Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We Came. We Saw. We Rumbled at Event Solutions 2014!

April 21, 2014  
Filed under AFR Event Furnishings

The AFR 2014 MAIN EVENT Design Challenge at Event Solutions in Las Vegas was amazing.  There’s no other way to put it.  If you weren’t there, you missed out on a standing room only competition that resulted in a chaotic bout of inspiration and design.

Top seated event industry designers, Patrick Peel and Eddie Diaz were the 2014 “arch rival challengers” and started the count down to show-down long before they stepped into the ring, good naturedly taunting one another and laying it all on the line throughout the conference and press events leading up to the Design Challenge.

The day of the match, there was ringside standing room only, as MC Andrew Larris revved up the crowd and Eddie and Patrick showed up with their gloves on ready to RUMBLEEEEEEEEE!

Team Diaz won the coin toss for first choice of which side of stage he wanted to design on,  and we were off for a brutal 25 minute round to design and construct a lounge and dining area complete with place settings, accessories and floral.

With a support team (and many thanks to all of you) and a fail proof game plan, both teams went to work to blow the competition out of the water with a total knock out.  Using products from Design Challenge Sponsors, the designers and their teams put together two great event designs that featured the new 2014 AFR Collections.

For his design, Patrick Peel, of Hello Las Vegas! used AFR’s Chandler Collection along with the Ashbury Dining Table, Zinc Pub Tables, Udder Madness Ottoman, Zanzibar End Tables, Escape Chairs and Barstools.  He finished his design with red glassware, white china with red chargers, white floral in red glass and white ceramic containers and red accent pillows.

Eddie Diaz, Encore Creations, used the new AFR Regale Collection along with the Crystal Collection, Zinc Pub Table, Hayden Dining Table, Elio Chairs, Marcus Barstools, Novel End Tables, Mon Table and Zambia Cubed Ottomans.  He accessorized with white and silver place settings along with white and purple floral in ceramic containers and taffeta accent pillows.

When the last bell rang, the competitors were drenched in sweat and had given all they had.  The results were up to the voters and it looked like it might just be a split decision.

In the end, when the votes were counted, Eddie Diaz won the title belt for the 2014 Main Event Champion in a tight fight.  He was awarded a $1000.00 Gift Certificate from AFR Event Furnishings and a Full Conference Package for the 2015 Conference from Event Solutions.

A very special thank you to each of our sponsors who make this event possible year after year:

Mark your calendars now for Design Challenge 2015.  All we can tell you is that you are NOT going to want to miss it!  See you in Vegas!

AFR Furniture Rental® Expands Florida Residential Market Reach

April 17, 2014  
Filed under News

April 9, 2014 Pennsauken, New Jersey – American Furniture Rentals®, the parent company of AFR Furniture Rental, AFR Event Furnishings and AFR Trade Show Furnishings, is pleased to announce the expansion of their Residential Rental Division in Florida, specifically in Orlando Metro and the Miami and South Florida markets. The move is a calculated one providing a solution in response to a specific demand of high quality residential furnishings. AFR has had a footprint in the Florida market since 2008, offering furniture and accessory rentals in the special events industry.

“Driven by the success that we have had over the years in Miami and Orlando, we are excited to dive even deeper into the market place and provide expanded inventory to better serve our clients. When our customers ask, we listen. It is our goal to go above and beyond to ensure everything is perfect and the customer experience is smooth. This expansion is a direct result of our success in that effort, ” said Ray Fiorica, President, AFR Furniture Rental & Event Furnishings

Established in 1975, AFR is the second largest furniture rental company in the industry. With a fleet of over 130 vehicles, and almost 600 employees, AFR currently furnishes over 5,500 corporate apartments up and down the east coast. As leaders in the furniture rental industry, AFR provides you with the perfect solution for every type of rental need. Our outstanding service and high quality furnishings are promptly available for those in need of utilizing rental furniture for virtually any temporary situation.

AFR Furniture Rental® provides residential, home staging, commercial, trade show and event furnishing needs. Along with furniture, AFR offers a full line of house ware and kitchenware rentals, including linens, electronics, and artwork. Focused on continually evolving in the rental marketplace, offering innovative products and providing an unwavering commitment to excellence in service, that’s the AFR difference.

For media inquiries or hi-res images, please contact Jenna Ermack, at 856.406.1040 or email jermack@rentfurniture.com. For more information on AFR Furniture Rental, please visit www.rentfurniture.com.

