We’re already in March? This year is moving at high-speed. We’ve just returned from the 2012 CaterSource and Event Solutions Idea Factory, and wow, did we have an awesome time in Las Vegas!
First, just in case you haven’t already heard, with your support, we RockED the Vote at the 2012 Spotlight Awards bringing home awards in the categories of Event Supplier of the Year and Marketing Professional of the Year! We’re so excited about the awards, and even more importantly the opportunity the campaign gave us to communicate with our clients and the event community at large in a fun and meaningful way. Of course, we really love how our new Spotlight Awards look on the AFR Awards shelf too! (Jerry, our President hasn’t stopped smiling yet!)
THE REST OF THE WEEK:
In addition to winning awards and making a fashion statement with my crutch and go-kart, we had so much going on at the show this year that we were busy every minute of every day. Without out all hands on deck, we couldn’t have gotten it all done!!!
THE AFR BOOTH:
This year, we worked with Frank Clemente and Lynn McGee at ConceptBAIT to build a Moroccan Pavilion that would show-off our new Extravaganza Slipcovers to the event community. The covers were created to fit the Function Line and effectively transform event spaces in a savvy world culture way. To show off the furniture, Frank designed a beautiful fabric Pavilion with stained glass lanterns hung from the ceiling in a variety of heights that put the finishing touches to the environment. In addition to the new Extravaganza line, we showcased prototype metal tables that will be available within the next two months. Please tell us, what you thought of them.
THE DESIGN DIVA CHALLENGE
Last year, as a sponsor of the design stage we were given 20 minutes to talk on stage. Rather than boring people to death we did a mini design contest with David Merrell and Frank Clemente. It was such a big hit, that this year, we were invited back to produce the official “AFR Design Center.” The headline event for the stage, was the DESIGN DIVAS CHALLENGE featuring industry design experts, Cheryl Fish of Someone’s In The Kitchen, and Sasha Souza of Sasha Souza Events. Talk about generating some excitement! The competition was high drama, funny and fierce.
AFR brought a truck of furniture and partnered with Mayesh for floral, Deko Vase for vases, 81 Main for décor, 10 Strawberry Street for china and Rentals Unlimited for linens. Sasha and Cheryl had 45 minutes to design using these items that they had not ever seen before. Our MC, JC York from Wise Guys Entertainment kept the audience engaged beginning with making our Divas arm wrestle for their choice of design space and adding surprise elements like pony and cow hide rugs that needed to be incorporated into their designs 15 minutes into the competition. In addition, our MC placed the Divas in a surprise 2 minute penalty box to see how well they had given their team direction. Unexpected interruptions happen all the time in events, right? After the challenge finished, tradeshow attendees voted by ballot for their favorite design vignette. Congratulations to the 2012 Design Diva, Cheryl Fish who was “crowned” in David Tutera’s Closing Session on Wednesday evening.
Watch out for our Battle of the Sexes Challenge next year at the 2013 Event Solutions Design Challenge. It’s going to be AHHHHmazing!
CATERSOURCE MAGAZINE LOUNGE
With just two days notice we agreed to sponsor the CaterSource Magazine Lounge. We recruited Deb Roth from Pink powered by Moss to offer us Ribbons and Phyliss from Eventricity in Glenside, PA to do the florals. We showcased our Function line with the Extravaganza slip covers and previewed two other slip covers- Titan and Saffron which are currently only available in Florida, but may be available in additional markets very soon.
Are you out of breath yet? We are, but rest assured we are celebrating such a successful show. And, just in case you missed it, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT of AFR Event Furnishings!!!
Pennsauken, New Jersey, March 3, 2012 – The AFR Event Furnishing team brought home the gold in the Event Supplier of the Year and Marketing Professional of the Year, categories at the 2012 Event Solutions Spotlight Awards held on February 28th at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
“Being honored and recognized by our peers and industry leaders really made it one of the best weeks ever for AFR! It’s an amazing feeling to know that people really think well of us and so graciously supported our Rock the Vote campaign. Without our extended family of client partners, colleagues and friends, we couldn’t and wouldn’t be so successful. These awards are something we share with all of them,“ says Tricia Schmitt, Director of Marketing for AFR.
