February 14, 2020
Rio Lounge – best of 2019 – an exceptional year in event furniture hire!
In this week’s feature, we take a look back at the past year, and bring you The Best of 2019! Last year was an exceptional year of growth and change for us at Rio Lounge; not only in terms of our clients, and events, but also our staff, both in the office and warehouse. We even expanded our warehouse with a shipment of shiny new stock. So sit back, relax and let us take you on a journey through a year in the life of an event furniture hire company!
From small beginnings…our 10 year anniversary
Also, in 2019, Rio Lounge celebrated ten years in business. From small and humble beginnings, our director, Jo Morris, has nurtured and grown the Rio Lounge business over the years. We can now say, with pride, that we are the leading supplier of outdoor rattan furniture hire. Jo’s passion for quality, aesthetics and cleanliness has meant that our standards are consistently high, so you can always hire furniture from Rio Lounge with confidence.
A record summer
Naturally, summer is always our busiest season, as it’s prime time for events. Last year was no exception; in fact it was our busiest summer season on record. Maintaining relationships with loyal clients is really important to us. Many of our regular customers have been booking with Rio Lounge for a number of consecutive years, which is great. Not only did we receive repeat bookings from many of our existing valued customers, but we also formed working relationships with some brand new ones throughout the UK!
Our new furniture hire staff
This sharp increase in the number of bookings inevitably meant that more hands were needed on deck! Thus we recruited a full-time warehouse manager, Gary Newton. Gary’s main role is to ensure our impeccable standards are maintained by ensuring clear processes are followed. As a former part-time member of the driving crew, Gary was already familiar with our work methods and so had no problem fitting right into the Rio family.
Additionally, in May last year, new office team member, Edel Gallagher, was recruited to assist with the ever-growing pile of admin work. Edel works three days a week but as a busy mum of a toddler, she’s doesn’t get much time off!
Our new event furniture hire stock
More bookings last year meant that new stock was needed to accommodate the ever-increasing demands! We place the utmost importance on keeping our stock fresh; so, in May we took delivery of a container full of brand new rattan furniture. All of our rattan hire furniture is made by hand in the far east in approved, ethical factories. The quality of our furniture is absolutely critical to our business. Therefore, our director, Jo, makes regular visits to both our overseas and UK suppliers. Not only does this ensure that standards are maintained, but also ensures that we are sourcing hire furniture from reputable manufacturers who are providing good working conditions and paying their employees a fair wage.
We also took delivery of some brand new UK-manufactured faux leather products which are due to be revealed later this year….just keep watching this space!
Our favourite events from 2019
Supplying our event furniture hire to over 300 events last year means that it would take practically forever to look at each and every one. So we have hand-picked a few favourites for a special mention; read on to find out more!
1. Event furniture hire for music festivals
Festivals are really having a ‘moment’. So many exciting new music festivals have emerged in recent years. In 2019, we were proud to supply our hire furniture to a number of young and up-and-coming festivals , including WeAreFstvl in Upminster, and SW4, held on Clapham Common.
VIP chill-out lounges are our speciality; think Ibiza-style white rattan sofas, and decadent four-poster daybeds which look great both in the sunshine, and when night falls.
Unfortunately, some unseasonal high winds in August led to the cancellation of Newquay’s Boardmasters festival, but we are hoping for some better weather in 2020!
2. Food festivals
We all love our food here at Rio Lounge. It’s lucky then, that we boast a number of food-based events amongst our 2019 favourites. The Royal Palace Food Festivals were a particular highlight. As well as Hampton Court and The Tower of London, as in prior years, our event furniture even crossed the water to Belfast, for the food festival at Hillsborough Castle. If you’re a foodie, these shows are not to be missed! Like many festivals, they now offer a premium VIP ticket experience. Hiring a mixture of low level rattan sofas and tables, plus some co-ordinating bistro tables and stools, the client was able to create elegant yet relaxed chill-out zones for VIP guests at these indulgent events!
3. Event furniture hire for VIP hospitality
VIP lounge furniture hire is one of our favourite areas to work in, as it’s so varied. As you can see, we supply hire furniture for both indoor and outdoor VIP lounges. One of our favourites for a special mention were the British Summer Time Festival VIP experience hosted at the Bulgari Hotel. British Summer Time, (known as BST) Festival, is a music event hosted at Hyde Park, London, spanning two weekends each summer. Running since 2013, the event attracts world-class performers and is fast becoming one of the ‘big name’ music festivals. The Bulgari Hotel is a luxury hotel close to Hyde Park and is therefore ideally located to provide some top-class pre-festival hospitality.
4. Celebrity namedrops
Of course, we like to keep up with the celebrity gossip, and hey….we’re not ashamed to drop the occasional famous name or two! Presenter of ITV’s Loose Women, Andrea Mclean, hired some chill-out furniture and light up numbers for her 50th birthday celebrations. As a result, we even got a mention in Hello Magazine! And then, towards the end of the year, we landed the exciting job of furnishing the Celebrity X factor Green Room. Setting up our white rattan furniture inside a huge marquee constructed within ITV’s studios, we created a beautiful backstage haven for contestants and their families. Simon Cowell was said to be delighted with the furniture for this exclusive VIP lounge!
