Elite Affairs improves event rental experience

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, November 9, 2022

LAPLACE — Pamela Allen goes above and beyond for her customers to make every occasion as beautiful as it is memorable, whether she’s providing event rentals for a backyard gathering or an extravagant wedding.

For the past seven years, Allen has operated Elite Affairs Event Rentals in LaPlace, giving families in the River Parishes a more convenient option to rent for their events without having to travel to Metairie or Baton Rouge.

The storefront at 1116 W. Airline Highway is a treasure cove filled with chairs, centerpieces, table cloths and runners, piping and draping, balloon arches, 3D backdrops and much more. Elite Affairs carries a large selection of three-foot letters to spell out names as well as some lighted four-foot letters to spell out words such as “GRAD” or “LOVE.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, when in-person events took a hit, the business remained relevant by introducing yard signs for drive-thru celebrations and other occasions.

Allen had not yet retired from her corporate job when she decided to take a leap of faith and open an event rental business. After establishing an LLC and working out of her home, she opened her first storefront in the back of Cambridge in late 2015.

Profit from her full first year in business was not encouraging, but a move to a more visible location on Airline Highway skyrocketed sales by 500% the next year and gave her an opportunity to build a good rapport with local customers. Today, Elite Affairs has a lot of repeat business, but the company has also managed a steady growth of new business year after year.

“I think a lot of that has to do with customer service and what you can do for people,” Allen said. “Ninety percent of my customers have my cell phone. It might be a Saturday evening and the store is closed, but if a customer calls and says they need a piping set for a shower that starts at 7 o’clock, I’m going to do what I can to cater to my customers.”

According to Allen, Elite Affairs stands out from other event rental companies by offering weekend and after-hours deliveries. After-hours fees only apply for pick-ups after 11:30 p.m., and even then, Allen strives to keep costs low compared to competitors.

While other rental companies usually require customers to spend $50 to $100 minimum, Elite Affairs is committed to handling even the smallest orders.
“Sometimes people just don’t need a lot. I have had a customer come in here just to get two chair covers, and it came out to a total of $4,” Allen said.

In a recent review, customer Marie Melgar said price was not her motivation when choosing Elite Affairs for her wedding rentals. The small business won her over thanks to Allen’s kind and helpful nature.

“She even made time to FaceTime me before I came in to show me some of their inventory. I really appreciated that,” Melgar said. “I like to give my business to good people so I did not hesitate to book.”

Elite Affairs has also been an active part of several community organizations, including the River Region Chamber of Commerce and the LaPlace Branch of Business 2 Business Referral Group. Allen has donated her time and talents to charitable causes throughout the region. She supplied décor for a recent event for the Kiwanis Club of the Tri-Parishes, as well as a previous drive-thru Santa Claus event hosted by LaPlace Equipment Company. This month, she has committed to providing at least 50 tables for New Wine’s Thanksgiving Feast serving community members in need.

Allen was involved in several disaster relief distributions following Hurricane Ida, working closely with Eight Days of Hope, Hope and Purpose Ministries, and Maximum Love Impact. Beyond the event rental sphere, Allen and her family have hosted “garage giveaways” in lieu of garage sales, encouraging those in need to take what they need during the often-hectic holiday season.

For the past eight years, Allen has personally volunteered as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate, where she serves as a voice for local children in foster care.

For more information about Elite Affairs Event Rentals, call 985-359-9199 or visit https://www.eliteaffairseventrentals.com/