Archive for April, 2012

Anchoring a marquee – the ground matters

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Deciding how much anchoring a marquee needs is not an exact science, generally it comes from experience and obviously you should always be on the cautious side when deciding how many anchoring points to put on a marquee.

Our tie down kits allow for one tie down per leg but there are many other factors to consider:

  • The quality of the ground, if the ground is very soft you will need more (or larger) anchoring points than usual
  • The area immediately around the marquee, if it is surrounded by high wind-breaking obstacles then you can use less anchoring points than usual
  • The surrounding area, being in the middle of a field on top of a hill will require more anchoring points than usual
  • How the marquee is to be used, a marquee without sides (effectively a large umbrella) will require a lot more anchoring than usual
  • The weather forecast will also influence your decision

This information is supposed to help not intimidate any one starting up, for nearly every marquee job you take on our standard tie down kit will be more than enough. But for those odd occasions these are things you need to be aware of, if you turn up to a job on a beach or sand-school or if the weather is very bad consider adding additional anchoring points. If the weather is good and the marquee is secluded then you can probably allow less.

Out tie down kits use larger stakes than the industry average, they have better quality and stronger ratchet straps and also include a figure of eight strap for secure fixing to the marquee.

Thanks for reading


Planning a greeting drinks area

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Part of your job when supplying a marquee is to help plan the event as a whole. Remember it’s in your interest for the event to go well and smoothly as that is likely to generate future bookings and expand your business in the best way – by word of mouth recommendations.

Once you’ve established where the marquee is going for most events you also have to plan somewhere to have drinks on arrival. Here are some ideas/thoughts/suggestions on that:

  • Have a wet and dry plan. In the summer invariably this will be drinks outside nearby in the sunshine or inside the marquee if it’s raining
  • If you’re running a path of matting/carpet to the marquee then don’t run it straight through the drinks area. Either have it run to one side or have it running to the drinks area then a separate piece from there to the marquee. It’s a difficult one to explain but if you have a path running through the drinks area it will effectively cut the party in two – no one will stand on the path. Have the path leading up to a table serving drinks (perhaps under a Pagoda?) then another piece by the marquee
  • Whether it’s benches, some spare chairs, hay bales or a selection of outdoor furniture allow for some form of seating. The elderly and lazy will always want to sit somewhere and if you don’t supply it they will start carrying furniture out of the marquee
  • Outdoor furniture should be exactly that – suitable to be left out in the rain. People aren’t going to be worried about your furniture if the heavens open.
  • In a large garden/field always keep the outdoor furniture in one area, this keeps the party in one place and preserves the atmosphere
  • If drinks are to be supplied from a bar in the marquee try to plan it so it can be accessed from outside without guests having to go in to the main marquee. This is easily done, just have a zipped or removable wall by the bar and tell them to have one table facing outside and another facing inside (for the evening). If people have to go inside the marquee then they will sit inside the marquee and you end up with guests everywhere when the catering staff are still setting up -or worse still on seeing some guests sitting down people may think everyone needs to go through to the marquee and spoil timings for everyone!
  • If you’re concerned about where guests will go for drinks in the event of rain think about erecting a roof only marquee or use one of our gable pieces to create a porch on the front of one of your existing marquees

Thanks for reading


I want to set up a marquee hire business

Monday, April 16th, 2012

This is something we hear often and fortunately this is where we can help. Arrange a time to come in and see us and we will sit down with you and discuss any ideas you may have.

How we can help:

  • We can offer advice from our many years experience both in the marquee hire industry (10+ yrs) and from running a business (30+ yrs)
  • If we can’t help you with something we’ll know someone in the industry who can
  • We are happy to discuss the pros and cons of all products used in the industry, not just the ones we supply/manufacture
  • We are happy to offer continued advice in the future, we take the view that helping you to expand and be successful is ultimately beneficial to both parties
  • We offer sample photos to get you started
  • We offer sample terms and conditions (the ones we used for 10+ years)
  • We include a list of industry contacts, these are people that we can recommend from either our experience or others who we have helped over the years
  • We are one of the most innovative marquee suppliers around, we repeatedly come up with new products and new ways for you to gain returns on your investment. We’d love to take all of the credit for these ideas but most of them come from our large network of existing DIY Marquee users

We can’t do everything for you (we’re not going to come and put the marquees up for you for example!) but we believe we are comfortably the best place to start –contact us to arrange a meeting.

Thanks for reading and thanks for to everyone reading who’s come to see us over the years.


Negotiating, haggling and just being rude

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

There were a number of ways people would try to negotiate down the price of a marquee:

1. Negotiating for a much larger order than they will ever place

This is where a customer will ask you to quote for a lot of equipment and negotiate for a discount based on the large quantity. They then only book a small portion of it based on the same percentage discount (say an unlined marquee with flooring rather than several marquees with linings, lighting and furniture).

This can be a difficult one to handle as once you’ve got a deposit for a marquee booking in you don’t necessarily want to turn it away. As a precaution if you do decide to offer any discount on an order then always add the caveat ‘discount is based on the complete order’ to give yourself room to manoeuvre at a later stage.

2. The promise of a bigger order to follow

“If this goes well there’s a really big booking in 4 months time that we’ll need” -this one is used a LOT in the marquee hire industry. The promise of one or more bookings to come and how you should offer a discount based on all those future bookings.

This was used so often I just ignored it and treated each booking on it’s own merits. If people are going to book you again in the future then just say that you will then offer a discount off that one.

3. Staying silent

This is a standard tactic they teach on negotiating courses, when discussing figures and trying to agree on a price  they will suddenly just keep silent. This creates an awkward silence that a decent and polite person (that’s you) will fill using lower numbers than previously offered.

The solution? Also stay silent -trust me it’s fun! Yes it can feel awkward but eventually one of you will start talking again and you can carry on without such nonsense.

4. Keeping you waiting for an appointment.

This is a power thing as much as a negotiating trick and is very popular in large companies. They will make a fixed appointment but when you turn up to their reception you’re left waiting around. It’s a show of power that they’re in control and you’ve got to wait for them to be ready.

Again this is a difficult one to handle. I always used to stick it out but refuse to do any kind of discount when it came to negotiating. If someone did it these days then I would be out the door muttering and swearing under my breath after 10 minutes!

With the marquee hire industry discounts out of season are the norm, discounts during peak season are very rare.

I hope this helps, thanks for reading.