Archive for the ‘marquee hire advice’ Category

New Marquee Cleaner

Monday, May 9th, 2011

No blog for a couple of weeks due to the bank holidays. Poor health was also a factor – can someone older and wiser than me let me know if a family of 4 can ever be completely illness free? You just seem to take turns. Anyway, back to marquees.

Cleaning marquees is a regular thing (or at least it should be!). It might only be a quick wipe on site or a full on scrub down in the yard as part of general maintenance. You need a decent cleaner to use.

We always used a generic Traffic Film Remover (TFR). It’s like concentrated washing up liquid that you water down in a spray or power washer.

UnoChem now produce a specific marquee cleaner which might be worth a try. I haven’t used it myself, I don’t know if it produces heaven in a jay cloth or adds nothing to your elbow grease. But it’s aimed at marquee people. We are marquee people. I thought it might be worth a try.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Advertising

Monday, April 18th, 2011

If you’re starting up in marquee hire a big issue is advertising. How much do you spend and how do you spend it? Obviously we all want to get to a stage where most of our work is coming from word of mouth recommendations (a claim a suspiciously large number of hire websites announce). But if you haven’t had any previous customers then there’s no one to start the recommendation!

Several of our customers have recommended marqueehireguide.co.uk as a good place to obtain useful leads. They also offer (currently) a 3 month free trial so there’s nothing to lose. There are a few directories offering this service but this is the only one I’ve been consistently recommended. I should point out that I am in no way connected with this website, indeed I think it’s actually run by a fellow marquee supplier but I’m just giving an honest recommendation.

Lastly, want to know how to erect a 9x12m marquee in under 30 minutes? Try this marquee.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer

How to lay a marquee dance floor

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Before I start on marquee dance floors I should mention that this week we have a 4x8m and one of our new 9x12m DIY Marquees for sale on eBay.

Nearly all marquee dance floors go together in the same manner using a brick type pattern for strength:

  1. Plan the position of the dance floor carefully. Often you can decide which way to lay the boards (across or down the marquee). If you think the customer might want to increase or decrease the size of dance floor at a later stage then orientate the boards accordingly. So  you only have to add or remove rows rather than lifting the whole floor to alter the size.
  2. Lay the first two or three rows of boards down and then stop: check the dance floor is square and going to fit in line with your desired position.
  3. Ensure there are no gaps between the boards, once the whole dance floor is laid it is very difficult to go back and change it
  4. Similarly pack up the boards as each row is laid to avoid any bouncy gaps underneath. It is a nightmare trying to pack up a bouncy dance floor once all the boards are laid
  5. Once all boards are down it is time to lay the edging. Firstly put the sides of the edging on – this is laid in the same way as the boards. So if the last row put down was big-big-small then your edging should be laid as small-big-big to continue the brick pattern
  6. Once both sides are fitted any corner pieces of edging can be put in and the gaps at both ends filled using the remaining edging.
  7. If you’re a bit short of edging then leave it off on the side facing the DJ/Band

All of this may seem common knowledge but to others it could prove interesting. I remember going on site to find one lad so frustrated with the hour that he’d spent trying to edge a dance floor that he was in the middle of hacksawing a piece down to fit. Once I’d shown him how it was supposed to fit blood pressures were lowered and the hacksaw was put back in the van!

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Demonstration marquee now up for viewing

Monday, April 4th, 2011

A few years ago we were approached by our friends who run the pub next door who convinced us to put our demonstration marquee up in their garden every summer. They get the use of a marquee every year and we have a display marquee available for people to see in use. It works well for both parties.

It’s a 6m wide marquee with red carpet, roof lining, curtains and panoramic windows down one side. I’ll get a photo up here soon.

As our instructional videos have proved surprisingly popular we thought it time to do another one and got the video recorder out to show how we do it. Our intention was to produce a serious, professional video. This was thwarted somewhat when a couple of older gents came out for a cigarette and watched us putting up the marquee:

The barman bringing us out a couple of drinks was going to make for a tricky edit (not that we were arguing about that one..):

When the landlord came out for a chat “how are you getting on lads”, “good thanks, we’re just making a video” and didn’t take the hint that he was standing directly in front of the video camera we decided to give up! (he’s a very nice guy and the pub do great food by the way):

In other news we’re continuing to have a clear out of our stores of all the marquees that we can’t send out due to damaged packaging. There’s a 6x12m on eBay at the moment and I’ll continue to put one on every week or so until we’ve cleared them. They’re perfectly alright inside but they’re a pain to work round for us getting other stock to be sent out.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee PAT testing with Essential Supplies

Monday, March 28th, 2011

So our friends over at Essential Supplies are running some PAT testing courses again, for those unaware every electrical item in the marquee industry should be PAT tested at least every 12 months. To be honest PAT testing is a bit of a dull job but it’s necessary! Here’s what they have to say:

After the success of our 2009 & 2010 PAT Testing Courses we have arranged some dates for 2011. We will be holding them on 4th/5th/27th and 28th April.  The location will be confirmed when we have numbers, but will be in the Basingstoke area.picture1.gif

THE COURSE

The aim of our one day ‘practical’ workshop is to obtain an understanding of why PAT Testing is necessary and be able to demonstrate safely and accurately all aspects of electrical testing necessary to perform PAT tests on your own or other peoples electrical equipment.

The course is designed for those within the events industry, although the testing techniques learnt can be used in any industry. You will be shown how to PAT test a wide range of our products from extension leads to metal light fittings and from simple distribution boards to power tools. There will be a maximum of four delegates per day, to ensure you get the most out of the course.

If you have already purchased a PAT tester you are welcome to bring it along to ensure that you get the best from it. Alternatively we will give you advice on testers to buy.

