Archive for June, 2009

Wedding Marquee

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Regular readers (thanks Mum) will have noticed that I described the thinking behind planning my brothers wedding marquee a few months ago but then haven’t really mentioned it since. Anyone who tried to get in touch with me over the last couple of weeks will have realised that the wedding did indeed go ahead so why the lack of descriptions/photos?

Well the answer’s a little embarrassing.

The guy who bought our old marquee hire business wanted to supply a marquee -I think he felt guilty as we sold it to him too cheaply! I on the other hand wanted to make it a show setting to display everything you can do with DIY Marquees.

In the end common sense prevailed and we accepted his generous offer. We still used our marquees for entrances, catering areas, drinks, steel band cover as well as a mountain of carpet (this will be going on eBay shortly) which kept us busy. So here are a couple of photos of my brothers wedding marquee. I realise those of you just 6 months ago I was helping set up their business are now half way through your first season so are effectively seasoned experts but try to keep your criticism of our carpet laying and marquee erecting skills to a minimum 😉

Rusells wedding marquee from the front

This shows one of our experimental 6m x 6m entrance marquees with red carpet (the green went across to the toilet unit). We’ll probably put this 6×6 on eBay this week as I don’t think we’ll make it a standard stock item -it uses 50mm dia powder coated poles and I’m not a fan of either (50mm’s too heavy and powder coating doesn’t age well).

Rusells wedding marquee from the side

This shot shows one of our marquees with the 12m wide marquee in the background.

We used my brothers wedding to experiment a little with our marquees in preparation for some improvements next year that will continue to set us apart from our (clearly inferior!) rivals. Increasing numbers of them are copying our designs and material, some even try and ‘improve’ on our designs by making them thicker -have they never run a hire business? Do they not realise we choose to make our marquees out of 38mm frame and 500gsm because it’s very strong but can be erected by only 2 people? If you’re going thicker why not use steel girders and a tiled roof? (sorry, rant over)
Anyway, make sure you hirers come along to our stand at the Showmans Show in October and we should have some interesting stuff for you to look at.
Thanks for reading


PS You can now register to leave comments if you want 🙂

So you want to start a marquee hire company?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Congratulations, a wise choice.But where to begin?

Research: You need to look into who you’re targeting, what competition you face and the quality of marquees you want to buy.

Target Market: Weddings, parties, country fairs or maybe all 3. Weddings require a better quality finish (interior linings, flooring etc) than country fairs who generally just need a cover out of the rain.

Your competition: Check online, check yellow pages, get your competitors brochures or any literature you can to see what they offer -don’t introduce yourself yet, you may want them to come and do a site visit for you (I’ll expand on this later).

Quality of marquees: The quality of marquees varies greatly, though mostly it comes down to the thickness and type of material used in the roof (walls are less important). You should also consider upgrades -if you want to expand into the wedding market you MUST be able to offer linings.

Finally you need to consider what your budget is likely to be. Put together all the costs, how much you can charge per hire (slightly less than your competitors I’d suggest) so that you’re aware of how many hires are required until you’re in profit.

We believe our DIY Marquees are the ideal entry level into marquee hire. They offer excellent returns on investment whilst being suitable for any event – unlined marquees for fairs & fetes or add a lining for parties and wedding marquees.

Thanks for reading

A message from your mum

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Apologies for the lack of writing last Monday, I’ve been away the last week and ran out of time before we left. If anyone complains about being worn out from putting up marquees try travelling all day with an 18 month old daughter!

Which actually leads me on to my advice today. Marquee erectors are renowned for living on junk food. Local kebab shops, sandwich bars and burger joints used to know our lads by name. One sandwich shop actually named our sandwich of choice the ‘cholesterol killer’ – thick white bread with bacon, chips, melted cheese & mayo. This is all well and good if you’re a teenager but when you’re the wrong side of 30 (join the club) this sort of eating can make you suffer.

If you’re coming home at night shattered just take 5 mins and run through what you’ve eaten, maybe some healthier eating could help.

Whilst I’m writing sounding like your mother I should also recommend having some sun block in your van 🙂

I’ll be back to my usual mundane stuff next week!

Thanks for reading


The marquee hire season

Monday, June 1st, 2009

If you’re starting a marquee hire business, you need to plan and have knowledge of when’s the busiest time of year.

It seems obvious – summer. end of blog.

More specifically peak season for most hire companies is from the middle of May to the middle of September. Business will build up and fade away from those points but those are the peak dates.

There are some other things to note:

  • Students don’t finish until mid-June, so that means you’ve got several weeks until you can call on your typical source of extra labour.
  • August is the month for holidays. You’ll find your bookings will tail off a bit for the month (especially weddings) so that’s the time to let your staff have holidays (and yourself if you’re lucky)

Marquees are becoming more popular during the winter as people realise heating systems have improved. Whenever you’re planning a winter event for someone their number one priority is to make sure it’s warm – plan for plenty of heaters. As word gets round that you supply wamr marquees during winter time you’ll find business picks up in your off-peak months (you may have to offer discounts or incentives to make sure).

Summary: Busiest month -June. Quietest month -February. If you’ve got to be there erecting every marquee then learn to enjoy skiing holidays more than beach holidays 🙂

Thanks for reading