AFR Furniture Rental® Expands Dallas Residential Market Reach

April 17, 2014  
Filed under News

April 9, 2014 Pennsauken, New Jersey – American Furniture Rentals®, the parent company of AFR Furniture Rental, AFR Event Furnishings and AFR Trade Show Furnishings, is pleased to announce the expansion of their Residential Rental Division in Texas, specifically in Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding areas. The move is a calculated one providing a solution in response to a specific demand of high quality residential furnishings. AFR has had a footprint in the Dallas market since 2012, offering furniture and accessory rentals in the special events industry.

“Driven by the success that we have had over the years in Dallas, we are excited to dive even deeper into the market place and provide expanded inventory to better serve our clients. When our customers ask, we listen. It is our goal to go above and beyond to ensure everything is perfect and the customer experience is smooth. This expansion is a direct result of our success in that effort, ” said Ray Fiorica, President, AFR Furniture Rental & Event Furnishings

Established in 1975, AFR is the second largest furniture rental company in the industry. With a fleet of over 130 vehicles, and almost 600 employees, AFR currently furnishes over 5,500 corporate apartments up and down the east coast. As leaders in the furniture rental industry, AFR provides you with the perfect solution for every type of rental need. Our outstanding service and high quality furnishings are promptly available for those in need of utilizing rental furniture for virtually any temporary situation.

AFR Furniture Rental® provides residential, home staging, commercial, trade show and event furnishing needs. Along with furniture, AFR offers a full line of house ware and kitchenware rentals, including linens, electronics, and artwork. Focused on continually evolving in the rental marketplace, offering innovative products and providing an unwavering commitment to excellence in service, that’s the AFR difference.

For media inquiries or hi-res images, please contact Jenna Ermack, at 856.406.1040 or email jermack@rentfurniture.com. For more information on AFR Furniture Rental, please visit www.rentfurniture.com.

Find Delaware Furniture Deals at the AFR New Castle Clearance Center

April 16, 2014  
Filed under AFR Furniture Rental

Relocating to Wilmington? Moving into a new home in New Castle? Want to furnish your new apartment in Newark? Whether you live in Delaware, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, one of the best places to find like-new furniture at discount prices is the AFR Clearance Center in New Castle, Delaware.

Located just a few miles south of Wilmington (just off I-95) AFR’s Delaware Clearance Center stocks a broad and varied selection of gently-used and brand new furniture including rental returns, furniture used to showcase model homes, and even floor samples. AFR’s New Castle Clearance Center store stocks thousands and thousands of square feet of sofas, love seats, sectionals, dinette tables, end tables, and home office furniture.


Our Delaware Clearance Center also frequently receives unique pieces, such as outdoor beds and even furniture packages perfect for furnishing every room in your home. You can see some of our latest finds by liking our Facebook page or visiting our website.

The best part? Since nearly everything’s priced at 50-60% (or more!) off of retail, you can find stylish furniture for your home while saving money! Whether you’re driving down from Philadelphia or up from Ocean City, the New Castle AFR Clearance Center is likely to have something perfect for your home.

 

 

Spring Cleaning: Updating Your Models & Community Rooms

April 9, 2014  
Filed under AFR Furniture Rental

Spring has arrived and now is the perfect time to update Model units, Club Houses and Community Rooms.  While budget may be a concern, there are several ways that you can minimize costs, maximize impact, and ensure that you are attracting the right residents for your property.

Updating doesn’t always require a major overhaul. Consider replacing key pieces.  Change out the sofa, love seat and artwork.  Take a look at the bedroom; if you have a contemporary leather headboard, perhaps that big floral print comforter needs to be replaced with a print and texture that is current with today’s trends. Changing out the pillows, throws and updating accessories can breathe new life into a room. Simple subtle changes can have big impact!

Walk through your models and community spaces and assess them from your customer’s perspective. Maybe they still look good, but have they been looking that same “good” for a year or two?  Has your target demographic changed? Is the model and community décor aligned with current trends?  Every detail needs to be reflective of the living experience that prospective residents can expect if they rent a unit.

Clear out any clutter.  Less is more and trends have moved away from the over accessorizing of the past.  The model of today is a statement about the services and culture of the property. Scaled back models, neutral colors, good upholstery textures and style are all important ways to project style and communicate your brand.

Stretch your dollar even further.  Communities are moving away from the fully furnished model.  Consider a busy season model or even move to a mini model and maximize the approach. Most people think about moving in the spring.  Consider having a model unit from February through June.  While you have the model, make sure to schedule a photo shoot with a professional photographer so that you have photos for your online marketing effort and allow guests to take a virtual tour.

