Archive for July, 2013

New marquee product ideas required

Monday, July 29th, 2013

We’re always looking to improve both our products and our product range. The original designs and most of the improvements come from our own marquee hire experience but many key features have come directly from customer feedback.

If you have an idea for a new marquee product or an improvement to an existing product we’d love to hear from you any time but now especially. Around this time of year is when we start planning the products we’re going to put in to testing next year for full scale production the year after.

Anyone who’s been to view the marquees at our factory recently will know we’ve had a prototype new style of marquee up which looks to have passed all testing and should be ready for next year (we may have a demo at the showmans show, not sure as yet).

So if you’ve got an idea or wondering why something doesn’t already existing in the industry doesn’t exist then please let us know. If we agree with you then we’ll start designing a solution along with the latest batch of other ideas and improvements we’ve had.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

The Showmans’s Show 2013

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

The Showmans Show is again at Newbury and will be held on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th October.

For those of you unaware The Showman’s Show is the one show aimed at marquee hire companies. Any serious supplier to the marquee hire trade will have a stand there and it’s well worth a visit, you can meet specialist companies in marquee hire insurance, furniture, heating, flooring, staging and just about anything else you can fit in a marquee.

New products are usually launched at The Showman’s Show so it’s worth keeping an eye on even if it’s not something you need immediately just knowing what’s going on in the industry can help greatly.

We’ll have our usual stand on Avenue E so do pop in and have a chocolate. (our stand from last year circled below)

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Different top table options in wedding marquees

Monday, July 15th, 2013

As a marquee hire company you need to offer your customers choice. One particular decision is what type of top table to use at a wedding. Not only do you need to offer different options but you also need to be able to discuss the pros and cons of each:

Traditional long table:

Usually made up of 3 6ft trestles with seating on one side and positioned on one side of the marquee.

  • Gives a traditional/formal feel to the seating layout
  • Easy for speeches
  • Easy for you to set up
  • Good for photographs with a marquee wall behind
  • Can be difficult to talk to best man/bridesmaid on the ends
  • Difficult to change the seating arrangements from bride, groom, parents, best man and bridesmaid(s)
  • People on the table are facing guests backs if the remaining seating is round tables
  • Space required in marquee: 3x6m

Round table:

Usually a 5ft, 5ft6in or 6ft round table in the middle of all the other round tables

  • Gives a very informal feel to the layout
  • Very social with other guests in all directions
  • Easy to change seating arrangements if circumstances require it (for eg no need to have parents/in-laws on the same table)
  • Not ideal for photographs
  • Not ideal for speeches (often having to walk to one side to make them)
  • Space required in marquee: 3x3m

Oval Table

Usually constructed of several trestle tables with a ‘D’ shape table at each end and positioned at one side of the marquee. Seating is usually in a horse-shoe on 3 sides leaving the front clear

  • more sociable option than a traditional top table (people at the ends are now facing towards the bride & groom)
  • can be formal or informal
  • leaving the front clear makes for good photographs
  • Surface can be uneven with so many tables next to each other on uneven ground
  • Space required in marquee: 3x6m

Remember a popular option is to have the top table on the dance floor. This means that all guests are positioned around the top table and when it is lifted away after the meal everyone is then automatically positioned around the dance floor. It’s best to use the top table for this as the idea is that everyone on it will spend the rest of the evening socialising.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee electrical problem

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

A good marquee electrical problem was posted on the forum, unfortunately it was lost in a database error just before the forum closed. I think it’s worth posting here not to scaremonger but to reinforce my post of a couple of weeks ago stating you should only tackle electrical tasks you are confident in.

This was originally posted by Dean from the excellent Style marquee:

We work as health and safety advisors to several venues. I recently turned up to one of these venues to find the marquee supplier (not us I should point out) had run the electrics out from a barn. The barn had a 63amp socket, a 32amp socket and one 13amp socket. They had plugged in to the 32amp socket with an adapter down to a 16amp plug then run a mixture of 2.5mm & 1.5mm blue arctic cable leads to the marquee. This was then supplying the lights, bar, DJ and catering equipment (including tea urns and ovens) for the whole marquee.

Dean then went on to explain how he’d replaced all the electrics to make it safe despite it not being his marquee. His actions almost certainly prevented a major incident.

To explain, the main issues with the set up were:

  • The lead was overloaded. There is far far too much electrical equipment going through a lead of that size.
  • A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, in this case it’s the 1.5mm cable – that’s where the cable would melt/catch fire when everything in that marquee was turned on
  • Lack of protection. The 32amp socket would be protected by a 32amp trip. Fitting an adapter down to 16amp plugs/sockets/leads means those plugs/sockets/leads are going to get damaged before the trip comes in to play.
  • A very minor point compared to the above is the use of arctic cable. Most of the industry still use it but we recommend best practice is to always use 2.5mm HO7 cable for any 13 or 16amp leads

Possible Solution:

Dean was able to run an electrical supply from the 63amp socket out to a distribution board in the marquee that then safely supplied each element of the marquee. This is the best and safest way of supplying everything required in that marquee.

Unless you work at particular venues or run power from generators regularly you are unlikely to have or be trained in this sort of equipment.

If you turn up to a venue like this (and it is rare, usually venues use the same marquee companies repeatedly) with the power requirements listed above and are not sure how to handle it my recommendation is to get an electrician in to handle the electrics and charge that as a service on your quote. If it’s somewhere you’re likely to work at regularly then you may want to go on a course and buy the required equipment yourself (see our friends at Essential Supplies).

Of course if the only power required is your lights then that’s easy to run the extension lead across to plug in to that single 13amp socket and no electrician is required.

Just don’t try and ‘wing it’. There are many areas of marquee erecting where you can make it up as you go along (eg joining to a building, lining an unusual structure) electrics is not one of them.

In summary:

  • Only tackle electrical tasks that you are very confident in carrying out
  • Always check for power supplies at a site visit so everything can be planned in advance
  • Always confirm the power requirements of everyone involved with the event well in advance to avoid being on site and bombarded with last minute power socket requests
  • Only tackle electrical tasks that you are very confident in carrying out

Thanks for reading

Spencer

 

The Marquee Forum

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The marquee forum has sadly had to close. Several people put a lot of energy in to it (especially MalP, Style & CascadeChris) but the take up in the industry just wasn’t enough to justify the work involved in maintaining it.

A facebook group has been set up for marquee companies here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/themarqueeclub/

If you’ve got any marquee related questions pop on to the facebook group, there are some very helpful members who have been there, done it and sold the branded T-shirts.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the forum.

Spencer