I'm Spencer King, an ex-marquee erector. This blog is designed to help those running a hire business or thinking of starting. I don't claim to know everything, I'm just trying to help people avoid the mistakes I made! Check out our event planning section for advice on planning your own marquee event. Please contact us if we can help or offer advice in any way.
For those who want to see before you buy and can’t wait for the Showmans Show in October we’ve currently got a show marquee up in a garden 10-15 mins away from our factory.
It’s a 6m x 12m DIY Marquee though as we use the same design for all it’s useful to see even if you’re buying one 6m, 8m or 14m long.
We’ve got our new chandeliers in there and the new carpet that we’re stocking (details and prices should go on the website later this week). We’re very excited about offering these new products, they seem to have gone down very well and as people will see from the show marquee give the marquee an excellent finish.
We’ve also been experimenting with lining effects, the extra coloured trim in the with curtains seems to work well:
When you think that this marquee costs around Â£1800 + VAT (excluding coloured swags) and hires out for Â£800-Â£1200 a time you really see how profitable marquee hire can be!
If you want to come and see the show marquee please phone ahead for an appointment, it’s in someone’s garden so we could do with knowing the day before to be polite.
When we first entered the marquee sales industry no one was really offering PVC marquees at reasonable prices. Your choices were either to go for cheap PE party tents or expensive PVC frame marquees. Then we came along 🙂
Since then others have now copied (with mixed results) and offer reasonably priced PVC marquees.
We offered our marquee linings with our marquees. Others have also copied (with even greater mixed results).
We lead, others follow. But then imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so we take it as a compliment.
So in our constant strive to bring you the best available options for your business we’re now offering 6m x 14m PVC Marquees. They’re made to the same high specifications as all of our DIY Marquee range but the greater length means you can fit in ten 5ft round tables – giving a seated capacity of up to 100!
We really think offering these will help the rental market and should offer you excellent returns on investment.We will of course be making linings and other accessories for them.
“Hello Jerry, remember last month when I paid back that loan, well now I need you to do a favour for me” Homer J Simpson
It’s in this spirit that we’re asking for a favour. After constant requests we’ve made some carry bags -these are mark II versions that have carry handles and top access, the mark I’s we made were basically sacks with drawstring that we weren’t willing to sell/let people use.
Anyway, we’ll be selling these bags at Â£6 + VAT each but we’d like some hire companies to provide some feedback for us so we’re willing to sell some at half price (Â£3 + VAT for those with Monday-morning rusty brains!) as long as you provide some feedback and/or photos.
As you may or may not have noticed our diy marquee website has changed slightly, we’ve added a few new features and improved on some old ones.
Marquee layout planner -this enables people to plan a marquee layout. It’s useful for people starting out to learn how much furniture they can fit into a marquee. It’s also useful for hire businesses who use it to send out with their quotes -design it, print it (right click, select ‘print’) cut out the required plan (cutting off the DIY Marquees bit at the bottom). It gives you a professional floorplan without having to buy expensive software.
New Photo gallery -shiny new gallery with plenty of new photos (many thanks to those who sent some in).
Our prices have also had to go up, anyone thinking of ordering get in quick (end of this week) and we’ll hold the old prices for you even if it’s something to be paid for and delivered early next year (although we don’t take a deposit we need the order in writing).
If anyone notices anything wrong anywhere on the website please do me a favour and tell me about it. Also if anybody thinks of new ideas or features for the planner send them over. I can’t promise anything but I’ll do my best -I can just about handle html but java & flash programming I struggle with a bit
Back to normal next week, after Xmas is normally a busy time for enquiries so i’ll write about presenting quotes etc (unless something else distracts me during the week).
Thanks for reading
Posted in marquees for sale | Comments Off on Marquee layout planner, photo gallery & place any new orders sharpish.
Thereâ€™s other gazebos, pop-ups and party tents available but none of them are really suited to the hire industry.
-Neither of us like traditional canvas marquees. They have their place for some companies but neither of us wanted to get involved with them.
-Both of us like aluminium frame structures, no argument there the 9m & 12m wide stuff is very impressive.
-But heâ€™s missing a trick by not using steep pipe marquees for his 6m wide stock.
When I ran our hire company we had 6m, 9m and 12m wide marquees. 6m wide steel pipe marquees are the most lucrative, offering the best return on investment (ROI) of any of the 3 sizes.
In fact about the only thing we had that offered a better ROI was fairy lights (buy for Â£30, hire out for Â£30).