The Event Solutions Spotlight Awards are an annual national awards presentation dedicated to recognizing the best and the brightest event professionals in the industry. The awards are presented in a variety of categories and honor both individuals and companies for their body of work in the previous year.
AFR Event Furnishings is the nation’s premiere provider of stylish, quality furnishings and accessory rentals for conferences, meetings, tradeshows and events.
For more information this topic, or to schedule an interview, please call Tricia Schmitt. For more information on AFR Event Furnishings, please visit www.afrevents.com.
We’re back from TSE 2012 in Tampa, Florida and WOW what a show this year! We loved the Opening Night and the Gala Evening and every minute in between.
As all of you know, it takes a village to prepare for a major industry tradeshow. For TSE, that means that AFR designs a 20’ x 20’ booth and the Attendee Lounge on the tradeshow floor. It’s a fine line to walk in trying to promote the products that we want showcase and creating the right impression with the attendees. This year, I think we really were able to have a lot of fun with the booth and the lounge and highlight some of the trendy looks that are at the forefront of the industry.
This year, we worked with Frank Clemente and Lynn McGee at ConceptBAIT (some of our favorite peeps to work with) in Tampa to build a Moroccan Pavilion to showcase our new Extravaganza slipcovers to the Special Event World. The covers were created to fit on the Function Line and work to really transform a space in a very global culture way. To really show off the furniture, Frank designed a beautiful fabric Pavilion with glass lanterns hung from the ceiling in a variety of heights that really drove the look home. On a side note, we are so proud that we took home the award for Best Large Booth this year…it’s an award that says everything about great teamwork at AFR!
In the attendee lounge, we partnered with Backdrops Beautiful and Jose Ramirez. TSE sells two sponsorships and pairs us together. Then together we come up with concepts that work and showcase both of our companies well. It’s a win-win. This year, from New York to the French Countryside we had great looks that gave attendees a spot to rest on our furniture…and get away to another world. Max King Events (*LOVE*) of Tampa stepped in to help us with décor and floral design was provided by Touch of Paradise. Guests loved the chalkboard tables and graffiti wall and had a lot of fun leaving their mark, Twitter handle or well wishes. We love that you all loved it too! Thanks for all your wonderful comments and support – they meant so much to us after the tough time we had getting it all put together. You probably didn’t know, but GES lost Backdrop Beautiful’s pallet. Illana flew in from San Diego with replacements late Tuesday night and Jose and his intern, Sean, worked through the night at the convention center to be sure we were ready (just in the nick of time) for our 10am floor opening. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and trust me; we’re feeling really strong (and happy) about how it all turned out in the end. Check out the video – it’s the next best thing to being there.
AFR wasn’t just in our booth – we were everywhere! We furnished booths like Cast Software and the EPTA booth, the industry’s newest charity (if you missed the video during the General Session, you can check them out here – www.eventprostakeaction.org). Sign up for the trip and change YOUR life by helping people who really need it.
AFR was also proud to be the furniture supplier at the fabulous Opening Night Celebration– which if I might just gush for a moment was “absofreakinglutely” over the top and so well done. Hats off to Stephanie Berry and Byron Loper at Showorks for producing what is being touted as the BEST Opening Night Celebration ever. We agree. We are so proud to have been a part of such an amazing event! Thank you Limelight Photography for these awesome photos!
Congratulations to all this year’s winners at the GALA Awards! Gala night you might have relaxed on one of our new outdoor collections Evoke or perhaps our Green Grass line, in the Gala garden. We heard that you loved them, and rest assured that Green Grass will be “sprouting” at a location near you very soon.
CONGRATULATIONS to AFR’s cold hard cash drawing winner, Soosie Lazenby of Urban Coast. We hope you enjoy something special for yourself with that cash!
In closing, the week was busy, busy, busy, but we loved every minute of it. And, last, but not least, I’d like to give a shout out to the AFR team that works so hard to make it all happen. Without our amazing team, we’d be nothing!
