One of the fastest growing of the six CORT Business Services Corp. divisions – all part of multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway – CORT Trade Show & Event Furnishings has become the longest-operating exhibit and event rental furnishings provider.
As indicated by Director of Marketing and Product Development Kevin Dana, this leading position and the company’s longevity are well-earned.
“We are the only company that has created our own product brands that are well-knownand developed with tradeshows and events in mind. We lead the industry with products and trends. We stay ahead of what’s happening in the tradeshow and furniture industries,” explained Dana.
When Mid-Century Modern furnishings became all the rage within the furniture industry, CORT executives — including Dana — carefully watched the trend to apply it to the exhibits and events industry.
“Trends mirror what happens in the overall furniture industry. We think ahead and translate that for the [events] industry. We travel internationally to find out what’s going on and to come up with concepts and then work with designers to create them. For some other companies, it’s easier and cheaper to copy what we do,” he added.
Along with designers and manufacturers, CORT tailors popular styles to be rental-friendly, durable and provide storage.
“We think about how the furnishings will be cared for and stored,” explained Dana. “We were also the first to offer charging capabilities embedded within soft seating. Everyone has mobile devices with them. They can network and charge them at the same time.”
CORT’s popular Endless and Lounge 22 Collections are just two of its seven product brands specially crafted for tradeshows and events. The modular Endless Collection can be reconfigured for large and small spaces as well as have high- and low-back chairs. A high-end brand made in Los Angeles, Lounge 22 was the first collection to offer lit tables 10 years ago.
The company also offers patented designs, such as Glo Chairs – LED-lit acrylic back chairs. In some instances, CORT may purchase products off-shelf.
“Because our product lines are so large, we can offer many styles, colors and solutions,” added Dana.
One of the company’s solutions is available for free on its official website. A space planning 2D drawing tool allows users to bring their designs to life. Additionally, CORT gives exhibit designers CAD files of its products in 3D to use when planning the layout of a booth.
Over the years, CORT Trade Show & Event Furnishings developed into two departments to keep up with client demand and expand its presence from convention centers to diverse events.
Starting with the Trade Show division in the mid-90s and then the Events division in the 2000s, CORT now provides rental furnishings for more than 15,000 events and tradeshows a year within the continental U.S. The company also developed worldwide partnerships to benefit clients taking their events overseas.
“We do what it takes to make sure customers are satisfied with their events. If you call this morning and have an event this afternoon, we make it happen,” stated Dana. “We’re known for our 24/7/365 model. We never say ‘no’.”
CORT also prides itself on hiring professional employees who closely collaborate with clients throughout an event. This includes account executives working at the venue and drivers transporting materials onsite from CORT’s well-stocked inventory, which Dana called the largest in the furniture industry.
The company is also the first among rental furnishing providers to own a branded truck fleet operated by uniformed drivers, according to Dana.
Full-time CORT employees support and are heavily involved in trade associations such as EDPA, MPI, NACE and ISES. Fostering connections through these organizations and on the show floor has led to CORT having a better informed staff, stronger partnerships and plenty of opportunities to boost its growth.