Hiring a Marquee can initially feel overwhelming, who knew there’s so much to a tent? But when you start researching, the more questions you answer, the more questions pop up! To make life a bit easier for you, we’ve tried our very best to compile our 20 years of experience into one concise educational post.
Hopefully by the end of reading this, you’ll have a clear idea of what information you need to hand before reaching out. Consider this a checklist of considerations to give you the confidence when reaching out to hire a marquee that you’re armed with all the information you need.
So no matter whether it’s a corporate event, music festival, wedding or anything other event you may need a marquee for, this guide will help build a clearer picture for you.
The Right Type of Tent for Your Event
Understanding what’s actually appropriate for your event is the first thing we need to pin down. Before you go any further, it’s best to clarify if a Marquee is actually the right tent for you. For example, if your event is really small a Gazebo may be better, so here’s some clarification between the two.
Marquees and Gazebos can make sure you get the right type of ‘tent’ to use a general term for your event. You could get quite the surprise using a Gazebo if you have a big event planned!
How & When To Use a Gazebo
One of the most distinct differences between Gazebos and Marquees is their build quality and capacity. You will find (in general) that a Gazebo lends itself perfectly for small gatherings, your typical garden birthday party or summer BBQ perhaps. If you’re having a few people around and need something you can build yourself quickly, that only needs to hold 10-20 people (roughly) then a Gazebo should do the job.
How & When To Use a Standard Marquee
A Marquee is a total contradiction to the humble Gazebo. If you’re going for an event with the wow factor, or have something big in mind, a Marquee is your tent of choice. Consider these more of a temporary structure than your average tent, with solid frames and thick canvas walls and roofs Marquees are highly durable, solid in structure and come in a huge range of sizes whether you’re hosting 30 guests or 200!
The diversity of events we’ve had the pleasure of providing Marquees for is vast, from themed birthday parties to hundreds of weddings, big corporate events to music festivals. You can truly make a Marquee your own. They do require experienced assembly (which is where we come in) but open up a world of options for your event.
How & When To Use a Storage Marquee
Storage Marquees serve a more unique and specific purpose. These really are temporary structures. They are ideally suited to be used as temporary warehouses for businesses that need extra space quickly without committing to expanding to a full warehouse, they give businesses the flexibility to scale their space for short periods of time to factor periods of high sales demand or temporary storage requirements. These are purely practical and functional marquees.
As you’re reading on we’re going to assume a marquee is right for you. So next up, we need to pin down what size tent you’ll need and if you need more than one, this is one of the most crucial questions to get right.
Maximum Potential Guest Size
The most obvious of course is how many guests or visitors you expect to have at your event. This can be very fluid, especially for events, for parties and weddings you will have a clear idea of your guest size. It’s always best to add an additional 10% buffer on top of this to give you some flexibility and to factor in unknown variables as well.
For events, this is dependent on the purpose of the Marquee within it, you will likely have dynamic footfall flowing in and out so consider what you want the maximum occupancy to be at any given time or what your anticipated total event threshold is.
Tables & Furniture
Arguably the second biggest factor, your furniture may be needed for guests to dine or for more display purposes and a multitude of other factors.
It’s worth having a plan of a rough layout in mind that you’ll need for either a square or rectangular based Marquee depending which way you want it. Account for plenty of passing space around each piece of furniture. You can see the selection of furniture we have available here and we can work with you to find the perfect layout and combination that accommodates both the size and guests required.
With the furniture here are some useful areas to consider:
Do you want round, rectangular or picnic style tables?
What type of chair would you like to use with these?
How many people do you need to comfortably accommodate for?
Are there any break out areas needed to relax with sofas etc…?
Are there any ‘nice to have’ touches like balustrade or poseur tables?
Do you need to factor in space for a dancefloor or stage?
Generators & Power
A lot of events need power as a necessity, we have generators available to supply but they’re a consideration to factor in as you will need space for them. This isn’t necessarily within the Marquee that the space is needed, it’s a factor to consider surrounding the Marquee that you’ll need some extra space to place one so you don’t go powerless!
Factors To Consider For Corporate Events, Shows & Festivals
Marquees are ideal for Corporate Events if you need a stand for an event to showcase your business these can be some crucial factors to bear in mind:
- How much space do you need to showcase your stand with it’s promotional material?
- Do you need multiple tents for a multitude of different purposes?
- Are there any space restrictions with where the Marquee needs to go?
- Does the event have a maximum occupancy for safety?
- Is there a specific stage size needed for the Marquee to cover?
- How many entrances and exits do you need?
- Does the Marquee need to accommodate any props or sets?
- How much space is needed for any professional equipment, lighting, stage set up?
Factors To Consider For Temporary Storage & Warehousing
Our robust storage Marquees can give you that additional storage or workspace required urgently, these can be essential to factor in:
- Will racking be needed to go within the tent to a certain height?
- Are specific workspace areas required?
- Is there a specific volume of stock required to go in?
- Do you need multiple roller shutter doors in place?
- Are there restrictions on the premises as to the size of the structure?
- Does the structure need to be placed a certain distance away from other buildings?
- Is there a capacity for how many people will be working in the space?
- Is certain clearance needed for vehicles to be used within it or stored?
Factors To Consider For Weddings, Birthdays & Parties
Marquees are well known for their use with wedding and parties, have you also factored these elements in:
- Space needed for any decorative furnishings?
- Are there any sweet carts going in?
- Is space needed for a dancefloor?
- Space for a DJ or musician?
- Space for any props if the event is themed?
- Space for a head table at the wedding?
