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4 things to remember when renting a tent for your event

Some time ago we blogged about ways to make an outdoor event great.  Today we are going to step beyond that article to drill down a bit more specifically and talk about the tent component of your outdoor event.

Now, not everyone wants/needs/can afford a tent for their event.  This article is for those who have never done so and are considering it and want to be fully aware of everything that goes into tent rental and setup.  We hope these suggestions for things to remember will help you have a great event!

1.  Check your local ordinances!

Here in Monticello, NY, you may need a permit for your party tent, depending on your address and property size.  You can start by going to your local municipality’s website (like ours) and looking at the Frequently Asked Questions to see if that directs you to the right forms.  If those don’t help, just pick up the phone and ask your questions.  City staff are (usually) pretty friendly and ready to help, as long as you ask nicely!

You never want to get in trouble for hosting a great event.  It can definitely put a damper on things so before you get started on all the other planning start here first.

with side walls in place

2.  Shop around

Obviously we’d like you to rent from us, but we want you do so because you’ve heard good things about us and have done your homework.

Have you called local rental places and asked them about your event?  Were they knowledgeable and friendly?  How do they charge? Do they price match? (We do, plus we will beat by 10%!)

The number one thing that happens when we take calls like this is that we ask a lot of questions that our customers don’t necessarily know the answers to.  Before you call, know the answers to these bare minimum questions:

a.) What dates are you looking at? (do you have a backup date should weather intervene?)
b.) How many people do you need to be able to put inside? (this also relates to a conversation about table and chair rental)
c.) What will the outdoor conditions be like? (is the ground level/uneven; how’s the drainage)

20x30 white canopy tent

20×30 white canopy tent

3.  Consider the interior of the tent

The way that tents are designed today you can have rooms, anterooms, hallways, etc.  Since a tent isn’t a canopy, it has a center pole and framework and you can have very high ceilings, which changes the entire look and feel of the room(s).  What are you visualizing?  What do you want the rooms to look like?

Now, despite the flexibility you can have with other rooms, in the vast majority most tents, you can’t have restrooms.  You should figure out whether there are enough bathrooms on site or whether you should explore getting a restroom trailer or even portable toilets.

What do you want to do for flooring?  As we alluded to in the last point, are you dealing with uneven ground?  Usually a rental company can help lay some heavy plastic down on the ground in order to create a proper surface for a carpet or any other bottom surface you would like.

What about temperature inside?  Will you need fans?  Heaters?  How will you maintain those temperatures?

4.  Have a backup plan

All this good planning can go to waste if there is a natural disaster, bad weather, or an unexpected local event on the day of your event!  Make sure you have a backup for your event.  Even if your “backup” plan is to reschedule for another day in which all the other pieces could come together, you would still be ahead of 95% of all event planners, even the professional ones!

We hope that these things to remember assist you in planning your outdoor event, and remember we are always here to answer your questions about anything you have in mind about tent rental (and all the other components that go along with tent rental).  Just remember that before you call you should have some pretty solid ideas about your event (see above) so that when we ask clarifying questions you won’t be left thinking that you’ll have to get back to us.  Or, hey, you could ask us for ideas.  We are always happy to help!

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7 Ways to a Great Outdoor Event

Old Man Winter has finally been shown the door here in New York and so a lot of people are talking about planning outdoor events, and that’s where renting large tents come in.  It’s not hard to answer your questions about tents (call us anytime, and I’ll write about them more soon), but I thought today we’d talk about something that may help you just as much: the rest of the party under and around that tent!

Food

First you’ll have to decide whether to make the food yourself, get catering, or do a pot luck.  You get the most control in the first two options, and the least amount of control over the last one.  You can also use your food choices to tie into a theme.  Backyard cookout?  Hawaiian?  While food may not be *the* most important part of your outdoor party, it is the lynchpin that holds everything together so think about it carefully.

If you do choose the pot luck option and don’t want to tell people what to bring, at least tell them what kind of thing to bring (entree, appetizer, dessert, etc.).  There’s nothing worse than having too much of one thing and too little of another.  Unless you are a dessert hound, and then maybe you planned it that way!

Furniture

We rent tents, tables, and chairs here at the Rental Center.  You may have all the tables and chairs you need (make sure you have enough seating for everyone – this is one of the most overlooked parts of an outdoor event) and a tent is the perfect addition to that summer event. It gives a place for people to get in out of the sun, as well as provide wind protection for your food.  Call us to see if we can help with your needs.

20x30_frame3_001

Decor

As with the food and furniture above, you may be aiming towards a theme.  You may end up decorating the tent, or bringing out props, or hanging some fun lighting for a change of mood when it gets darker.  You’ll need to coordinate your decorating with the delivery of your furniture and/or tent.

Pests

This is different for every locale and there are some basic principles, like:

Cut your grass

Make sure there isn’t standing water around

Make sure your trash is removed from where your guests are

But you may choose to use a bug zapper or citronella/tiki candles as an additional deterrent.  Again, try to place these strategically so that they aren’t in the immediate path or way of your guests.

Guests

For a while it seemed evite was all the rage.  Now it’s a small player and facebook events is a popular way to invite people.  Still others resort to email or (gasp!) old-fashioned phone calling with pen in hand.

While talking to someone on the phone is probably the best barometer of whether they will be able to come, most people use electronic means to track RSVPs.  But there’s a science here also:

Of your “Yes” people expect 80% to show.

Of your “Maybes” expect 30% to show.

That should help you plan accordingly.

Weather

A friend of ours lives in Kansas City and got some unexpected May snow last week.  While such a freak occurrence won’t necessarily hamper you – but make sure to have contingencies in place should the weather change or not be exactly what you want.  Check the forecast 2 months out, a month out, two weeks out, etc.  Weather changes frequently and you should leverage our current technology to get ahead of changes.

Time

You might have a start time – although very few people usually come when the event starts.  But giving them an end time can usually give them a good gauge about when to arrive and how long to stay.  Consider not making your event open-ended, because even when you have an end time you know there will be stragglers.

Most of all, have fun as you are doing this.  A well-put on event is talked about for months, sometimes years afterwards.  And the warm memory of a great host is treasured by many.  Thanks for taking the time to read through our tips and if we can help in any way, just give us a call at 845.794.0100.