5. Sporting heroes
Over our decade in business, Rio Lounge have become affiliated with a wide range of sporting events. Here are just a few highlights from last year:
Over the years, we’ve built up close relationships in the world of polo, supplying event furniture hire to a number of clubs. Featuring Princes William and Harry on opposing teams, the Royal Polo at Billingbear was a particularly memorable event; although, unfortunately, it has to be said that we are yet to see any photos of their Royal Highnesses perched on our furniture! Pictured, you can see our signature white rattan ‘Marrakesh’ sofas, and our South Beach bistro sets in the background, to cater for diners.
With all the recent press focusing on Prince Harry, it remains to be seen whether the royal brothers will ever meet on the polo field again; but fingers crossed!
Back in July, our director Jo donned her best straw boater, and headed down to the Thames for an event in the world of rowing that’s oh-so-quintessentially English; The Henley Regatta. Again, this was a repeat furniture hire booking for Rio Lounge, and another outdoor VIP lounge area. Using our beautiful curved white rattan Bulgari sofas, we helped to create sociable outdoor zones in the sunshine; where guests could enjoy their Pimms and Eton Mess away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds assembled on the river banks.
FA Cup Semi-final
Last April’s FA Cup semi-final between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester City was another highlight. We got to fit out the hospitality area for BHA FC at Box Park, Wembley with some gorgeous VIP furnishings.
Unfortunately, Brighton and Hove Albion weren’t successful in reaching the FA Cup final; but at least their VIP lounge furniture hire was on point!
Continuing our ongoing affiliation with horse racing, we provided hire furniture for 2019’s Epsom Derby in two different VIP zones. A favourite racing event of The Queen, Her Majesty was once again in attendance at last year’s event. Whilst we have provided event furniture hire at Epsom for several years, we were delighted to provide furniture to a brand new VIP area in 2019; the Moet & Chandon Terrace.
For the second year in a row we were also delighted to provide rattan furniture hire for the Goff’s London Sale; an exclusive race horse sale. The styling of this event is always so beautiful, with subtle flower arrangements, and scatter cushions in summer pastels. A perfectly executed example of the ‘bringing the indoors outdoors trend’ that has become so popular recently.
6. Film and TV event furniture hire
Furnishing the outdoor VIP area at the BAFTA TV Awards for the third year in a row was also an incredible privilege. It’s a day which requires adhering to a strict timetable and logistics. However, we are sure you’ll agree the end result is totally worth it! Check out this picture of our curved rattan Bulgari sofas looking immaculate and red-carpet worthy. We think they look gorgeous in the sunset, on the South Bank of the Thames. (Back in the office we always look forward to hearing about all the celeb-spotting on the day too!)
7. Exhibition furniture hire
Exhibitions and trade shows are another area where we excelled in 2019. Hiring furniture for an exhibition stand is a great idea, as it can attract more prospective customers. People are far more likely to stop and engage with your company (and therefore make a purchase!) if there’s somewhere appealing to rest their tired feet. Our range of faux leather modular sofas are ideal for this as you can tailor the layout exactly according to your stand size. As you can see, the client whose exhibition stand is pictured here, has achieved an aesthetic and sociable seating area using the small space available. We also stock cube seating; their small size and manoeuvrability can be the perfect solution for an exhibition stand.
8. Our light up letter hire division
Originally founded 6 years ago, when our director spotted an emerging wedding trend, our light up letter hire division, Wedding Letter Hire, supplies giant, handmade aluminium 5 foot LED letters. We have found that over time, this business has evolved. Customers now hire our letters for so much more than weddings! One key event that we have supplied for the past four years is the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Festival. Held at Battersea Evolution, London, this is a huge four day event. An absolute must for ski and snowboard enthusiasts, this extravaganza features lots of retailers of ski clothing and equipment, travel operators, live displays, and more! Lighting up the alpine lodge-themed restaurant in style, our letters spelled out ‘THE LODGE’ and of course, who can resist some ‘APRES SKI’ at the bar!
9. Doing our bit for local charity
Naturally, we love to help our local charities whenever we can; 2019 was no exception. Hospices always rely heavily on the support of donations and volunteers, so it’s nice to be able to lend a hand with some of our event prop hire. Continuing our ongoing support for North London Hospice, we supplied light up letters for their annual Gala Dinner at the Grange Hotel. This event celebrates the incredible work of the hospice nurses. We think the giant letters look amazing, and definitely helped create some cool photo opportunities for those involved !
And finally…..are you feeling inspired to hire?
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Rio Lounge’s ‘best of 2019’ – our busiest year so far! As you can see, we supply our event furniture hire to a wide range of events. Feel inspired to hire furniture or light up letters? Don’t delay – please get in touch! And don’t forget…. we deliver all over the UK. No event is too small or too large for us. Our phone lines are manned 24 hours a day, so even when we’re not in the office, you can easily get a message to us. Call us on 0845 46 77483. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to email us, you can do so by clicking here.