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Success Story: Party Go Round Event Rentals

How One Company Is Succeeding in the Party Rental Industry

Ian Mathieu has been a jack of all trades for some time. From buying and selling candy for a profit in eighth grade to reselling cars with minimal mechanical knowledge, his dad likes to joke that he works harder trying not to work than he would if he had a regular gig.

But Ian is born entrepreneur, and he knows a good idea when he sees one. Just a couple of years ago, he was a touring musician, and as he was preparing to leave his band, he knew he had to figure out what the next step would be.

He had thought about the idea of a bounce house business years before, and now he brought that memory back to the forefront to test out. He mentioned it to his wife, who, he says, “didn’t immediately shoot it down.”

Party Go Round Event Rentals

After deciding to go ahead with the idea, an acquaintance recommended that Ian attend the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando to learn more about the industry before diving in headfirst.

So he bought a ticket to Florida, attended the trade show, asked a lot of questions both there and on Facebook and other online forums, and then he felt ready to start his own company. Ian founded Party Go Round and had his first party rental in March 2017.

In the beginning, Ian ran the company on his own, but quickly realized he needed help. He hired a handful of employees and split up the work, the majority of which occurs on weekends, so that no one would be stuck working every weekend. What started in the garage soon outgrew the space, and the company now uses a 1200-square-foot warehouse for storage.

The Ins and Outs of Party Rentals

While the business’s primary focus was on bounce houses and other fun inflatable rentals, Ian knew from the beginning that he wanted to offer more for his customers. Concession equipment was a given for kids’ events, and he also added tables and chairs to his lineup. Although not what he’d prefer to focus on, he says, “if you need tables and chairs, I don’t want you going to another company. I want to be an all-in-one shop.”

Pushing the package deals, especially on social media, quickly became a huge advantage for Party Go Round. Customers were thrilled to learn that for a small additional amount, they could offer fun foods to their party guests.

Party Go Round currently offers bounce houses; inflatable games, obstacle courses, and water slides; dunk tanks; generators; tents, tables, and chairs; carnival games; and concessions like Sno-Kone®, popcorn, and cotton candy machines. 

Concession Equipment and Gold Medal

For concession equipment, Ian rents out Gold Medal machines. When asked how he heard about Gold Medal, Ian jokes, “Who hasn’t?” When he began inquiring on Facebook groups in the industry, he explains, everyone he spoke with recommended the Auto Breeze® cotton candy machine.

Upon reaching out to Gold Medal, Ian says he was blown away by the quality of the service. “I look forward to coming in,” he laughs. “It’s like going to Willy Wonka, and everybody is so friendly.”

Ian especially appreciates the quality and durability of the equipment: “When we drop it off, I never get a call that the equipment isn’t working. It’s always predictable and reliable.” And he mentions the hours he’s spent on Gold Medal’s YouTube channel, becoming a cotton candy expert for his customers.

Party Rental by the Numbers

More than half of Party Go Round’s rental orders over the past year included concession equipment in the package. Snow cones were the most popular, with 108 snow cone machine rentals in 2017 alone. With 4 Sno-Kings in his rental inventory, Ian made 3 times the money spent to purchase the machines in a single year, and those same machines are available for rent this year and beyond.

Cotton candy machines weren’t far behind, at 77 rentals in 2017, and popcorn machines resulted in 29 rentals. Concession supplies such as Flossugar, popcorn kits, and syrups add even more profits to the operation.

Although startup costs to begin the business were steep, Ian anticipates more growth in the future now that the initial investments have all been made for inflatables and equipment.

What Matters Most

Any party equipment rental business relies on positive online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers, and Party Go Round is no exception. Ian is certain that his business wouldn’t have such good reviews if he had chosen to go the cheaper route with his concession equipment.

“You remember the value long after you forget the price,” he says, and he wants to feel as if he’s bringing his customers “the Harley-Davidson of concession machines.” In the rental business, he explains, “it’s one entire week of work condensed down to 1 or 2 days, so you have to account for everything that could go wrong.”

The peace of mind he gets from Gold Medal concession equipment makes all the difference.