Blog posts from December, 2013

Top 10 National Event Supply Blog Posts of 2013

Well we’re at the end of 2013 and what better way to reflect than with a roundup of the top 10 posts from the National Event Supply Blog. Since January, we’ve produced almost 140 posts chock full of new products, education, industry news, insider knowledge, plus a chuckle or two. To ensure you haven’t missed anything, check out the most popular blog posts (most viewed by all of you) of 2013:

10) 3 Reasons to Invest in Square Dinnerware

Quadrato and CheesecakePorcelain Dinnerware can be a tough nut to crack. Sure, you have great round plates that rent reasonably well, but so do a lot of your competitors. What you need is something that will catch your customer's eye, something that not all of your competitors have, and something that can make a statement on a tabletop. What you need is Square Dinnerware! With that said, here are three reasons why you should consider investing in square dinnerware.

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9) 6 New Pieces of Porcelain

Spring shipments continue to arrive at National Event Supply. Recently we took delivery of a container of porcelain from our factory. In addition to the Quadrato Dessert Plates, the 10 inch and 12 inch Risotto Bowls, and several sizes of rectangular platters, we took delivery of 6 new pieces of porcelain that we’ve been eagerly awaiting since January of this year. Check out the 6 new pieces of porcelain added to the inventory roster.

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8) Now Arriving: Resin Chiavari Chairs at our Toronto Warehouse

Resin Chiavari ChairsWe know we’ve been talking about summer for a while here at National Event Supply, but can you blame us? Summer is filled with sunshine, nights spent sipping drinks on the patio enjoying a cool summer’s breeze, and spending weekends at a friend’s cabin on a lake. Summer is all about the outdoor event, and although the spring buying season is winding down, we’re still receiving new products and new stock at our Vancouver and Toronto warehouses. We just received new stock of the Resin Chiavari chairs.

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7) Top 5 Restaurant Dinnerware Manufacturers

If you have ever considered purchasing porcelain for your restaurant, banquet hall, party rental, convention centre, golf course, or maybe even your house, you have probably considered purchasing from at least one of these five companies. They all offer an incredible selection of durable, commercial-quality, porcelain products and they likely have a local distributor in your area. See why these are North American leaders in Restaurant Dinnerware Supply.

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6) New Products: Small Amuse Bouche Spoon & Fork

New Product Spring 2013 continues here at National Event Supply. So far this spring, we’ve introduced our New Folding Pedestal Table, our new wood Serpentine Tables, our new Wood 60inch Half-Moon tables, our new Wood Harvest Tables, and our new Polar White Dinnerware. The products just keep coming as containers arrive at our facilities in Vancouver and Toronto. And we’re still not done. We have new colours of Plastic Folding Chairs coming including Wedding White on White, Royal Blue on Grey and Black on Grey. Finally, we have some new Natural Wood Folding Chairs on order. Recently we took delivery of some cutlery that we had eagerly been awaiting.

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5) New Chair – Natural Wood Folding Chair

Natural Wood Folding ChairFor some time now, we have been looking for a natural wood coloured resin folding chair. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to create a beautiful looking natural wood colour chair in resin. The colours just don’t look right, and it can end up looking tacky and not up to our demanding standards. But our customers were demanding a Natural Wood Coloured Folding Chair, and so we decided that the only thing to do was to go and find a Natural Wood Folding Chair. It took a little time to find one we liked, but early last winter we found one. Today, I’m happy to formally announce our New NES Natural Wood Folding Chair.

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4) National Event Supply in Vancouver

As one of Canada’s leading Party Rental suppliers, we try to make sure that we have sales representation from coast to coast across Canada. To help us with sales representation we signed a strategic sales agreement with AE Sales Group 2 years ago which gives us sales coverage in western Canada (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwest Ontario) and with their partner Certified Sales we also get coverage for the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and PEI. Every few months I get the chance to travel with one of the AE Sales team members to do some joint customer calls in various locations across Canada. This past week I was once again in Vancouver, this time so that we could exhibit at the BC Foodservice Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Since I was already in town I thought this was also a great opportunity to meet a few of our customers.

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3) The BC PST, New Plastic Folding Chairs and White Resin Folding Chairs

It's hard to believe, but 2013 is now 1/3 over. All across Canada, snow is melting, grass is growing, trees are budding, and everyone is getting ready for the busy summer season. We're in the middle of our busy spring season. New products and stock are arriving every week and orders are going out our doors just as fast. Although we try to keep things in stock, sometimes we run out of chairs in a certain colour, or we run low on tables. It's always better to get your orders in early to avoid disappointing your customers. We detail the new products in the Toronto and Vancouver warehouses and the return of the BC PST.

