Archive for the ‘showmans show’ Category

The Showmans Show 2010

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

So as many people know first hand The Showman’s Show was on last week:

Yes. That’s ice on the carpet. It was very very cold.

A few points from the show:

  • Our 9m x 12m marquees should be available from Spring next year
  • We have plenty of walkways in stock but linings are made to order at the moment so there might be a 5 day delay
  • Our blackout/DIY starlight will be available for next summer, hopefully earlier.
  • I’m very very sorry to the first few people who mentioned they read this blog, I’d forgotten about the free gift on the 1st morning until someone reminded me – mail me and I’ll send you some in the post.

As last year many thanks to Premier Party Tent for donating two of their staff to help take down our stand,  you are gentlemen and your assistance was very gratefully received.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

No marquee hire advice this week

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

There’s no marquee hire advice this week other than to make sure you get to the show on Wednesday or Thursday.

We’re going down to set up tomorrow and with several hundred people happy to pass on their advice (our products are the best etc) I figured you’d be fine without this week.

We’ll be showing our new 9m x 12m marquees for sale (less than half the price of aluminium). We’re really very proud of them, come and have a look and see what you think.

We’ll be displaying our new gable end system we’ll be putting in to production for next summer as well as some new blackout linings with attachments to create your own DIY starlight lining.

Thanks for reading, look forward to seeing you at the show (hopefully with my back intact this year)

Spencer

Monday, October 11th, 2010

For those who aren’t aware we launched a forum for the marquee industry last week. It seems to be going very well with some very interesting ideas and healthy debates. A word of warning – I will unashamedly be using this for topics to discuss on here occasionally, if I see something I think would be useful to our customers then I’ll write about it on here.

We had an unusual thing recently, someone came in and bought a pagoda marquee (not that unusual), he then asked what time we were open on Monday to return it. He thought he was just hiring it! I felt bad. Obviously I offered him his money back if he didn’t want it (he actually seemed quite happy to be fair) but I also felt bad I’ve pinched a potential customer from a poor hirer out there. Still, our prices must be pretty reasonable for that to happen in the first place 🙂

Look at that, 9 days to go and I nearly managed to get to the end without mentioning The Showman’s Show next week! We’re still working on the samples so I can’t confirm what we’ll have there yet. Things that we won’t be showing but we are supplying next year are full height partitions so you can split a marquee internally (ideal for creating catering areas etc) as well as increasing our 4m wide range to include 4x6m and 4x12m as the 4x8m & 4x10m were so popular this year we could barely hold stock of them.

As always thanks for reading, please pop along to the forum and have a read.

Spencer.

Budgeting, a bit like accountants. Dull but important.

Monday, October 4th, 2010

It’s the end of the marquee season, your cash flow should be at a reasonable level and in a few weeks there’s The Showmans Show where all of us cunning marquee suppliers will dangle fantastic new products for you to buy ready for next season. Much as I’ll happily sell you any marquee you really need to do some planning before coming to the show.

Here’s what we used to do back in the days I was a visitor not an exhibitor:

  • Calculate our costs for the next 6 months. Includes wages, tax bills, vehicle bills etc
  • Calculate the likely income for the next 6 months (if it’s anywhere near the figure from the 1st step you’re doing very very well)
  • Work out the minimum amount of equipment we’d need for the next season – including essential repairs/renewals etc
  • Work out the equipment you’d ideally like to expand the business – things that customers have asked for or equipment that you’ve turned away business for. For example if you turned away 4 bookings for a 9x12m marquee last summer then if you can afford it it’s probably worth buying one for next year (in which case definately visit our stand, we should have something of interest for you!).

So in a nutshell we’d come to The Showmans Show knowing exactly what we wanted to look at and exactly how much we had to spend. I strongly recommend you doing the same otherwise you’ll get crafty salesmen (stand 269 ave E) convincing you to buy enough marquees to cover Wembley football pitch! We’re one of the few companies that could do that from stock too..

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Free Stuff!

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Ok, so I may once or twice have mentioned the fact the showmans show’s on next month. We’re working hard on making sure there’s some new things of interest to you but some are going to be cutting it pretty fine -I’ll try and put them on here in good time before the show if I can.

