Archive for October, 2011

Can you have a marquee wedding on a budget?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Just about every job is a compromise between what your client wants and what their budget is.

So is it possible to have a marquee wedding on a budget?

Yes absolutely but there’s things you need to make your customer aware of.  The main way for them to save money is to have an unlined marquee so your customers are likely to want to do a lot of decorating of the marquee before the day. You should also point out that decorations should be cleared before you come to take the marquee down – people are very happy decorating a marquee but not so keen un-decorating it!

Another alternative is to save space by having seating on the dance floor. Typically this would be the top table as everyone on it should be off socialising for the evening (ever seen an occupied top table late on at a wedding?)

A marquee can fit more people in standing than seated. A popular option is to limit the numbers of guests for the meal with more guests arriving for the evening. At the end of the meal all of the tables are cleared, the seats are moved to the edge of the marquee and this gives the added capacity needed for the evening.

No doubt there are many more money-saving ideas but these are the most popular I came across in the marquee hire industry.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Show customers exactly what they might be hiring

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Experienced marquee erectors will be able to look at a garden and just see exactly how a marquee will fit and exactly what it would look like. Always keep in mind that your customers won’t be able to do this, giving them a few details and asking them to use their imagination is going to be a tough sell.

So what can you do?

Floorplans: supplying one or two suggested floorplans showing how everything is going to fit in to their marquee is going to be a big help. It will show that the numbers you’re talking about will fit in to their garden-often this comes as a surprise to someone who’s just marked the space out on their lawn. You can use our handy marquee planner for this – print it and cut it out or take a screenshot, crop it down and add it straight in to quotes etc.

Photographs: The best thing you can possibly do is have a photograph of exactly what your customer wants. This isn’t easy, especially when you’re starting out but if you have photographs in your portfolio of all the different jobs you’ve done then eventually you’ll have some clear favourites – expand on these ones in particular. You always want to have choice available but the best scenario for both you and your customer is for them to say ‘I want exactly that’. For us the most popular option was honeybeige carpet and ivory swags for weddings and blackout linings with black & white dance floors for 40th/18th birthday parties.

Look at a website like rightmove – when someone goes to view a house chances are they’ve seen pictures of it, they’ve seen a floorplan and they’re just going to see how it all comes together in a package. Make life easier for you and your customers by offering similar information.

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Many thanks to JF Marquees and Premier Party Tent (again) for helping us dismantle our Showmans Show marquees in record time (an hour & 30 minutes). The show itself seemed successful with most hirers having a positive outlook for 2012. Our new products on display seemed to go down very well including our new solid frame doors (only £400) and our simple gable pieces that give so much more flexibility to hirers. Thank you for everyone who came in to see us and especially those who mentioned they read this blog, I’ll try my best to keep helping as much as I can.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Non-damaging way of getting a fixing on a lining

Monday, October 10th, 2011

There won’t be an entry next week as we’ll be down setting up our stand at The Showmans Show, yes I’ve mentioned it many times but this blog is aimed at marquee hire companies and it is simply the one show you must visit for the industry. Please stop by and say hello 🙂

I posted this last year but it has proved very popular and I keep referring people to it so here it is again:

Nearly every time you use a marquee lining it will be to go in your standard marquee stock and (if it’s one of ours!) will fit perfectly. Easy.

But sometimes you have to fit a lining somewhere unusual. It might be lining a customers porch, it might be lining an unusual walkway or just making good to a house. At some time in your marquee hiring life you will need to do this.

So how do you get attachments in a lining without damaging it? Follow these instructions:

Step 1: Find a decent sized pebble (about 4cm diameter ideally) and place it on the good face of the lining (ie the side you don’t need to get a fixing)

Step 2: Scrunch the material round the pebble at the back of the lining

Step3: Tie a cable tie tightly around the scrunched material and also include an extra cable tie (this gives you your fixing).

And there you have it, a fixing in the middle of a lining that looks okay from the front (you can’t see the pebble) and gives you a fixing at the back without damaging the lining.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Remind customers of their responsibilities

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

One of our favourite customers has recently had a problem that is interesting to highlight for others in the industry.

They erected a marquee for a client and left it well strapped down. The client then in all their wisdom decided to ‘borrow’ most of the tie downs to anchor down their own gazebos as strong winds were forecast. Lo and behold the strong winds caused damage to the main marquee exactly where the tie downs had been removed.

This is an incredibly rare occurrence, I can think of only one similar incident happening in all my time of marquee hiring so there’s no need to be too concerned but it would be sensible to take precautions.

Essentially you need to ensure the customer is aware of their responsibilities and obligations, for example:

  • ensuring no part of the marquee is dismantled (partially or otherwise), this includes tie downs but also wires or cross-braces on larger marquees
  • not to leave indoor furniture outside -chairs with seat pads and/or covers are often carried outside by guests but not returned at the end of the event leaving them open to rain overnight
  • marquees should be closed up overnight or in strong winds
  • no electrical equipment should be tampered with including any temporary earth rods (used with generators etc)

Ideally have a form that is signed just to cover yourself if anything did happen.

Thanks for reading

Spencer