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2) NES Introduces New Plywood Folding Tables

Over the past few years we have seen increasing success with our NES Wood Folding Tables. As it is with most things, sales started slowly as people initially discovered that we had started stocking plywood folding tables. Sales continued increasing as people took a closer look at our product and discovered that we were selling a quality plywood table. As sales increased, we started getting requests from customers looking for plywood tables in other sizes. Up until recently, we were stocking 3/4″ inch plywood folding tables in the following sizes in our Toronto, Vancouver, and Indianapolis warehouses: 4-ft Rectangular Banquet Tables (30 inches wide), 6-ft Rectangular Banquet Tables (30 inches wide), 8-ft Rectangular Banquet Tables (30 inches wide), 48 inch Round Tables, 60 inch Round Tables, and 72 inch Round Tables. Now, just in time for the busy spring season, we are pleased to announce that we have added a wide range of new wood tables to our inventory. Effective immediately, we are proud to offer the following plywood tables to our customers.

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1) New Products in Vancouver – Cruiser Tables in Toronto

Spring continues to roll on here at National Event Supply. We received containers at both our Vancouver and Toronto warehouses and in each case they brought us products that we didn’t have in stock. At our Toronto Warehouse, we received a shipment of wood cruiser tables, and at our Vancouver location we received three new wood tables: NES Wood Serpentine Folding Tables, 5-ft NES Wood Half-Moon Folding Tables, and 8-ft NES Wood Folding Harvest Tables.

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Favourite Finds for 2013!

As it’s quickly approaching the end of the year and the holiday season, we thought it would be fitting to compile some of the articles we consider to be some of the most useful, most insightful or most educational of the year. This has been a fantastic year for National Event Supply. We hope you’ve had a great one as well. Click on the industry you’re interested in below and you’ll be fast tracked to the articles of interest for you.

  • Party Rental
  • Restaurants
  • Catering

Party Rental

Rental Essentials: Party Rental Stops 'Death Spiral' Discounting Policies

With the business climate becoming better every passing day, no longer are event rental companies in a discount death spiral of discounting far or fast enough. Now, many companies are using discounting as a strategic business tool instead of a way to survive. Check out this article from Special Events Magazine to see how other event rental companies are utilizing discounts.

Using Discounting as a Strategic Business Tool

10 Predictions About the 2014 Event Rental Industry

According to a number of big party and event rental companies profiled by Special Events Magazine, “business has firmed up in 2013, and they expect the same continued–albeit slow–growth in 2014.” With 2013 nearing an end, a number of publications across the entire foodservice, hospitality, and event industry have been forecasting how the 2014 Party and Event Rental industry will fare. Check out 10 of the most interesting things we’ve uncovered!

Compete or Collaborate?

In business, it’s more often you hear about strategic alliances with complementary businesses. Very rarely do you hear about strategic alliances with the competition. But an article by InTents Magazine suggests there are potential benefits with collaborating with your competition – while carefully analyzing the pros and cons prior to entering the partnership. Check out the full article for what you should be asking before going ahead with a potential deal.

Pros and Cons

2 Crucial Items Required to Start a Party Rental Business

Perhaps you’re an equipment rental company, looking for a way to add additional revenue through the expansion of your products and services. Perhaps you’re a catering company looking to service a greater portion of your clients' needs. Or, perhaps you're thinking of starting a new Party Rental business and not sure where to start. Whatever the case may be, when looking to expand your revenue there are a number of crucial items that it makes sense to begin stocking as additional revenue generators.


Podcast: How to Focus on Catering to Transform Your Restaurant

I stumbled across a podcast I think is a gem for anyone in the restaurant industry looking for additional ways to build revenue. Mark Deo, Veteran CBS Radio Host interviewed a man by the name of Erle Dardick, author of the books “Get Catering and Grow Sales!” and “501 Killer Marketing Tactics for Cranking Up Your Catering Sales”. Erle joins Mark’s podcast entitled “The Small Business Hour, as heard on CBS Radio” to discuss how focusing on catering helped transform his restaurant. To listen to the full podcast – click here.