I’d also like to reward you kind people who read my ramblings every week. I get a fair bit of email feedback but next month is often the only time I meet people in public, so I thought I should offer a free gift to anyone who mentions they read this blog.

I’m offering a 4 pack of pole straps. What are pole straps? I asked Jim from CCMarquees to review them for me just to make sure I wasn’t giving away something useless:

I have just packed away a 6m by 12 m marquee supplied by DIY Marquees and used adjustable tie straps to bind the poles together for storage. By locking the poles together with these strong but easy to use straps, the poles are not going to roll around when stored and are easier to carry. Thanks for introducing me to the product and I would recommend these straps as a great way to store and transport marquee poles. Regards Jim Costello Cc Marquees

So visit our stand (middle of Avenue E probably), mention the blog to get some useful free stuff (limited stock available blah blah)

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Update: We’re on Avenue E, stand number 269.

Showmans show 2010 & more on guttering

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

After my article a few weeks ago on how to gutter a marquee it was pointed out that I’d left an important part out – remember to pull any slack material of the gutter out away from the marquee as far as possible. If you just leave the extra material in a heap on the floor then the water won’t be taken far from the marquee and more importantly you’re probably kinking up the end of the gutter in the marquee.

For anyone unaware The Showmans Show is a must-visit for any marquee hire business. Every supplier to the trade has a stand there, it’s where you meet all of the required contacts/suppliers as well as keeping in touch with any new products that are coming on to the market.

The show is at Newbury Showground on 20th & 21st October

We’re going to have some new ideas and products available, we’re working on them now so I won’t mention them just in case they don’t get through testing in time!

Thanks for reading

Spencer

DIY Marquees bulletin board

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

There’s various things to mention so this isn’t technically an advice article, sorry!

1. We’ve got a used 6m x 6m DIY Marquee for sale on eBay at the moment. It’s in reasonable condition and could help someone out.

2. The 9m wide modular marquees, walkway and new sizes of marquee advertised at The Showmans Show aren’t on the website yet, they’ll be put on in January when they’re in stock – with the exception of the 9m marquees that we’re taking pre-orders for to be ready in March.

3. Probably the biggest news/problem is we’ve been told this week that we can no longer get hold of the shade of lining material we use. We’ve sorted out a replacement that is slightly more expensive but long term could actually be better as it’s a shade that’s used more widely in the marquee industry. The two shades are not really compatable in the same marquee so if you’ve already got our linings we’re trying to make sure we don’t let you down –  we’re buying as many thousand metres of the material as we can to continue supplying you. But it will run out at some stage, at this time I would estimate in 4-6 months time.

If anyone knows they want linings for next season then you can reserve some in the existing colour without paying a deposit as long as they’re standard stock items, that way you know where you are.

Sorry if this is bad news, we’re doing our best to help in any way we can.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer.

Showmans Show 2009 follow on.

Monday, October 26th, 2009
Our stand at the show

Our stand at the show

So this was our stand at The Showmans Show 2009. Hopefully most of you came along and saw it in person.

Firstly I apologise if it seemed rude I wasn’t up greeting everyone, I injured my back quite badly on Wednesday morning which meant I could only stand for a few minutes at a time (an appointment with a specialist is booked for later today). By the end of the show even the security guard was taking the p**s out of me for taking so long to hobble back and forth to the car park!

Secondly a thank you to Colin, Kim and the local first aiders for keeping me in drugs for 2 days (some of them even helped my back!), but especially a big thank you to Mal at Premier Party Tent who hung round in the pouring rain to take my place dismantling all of our marquees. Sir you are a gent and I owe you a very large pint.

A lot of things came from the show and I learnt about various things which I’ll discuss on here soon enough (every day’s a school day!).

Unfortunately a slightly sour note came from the show and it’s been bothering me ever since. Someone started a rumour saying I was bad-mouthing one of our competitors. Now anyone who knows me or has dealt with us knows that this is something we just don’t do. Not only that but I’d encourage you never to do so either.

As a hire company you’ll always have people asking you to compare yourself to another company and I’d strongly strongly urge you to stick to positive comments, only praising yourself and your companies strong points. If you start saying negative comments about someone else then they’ll start doing the same to you and before you know it you’re both coming across like politicians and customers won’t want to deal with either of you!

