Flowers in marquees

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

6x12m Marquee for sale

In the main we’re careful and cautious people however there are occasions when we’re a bit too heavy handed stacking a box and the packaging rips. Usually accompanied by some colourful language.

So what do we do with a perfectly good marquee that has damaged packaging?

Stick it on an ebay auction starting at 99p! 6m x 12m DIY Marquee on eBay

Happy bidding ๐Ÿ™‚

Spencer

What area do you cover?

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Google alerts

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 appearsย  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

How to anchor a marquee

Modern marquees can be erected on any surface, they can even go over swimming pools with spectacular results. But marquees are essentially strong boxes and you need to anchor them down to make sure they don’t go anywhere.

Keep in mind that marquees are better at resisting strong winds with the sides on, taking the sides off effectively leaves you with a large umbrella which needs a lot more anchoring down.

On soft surfaces:

  • Use tie downs with ratchet straps attaching to the eaves of the marquees pulling down to marquee stakes.
  • If it is a sheltered location then just using the marquee stakes through/over footplates is usually sufficient

On hard standing:

  • If there is soft ground nearby or other strong anchoring points (fence posts for eg) then use longer tie downs to these points
  • If long tie downs aren’t possible then you must use heavy weights: concrete blocks, sand bags, a vehicle (if a marquee was only up for a few hours we’d use one of our vans) or water butts (assuming you have access to a hosepipe to fill them up on site)
  • Strap the heavy weights to the marquee. Avoid setting them back and using tie downs as the weights might get dragged towards the marquee slackening the tie down and allowing the marquee to move.

If in doubt put more weights/tie downs on.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee electrical leads

As readers of the marquee forum will already know there’s been some debate about the type of electrical leads we should be using in the marquee industry.

Essential Supplies kindly forward this article to me recently which discusses several marquee related issues but the main bit of interest for me was this:

“The [arctic] cable can often be seen supplying caravans or used at live musical events, it can even be purchased from DIY shops in the form of a ready made extension reel with BS 1363 13 A accessories for use at 230 V 1ร˜. As can be seen from Table 7B of BS 7540, the cable was not designed for and is not suitable for these purposes.”

My understanding of this is that despite their wide spread use arctic cables shouldn’t really be used for temporary installations in marquees. Instead we should be using HO7 RNF cable instead (much more expensive).

In my eyes that doesn’t mean we should replace all of the arctic cable we currently use but when it comes to ordering new/replacements we should then go over to HO7.ย  Like everything on here this is just my opinion and it’s a judgement call for you to make yourself, I just think it’s worth highlighting to people.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

New marquee layout planner

The eagle eyed among you will have noticed some changes to our marquee layout planner. It’s a useful tool for looking at different options for laying out marquees and I made some improvements before Christmas:

  • Different sizes: Every size marquee we offer is now on there in a nice compact layout
  • Different orientation: Each size is available in portrait or landscape. Marquees at funny angles (anything other than 90degrees) are to be avoided, they are impossible to securely weather proof
  • You can decide on different backgrounds: lawn, car park or snow. Okay, not hugely practical but a fun thing to have ๐Ÿ™‚

If you can think of other features or scenery that would be useful to have on there let me know.

If you want to use the planner on your own website (complete with your own name at the bottom) then contact me, we’re considering licensing it out.

Thanks for reading (and thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes, life is just about back to normal now)

Spencer

New Marquees for sale

I hope you had a nice Xmas & New Year, now it’s time to get back to work.

As mentioned previously this blog is mainly about offering advice any way I can but occasionally I have to mention some salesy stuff as, well, that pays the bills!

So we’ve introduced some new sizes of marquees for sale: 4x6m and 4x12m to add to our 4x8m and 4x10m marquees. The end panels are made up of two 2m wide panels which means they are completely interchangeable with the windows – nice huh? You can just ask the customer where they would like windows/walls and accommodate them.

We’ll also be introducing some other new products over the next few months all aimed at helping you and your customers.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Merry Xmas to the marquee industry

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone in the marquee industry (and anyone else who reads this).

No advice today, just a thank you to everyone who takes time out of their day to read my ramblings on here.ย  I started this blog two and a half years ago because I like helping people and I miss hiring out marquees, I am always shocked and humbled by the number of people who have actually found and read it all. Yes I can see the number of visitors in analytics but that doesn’t necessarily mean much – A friend of ours sells hardcore and receives a lot of hits from google, they don’t stay for long when they see hardcore brick rubble rather than hardcore porn though!

I realise the quality of the posts varies, I write about what I’m thinking at the time which is sometimes useless, sometimes repetitive but hopefully there’s enough useful bits to keep your interest.

So thanks for reading, thanks for visiting, and let’s all hope for a successful 2011 ๐Ÿ™‚

Spencer

SEO for your marquee hire website

You might be busy with Xmas & New Year functions but once they’re out the way it’s generally pretty quiet until the spring. The perfect time to update and improve your marquee hire website.

If you want your website to work for you and generate business rather than just be a tool for existing enquiries then it needs to appear near the top of the search rankings. I’ve discussed SEO (search engine optimisation) previously but a good SEO guide can be found here.

This guide explains what you need to do to help your search rankings. Please don’t think you’re suddenly going to appear at number 1 for ‘marquee hire’, that takes the work of a professional and a lot of time. Getting on to the first page for local searches (‘marquee hire Dorking’ for eg) should be achievable for us unprofessional types.

Remember it does take time to get up the rankings so start working on it now in preparation for the summer.

It’s also worth updating your website with new photos and scan through all of the text to make sure it’s all still relevant, for example seeing special offers that expired 6 months ago is a real turn off for viewers .

Thanks for reading.

Spencer