for most, and party rental companies are no exception.
Santa Clarita Valley party-rental companies know the holiday season typically brings a significant increase in business.
“We start marketing usually mid-October, because if you wait until the last minute, it can be really tricky, especially with company parties,” said Rusty Parr, president of A V Party Rentals. “It’s a yearly thing for us, so we’re kind of always prepared for the holidays.”
Kim Kurowski, owner and president of A-1 Party, agreed and said planning ahead is key.
“To make my life easier, I’m pro-active, so the people I normally do on a yearly basis, I contact them ahead of time to remind them,” Kurowski said. “Usually, they thank me because they forgot to call.”
Stacie House, director of business development at 24/7 Events, believes the holiday season is a wonderful time to be in the event business.
“It is a time of year when our team is able to focus heavily on creativity and bringing our clients visions to life,” she said. “We like to think that no request is unachievable with a little vision, time and creative implementation. If we cannot accommodate a request, often we have a contact or industry partner that can assist.”
Over at A V Party Rentals, Parr said they do the same, decorating the showroom with tables to resemble Thanksgiving and Christmas in addition to setting up a big Christmas village display for customers.
“We have a huge walk-in business — we see people year-in and year-out that could order over the phone, but want to come in spend 20 or 30 minutes walking around and getting in the mood,” he said. “It’s always fun to have them enjoy that.”
Though 24/7 Events generally sees holiday orders begin to arrive in September, House said they still recommend clients reach out as soon as they’re considering planning an event.
“This gives our team more opportunities to engage with our clients to bring their vision to life and offers more accessibility to our inventory or new products,” she said.
At A-1 Party, Kurowski said she actually begins to see an increase in business before the holidays.
“A lot of people try and do events before the holidays,” she said. “Every quarter is different, but September and October have been extremely busy this year.”
Parr agreed completely, adding that their holiday season starts before Thanksgiving.
“Thanksgiving is the single biggest day of the year for us — we write more tickets for that than any other day of the year,” he said. “Family dinners are huge, whether it’s five extra chairs and tablecloths or others where we’re setting up tents and feeding 30 or 40 family members.”
Each year, all of their 4,000 to 5,000 high-end chairs are gone, and many of their customers are yearly returners.
“For us, we’ve been here for so long that half of the people who come in have been coming for years if not decades, while some are second generation,” he said. “It’s fun.”
This momentum then rolls into Christmas with every company having various events, whether holiday-themed or not, such as corporate parties, weddings, birthdays or even walks.
“We service all size events from smaller family gatherings to large parties exceeding 800,” House said. “On average, we see party sizes between 250 to 500, but have serviced parties as large as 1,000 over the holidays.”
The main challenge for many is preparing for each unique set up.
“The biggest thing is doing somewhat of a customization for each setup … because we don’t know what the weather is going to be like,” Parr said. “It’s easy in a parking lot, but there are a lot of times where we’re in backyards trying to incorporate a patio or near a house.”
House agreed, and added, “We work with several venues to build structures on rooftops or in garden areas to create additional climate-controlled banquet spaces for their use.”
Many of Kurowski’s requests come from Pinterest ideas, and her experience helps her assist customers in planning. “I’ve pretty much done every banquet room or clubhouse in the valley, so you tell me where you’re having the party, and I can tell you what you can do in there.”
Though Kurowski doesn’t need too much lead time when placing orders, she said she tries to always remain stocked.
“I always have plenty, and I could pull off parties with what I have in stock,” she said. “I rarely run out, unless it’s something that I don’t normally stock, then that I could get in a day or two.”
Each company tends to look at it weekend by weekend, with each weekend building Christmas.
“Any given weekend, we will be doing 70 to 80 events,” Parr said. “It’s a really steady, busy time for us.”
“And nobody thinks about New Year’s (Eve) until Dec. 26,” Kurowski added, laughing. “I know that people have Christmas on their mind, so I always have extras and I’m on-hand and ready to go. I do a lot of last-minute work, and I rarely say no unless it’s something I absolutely cannot pull off.”