Renting a tent for your event is a fine idea, but it can bring a few challenges. Much depends on the expertise and the experience of your tent supplier, as well as the quality of the material. Pose these 10 questions to your tent supplier.
A thorough preparation and an open communication. With these two components, you turn your tent project into a success. Asking the right questions is essential. Run these questions by the tent supplier and you will immediately know whether you are dealing with a reliable partner or not.
1. How big should your tent be?
The size of your tent depends on many factors. How many people would you like to welcome? What is your goal? Dining at a table, a walking diner or reception party, standing room for a concert? Should there be space for a dance floor, a bar? Consult in detail with your supplier, so that you can order a tent of the right size. This is crucial to your budget and for other provisions, such as heating or air condition, etc.
2. How accessible is the terrain where you pitch the tent?
Is it close to a road? Or is it remote in deserted fields? Is the terrain easily accessible for trucks loaded with materials? Is there still a lot of space around the tent or is it wedged between bushes or other provisions? Is there electricity? All these elements affect the construction and deconstruction of your tent. You might want to invite the tent supplier on your terrain, so that he can make an on-site estimate of what might be potential pitfalls or where he should take extra measures.
3. How accessible is the tent itself?
Are you expecting people in wheelchairs on your event? Then make sure that you have the infrastructure to offer these people easy access. A navigable path to the entrance of your tent, if possible a platform along which the wheelchair can ride into the tent, etc.
4. Is your tent supplier experienced?
How long has he been active? What kind of events does he usually supply? Which credentials can he give you? Someone with 20 years of experienced has seen quite a bit and can probably handle critical situations.
5. How old is the material he uses?
How old is the tent? How often is it used? Are there any parts which have been replaced? Is the tent thoroughly cleaned after every use? Check the quality of the material, such as the tent, the poles, the ropes, etc.
6. What about permits and certificates?
Do you need a permit to place your tent? Should you be able to present certificates if there is an inspection? Take for instance fire safety. Who takes care of this? Is it you or the tent supplier? You should make clear agreements about this beforehand.
7. Is your supplier properly insured?
Against what risks is the tent supplier insured and up to what amount? Are the employees insured during construction and deconstruction? And what about damage to the material? During the construction or deconstruction, or during the event? Should an organiser take out additional insurances? Here too, good agreements make good friends. And this will avoid painful costs incurred in case of accidents.
8. How is the tent secured?
In the ground or with weights? Is this in accordance with the regulations of the tent manufacturer, or does the lessor deviate from this for some reason? What are the risks that come with that deviation?
9. How much electricity is required for the tent?
Temperatures in a tent differ from those outside. Depending on the season, you will have to provide air conditioning or heating. This takes up quite a bit of energy. How much power do you need? Run this by your supplier and make clear agreements on who will supply the power generators.
10. Is there an emergency plan?
What to do in the event of emergency? What wind speeds can the tent handle? What if something goes wrong? How do you evacuate the tent in a short period of time? In short: does your lessor have an emergency plan and how is it executed? Discuss this thoroughly. Hopefully you won't need it, but better safe than sorry! And it can hugely help you out if push comes to shove.
11. How is the tent delivered?
Are you leasing a bare tent or would you also like a floor to be laid out? Perhaps you don't like to look at tent canvas and would rather see a stylish finish on the inside? Nearly everything is possible, but you shouldn't forget to ask.
My sister is having an outdoor wedding, and she asked me to look into tent rentals. You mentioned that a good question to ask your tent supplier is to ask how accessible the tent itself is. We will have some attendees in wheelchairs, so we'll have to make sure they can access the tent like everyone else, and we'll keep this in mind when choosing a tent rental company.