So, if you missed out on Tampa this year…bummer…get your boots and scarf and get ready for next year and meet us in January in the Windy City of Chicago!
TODAY takes a look at photos obtained by TMZ that were taken inside the hospital room where superstar Beyonce and husband Jay-Z recently gave birth to a baby girl. Furniture provided by AFR Furniture Rental
January 11, 2012
Filed under AFR Furniture Rental
Happy New Year!
It’s time for a fresh start, but its cold outside! So why not bring some New Years Cheer inside your home and have fun transforming your living space? There are tons of fun and easy ways to change the look of your apartment with out spending a lot of money! Decorating doesn’t have to be a total renovation; just being creative can really help you change the look of your space. To help you get started, check out these inexpensive ideas that will have your living space freshened up in no time!
Jazz Up Your Bathroom
For a quick bathroom makeover, simply change the shower curtain! In many bathrooms it’s the part of the room that catches your eye first. No need to purchase expensive new towels or change your color scheme, just find a fresh new shower curtain that compliments what you already have!
Treasures for Your Den or Home Office
Pick up some small colored glass jars or bottles at your local antique shop. Place them on the window sill to add a quick dose of color to your white walls. These little pieces don’t just add color but can also be a real conversation starter! You should be able to find some interesting bottles in a variety of colors for as little as $1-$2each.
Beautiful Bedroom Accents
Chair Rail- a big challenge- not true, installing chair rail can be a cinch! And can add lots of architectural drama to any room. Check out your local hardware store for some easy to work with “stick-on” chair rail molding. Some of the larger retailers also offer complimentary design services and installation classes.
Energize your Living Room
We don’t mean change the batteries in your TV remote. Don’t let those washed out white lamp shades leave your living area looking blah; dust off those lamps and give them a fresh new look! Try picking up some new lamp shades with color or fun eye catching patterns, they are inexpensive and add that flair you may be looking for. Or if you’re the crafty type, get out the hot glue gun and transform your current lamp shades by adding some sensational fabric or ribbon. This quick and easy idea can change an entire room.
Remember, decorating doesn’t have to be challenging – small accents can make big statements!
Voting Polls are open for the Event Solutions 2012 Spotlight Awards. This is the first year that this award is based on a combination of merit and popular vote. Our merit won us a coveted finalist slot, now is the voting portion!
This is where we need YOUR help, to vote! Please feel free to check out our work and submission online.
Voting is simple! Click on the 2012 Spotlight Awards link, enter your email, choose “event supplier of the year” category and then vote for AFR Event Furnishings. Choose “Marketing Professional of the Year” and then vote for Tricia Schmitt and then choose Rising Star Female and vote for Lindsay Cosimi Masterson!
If you were given the opportunity to change someone’s life forever, would you? If you had the power to restore hope, would you? If you could transform tragedy into triumph, would you? Last year, AFR Event Furnishings had an opportunity to do just that in partnership with Event Pros Take Action and the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans. It feels better than just about anything we’ve experienced in the world. If you haven’t heard the buzz, then here are a few things you should know.
Last year, AFR Event Furnishings donated two households of furniture, and in July, went down to New Orleans with a team of event pros and helped deliver 15,000 products to households desperately in need of basic items like china, glass, silver, linen and more.
Working with Design Angels from the event industry, we were part of a team that helped design, rebuild and then completely furnish homes for two very special families, including bed sets, carpet, sofas, chairs, end tables, flat screen televisions and so much more.
The “easy” part was the work in the hot and humid environment in pouring rain. The best part was celebrating “Welcome Home” parties with the help of two celebrity chefs, confetti canons, champagne and grilled oysters. We watched as the two families with tears of joy running down their face, cut the ribbon and toured their homes with the Design Angels. We cried with them.
In 2012, AFR Event Furnishings is donating $20,000 which will entirely refurbish and repair one house and in addition will provide furnishings to make it into a home. We’ll be down in NOLA, July 17th – 20th working along side a team of industry event pros to make sure every detail is perfect. You will work hard, sweat, cry and celebrate with joy when it’s all done and one more family gets to go home. Sound fulfilling? It is.
Contemplating the huge undertaking of what we are trying accomplish also brings the thought to mind that we are not only changing one family’s life, we are impacting generations to come. There is a ripple effect that with nourishment will grow into an astounding movement of communities supporting one another in terrible tragedy. Most every one will experience a time in our lives that we need a hand up. Why not provide it for others who need it now?
“We’re throwing down the gauntlet and asking you to join us in this worthy endeavor. There are over 60,000 families still living in FEMA trailers, overcrowded circumstances or even homeless in New Orleans. Life to these fellow Americans has been a path of terrible struggle and hardship (without basic necessities we often take for granted) since Hurricane Katrina left a devastating swath of destruction in its wake. We think it’s a pretty great feeling to be able to help in such a meaningful way,” says Tricia Schmitt, Director of Marketing for AFR Event Furnishings.
She goes on to say, “It is in this spirit of giving that AFR Event Furnishings has decided to include all of you in the joy of changing a life this holiday season. So when you look in your stocking and you don’t find a little something from the AFR Santa this holiday season, it’s because it can’t be boxed and mailed. Hope, charity and second chances just don’t work that way. But rest assured that every NOLA family that steps back into a life of normalcy, eats off a real plate, and looks to the future with hope, means that together we are changing the world, one corner at a time, and you, are a part of it.”
For more information on how you can join in and get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org If you are unable to donate funds, you are certainly welcome to volunteer some muscle and enthusiasm next July in NOLA. We promise you, it WILL transform a life – maybe even yours.
AFR Event Furnishings provides its customers with distinctive furniture collections, quality products and a promise of service satisfaction. We are the premiere provide of stylish, quality furnishings and accessory rentals for your next conference, meeting, tradeshow or event. With multiple locations throughout the country, AFR is ready to serve its clients no matter the place or time.
For media inquiries/hi-res images, please contact Tricia Schmitt, at 856.406.1206 or email email@example.com. For more information on AFR Event Furnishings, please visit www.afrevents.com.
November 8, 2011
Filed under AFR Furniture Rental
Tis’ the season to start planning for your Holiday party! Don’t let 2011 be just another year of the same old themes, start some new traditions with stylish event furniture. This year there has been a major explosion of product and style in the Special Events Rental furniture industry leaving you with a wide variety of great furniture and colors to choose from. The question is; where do you begin?
Start by selecting your VENUE & THEME. Think about your guest list and budget when filtering through the many location options. Event locations such as banquet facilities, night club & lounges are sure to draw a great turn out for your party but they can be pricey options. If paying for the rental of an off-site location is not in the budget, why not turn your office CONFERENCE ROOM or PRIVATE RESIDENCE into your very own Modern day North Pole or Jingle Bell ballroom.
Now that you have decided on a location for your party, think about DECORATING your space with some color! Add plush white leather sofas, banquettes, and ottomans with a blue backlight for a “winter wonderland” theme. Enhance your Victorian Christmas themed party with a selection of luxurious, velour accented seating. Dim the lights and power up the LED lighted furniture for some modern pizzazz, turning your conference room into the perfect place for that cozy holiday party.
Finally, let’s not forget the TIMING for your holiday party! Most holiday gatherings are hosted on a weekend and most of the time in the evening. Since you have already added a creative spin on this years party planning, why not plan it for an afternoon during the week or perhaps a week night rather then weekend! Being creative this time of year is what will leave your friends, family and co-workers talking about your holiday occasion till next year…or until your next great event.
It’s your big day.
All your representatives are in town for the meeting. Maybe some clients, too. The room is booked, the catering is set, and you’re ready to set a course for the future.
There’s just one problem; you’re stuck with conference room furniture.
Your meeting should instill confidence—display a forward-looking business with a personal touch, a slick operation that’s unafraid to impress people. But anonymous round-top tables and stackable chairs have the opposite effect. How many other meetings (not to mention weddings and banquets) use the same fixtures?
AFR can help you design a more efficient, memorable event.
Your people work long hours, so why not make them comfortable? Consider renting high-back leather chairs. They’re mobile, and they carry that classic touch.