Now is the time to take stock and make needed changes and updates. Contact your AFR Representative for a consultation at 888-AFR-RENT or visit our website at www.rentfurniture.com.

 

Navigating the Expensive Mine Field of Tradeshows

April 2, 2014  
Filed under AFR Event Furnishings

Many companies attend and exhibit at tradeshows to make new connections in their industry and identify potential sales opportunities, which they hope to convert into repeat customers and long term business relationships.

Managing the costs of tradeshow participations so the benefit of investment recovery remains tangible is an important consideration. It can be a daunting task navigating the various venues and their individual union, contractor and drayage contracts. This is where a partnership with AFR Tradeshow Furnishings becomes invaluable. With a deep inventory of quality and stylish rental products in seventeen locations across the United States, we are well positioned to help our clients create a cost effective and money-saving experience.

Let’s take a look at three ways to help you save money on your next tradeshow endeavor.

1.  AFR Tradeshow Furnishings has solidified strong working relationships with key union and contractor personnel in many major tradeshow venues throughout the United States. These strong relationships aid us in making sure your orders are delivered on time and in excellent condition.

2.  Our team of well-trained sales coordinators work seamlessly with our account executives to ensure that all paperwork needed between our clients and the contractor is completed in a no-hassle manner. From Bill of Lading on move-in and move-out to contractor friendly paperwork with weights included, we handle all the details for greater service to our clients. Onsite, our Operations Leads have the know how to jump over hurdles and navigate through sometimes difficult circumstances to make sure your product is delivered to the floor unwrapped and in show-ready condition.

3.  Save money by renting.  No more purchasing and shipping expenses.  AFR Tradeshow Furnishings offers you flexibility in design through the advantage of rental. More options, less cost, what is not to love?

It is most important to have a partner that understands the system, knows the players and can provide you with the expertise to save you the most money. At AFR, we have successfully helped hundreds of clients work through the expense-infested waters and create a tradeshow experience that leverages great value, harnesses expenses and provides exponential business opportunities. AFR Tradeshow Furnishings makes your investment in tradeshows one that provides value for every dollar you spend.

To find out how you can save money on your next tradeshow, contact your AFR Representative at 888.AFR.RENT or visit us online at afrtradeshow.com to see our full inventory and meet our team of experts.

The Furniture Selfie

March 26, 2014  
Filed under AFR Event Furnishings

If your brand is not focusing some of its marketing efforts on visual marketing, you have a lot of catching up to do.  Instagram is a great way for businesses to leverage their visual marketing and provides an opportunity to present their products in a new way.

People are engaging with brands that are creating visual content that offer more than just their product in a brochure studio setting. If that’s the direction you’re taking, ask yourself how is it any different than a client downloading your catalog? Creativity will get you noticed! If your customers are going to engage with you on Instagram you have to offer them something unique and/or exclusive by giving them access to what they can do with your product.

We’ve all seen selfies throughout all social networking platforms, but especially on Instagram.  Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some great selfies, but I’ve also seen some horrible ones. At times asking myself why.  Why would someone take a selfie of themselves in a restroom?  Some people understand the concept of personal branding and offer more than just a shot of their morning disastrous hangover face. They capture themselves in an amazing location that offer their followers more than a selfie.  This is also true for brands. Offer me something more than just a replica of your website still life product. I want to see something outside your corporate traditional catalog.

AFR captures the beauty in their furniture by showcasing their collections at various events. In my opinion, this gives life to their furniture and helps their audience conceptualize their event goals. As you can see in my examples below, they take the furniture selfie award!  They share relevant visual content that applies to their audience whether the interest be in events, home staging, commercial or residential.

Some of my pet peeves are brands over filtering their photos to the extent that they make the image look dirty or look completely different from their original product. Sometimes it is best to add no filter or a simple filter that may add a bit more light to their photo.  On another note, try to keep the hashtags to a minimum and keep them relevant.  Remember that Instagram is about photos and not the place to write your thesis or biography. It’s very frustrating to scroll down for a few minutes before I can ignore your post and move on to the next.

Here is a list of my favorite iPhone collage apps:

Pic Stitch / PicFrame / DipTic / BeFunky / Instacollage / Framatic Pro / PicPlayPost

Selfies are not just about YOU but they’re also about your audience.  AFR has built their followers based on relevant visual content and hashtags that help them connect with a targeted audience. Follow @AFR_Rentals and experience The Furniture Selfie done the right way!