[Infographic] The Top 35 Restaurant Apps Consumers Are Using Right Now

As a restaurant, including your establishment on the top 35 restaurant apps that consumers are using right now – ensures that you’re putting your best foot forward and getting found where consumers are looking for you. We found an infographic on by, and that summarizes the top 35 restaurant apps consumers are using right now.

35 Restaurant Apps

Menu Optimization: Three Ways to Help Your Outstanding Menu Items Take Centre stage

A restaurant's menu is its single most important marketing tool once a patron is in the dining room and even when the decision process is being made whether to eat out. Menu design has widely been touted to help increase sales and hook prospects into a sale – but have you focused any attention on your menu to ensure its doing you justice? This article outlines 3 key tips restaurateurs should do to optimize their menus to get the most marketing mileage possible.

The 2013 Hospitality Market Report

Canadian Foodservice and Hospitality magazine detailed how the 2013 hospitality market fared in their annual report. One noteable quote from the report states that “while baby boomers represent a significant portion of restaurant sales at 26 per cent, millennials, in fact, represent 28 per cent of all restaurant meals consumed, NPD Group’s [Robert] Carter says. “A lot more operators are targeting that [group], because it’s the largest cohort next to boomers.” To read the full report including the state of the 2013 market, click here.


Staff Training That Pays Off

With service attributing highly to an event attendee’s overall satisfaction, caterers cannot afford poorly trained staff members working events. This article from Catersource has some excellent guidelines on how to train staff properly for events.

Take it outside: Adding more control to outdoor events

Many dream of having events outdoors during the warmer weather – but sometimes the anxiety associated with lack of control of the weather can deter those from actually making a go of it. While you can take the route of a more controlled indoor event, adding control to outdoor events is possible. Check out this article in Special Events Magazine on tips to ensure you select a caterer experienced with the outdoors.

Adding More Control to Outdoor Events

Dominate the Catering Industry with These 5 Killer Techniques

Like most businesses, as a caterer, you’re looking to dominate your industry in a market filled with competition. In Toronto, when wedding season seems to last a few months, it takes a creative company to find new ways to generate revenue to ensure the “slow season” has a consistent revenue stream. Check out these 5 killer techniques you can employ to dominate your market.

This will be our only post of the week – to allow our staff to enjoy some time with their families over the holidays. Make sure to tune in next week on December 31st, 2013 where we’ll be outlining our top 10 most popular blog posts of the year – most viewed by you!

When does paying more really cost you less?

Bag of QuestionsNow this may seem like a strange question, how can paying more for anything cost you less? The reality is that there are many times that paying more now can cost you less in the long term. Here are some things to consider when you are making your next purchasing decision to make sure that you get the most from your money.


As many buyers know by now, quality plays a big role in making sure you get good value for your money. You can buy cheap but generally you will get a product that does not hold up well enough for your commercial needs. This especially rings true in businesses with high turnover of their inventory such as the party/event rental industry. The more times you can turnover the same product, the bigger return on your investment. A lower quality product won't net the same return on investment that a better quality product will. As a result you are better off buying a more expensive, better quality product at a fair price to get the most out of the money that you spend.


Another factor that most people don’t consider is when will you get delivery? Most companies that do events in Canada, especially those focused on weddings want/need delivery in April or May so that they can be ready for the start of the spring wedding season. So what happens if your delivery slips into June? Have you lost any events or rentals as a result? What about if it slips into August or September? Have you lost more events or rentals as a result? In most cases the answer is yes. Did you save enough buying the less expensive, slow to deliver product to make up for the revenue that you lost because you didn’t have the product? In most cases the answer is no, making this a crucial but often over looked factor to consider when you are buying.


Service is another crucial factor when considering a purchase. If you do have a problem with your purchase, will your supplier fix it or help you troubleshoot the problem? If it is a special order item, how accurate is their delivery time table? Are you confident they can deliver in the timeline provided? Has the company you are buying from added value in any other way for your company? None of these are questions that I can answer for you but they are aspects to consider when you are making your purchase decision.

If you’re interested in learning more about our delivery time tables and how we can help meet your business needs, contact National Event Supply at 1-800-827-8953 or online here.

National Event Supply Gives Back

At National Event Supply we are constantly bringing in samples of potential new inventory items and working with existing customers on custom items they’re interested in stocking. We’ve been doing some cleanup of our showroom and warehouse and decided to get in the holiday spirit by donating a number of samples and over 250 barely used porcelain deep rectangular platters to local soup kitchens in the Greater Toronto Area and Mississauga. We had three non-profits including Good Shepherd Ministries, Syme Woolner Neighbourhood & Family Centre, and Eden Community Food Bank accept our donation.