The bigger the Marquee the more it will cost (in general that is), it can be a forgotten variable at the discussion phase until the quote comes through, it’s so crucial to factor in from the outset though.
Sometimes it can be that you need to reconsider what capacity or guest size is actually realistic proportionate to the size of the Marquee you need, we’ll always collaborate with you to strike the balance between these to get the most value in space for your event whilst ensuring you have the right Marquee to blow everyone away.
Getting An Accurate Price
Because there are a lot of options when hiring marquees, to get an accurate idea of cost it can be hugely beneficial to get a clear idea of what your requirements are before you enquire. It’s worth figuring out the following first:
- What the maximum available area is
- What type of surface it’s going to be placed on e.g concrete, soil
- What size you need for its purpose - guest size, business use, event
- If you’ll need it flooring & carpeting
- If you need furniture including
- Do you need the marquee lining
- Will it need lighting & electrics
- Is heating going to be needed
- When it needs to be put up and taken down
- If you have a specific theme in mind for the marquee
- The location it needs to be erected
- If you’ll need on-site toilets for the event
How Marquee Size Affects Cost & What Are Available
The size of a marquee is one of if not the most significant factor impacting how much you spend.
From small gardens to festivals, weddings to corporate events we have a humongous range from small to massive.
To give you a better idea of some sizes we have available we have listed some popular selections below:
15m wide x 10m - 50m length
10m wide x 10m - 30m length
9m wide x 9m - 27m length
3m wide x 3m - 18m length
The larger the marquee the more expensive they are to hire (in general), when it comes to thinking of your size requirements for a marquee consider:
- If you have any specific height requirements
- Your guest size / capacity in relation to the size you want or are able to have
- What the maximum size you can have is and also what the minimum would be
- How far ahead your booking so we can ensure we have availability - the bigger the marquee the more relevant this is
Surfaces & Flooring
No matter what surface your marquee is going on, flooring is an essential consideration. Thankfully, we offer a full wooden flooring and carpeting option to hire with your marquee. This is very event dependent, most weddings use flooring and carpeting, however; practical events especially on concrete can get away without.
Flooring is particularly useful if your marquee is going onto a soft surface like grass, it helps ensure the rain doesn’t wash out your event in a soggy mix of mud and gives you peace of mind. There are some lovely examples of carpeted marquee here.
Events come in all shapes, sizes and as we know all too well, locations. A big part of this comes from what surfaces they can be placed on, and most of all how the tents are secured safely to each surface. The type of surface we assemble your Marquee on is crucial for deciding whether you may need flooring, carpeting and more. Here’s a breakdown of the most common suitable surfaces you can put a marquee on and our recommendations for each one.
The first, most obvious and common of all surfaces we put marquees on is grass. From huge open parks, to hillsides and beautiful gardens we have assembled marquees on a near endless mix of different grassed areas. We use floor plates with secure stakes on each one that pin the marquee down to distribute the weight, preventing the marquee from digging into the ground whilst keeping it firmly grounded at the same time. If your event is on grass, a marquee will be fine on it, there are some considerations to account for.
The key one of course is how wet the ground is. Given the British weather you may want to consider flooring your marquee if it’s on grass, depending on the nature of your event. We can supply flooring and carpeting as a package if you feel the rain could make or break your event. The only exception to this is if the grass is extremely waterlogged from excessive rain prior to assembling.
Concrete & Gravel
Concrete as a surface for a marquee is also perfectly fine to be used. The main consideration for concrete surfaces is how to secure the marquee down. We use large weights to rest over each footplate of the marquee to keep it firmly fixed down without having to damage any of the tarmac to do it.
There is less of a requirement with concrete surfaced marquees to use flooring like there is with grass, and your event is less susceptible to be impacted by the rain but flooring can still give you a more finessed look, especially when it’s carpeted as well.
For live events and shows it can be common to use a marquee positioned on an elevated stage. This can keep any equipment on the stage dry and safe. Because of the elevated area we position the marquee on we can use weights in some circumstances but we can also use tension straps attached to the marquee that are then staked into the ground to keep it secured down.
The main consideration with a stage assembly is ensuring that clear communication between the stage size and us is made so that the perfect size tent for the stage can be assembled safely with a buffer in there.
Heating & Lighting
Setting the right mood in a marquee can make all the difference. From a multi-coloured kaleidoscope of lights for parties, to low key ambient lights or chandeliers to create a tranquil, welcoming environment, they’re a key consideration to get right.
We have a huge selection of lights from disco style, fairy lights, outdoor, uplighters, chandeliers and more, so it’s worth having a good think about what tone and feel you want your lights to bring to the event (if you feel you need them). As we touched on earlier, we can supply all the power supply you need with generators if needed and can set up all the lighting so it’s ready to flick on and go.
Marquees can give you a truly magical winter event, if you want to create a memorable and unique occasion this will certainly have the right impact. The question is, can a marquee keep all your guests warm?
The answer is of course, yes!
How Is A Marquee Kept Warm?
At All Occasions, we have marquees from the compact to the huge that can host 100’s of guests, but body heat alone isn’t enough to keep these tents warm. Fortunately, we’re fully equipped with powerful heaters that we discreetly and strategically position in key points around the marquee that distribute heat evenly. We can keep you and all your guests comfortable enough to keep the party going even on the coldest of nights.
Over the 20-years we have been helping make events memorable we’ve learned a thing or two, come rain or shine we’ve been able to make sure your guests feel comfortable and we have everything you need to ensure it, hopefully this guide has given you some detailed insight into what goes beyond just the marquee itself. If you’re ready to chat further about your event, then you can get in touch here or call us on 01482 348700.