USING TENTS AT YOUR EVENT-By Asif ZaidiTents can be used creatively at your event, either as the main venue or as additional space. A tent can also provide shelter and shade in case of inclement weather. You need to think what type of tent is best suited for your needs. Contact your local tent rental companies and take a look at the types of tents they supply. Make it clear to them that the tents they install must not have scratches, stains, or cracks. Similarly, a tent with a dirty sidewall is an eyesore. You don’t want your supplier to be cleaning the tents as the guests start coming in. You can choose from different types of sidewalls. If you expect warm weather with a refreshing breeze, you can get sidewalls that can roll up to allow in fresh air while a lining of mesh stays in place to keep insects out.

Site Inspection: It is important that you get your tent supplier to do a site inspection at your venue to be able to determine what type and size of tent will best suit your event. Terrain will need to be examined and accurate measurements will need to be taken. It is important that the tent design works with your location. They will also need to see if the tent can be set in the ground or if it will require anchoring equipment. If there exist permanent trees in the area where you are setting up the tent, then the ceiling of the tent must be higher than the trees. Also determine how strong is the impact of wind in the area where the tent is being set up. Is it in a wind tunnel or at a ridge crest? If the site is uneven then a floor is a must. Floor is also a must on a damp ground surface.

Permission from the relevant authority: Think of the necessary permits and permissions you will need in the place where you are setting up the tent. You may need permission from the owner of the land or may need a tent permit or a hydro permit. If warranted, see how your tent needs to be set up to comply with the alcohol serving regulations of your area.

Needs & requirements: You also need to ascertain the caterers’ needs. If they are cooking inside the tent, it will require sufficient aeration. You will require to install an appropriate exhaust system. You will also need to provide for the illumination and electrical requirements of your caterers. How will you cater to your electricity and water requirements? Do you have access to connections or will need to rely on makeshift arrangements? These are important things and must be spelt out in your contracts if you are relying on any of your suppliers for one or more of these.

Budgeting for all costs: Make a detailed budget that also accounts for all extra costs. For example, the site may involve rental charges or you may need to set up a separate tent for cooking. Do you need to arrange for portable restrooms or need to rent bathroom trailers? Also build into your budget the extra cost for security to guard the tent overnight before and after your event. Ascertain whether or not clean-up charges need to be provided for separately. Also determine if you need to make heating arrangements or set up air conditioning.

Always try and get your supplier to set up your tent a day before your event.


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Asif Zaidi

The author of the book “The Stuff of Life,” Asif is a proven business leader, a business leadership advisor, and an entrepreneur. He works with top executives, teams, and organizations as a strategy leader and has deep expertise in facilitating strategic thinking in organizations. He is a strategic thinker with sharp business acumen and global experience. A corporate and investment banker, he was a Managing Director and fulfilled several country and regional CEO assignments with Citibank in various regions. He has also led and served on various boards and business, community, and educational forums. Asif is a powerful communicator, a key-note speaker, and has taught at an elite Business School. He also has a widely read personal blog

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