Here is a picture of some of the items we donated:

Baking Dish Donation

The Executive Director of Eden Community Food Bank reached out to us to say:

"Thank you for thinking about Eden Community Food Bank for your donation. They will be put to good use in our food bank and in our new Community Learning Kitchen."

Eden Community Food Bank is located in Mississauga, Ontario and is a non-denominational, charitable organization, working to eliminate hunger through food distribution to qualified individuals and families living in selected areas of Mississauga, as well as providing education and advocacy services to our clients and the general public.

If you’re interested in spreading some holiday cheer by making a donation to help ensure those who need it most don’t go hungry throughout the season, please feel free to reach out to the three organizations (links above) and help them out.

The team at National Event Supply are thrilled the items can be put to good use and hope to provide more non-profits around the area additional items in the future.

Dominate the Catering Industry with These 5 Killer Techniques

Like most businesses, as a caterer, you’re looking to dominate your industry in a market filled with competition. In Toronto, when wedding season seems to last a few months, it takes a creative company to find new ways to generate revenue to ensure the “slow season” has a consistent revenue stream. Check out these 5 killer techniques you can employ to dominate your market.

Offer take-home catering to reap the benefits of a constant revenue stream during your low season

Take-home catering can be the solution you need to add a constant source of revenue throughout the year. With a culture that seems to be as fast paced as a NASCAR race, it’s not uncommon for consumers to pick up food from a restaurant, grocery store or a local catering company. What about those same consumers wanting to have friends over for a weekend gathering? By offering consumers the types of food they would pick up for a meal or a small event, you’re expanding your target market and positioning yourself as a go-to resource for meals and gatherings. Restaurants have expanded to offer take-home options – so why can’t you?

Negotiate an exclusive venue contract

In business, networking is an important facet of succeeding. The same is true with catering. Positioning your company alongside highly rated venues that suit your food style will not only help you gain more clients but also more industry contacts. Negotiating with a venue to become an exclusive caterer can be a competitive process but it can also help keep you busy year round. And while you will most likely have to pay dues to the venue, you have the added bonus of a venue’s marketing/sales staff spreading awareness about your catering company to all who want an event at their venue. To wet your feet with an exclusive catering contract, consider talking to new venues in the area as they may be more open to partnering with an exclusive caterer. Also make sure when searching for a venue you’d like to gain exclusivity with, to ensure that the venue hosts similar events to your culinary style – if you only cater weddings, and the venue only does corporate events for instance, your businesses may clash.

Launch a retail line of the food you’re most known for

Is there a hors d’oeuvre that leaves customers weak at the knees or a sweet treat that your customers rave about and order for their events time and time again? What about taking that best-selling item and launching a retail line with it? It’s a sure-fire way to expand your target market and broaden your reach to consumers who haven’t heard of your company before. It also ensures (assuming you keep the supply coming) that you’re able to have a consistent source of additional revenue. Restaurants have been doing this for decades and in our opinion it’s about time the culinary stars of catering grace consumers with their hit foods.

Broaden your footprint by offering educational cooking classes or team building for corporate events

Your most marketable skill (or that of your executive chef and culinary team) is your cooking skills. But everyone does not know how to cook. What about broadening your footprint in the market by offering educational cooking classes for the general public? It gets your name out there, provides value to potential customers and ensures your business and brand are first in their minds. Along the same lines of offering educational cooking classes, you could offer these as a form of team building for corporate events. Corporations are constantly looking for ways to build camaraderie that offers a new and exciting way to bond. Plus, they’re usually willing to pay more for the experience than a traditional consumer.

Promote attractive pricing for catering packages during the slow season for an uptick of weddings

Everyone likes a good bargain and with weddings costing a pretty penny (with the average price of a wedding ringing in at $27000), brides that aren’t set on a particular time of year would be more than willing to book in the off season to save money. Offering attractive pricing for catering packages during the slow season and promoting these packages can ensure you’re booking events during the slow season. Suddenly your business isn’t seasonal or cyclical in nature! To ensure you can offer lower pricing on catering packages, you need to ensure you have the best value on serving platters and other tabletop items.

Check out our tabletop catalogue detailing pricing, measurements and the serving pieces we stock to ensure your events are a success while not denting your bottom line.