Event Essentials

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Who We Are

For over 70 years, our unwavering dedication to our craft has positioned us as the go-to provider for event rentals and services. We take immense pride in our commitment to delivering creative, expert planning, reliable turnkey services and trendsetting, high-quality products. We’re not just here to meet your needs; we’re here to help you elevate how you celebrate.

Our History

The present-day Event Essentials had its foundation in 1954 as a general equipment rental company on the east side of Madison that began as a franchise of (long defunct) United Rent-All. Within a couple years we changed the name to A to Z RentAll. As a general equipment rental company we rented a wide variety of items from tools, lawn and garden equipment, contractor equipment and basic party items such as table and chairs.

Eventually, those basic party items grew into a separate, event-focused division that became Event Essentials. (A to Z was sold in 2022.) We are now a full-service rental operation for galas, community events, weddings, corporate gatherings, festivals and so much more. Our operations are still based in Madison, but we provide service throughout the Midwest!

Founding Years

(1954-1960)

  • The business started as a United Rent-All franchise in October 1954 by Rex and Enid Hoffman at 2142-44 Atwood Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin.

  • Within a couple years, affiliation with United Rent-All was discontinued and we renamed to A to Z RentAll and Sales.

  • To balance their growing business and family, Enid and Rex hired their first employee in 1956. Within a few years, a mechanic, delivery driver and bookkeeper were added to the team.

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Growth Of A To Z RentAll And Sales

(1960s)

  • In 1965, A to Z RentAll and Sales needed more space and moved to 2620 East Washington Avenue.
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Continued Growth, Disaster, And Relocation

(1979-1980)

  • A fire at the East Washington location on April 19, 1979, led to the purchase of a lot at 2209 South Stoughton Road.
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Generational Transition

(1980s)

  • In February 1980, Rex and Enid’s son, Kevin, joined the family firm as manager and over the next three decades, we saw significant growth in inventory and business.

  • In July 1980, the company moved to 2209 South Stoughton Road. This facility provided room to grow both the tool and event sides of the business.

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Expansion

(1990s-2000s)

  • With the purchase of a competitor in 1994, we acquired a west Madison location at 5621 Odana Road.

  • In 2000 the Odana Road location closed as we moved further west to 8123 Forsythia St. in Middleton.

  • To accommodate growth in the event business, we built and opened a 20,000 square foot warehouse and delivery hub in September 2001 at 6485 Blanchar’s Crossing in Windsor, WI.

  • The South Stoughton Road location focused solely on tool and equipment rental and retained the name A to Z RentAll and Sales.

  • The Windsor warehouse focused solely on event equipment rental and changed its brand name to Event Essentials.

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Strategic Changes

(2010s)

  • As the rental market evolved into distinct tool and event segments, we determined that a separate focus was needed for each side of the business. Up to this time, all locations handled all segments.

  • The Middleton location closed in 2010.

  • In 2011, an additional 12,000 square feet addition was added to the Windsor Warehouse totaling 32,000 square feet.

  • Kevin Hoffman served as President of the American Rental Association (ARA) from 2018-2019. The ARA represents over 11,000 rental locations across the US and Canada. Kevin’s parents were one of the 21 founding members of the ARA in 1955.

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Adapting To The Pandemic

(2020)

  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to creative thinking for revenue generation so Event Essentials contributed by providing equipment for COVID-19 testing sites. A to Z RentAll and Sales thrived with home improvement projects during the pandemic. 

  • Event Essentials purchased a boutique rental company in 2020 specializing in vintage and period rental items. This further enhanced its creative offerings to an event market demanding more unique, original, and inspired rental items.

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Sale And Focus On Event Essentials

(2022)

  • In April 2022, the tool and equipment rental division, A to Z RentAll and Sales was sold to RentalMax. The company name was changed to Event Essentials, Inc. to reflect the sole focus on event equipment rental and production.
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Future Plans (2024)

(2024)

  • In April 2024 we will be relocating to a new, modern and larger 84,000-square-foot custom-built location at 6551 Ronald Reagan Avenue on Madison’s northeast side near the airport!
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Our Signature
Event

Picnic in the Park is Event Essential’s signature event held to benefit the Madison Parks Foundation.

Membership Highlight

Tell us about your event

Our seasoned team is here to collaborate and make your event memorable,
whether you prefer a hands-off approach or all hands on deck.

Start a quote

Our interactive rental catalog allows you to browse our extensive inventory
of one-of-a-kind rentals and build a custom quote for your event.