Written by Guest Blogger Jose Ramirez, Backdrops Beautiful

 

 

 

Want A Great Deal on Some ‘New’ Furniture? Find it at AFR!

March 20, 2014  
Filed under AFR Furniture Rental

Have you ever thought about buying previously rented furniture through a private ad or exchange? When you arrive and see the condition of the furniture or where it has been stored, does it have second-guessing yourself?

There IS another option and we’re going to show you how to get great quality furniture at a great value for your dollar. Are you ready?

Look to previously rented furniture as an option. Yes, it’s that simple. If you have a vision of beat to death, broken down furniture, it couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, there are several things beyond great prices that you should know about purchasing previously rented furniture from an AFR Clearance Center.

1.  Rental furniture is purchased for style and longevity. So even though it may be fresh off the market ‘runway’, it is still solid furniture, and in good condition. Just because we are done renting it doesn’t mean it is dead. Before we sell it, we sand it down, touch it up and return each piece to its best possible condition.

2.  Every piece of furniture that goes to our Clearance Center goes through a rigorous inspection. We sanitize it every time it returns to our warehouse. That doesn’t mean just a wipe down. That means that we “bake” it, which is a process that treats soft goods to prevent disease, bugs or other unsanitary germs or bacteria that might lurk in furnishings. You don’t get that benefit with a private sale.

3.  There are many different options when purchasing from a clearance center and there are new arrivals daily. From high quality residential to office furnishings and even housewares and artwork there are many styles and options to choose from. In addition to discontinued furnishings, we often times take advantage of Manufacturer Close Outs. These super deals include discontinued styles, over stocked items, one-of-a-kind-pieces and floor samples. Many of these items are like brand new and priced at deals you won’t find anywhere else. Need a new box spring and mattress?  We have them in many sizes.

4.  Like a new car you drive off the lot, furniture loses value the minute it leaves the warehouse. Common sense tells us that with previously rented furnishings, someone else has absorbed the financial impact and you’re left with great looking, quality furniture that stretches your dollar farther.

So, who wants to buy some ‘new’ furniture? Home staging professionals, second home owners, college students, young families starting out, recovering from a disaster, no matter your situation, we have styles and prices that will make you really happy you stopped by. Starting from just $999 in some locations. Where else can you get furnishings for a dining room, living room and bedroom for about a thousand dollars?  It’s a good deal no matter how you look at it.

Average savings hover 50%-80% below retail prices. The bottom line is, if you’re looking for quality and value in one place, then you will want to consider checking out AFR’s Clearance Center. You may just find the furnishings you are looking for at the perfect price.

For more information, please visit AFR Clearance Center to see our locations, find special offers and see our furnishings.

 

Beyond Radiant Orchid

March 12, 2014  
Filed under AFR Event Furnishings

There has been a lot of talk about color this year and the hullabaloo is only beginning to die down about Radiant Orchid. Let’s take a look beyond the Pantone Color of the Year and find out what else is happening in the world of color that is exciting and new.

Color becomes a focal point this year rather than an accented byline.  So exactly what does that mean?  Isn’t color always a focus? Well yes, but then again, not so much in the past couple seasons.  Think back over the past year.  Blush, champagne, the palest of pastels, washed out metallic – color was non-color. It’s time to back away from the pale and washed out palette that was made famous by Instagram in exchange for true rich colors.  Radiant Orchid is going to bleed into other jewel tones for this year and beyond.  Big, bold colors and patterns have arrived.  Chevrons, stripes, and polka dots mixed with the vibrant tones of hemlock green, dazzling blue, violet tulip and ruby. You can even try your hand at creating your own pattern on COLOURlovers. How great to have the ability to create a custom color pattern you can incorporate into your events. If you watched the Oscars recently, you may have noticed the pattern integrations on the stage flooring and the arch overhead.  Beautiful!  If you missed it, you can see a beautiful image of the stage here.

Infuse pattern throughout the event for subtle touches that make a big splash.  Illuminated, acrylic or glass top furniture make a great canvas for this very purpose, or as you saw at the Oscars, you can use them in a bigger way for dazzling effect.  Combined with a custom monogram or logo they can create an amazing and unique touch in your décor design.

We are embracing the new color direction with our new bright blue Regale and red Chandler Collections, but that’s not all. We also have our new Phoebe Collection tables in beautiful colors of rose, teal, green, gold, and yellow. And, of course, don’t forget about our Cubed Ottomans in a variety of brilliant colors or our rich purple Imperial, and sunny orange Tangerine lines.

