Once you’ve put a marquee up you leave the site and generally don’t return until you’re taking down the marquee. That’s often several days that customers or more likely friends of customers can look at the marquee and see how they think it could be improved.
There’s lots of talk on the marquee forum about what can happen in your absence with people (perfectly innocently) tampering with a marquee and creating a lot of problems.
In a similar vein to advice I received from an electrician friend a little knowledge can sometimes be a dangerous thing. Someone who is scared of doing anything to your marquee isn’t someone to worry about (though I once had a call asking if they could undo a zip. That would be the zipped entrance..). The likely (again perfectly innocent) culprit is going to be the hands-on bit of an amateur DIY-er who will happily volunteer to removed some sides to the marquee not appreciating that not doing the fixings back up afterwards might risk damaging the roof. Or some perfectly useless looking metal struts could be removed to allow access in one corner of a marquee.
So what can you do to prevent this occurring?
Not a lot, but you can minimise it by:
- Making one person accountable for the marquee in your absence – particularly vital if you are dealing with a company rather than private customer
- Have a form for a customer to sign stating that they have been shown what they can and cannot do with the marquee (make sure they have a copy to keep). Indeed having a ‘user-guide’ to leave with the marquee is a great idea (feel free to open windows but ensure they are closed again in high winds or overnight etc)
- If metalwork is within easy reach then have all bolts slightly more than finger tight. This will stop children playing with them but might not stop their Dad with that shiny set of Black & Decker spanners he got for Xmas!
- You can put stickers over the framework (and electrics) of the marquee stating ‘please do not tamper with this’, personally I’m not convinced by this.
99% of customers are very reasonable and wouldn’t dare do anything that might harm your marquee or endanger the people inside, as with a lot of things you have to take as many precautions as possible to prevent that remaining 1%. Informing customers of the painfully obvious do’s, don’t's and liabilities is an unfortunate necessary, preferably with a paper trail proving such.
Thanks for reading. Bit of a negative post this week wasn’t it? I’ll try and post a cheerier one next time!