Anyway back to us – I’m very lucky in that we get on very well with most of our competitors so a quick phone call took any tension out of that situation but it’s still not pleasant to have said about you. I’ll give this anonymous person the benefit of the doubt and rather than accuse them of malicious rumour-mongering maybe they misinterpreted my comment last week of bad-payers not being allowed to attend as aimed at one of our competitors. It certainly wasn’t.

Thanks for reading, thanks for visiting us at the show and for those who don’t know my wife’s pregnant and due to pop in the next 4 weeks so I may suddenly disappear for a few weeks 🙂

Spencer

The Showmans Show 2009

Monday, October 19th, 2009

We started setting up our stand at The Showmans Show today with a few bits left for tomorrow, obviously our stand looks good(!) but the show in general looks very impressive.

I’d heard that some exhibitors weren’t going to be allowed to attend due to being bad payers but as far as I can see all the major players are there and some marquees look very very impressive. When I ran our business we always stopped at the size you could put up without machinery so to see some of these huge structures being erected is fascinating.

Anyway, enough of that, what are we going to be offering you this year?

2m x 6m Walkway – as mentioned previously we’ve started offering a modular 2m wide walkway. The number of times we’re asked for it means it should prove popular and an essential for any expanding marquee hire business.

6m wide deluxe marquees – Initially only available as a 6m x 12m marquee even though we’re displaying it at the show as 6m x 8m (we don’t have endless space, you get the idea!). These marquees are 2.3m high at the eaves making them the same height as aluminium frame marquees and feel a little more spacious walking in. They will also have 650gsm PVC roofs and 500gsm side panels but they’re not finished yet so the 6×8 has the standard 500gsm roof & 380gsm side panels. Do I think it’s worth having this extra thick roof? Honestly? not really, the big appeal to me is the added height but some people out there base everything on the thickness of material rather than other factors so we have to offer something thicker.

Coloured linings – bit of a cheat as it’s not new, we’ve always made coloured linings but having a purple interior to our pagoda sounded quite eye-catching. Hopefully in a good way..

Starlight roof linings – We’ve started supplying these always popular black twinkling roof linings. Again, something different for you to see and offer your customers next year. They come in 6m x 2m sections so you can use them across our whole range of 6m wide marquees.

9m wide aluminium frame marquees – my God some work has gone in to these. And is still going on in fact, it’s a bit of a race against time over the next 24 hours but we should have some framework and covers for you to see.  The next step for any expanding marquee hire business is to go bigger, and that means using an aluminium/steel combination to go 9m wide. We’ve developed these to be compatible with others in the market so even if you’ve already got some this could be of interest.

As always thanks for reading, I hope to see you at the show – the forecast is mixed so have those waterproofs I mentioned a while ago handy just in case. Remember – Avenue E, stand 267. Half way up on the right or just two along from the HUGE black/silver marquee.

Marquee hire businesses during the winter

Monday, October 12th, 2009

It doesn’t matter how big a company you are winter months for a marquee hire business are going to be quieter than the summer. A fool could tell you that. In fact a fool is telling you that!

Business will have gradually slowed down in October and November will be very quiet. It depends on your market whether you’re busy at Christmas (corporate events, parties and New Years Eve bashes). January and February will be quiet (though a very busy time meeting people if you specialise in weddings).  March and April will be like October, not really busy but enough work to get you by and warm up for the summer.

So during the winter quiet months you need to think what you’re going to do. Here’s some suggestions:

  • Take up skiing. Holidays during the summer are difficult, learn to enjoy winter holidays 🙂
  • Maintain your stock, clean what needs cleaning, repair any holes etc you’ve been putting off when you just didn’t have the time.
  • PAT test all your electrical equipment. Unless you fancy going on a one day course this will mean getting an electrician in.
  • Make any new stock you want for next season that it’s feasible to make. Seat pads are a good, easy one to do. Even building your own tables is possible.
  • Make any new carry boxes or containers you may want next year, make racking or whatever’s likely to be needed in your storage facilities.

While you’re coming up with ideas of what to do in preparation for next year you should also plan what stock you’re likely to need. With VAT going up in the New Year any purchases you make (even if you don’t have it delivered until next year) will be at a 2.5% discount. If you’ve got the cash flow available it’s worth getting organised quickly.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer.