As we all head into the year-end frenzy and look to cap off 06 with a bang, the industry is humming along and business is good. Show budgets are up this year. Despite predictions from some, the cross-rental market is healthy. New generations of both audio and video gear are helping us upsell our customers. Trade shows are reporting brisk attendance. And already, we look to 2007 to take it up a notch.
We at Rental & Staging Systems are already looking to 2007, and doing so by putting in place, now, some exciting new programs. Under an exclusive arrangement with Rental & Staging Systems magazine, Tom Stimson of The Stimson Group is now conducting a market research survey of audio visual rental & staging companies that will indicate their equipment and supply spending projections for calendar 2007 by quarter. This survey, the AV Rental & Staging Purchasing Managers Forecast, will be segmented by their total planned expenditures, market geography, customer segments, and product categories (audio, video, accessories, etc.). We encourage all our readers who are responsible for equipment purchase to participate. (More information on the survey in Tom Stimson's column on page 16.)
We are also gearing up to kick off a regular section, starting in the January/February issue, featuring regional coverage of the rental staging business. We will begin in the first issue of 07 with the special section: California/Pacific NW Staging Resource Guide for Producers, Meeting Planners, and Assembly Managers. This section will highlight rental and staging activity in that region, and offer staging companies and end-users a look at resources in that region. Throughout 07 we will then focus, in select issues, on other regions: the Southeast; New York/New Jersey; Chicago/Midwest; Texas & Southwest; Canada; Mid-Atlantic/DC; and Caribbean/Latin America/Hawaii.
As we look to build our coverage and hit the ground running in 07 with renewed vigor, we welcome to our staff Ryan Abeling, our new associate editor. Ryan is a veteran of the staging road, and brings to the magazine the perspective of one who has been in the trenches, staging meetings and events, dealing with the nuts and bolts of shows. As we plan our coverage for 2007, we will seek to cover not just great design of shows and events, but more of the execution, the hows and whys of putting shows together. Look for more editorial coverage of conventions, hotels, regional rentals, emerging stagers, product-specific tips, as well as trends.
07 is going to be a great year for this industry. We know, because 06 has turned out so well, and like you we will not be content until we kick off 07 with an even more ambitious agenda. And we're starting now.