Archive for the ‘showmans show’ Category

The Showmans Show 2013 and new ranges

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

The showmans show is next month (23rd & 24th October) at The Newbury Showground. We are on stand E277 -as usual come out of the main entrance marquee, turn right then left and we’re on the right.

I’m not sure exactly what we’re going to be exhibiting at the show, we’re very busy but in the midst of chaos from an extension being built to prepare for new product lines we’ll be stocking next year (more on that later in the year). We should have something new and interesting to look at so do pop in for a chocolate or two.

Panoramic windows are now back in stock. We’ve also introduced a 6x24m marquee for sale. It’s very big (and very heavy!) but it adds to our commercial and deluxe ranges.

Over the next week we’re also introducing a commercial pop-up range. We’re not going to stock lots of ranges of pop-ups we’re just aiming to offer the best and toughest one. It has 58mm aluminium framework and a very durable 500d coated roof and sides so should prove very effective for hire companies or people who want something stronger than the garden centre gazebos.

Thanks for reading


The Showmans’s Show 2013

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

The Showmans Show is again at Newbury and will be held on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th October.

For those of you unaware The Showman’s Show is the one show aimed at marquee hire companies. Any serious supplier to the marquee hire trade will have a stand there and it’s well worth a visit, you can meet specialist companies in marquee hire insurance, furniture, heating, flooring, staging and just about anything else you can fit in a marquee.

New products are usually launched at The Showman’s Show so it’s worth keeping an eye on even if it’s not something you need immediately just knowing what’s going on in the industry can help greatly.

We’ll have our usual stand on Avenue E so do pop in and have a chocolate. (our stand from last year circled below)

Thanks for reading


2012 Showmans Show – review

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Thank you to everyone who visited us at the show. I think this is the bit where I’m supposed to say the show was FANTASTIC and as usual our stand was THE BUSIEST AROUND and how it shows we’re the BEST marquee supplier in the world. Ever. So there.


Honestly? The show was very quiet this year. I’m not sure if it was the bad weather forecast that never really materialised or a sign that the industry is only looking to consolidate. Where in previous years there were crowds in each aisle this year it was only drifts of people, the site on both days seemed a bit quieter than usual. There were also a few gaps in the exhibitor stands.

Fortunately we only really use the show as a meet and greet for existing and future customers not as a sales stand so we just spend 2 days talking about marquees ๐Ÿ™‚

I didn’t get much chance for a walk around but these ex-London Games plastic tables from Best Contract Furniture seem very cheap and worth a look.

Thanks for reading, it’ll be back to (hopefully) useful advice next week. Maybe something on different ways to weather a marquee to a house as that’s becoming increasingly relevant this time of year.

Thanks for reading


The Showmans Show 2012

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The Showmans Show is on 17th & 18th October this year at the Newbury Showground. I may have mentioned it once or twice, I certainly will have mentioned it if you’ve been in to see us talking about setting up a marquee hire business. It is the one show dedicated to marquee hire companies and a must-visit for anyone serious about marquees. Essentially anyone who is serious about supplying the marquee hire industry will have a stand there.

Please come and see us on stand 267 Avenue E.

For those geographically minded you come out of the main entrance marquee/hall and turn right. Take first left up avenue E and we’re the 4th stand along on the right hand side.

An alternative view is look for the fluorescent vehicles and pretty girls handing out leaflets on security services and our marquees are next door!

The site is quite large as shown by the photo below (our stand is circled):

I’d recommend visiting the Arcotherm & Climate Hire stand (nearly opposite us on avenue E) as they are introducing a new side entry floor diffuser, this will be far more practical in a marquee environment than the standard vents for that style of heater.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at the show.

Getting stuck on site

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

The most common cause of customers falling out with a supplier is getting stuck on site and ruining their grass. I’m hearing lots of stories along these lines with the recent poor weather so it’s not just restricted to Winter.

This really comes down to planning beforehand – driving on wet grass is always going to be risky with vehicles (vans & lorries) that are not renowned for their off-roading abilities.

  • Don’t take any chances, if it looks like it might be muddy then walk it however far it needs walking. Paying everyone an extra hour or two will be cheaper than having a lawn professionally repaired.
  • If you are going to drive on the grass then take the (driest) widest route possible, obviously avoid driving in front of the marquee.
  • Customers will be far more prescious about their grass before an event than after so it might be you can drive to the marquee on the take down – just keep in mind getting on site with an empty van is a different ball game to getting one off-site with a marquee loaded
  • Make sure any subcontractors (furniture, toilet or generator suppliers) are pre-warned before they get on site. Spending an extra day carrying all of a marquee across a lawn only to have the furniture suppliers tear up the lawn was a particular highlight of my marquee hiring career!
  • Don’t assume the ground will be in the same condition when you price a job to when it comes to erecting the marquee months later.

Thanks for reading – first mention of The Showmans Show on 17th & 18th October, put it in your diary.


Seasonal weather

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Working outdoors as a marquee erector you become a little more conscious of the weather than most. As mentioned previously when helping to plan weddings I found it useful to take along a list of that years sunset times to help plan lighting etc.