So for all you entrepreneurs out there who donâ€™t suffer from marquee snobbery, hereâ€™s some figures:
6m x 12m DIY Marquee
6m x 12m Aluminium frame marquee
Cost new (with linings)
Expected rental (varies greatly with area)
Expected life span in the hire industry
Marquee: 2-4 years
Linings: 4-5 years
Windows 2-3 years
Linings: 4-5 years
PVC 5 years
Metalwork 20 years
I think itâ€™s reasonable to assume:
-you have Â£8500 to spend
-you rent out a marquee for on average 20 weekends a year
-your profit is 50%
Aluminium frame marquee
-Â£8,100 (6 lined marquees)
-Â£8,500 (1 lined marquee)
Return from 2 years hiring
Profit after 2 years
-Â£5,100 (replace 6 marquees)
-Â£400 (replace 4 windows)
Return from further 2 years hiring
Profit after 4 years
Â£130,800 vs Â£15,100!! I really donâ€™t see thereâ€™s any argument.
As anyone will recognise this is a simplified version of a business. You canâ€™t rely on getting 20 bookings all paying full price if youâ€™re starting up a new company, but then thatâ€™s the case no matter which style of marquee you use.
This doesnâ€™t take in to consideration extras like flooring, lighting, furniture etc which are all lucrative in their own right â€“a lot of companies refuse to do an empty marquee. Surely having 6 marquees gives you greater opportunity to make money from extras than having one marquee?
If youâ€™re starting a business or replenishing your 6m wide stock buying DIY Marquees gives you the best return on investment available.
Iâ€™ve tried to state the facts and figures in an unbiased manner, I just think thereâ€™s a few people out there who need to remember why weâ€™re in this business -putting food on your childrenâ€™s plate/putting beer in your pint glass, whateverâ€™s your motivation.
Thanks for reading, I hope Iâ€™ve given some people something to think about.
A few people thought I went a bit over the top in criticising breathable flooring a couple of weeks ago and point out that there’s a lot of people using it. And that’s true. But I hate it and find it pointless. Carpet is better for single events, matting is better as a long term investment, both will be less of a headache than breathable flooring. Hey it’s my opinion.
I don’t want this to be all about our DIY marquees (despite them obviously being the greatest thing since sliced bread), there are other, larger marquees for sale out there and they have their place in most larger marquee hire companies.
In our company we used our style of marquees for 6m (20ft) wide stuff, and aluminium modular frames for 9m and 12m wide tasks. Any job larger than 12m x 24m (four 6mx12m marquees connected) we’d use 9m or 12m modular kit. We also had some pagoda/witches hat marquees as entrance tents etc.
We needed a 9m wide marquee for this for example:
So here are some useful tips for when/if you buy some aluminium frame marquees:
Be careful when lifting. I blame my serious back injury purely on lifting 12m frames. Even now I’d happily lift our 6m marquees all day but there’s no way anyone would get me near 12m wide marquees.
Make sure the marquees are completely square, you can tell this by looking at the scalloped trim from a distance. It should be perfectly straight all the way along. If it’s not square your marquee will leak. We found this out the hard way, if the roofs aren’t on square the keader must be buckled slightly and it allows water in -this is why we designed our DIY Marquees to have roofs all in one piece.
When pulling the roofs on (using two ropes) clip a third rope on that gets pulled back over the marquee with the roof. This means the two pulling ropes can be clipped on to it and pulled back rather than throwing them again and again. Not sure I’ve explained this one too well but this saved us a LOT of time (ropes would get stuck round purlins regularly).
You shouldn’t need to use steps for these marquees: gables (pvc & uprights) can be put on and lifted with the frame, ropes should be put through the apex pulleys while down on the ground and lighting can be attached to the lining poles before they’re pulled in to the ceiling. The only reason we took steps was in case the roofs got caught when feeding over the apex. I’ve heard some people (braver or more stupid than me) actually climb up the frame when this happens! S*d that!
Be careful when strapping the roof beams on to a roof rack or trailer. It’s very easy to bend the beams doing this which weakens the structure and can result in them staying bent out of place.
There’s probably loads of other things that I’ve forgotten that we took for granted. If I remember any more I’ll post them.
I'm Spencer King, an ex-marquee erector. This blog is designed to help those running a hire business or thinking of starting. I don't claim to know everything, I'm just trying to help people avoid the mistakes I made!
Check out our event planning section for advice on planning your own marquee event.
Please contact us if we can help or offer advice in any way.
I'm human, I make mistakes. All advice offered on this site is to the best of my knowledge and written in goodwill. If you find anything factually incorrect, offensive or generally disagreeable please contact me and it will be removed immediately.
I disclaim any liability incurred in connection to information supplied in this blog.