Price £230.00 per delegate (+ VAT)

Course fees include:

The official IET guide: code of practise for in service inspection and testing of electrical equipment. This is a complete reference for you.

Training at customer’s site shall be subject to extra transport costs.

To sign up…

call: 0800 0432 123

sales@essentialsupplies.co.uk

Fairy lights in marquees

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Many years ago we did a Xmas wedding marquee. The bride and groom wanted lots of Xmas trees with fairy lights, fairy lights in the roof, fairy lights around the sides. If any guest stood in one spot for too long they’d probably want fairy lights on them too!

Sadly this was pre-internet so sourcing white strings of fairy lights turned out to be an impossible task. So I spent 2 days covering green strings of fairy lights with white insulation tape!

Xmas trees with fairy lights? -no problem as long as you’ve got plenty of extension leads to run round the marquee. Xmas trees in the roof? -no problem you can hang them above or below linings and they look good.

Fairy lights around the side of a marquee are slightly trickier and I remember just thinking I’d get on site and ‘wing it’. The problem is people really want them hung around the eaves, but that’s where the swag is. One option is to drape them round and round the swag but I didn’t think that looked very good. So in the end I came up with going behind the swag and poking each fairy light up through the velcro holding it on to the roof so just the bulb is showing. The end result is surprisingly good (sadly the photos are long gone).

For weddings or occasions where people just want subtle lighting effects I think just having fairy lights criss crossing the ceiling is perfect. But for those customers who just want fairy lights everywhere then above the swags is very effective.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

PS Apologies for the delay, I was out of the country yesterday

How long can a marquee stay up for?

Monday, March 7th, 2011

This is a question I’m asked often – how long can a marquee stay up for?

There are two parts to this -one is the structure, the other is the state of the ground.

Marquees are only designed as temporary structures, if you have them up for a long time then certain precautions should be taken. Checking it regularly for signs of wear & tear, checking the strength of bungees, making sure there is no water or snow gathering on the roof, not leaving it up in extreme weather conditions. All common sense stuff really.

The ground is only a problem if it’s going up on grass. As Legend mentioned on the forum recently if grass is covered for a long time the groundsheets underneath can become covered in rotting grass which smells. Badly. Can barely stay in the same vehicle badly! But I’ve only ever found that smell to be once the flooring has been taken up, never while the marquee is in use.

You can put flooring down for a week or two and all that will happen will be the grass will yellow a bit. A few weeks later and it will have recovered no problem. If it’s down for longer than that then the grass is likely to die off and need re-seeding.

Please don’t think about ‘breathable’ flooring/matting. As mentioned previously it allows a build up of condensation but also if it’s left down long-term the grass just grows up through the mesh. I can’t stand the stuff which is why we don’t sell it.

We’re trying to have a clear out before the season really starts so following on from the 6×12 we sold last week we’ve got a 6×6 with damaged boxes on eBay starting at 99p. In the main 6×6’s are less popular than 6×12’s so this could go cheaply.

Happy bidding, thanks for reading.

Spencer

Flowers in marquees

Monday, February 28th, 2011

This is only really relevant for people who supply wedding marquees.

When you’re meeting a potential customer it’s always good to come across as knowledgeable about other parts of their event not just the marquee even if it’s something the relevant supplier (caterer, florist etc) should cover anyway. It shows that you care about the success of the event as a whole and not just the marquee which is something that always goes down well.

One such thing is flower centre pieces for tables. These are important as they’re one of the first things people see when they walk in to the marquee and people spend a lot of time sat at the tables staring at them.

Essentially they come down to one of two options, they need to be positioned either above or below eye height (for someone sat at the table). So either a display sat on the table or a display on top of a thin stemmed stand. Anything in between loses a lot of social atmosphere around a table.

It’s not essential information as you probably don’t supply flowers but it’s useful to show how knowledgeable you are about wedding marquees.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer

What area do you cover?

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

I find myself spending a lot of time looking at different marquee hire websites. It might be looking for people who would find the marquee forum useful or just keeping up with what’s going on in the industry. But the biggest thing that hits me on most of the websites is you can’t see what area people cover.

Take this luxury toilet hire website (yes I am biased). You can clearly see the area they cover there on the front page. Instantly people will arrive and know they’re not wasting their time -don’t underestimate that.

If I search for blue striped widgets and open several interesting results in different tabs the one I’m going to spend my time on is one that on the first page says -we supply blue striped widgets. No searching through the site. No ‘we supply a variety of widgets’ where you have to mail them to find out if they do blue striped ones.

If I want a marquee in Dorking and google marquee hire the resulting websites that are going to grab me are ones that in words or maps say ‘we supply marquees to Dorking’. I’ll probably still be interested in one that says ‘we supply marquees to Surrey’ and I may stay on one that says ‘South-East’. I’m not going to linger on one that doesn’t say the area and I have to email to find out. What’s the point when others obviously do?

Apologies for the 24hr delay in posting, I was off yesterday shopping for blue striped widgets 🙂

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Google alerts

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Wouldn’t it be nice if -like Voldemort in Harry Potter you would know if someone ever mentioned your name. Well, now with google alerts you can (at least anything that appears  online).

Just set up a google alert for your business name and google will tell you whenever it finds a match, this informs you what people are saying about your company.

But it’s more powerful than that:

  • It lets you know if a competitor is using your name in any marketing (this has happened to us in the past)
  • You can set up alerts for your competitors names to see what people are saying about them or even what they’re saying about themselves
  • You can set up alerts for your keyword phrases – so if anyone mentioned ‘marquee hire surrey’ (for eg) on a blog then you can make a comment with a link back to your site (very good for the rankings)

All in all very useful and strongly recommended.

Thanks for reading

Spencer