Archive for the ‘marquee hire advice’ Category

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

new products at Showmans Show 2011

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Following on from the previous post on The Showmans Show here are some more details:

We are on Avenue E, stand number 258. Come out of the exhibition hall, turn right then left and we’re a short way down on the right hand side.

All of the suppliers you would expect to find will be there including heater suppliers, furniture suppliers, insurance companies etc. One you may not have considered is Welwyn Tool Company (stand 89 in the hall). They offer a variety of products for welding PVC but having a small heat gun for making repairs on site proved invaluable to us as a hire company.

We’ll be showing a couple of new additions to our stock including gable pieces for creating porch areas and solid frame doors. No photos yet as we’ve been testing them all summer but I’ll put some up here after the show.

Thanks for reading, look forward to seeing you at the show 🙂

Spencer

Discount for Winter marquee hire?

Monday, September 19th, 2011

As we’ve come towards the end of the season bookings and enquiries for the winter will start to come in. A big question you have to ask yourself is will you offer discounts for winter hire?

Hiring out marquees during the winter is a bit harder, the weather is generally against you and will wash off that tan from ALL that sun we had this summer (!), the marquees require more maintenance and cleaning per hire and the marquees are often that bit more awkward – connecting a marquee to a house is a lot more work that simply putting it up in a garden for example.

On the flip side of this most winter work is seen as something of a bonus, other than Christmas/New Year you’re unlikely to sell out. So is it worth offering a discount?

In my opinion yes. We started out offering no discounts but when we changed our approach our order book doubled from the previous year. I’m not advocating getting work for the sake of it, you’ve still got to earn money on a job so don’t go chasing too hard. A 10% discount seems about right although as I’ve mentioned before I think it’s much better to offer extra items to the value of 10% rather than a discount if you can.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

How much space is needed for a place setting?

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Unusual seating plans can call for some head-scratching calculations. 95% of the time people will want standard seating arrangements that you’ll have done many times before but just occasionally you get a someone who wants something a bit different. This generally involves unusual shapes or combinations of tables – you may hire them or make them yourself (bolting a custom made top to an existing table is the most common option). Here are some rules to help you plan:

Ideally you want a 2ft (60cm) wide space per person around the table. It can be a bit less if it’s a curved table (as people end up with more space further away from the table)

You also need to allow 2ft (60cm) for chairs around the table but that doesn’t allow space to walk between tables.

As an example take a 20ft/6m wide marquee that you would typically fit two round tables across in any layout. So 5ft round tables would then have an extra 2ft for the chairs, positioning them against the walls leaves a 2ft path down the middle.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Different types of top table

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

As a marquee hire company you need to offer your customers choice. One particular decision is what type of top table to use. 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 gridge, 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

Space required in a marquee

Monday, August 15th, 2011

When you plan a marquee event you need to know how much space to allow for furniture and other features. As a rough guide use 3x3m boxes:

  • For a 5ft round table seating 8-10 or a 5ft6in round table seating 9-11 guests allow one 3x3m square box
  • For a set of buffet tables (usually three 6ft trestles) allow 3x6m (ie two 3x3m boxes)
  • For a top table (tradition long table or an oval) allow 3x6m
  • DJ’s: 3x3m
  • Band: At least 3x6m depending on how many people are involved
  • Bar: 3x3m (often with another 3x3m for a sofa or spare seats)

Dance floors can vary in size depending on the type of event and number of guests so they’re a bit tricky.

Also consider leaving some space clear when people first walk in and in front of any catering entrance if you have the space to do so.

Of course you can just use our marquee planner or email us and one of us will put something together for you.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

The Showmans Show 2011

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Most readers will have heard of the Showmans Show, some will not – it’s the one show of the year to visit as a marquee hire company.  Every supplier you could possibly need will have a stand there including the wonderful DIY Marquees 🙂

We’re always in the same spot every year:

Register for free at The Showmans Directory. It’s on the 19th & 20th October at The Newbury Showground.

Everyone on our stand has had first hand experience of running a marquee hire company so we’d love to sit down with you and talk through any plans or ideas you may have.

As always I’m working on some new products that we hope to show there.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee repairs, change of policy

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Not advice this week, just an announcement of a change in policy for us regarding the repair of marquees.

1. We will now only repair our own marquees. If it’s not a DIY Marquee then I’m afraid we’re not going to be able to repair it. Our marquees are pretty tough to damage but it appears some others are not. Frankly we’ve had enough of making up for other manufacturers poor workmanship.

2. If you send something back you would like us to repair then it must be clean. Clean as in suitable for a marquee to be used by the fussiest mother-of-the bride around. If I pass on any more dirty panels to be repaired we’re likely to have a mutiny on our hands! Bear in mind most of these ladies have watched me grow up for the last 25+ years and you’ll realise who’s actually in charge round here 🙂

We will still offer our usual high quality service with a fast turnaround, after all we’ve been there and know what disruption a damaged panel can cause.

So if something sharp cuts one of your DIY marquee panels (the main cause of damage seemingly) then please make sure it’s clean before sending it back to us.

Thanks for your understanding.

Spencer

First impressions count

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Your job as a marquee hirer isn’t just to supply and erect the marquee but often to help with the planning involved, especially planning the layout. But just organising the internal layout isn’t enough, you need to advise on:

  • where in the garden to position the marquee. There’s not always a choice but the most popular answer is close to the house if the weather forecast is bad and set back to allow for a drinks/greeting area if the forecast is good
  • what the first impression of the marquee/setting will be for the guests. This I would say is very very important. It also give you an opportunity to ‘upsell’ as I believe marketers currently call it.

Eddie Izzard makes a good case for first impressions.

Windows will always make a marquee more inviting than just plain walls but often that isn’t enough on it’s own. This is when pagodas can be used as entrance tents along with paths of carpet and various decorations. They are also very easy in that they basically sell themselves, show a customer a photo of the side of a marquee compared to a photo of one with an entrance tent and 9 times out of 10 you’ve got a booking for another marquee at the same site.

Thanks for reading

Spencer