Meet the COEDC – Brad Buchanan
Meet the COEDC August 8, 2022
For those who may not know, the COEDC Advisory Council is a conduit of information between business, community leaders and government. The council meets monthly to share information and work together towards sustainable economic growth. It is made up of 45 influential members consisting of industry leaders, community shapers and elected officials. One of these such members being Brad Buchanan!
The aim of the Meet the COEDC campaign is to share with our community who the Economic Development Commission is and showcase the COEDC Advisory Council members who play critical role guiding the regional economic development service.
Brad is a long-time resident of Kelowna with 15 years of firsthand entrepreneurial experience managing a business and is the president and owner of Avalon Event Rentals and Okanagan Portable Sign Rentals. Avalon Event Rentals is one of the Okanagan Valley’s largest event rental businesses. The family-owned company was established in 1992 and was purchased by Brad and his wife in 2007. Since purchasing the business, sales have tripled and Avalon Event Rentals has grown to be an industry leader, with over 120,000 sq. feet of event tenting and the largest selection of rental items in the region.
Prior to owning Avalon Event Rentals, Brad served over 17 years in the food business as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at SunRype. He believes in hiring great people and providing them with the tools and support they need to get the job done.
Continue reading to learn more about Brad’s outlook on industry specific trends and forecasts for the Central Okanagan! And check in each Monday to meet a new member of the Advisory Council, and to learn why they love to live and work in the Central Okanagan!
What organization are you from and what is your role?
I am the owner of Avalon Event Rentals and Okanagan Portable Sign Rentals.
What excites you about the future of your respective sector?
Having come through the pandemic our business was devastated as all events, wedding and social gatherings were cancelled or delayed. Our company missed 3 seasons of revenue and we averaged about 20% of sales for those 2 ½ years. Unfortunately, we had to lay off about 60% of our staff. But the future looks bright as we return to normal and there is huge pent-up demand for weddings and social gatherings. Events generally are planned one or two years in advance and with the restriction being lifted just a few months ago some events have not returned this season but moving forward I think we will see them return in 2023. For our sector we have gone from famine to feast so the future looks bright, and Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley are certainly well positioned for growth in the event sector as well as being a key wedding destination.
Through Okanagan portable sign rentals, we provide cost effective rental roadside advertising that is marketed primarily to small business who cannot afford more traditional forms of advertising such a radio, print and T.V. With the strong growth expected for small business coming out of the pandemic and ever-increasing cost to advertise in traditional mediums we are positioned to see strong study growth moving forward.
Why is participating in the Advisory Council important to you?
It is important for a few reasons:
Participating in the Advisory Council provides an opportunity to give back in small way and provide some valuable insight into running a small business in the Okanagan. I have made some mistakes and hopefully done a few things correctly, so hopefully I am able to pass on some of my knowledge to others as they navigate running small business in the valley.
To learn and understand the challenges of the region and to gain insight from other individuals in the various represented sectors. Collectively, hopefully, we can make our region a bit better for our kids and our kid’s kids.
Finally, selfishly, to network and meet others in the community which may help to grow my business. You never know where the next opportunity lies!
Why do love living and working in the Okanagan?
I think as Canadians we are truly blessed. I have been fortunate to travel internationally in my previous life and I “kiss” the ground when I return to Canada. I would argue that we live in the #1 country in the world, the #1 province within this country and the #1 city/region within the province. We are pretty darn lucky, and I am blessed to be able to own my own business, raise 3 kids and provide them an education in world class universities right in my/our back yard.
Learn more about Avalon Rentals here!