Archive for October, 2008

Marquee Hire in a recession & photos of The Showmans Show 2008

Monday, October 27th, 2008
Showmans Show 2008 Entrance

I was too busy talking myself hoarse to see other exhibitors but the mood of hirers walking round was one of cautious optimism for the oncoming year.

I think people will always find the money for a wedding marquee but parties may suffer a bit. Expect a lot of late bookings and haggling as people don’t plan too far in advance for financial security reasons and make sure they get value when they do book. Don’t worry if you’re sat there early season and bookings are down on previous years, wait until the end of the season and it’ll probably be surpisingly healthy.
My only concern for hire companies is if you have a lot of equipment on finance. We don’t offer finance on any of our equipment as I think it’s similar to the irresponsible behaviour the bank-lenders went through to put us into this economic mess. When the return from hiring is 50% of the purchase price I just don’t see why you need to spread the costs over 12 months, delaying it using a credit card is fair enough -that way you could be in profit before you’ve even paid for the marquee!

Just my opinion, thousands of businesses are built using finance/overdrafts or loans I just don’t think they’re necessary for a marquee hire business if it’s run well.

With new equipment (new types of lighting for eg) I’d always try to get most or all of the money back on the first booking. Once you’ve got it in stock you can then discount it for future bookings. Often we were asked if we offered different styles of chandeliers, the reply would always be yes but they’re a lot more expensive -so you either get a return on your current chandelier or you get most of the capital for a new style. It’s an easy way to expand your stock and keep track of current trends without forcing people to have the same options again and again.
Thanks for reading


DIY Marquees Stand 2008 our stand (pagoda & 6mx8m)
Customising Your DIY marquee customising your marquees

Customising your marquees

Monday, October 20th, 2008

So you’ve just hired out your shiny new marquees, the customer’s really happy with them and the world’s a happy place. While you’re away though the customer spots the manufacturers website printed on the marquee and finds they could have bought them for the same price as they’ve just paid you for hiring it! The world is no longer a happy place. In fact it becomes a very awkward place that you’d be lucky to get out of with your reputation intact.

We have the solution! (warning, sales pitch coming..)

We can now personalise our DIY Marquees with your website details.

We’re launching several branding options at The Showmans Show, I’m not totally certain how much it will be yet (one of many things I need to sort out tomorrow) but we’ll try to keep it as low as possible as I really think this will help hire businesses.

I’ll also sort out prices for extra signs so that people can customise their existing stock.
We can of course still supply the marquee unbranded as we’ve always done.
Sorry for the mixed up fonts recently, depending on where I am sometimes I write in word or notepad rather than direct and it doesn’t always copy across well.

Thanks for reading, I’m genuinely grateful/shocked that people read my ramblings on here. Please pop in and say hello at The Showmans Show -stand 235 Avenue E next to Prima flooring who are giving away free burgers this year:)


Marquee Linings

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Some new satin linings have been making their way into the industry, I’m not keen and think people should be very wary before buying them. Here’s why:


We’ve been making marquee linings for 15-20 years -it’s how I originally got in to the marquee hire industry. We’re certainly nowhere near the biggest manufacturer but we do a good job and everything’s made by us in the UK. Basically, when it comes to marquee linings we like to think we know what we’re talking about.


For those who don’t know most marquee linings manufactured in the UK use an ivory polyester, although there’s seemingly 101 different shades of ivory an industry standard is slowly filtering through so they all match. Linings made in China use satin material and with the quantities made in China probably outnumber the polyester ones in the world.


But you’re not reading this for facts, you’re reading this for my opinion. And my opinion is satin marquee linings are crap. Shiny satin linings look cheap and just lack the class of their polyester counterparts.


Satin linings:

  • Are made from cheaper inferior material
  • Reflect the light (not a good thing appearance-wise)
  • Are made in the cheapest method possible, this generally means the walls are attached to the roofs and no finishing pelmet or swag is used.


If you do buy satin linings make make sure they satisfy BS 7837: 1996 for flammability, you should receive a certificate with any new marquee linings. A lot of marquees and linings made in China are intended for the US market, unfortunately their flammability test requirements are lower than British Standards.

If you take nothing else away from reading this blog take this:

Just because something states it’s flame rertardant doesn’t mean it satisfies british standards -always insist on a copy of the test report satisfying BS 7837: 1996

As always, thanks for reading


Showmans Show

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Only 16 days to the showmans show!

We can be found on stand 235, Avenue E.  When you come out of the large entrance marquee turn right then turn left alongside the arena. We’re halfway down on the right.

I’ve no idea what our stand will look like, it’s only 2 weeks away but we’re so busy with orders I don’t think we can make anything special or unique. It”ll probably just be a 6×8 and one of our new pagodas with us standing in the middle eating sweets.
If you’re serious about setting up your own marquee business then come round to our stand first and I’ll point out each stand that’s a must see. I try to be honest and as unbiased as possible.

As I’ve said before the showmans show is a really good show. As someone who has a fair bit of experience (we used to exhibit at 30-40 shows a year throughout my childhood) I appreciate how well organised it is for both exhibitors and visitors. For us it’s just 2 days of sitting round chatting to people 🙂
Thanks for reading, hope to see you at the show.