Alternatively, rent sofas or love seats. Employees will cluster in small groups, strengthening their ties and increasing efficiency.
And if your meeting includes a panel, remember to keep the experts happy and give the audience something to watch. AFR will turn your space into a plush, modern stage set that’s worthy of television.
Your business is going places. AFR will help you show it. Get in touch with our professional event planners to learn how we can make your next meeting a success.
September 16, 2011
Filed under AFR Furniture Rental
Since I started writing these “why it makes sense to rent office furniture” articles last year, I thought that I’d quickly run out of new ideas and products that one could rent rather than investing a lot of money to purchase. Not so. Just as I thought I’d completely exhausted all the potential rental opportunities, I noticed that HERTZ just took renting a car for short term to an all new level. I’d written about ZIP Car in a previous article, and to rent one they required you to join or become a member. Once a member, you simply called or placed your reservation on line and then picked up your car. This is a very clever and affordable way for city dwellers especially to hire transportation. I spotted the HERTZ advertisement on a New York City subway, and it was a major banner campaign that literally covered the entire subway car. It read, CAR SHARING EVOLVED. Introducing Hertz on Demand. It further touted the benefits, No Fees to Join; One way rentals; 24/7 self-service; and green vehicles to boot. Wow, I’d say they nailed this campaign, and one could get any type of car even for a few hours, as the ad featured an E Class Mercedes Benz.
I recently saw flyers at a resort, the types you see in hotel lobbies, advertising Jet Ski Rentals and even Motorcycle Rentals. Did you know you can even get a wide variety of bikes by Honda and Suzuki, from EAGLERIDER Motorcycle Rentals of Howard Beach? They even have the new Can Am Spyder with three wheels for greater stability and self-confidence for senior bikers.
Recently, to complete a home improvement project, I rented both a motorized post hole digger, called an auger, and a pressure washer unit from Home Depot. Why buy these devices and have to deal with winterizing and storage, when you can rent them for four hours and return them when you’re chores are done?
So, of course since we rent commercial office furniture, residential apartment models and all types of furniture for special events and functions at AFR FURNITURE RENTAL, I always return to the topic of why purchase furniture if you can rent it instead. It simply continues to make great sense to rent instead of purchasing if you’re not sure you’ll be at the same location for very long. Or you’ve just started a new business venture, and you’re just trying to test the market to see if your business model is viable. If you’ve had a fire or flood that’s destroyed your furnishings, we often see insurance claims that cover furniture rentals for both commercial and residential disasters. With earthquakes and hurricanes in our local news lately, it might be more advantageous than ever to keep our number handy.
New start-up companies or mergers & acquisitions are candidates for rental. We recently helped a large architectural firm, MANCINI DUFFY; make a quick move to new space in Manhattan. The firm was merging, and going to temporary space, while they sorted through exactly how much space they needed and on which floors. They decided to rent from one of our commercial furniture dealers, MEADOWS OFFICE FURNITURE for a three month term. The new firm was able to get operational faster than anticipated, and they now have time to sort out exactly what furniture they’d like to have once the firm has expanded to include many new associates.
In Connecticut, we also assisted another contract furniture dealer, STAMFORD OFFICE FURNITURE, in helping a very important Fortune 500 company move to a new space. Although the new space was less than a mile down the same street, the move was planned in phases. We were able to assist the dealer in scheduling the move of the existing furniture to the new building, while we installed rental cubicles at the old facility. The result for the customer was that their employees, who manage large sums of pension funds, were able to work at the current location for two months while management moved everything to the new building. We did this over three weekends, and it was a seamless orchestration of out with the current, and in with the temporary. All the crews performed flawlessly, and both the dealer principal, and the facility management team, were happy with the outcome.
So, as I’ve said, it may very well make sense to rent, even if you ultimately plan to purchase. Renting is still a viable alternative for many situations. If you have a potential move, expansion or need to replace furniture that was destroyed due to fire or flood, you could benefit from renting. Renting is the fastest way to get back in business, and gives you time to explore other more permanent options.
Ron is the Commercial Account Executive for AFR FURNITURE RENTAL Inc. for the New York Metro area. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.