In my experience (obviously this is purely my experience with no scientific facts to back it up) the year generally takes the following pattern:

  • ย Jan & Feb – obviously cold. Allow for maximum heating at all times
  • March – can be surprising and we often have 1 or 2 very good weeks (this year was a perfect example) so heating and wet weather planning is tricky
  • April – showery albeit not usually as bad as this year
  • May – events in early May are pushing their luck a bit, generally the weather is only reliably good by the end of the month (yes I’m aware this could come back to haunt me in 3 weeks time but I’m talking in general terms!)
  • June & July – reliably (as far as British summers allow) good, heating unlikely
  • August – can get surprisingly chilly later in the evening and we would often have heaters out just to take the chill off any non-dancing area
  • September – we often get 1 or 2 weeks of really good weather mid-September but by the end the weather has usually dropped
  • October & November – cold but not reliably so. The last 3 years at The Showmans Show (mid October) have been T-shirt wearing sunshine, then crowded round heaters and last year was rain. You can get anything.
  • December – reliably cold

Why is this useful? Well if you’re doing a business plan and wondering about buying heaters you might consider getting enough heating for March/November weather but hiring in the extra heaters you need for winter. Why do it like this? Well this way your heaters could get used 6-8 months of the year but the extra ones needed to supplement these for winter would only be needed for 2-3 months (also the quietest marquee hire months). Hopefully I’ve explained what I mean but if not please let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading


Show customers exactly what they might be hiring

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Experienced marquee erectors will be able to look at a garden and just see exactly how a marquee will fit and exactly what it would look like. Always keep in mind that your customers won’t be able to do this, giving them a few details and asking them to use their imagination is going to be a tough sell.

So what can you do?

Floorplans: supplying one or two suggested floorplans showing how everything is going to fit in to their marquee is going to be a big help. It will show that the numbers you’re talking about will fit in to their garden-often this comes as a surprise to someone who’s just marked the space out on their lawn. You can use our handy marquee planner for this – print it and cut it out or take a screenshot, crop it down and add it straight in to quotes etc.

Photographs: The best thing you can possibly do is have a photograph of exactly what your customer wants. This isn’t easy, especially when you’re starting out but if you have photographs in your portfolio of all the different jobs you’ve done then eventually you’ll have some clear favourites – expand on these ones in particular. You always want to have choice available but the best scenario for both you and your customer is for them to say ‘I want exactly that’. For us the most popular option was honeybeige carpet and ivory swags for weddings and blackout linings with black & white dance floors for 40th/18th birthday parties.

Look at a website like rightmove – when someone goes to view a house chances are they’ve seen pictures of it, they’ve seen a floorplan and they’re just going to see how it all comes together in a package. Make life easier for you and your customers by offering similar information.


Many thanks to JF Marquees and Premier Party Tent (again) for helping us dismantle our Showmans Show marquees in record time (an hour & 30 minutes). The show itself seemed successful with most hirers having a positive outlook for 2012. Our new products on display seemed to go down very well including our new solid frame doors (only ยฃ400) and our simple gable pieces that give so much more flexibility to hirers. Thank you for everyone who came in to see us and especially those who mentioned they read this blog, I’ll try my best to keep helping as much as I can.

Thanks for reading


Non-damaging way of getting a fixing on a lining

Monday, October 10th, 2011

There won’t be an entry next week as we’ll be down setting up our stand at The Showmans Show, yes I’ve mentioned it many times but this blog is aimed at marquee hire companies and it is simply the one show you must visit for the industry. Please stop by and say hello ๐Ÿ™‚

I posted this last year but it has proved very popular and I keep referring people to it so here it is again:

Nearly every time you use a marquee lining it will be to go in your standard marquee stock and (if it’s one of ours!) will fit perfectly. Easy.

But sometimes you have to fit a lining somewhere unusual. It might be lining a customers porch, it might be lining an unusual walkway or just making good to a house. At some time in your marquee hiring life you will need to do this.

So how do you get attachments in a lining without damaging it? Follow these instructions:

Step 1: Find a decent sized pebble (about 4cm diameter ideally) and place it on the good face of the lining (ie the side you don’t need to get a fixing)

Step 2: Scrunch the material round the pebble at the back of the lining

Step3: Tie a cable tie tightly around the scrunched material and also include an extra cable tie (this gives you your fixing).

And there you have it, a fixing in the middle of a lining that looks okay from the front (you can’t see the pebble) and gives you a fixing at the back without damaging the lining.

Thanks for reading


new products at Showmans Show 2011

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Following on from the previous post on The Showmans Show here are some more details:

We are on Avenue E, stand number 258. Come out of the exhibition hall, turn right then left and we’re a short way down on the right hand side.

All of the suppliers you would expect to find will be there including heater suppliers, furniture suppliers, insurance companies etc. One you may not have considered is Welwyn Tool Company (stand 89 in the hall). They offer a variety of products for welding PVC but having a small heat gun for making repairs on site proved invaluable to us as a hire company.

We’ll be showing a couple of new additions to our stock including gable pieces for creating porch areas and solid frame doors. No photos yet as we’ve been testing them all summer but I’ll put some up here after the show.

Thanks for reading, look forward to seeing you at the show ๐Ÿ™‚


The Showmans Show 2011

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Most readers will have heard of the Showmans Show, some will not – it’s the one show of the year to visit as a marquee hire company.ย  Every supplier you could possibly need will have a stand there including the wonderful DIY Marquees ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re always in the same spot every year:

Register for free at The Showmans Directory. It’s on the 19th & 20th October at The Newbury Showground.

Everyone on our stand has had first hand experience of running a marquee hire company so we’d love to sit down with you and talk through any plans or ideas you may have.

As always I’m working on some new products that we hope to show there.

Thanks for reading