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Hiring a marquee is a big deal, getting it right can be a critical factor in the success of your event whereas some simple mistakes can spell disaster. Whether you are planning for your upcoming wedding, requiring a spacious area to host the annual business conference, or if you are arranging your grandparents’ 60th anniversary, when it comes to hiring a marquee for your event keep these 6 points in mind:
1. Know how many people you are hosting
The first thing you need do is know the head count, or at least a close estimate. Hosting an event where people are crammed in shoulder to shoulder is no fun for anyone. Alternatively, having an empty marquee the size of a football field can make your party feel like a ghost town. So trust me, to know the exact number of people that will be attending will allow you work with the hire company to find the perfect sized marquee for your occasion.
Joseph Goode, co-founder of Joseph Benjamin Marquees, who provide bespoke event and wedding marquees in Berkshire and around the UK, said “This is the first question we ask our clients. Knowing the number of guests is where the hiring process begins.”
2. Don’t leave booking to the last minute
I know this is a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people forget or assume they can just ‘throw something together’ right at the last minute. WRONG. If you are hosting an event in a busy season, I strongly advise not to wait around too long before booking. Summer is the busiest time of the year to hire a marquee, *SPOILER ALERT*, and unless you enjoy the feeling of being stressed out, make booking the hiring company a top priority. Leaving it too late may mean having to put up with a marquee that is the wrong size or not suitable for the occasion.
Also, when you receive a quote and are told there are marquees available for your particular dates, don’t assume those dates will always be available. Most hiring companies ask for a deposit in order to lock in your preferred dates therefore the sooner you can book the better.
3. What extras do you require?
By the time you have ticked off the previous two tips, you should be crystal clear on what type of function you are hiring for. What you need your marquee for will have a lot to do with which one you choose. Marquees can be hired independently or you can usually buy a package from a marquee company that includes the food, furniture, etc. Businesses who hire out marquees are experts in what they do but they still can’t read your mind when it comes to envisioning the occasion. A wedding with 300 guests? You will need a killer dance floor with plenty of space for all of the over-served groomsmen to boogy the night away. You will also need a large supply of tables and chairs for guests while they stuff their faces with wedding cake. Giving the hire company a clear idea of what you want will allow them to assist with helping you make the right decision.
4. Have a budget in mind
When it comes to discussing what your requirements are with a marquee company, you first need to know what your budget is. This is key and I cannot emphasize enough on how important this is. To have a budget in mind allows you to narrow in on your options and keep you from wasting your time with the hiring companies that fall outside your price range. However, making your decision based solely on price alone can also leave you with a result that isn’t entirely perfect. It is best to go with an option you can afford, but also won’t look too cheap, and let’s be honest with ourselves, no one wants that.
5. Check with your venue’s requirements
Before you get your heart set on the most amazing of amazing marquees, first check with your venue’s requirements. Having a clear understanding of the venue’s position on marquees will put you in a better place to choose the perfect marquee. Consider factors such as same day removal or only allowing marquees in certain locations that may play a part in hiring a marquee. Its best to know these details before you begin your marquee search so you won’t end up broken hearted.
6. Make sure your supplier is insured
Overlooking this can cause even the happiest of events to turn sour in the blink of an eye. Cowboy operators and fly-by-night businesses have the potential to put you in a sticky situation if they don’t provide insurance. Not having public liability insurance could put you at risk if people are injured. If damages are done to the property due to the marquees, you may be the one liable for repairs.