Of course, illuminated furnishings provide a plethora of color options for the event pro. You can check out all of our color lines here.

How can we incorporate these new color trends into events?  We have a few ideas for you.

Starting with a white foundation add color with linens or brightly colored glass tableware.  With many new and exciting options in both fabrics and glassware, it’s an opportunity to be really creative!

Our Regency Cubed ottomans provide blocks of color and are perfect for mix and match or use with a monochromatic color scheme for a bolder statement. Compare our colors to the spring pantone chart.  We think you’ll find there is a lot to work with.

Create your own pattern and incorporate it in creative ways within your event.  We decided to play around with the pattern generator that we mentioned above.  In just a few minutes you can create a custom design using any color palette you choose.  We think you’ll have fun with it too, so go ahead and try it.  If nothing else, it just might inspire a new idea for you.

Add some exciting color to your events by layering in floral.  They are an easy way to create brilliant color pops that add an exciting visual element to your events.  Whether it is a luncheon, a baby shower, wedding or gala evening, beautiful flowers always make a statement.

Looking beyond Radiant Orchid, there is a whole world just waiting to be discovered and embraced this spring. Take a journey into it by layering colors, patterns and textures to bring a whole new dimension to your events.

If you’re looking for new ways to add some color to your world, please contact your AFR Representative at 888.AFR.RENT or find us online at www.afrevents.com.  We’re ready when you are.

 

 

 

 

Four Favorite Event Trends of 2014

March 5, 2014  
Filed under AFR Event Furnishings

We recently attended an ISES Day of Education in Chicago and were inspired and excited by what we learned.  As you know, AFR loves not only furniture, but also design, and so when one of the topics was Trends in the Event Industry, our ears naturally perked up. We are happy to see the Mason jars wrapped in twine and the DIY rustic look falling to the way side for a more sophisticated décor and style. We’ve enjoyed that trend, but we are ready for something a little different. Here are a few of the 2014 trends that grabbed our attention during our session and have us to trying some new combinations and looks for our clients.

1.  Residential Luxury Is In

Residential luxury brings uniqueness to the event stage and infuses the more club-like lounges with a look and feel that mirrors a living room setting. Dark rich refined textures, overstuffed leathers and color all play a significant role in this trend.  Don’t just think sofas, chairs and tables, but also add bookshelves, hutches, sideboards, servers, curio cabinets or other interesting pieces.  Next, layer in accents, cubed ottomans, rugs and ‘personal’ accents like books and frames or artwork, mirrors and other occasional decor that help breathe warmth and character into the setting.  As an idea for a starting point, check out our Broadway, Metro, Grammercy or Chateau Collections to use as a base and build the layers from there. Don’t be afraid to mix fabric textures and patterns. Remember there are no rules, only guidelines.  Have some fun with it.

2.  Bring a Piece of Home to the Dining Experience

Spinning off the same philosophy we just told you for the living room, bring the same warm elegance into the guest dining experience to reflect a residential dining room.  Not many people have 60” rounds with floor length linens in their homes.  This year, we will be seeing more and more eclectic dining experiences in events.  To step into the trend, try rectangular or square heavy wooden tables like our Vermont, Hayden or Ashbury, or create communal settings with our wooden Memphis Square or Rectangle pub tables. There are several options to choose from and you don’t need linen. When paired with different chairs like our Elio, Chateau, Regale, Marcus or Ghost stools, it creates settings that hold a lot of comfort and warmth. Top the tables with fabric runners; simple floral and low-lying candle treatments. For more ideas, you can view our entire catalogue here.

3.  Integrating the lounge and dining environment together.

Skip the standard dining arrangements and throw away the seating chart. Try something different and mix dining and lounge areas together for a more relaxed, no-agenda styled approach to the evening. The overall event isn’t just going to be a traditional ballroom build…it’s going to be a combination of settings and dining with buffets.  You can still hand out awards or address the room by adding some basic audio/visual elements. People connect and interact better when allowed to mingle and relax.

4.  Demure…is out!  Go bold!

The “all soft toned” look is out…you know beige, blush, gold etc…. No need to diffuse color…it’s so passe’.  Vivid is in. Pair soft pastels with intense color and have some fun with it. Along with Radiant Orchid, be sure to check out the rest of the Pantone Spring ’14 color palette for some other sassy colors that will bring joy to your design inspiration.

What are your favorite new trends?  Do you need more great ideas?  We’re happy to help, just give your AFR Representative a call at 888.AFR.RENT or visit us on the web at www.afrevents.com.

 

 

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