Archive for October, 2014

How often should you clean a marquee?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The obvious answer is whenever it needs it so maybe a better question would be how often should you expect to clean a marquee.

A marquee is far more likely to get dirty when being erected/dismantled rather than when it is actually up. If you’re careful when erecting and especially when dismantling the marquee then you can usually get away with a thorough clean only once or twice a season.

There are however a few exceptions:

The dirtiest marquee I have ever had was one that was erected under some trees. When it rained all of the dust and grime was washed off the leaves down on to our lovely marquee. If you’ve got to put a marquee up under trees expect to clean it immediately afterwards.

Rain-skirts by their very nature will always get muddy in the rain, these should be given a wipe over on pretty much every job.

Traffic-film – eventually PVC can have a grey layer build up which is especially difficult to remove. It takes a long time for this to happen (a year or two normally) but at this stage it needs a thorough clean using a chemical. The material also needs irritating (gone over with a brush or similar) to get this off. Once thoroughly cleaned the PVC should be as good as new.

Tree sap is a nightmare to remove.

There are also some things that will never come out:

Petrol/Diesel can stain PVC. This will never come out so avoid them at all costs.

Ingrained mould – this affects many marquees especially those that are stored when still wet. PVC is made of many layers, if a marquee is put away wet or if cheap PVC is used then water can get inside the layers and create mould which will never come out. Incidentally this is one of the reasons we use better quality 500gsm PVC than available elsewhere, it takes far longer for the layers to break down in better quality PVC.

Some garden chemicals can stain – I was shown a marquee recently that had green stains around the rain skirt which seemed to have come from a chemical added to the lawn.

Better quality PVC always helps, we use a lacquer coated PVC as it is easier to clean and lasts longer than the cheap alternatives.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

The Showmans Show 2014

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

The showmans show is on again in a few weeks time, for those who haven’t heard of it it is the one show aimed at the outdoor event sector. In recent times it has become (whether by design or simply by the people attending) more about large public outdoor events rather than the relatively smaller private marquee events the marquee sales industry cater towards.

It’s something to be aware of but the industry is not the fastest moving in the world so there’s no real need to go every year.

With that in mind we will not be exhibiting this year. We were undecided but a couple of health scares have meant it is not sensible for us to attend this year – we will definitely be back next year though!

It’s a shame as we’ve got some new products for next year – you’ll just have to wait for them to go on the website over the winter.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Different styles of management on site with marquees

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Different people have different styles of management, most (certainly in the marquee industry) fall in to one of two categories: Leading by example or leading by delegation.

Some will be proficient in both but most people naturally use one or the other and it is well worth learning both how your own management style works and those you work with to prevent conflict.

Leading by example:

In a small group this is a good way of getting the job done. The person in charge sets the pace and does the work and everyone else is there as an assistant. This is how most people in small businesses work, if you’ve ever worked with a self-employed electrician, plumber or similar this is their only way of working.

  • With a small group of people this is often the fastest way of getting the job done
  • The quality of the work will always be high, after all it is the best person/most qualified that would be doing all of the work
  • Everyone has to work at the same pace as the leader which prevents people dragging their heels
  • This does place a lot of work/pressure on the leader who becomes irreplaceable
  • It’s difficult to scale up – a person can only work with so many assistants

Leading by delegation:

This is ideal for larger groups where tasks are delegated to different people. This is obviously how larger businesses work

  • The only way of working with large numbers of people
  • The quality of work can be more varied as you are relying on different peoples finishes
  • You can have different speeds of work which can breed resentment if one team is significantly slower than another

What does this mean in marquee hire?

In my experience small groups are the most efficient way of working, within this small group should be a leader who leads by example (as above) otherwise it all becomes a bit aimless and drags on. The leader is the one who will set the pace, get the job done and maintain the standard.

On larger sites where you need more people the leader needs to be able to split the people and tasks in to smaller groups so they need to lead by delegation and have a leader by example in each smaller group.

Once the frame of a marquee is up you can split people up accordingly – some do the flooring, some do electrics, some could start another marquee if required. It is simply not efficient to have everyone doing the same job, if you have enough potential leaders working in 2’s and 3’s is by far the most effective and efficient way of working on site.

It is never a healthy thing having only one person capable of doing a certain job. If you run a small business and always work in a small group take the time to train those working with you as you work. It means your business will be easier to scale up (your assistant becomes a new leader) and less pressure on your shoulders.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

PS – if anyone can think of marquee terminology we missed please let us now.