10 Biggest Tent Rental Mistakes

1. Last minute bookings. The costs for last minute booking of tents for weddings or corporate event, especially when you need large tents with lots of extras can result in costs that are double or triple the normal rates. Most wedding and corporate events requiring tents are booked a year ahead if you want to have the event on a prime weekend in the summer in Muskoka. For those willing to book a time outside the peak season, then booking 90 days ahead if often enough time. For those who need a tent at short notice … you will need a big cheque book as well as a lot of luck getting most rental companies to help out at short notice. Muskoka Event Services is the only company in Muskoka that offers a short notice and weekend service using their Tent Ox equipment to do a rapid setup or takedown of tents.

2. Quotes without a site inspection. Booking a tent from companies that don’t require a site inspection first, is asking for trouble. While the quote may look good, the event has a high chance of being a disaster because there are 101 little things to tent set up that need to be addressed ahead of time, especially for larger tents and for special events such as weddings and corporate events.

At Muskoka Event Services we find that 80% of site inspections raise issues we need to resolve before the set up crew arrives.

3. Everybody is in charge. When the bride’s ideas for a wedding tent are different from the groom’s ideas and then when the mothers in law get involved not to mention the event planners and caterers and all have the ok to give instructions to the tent set up crew then each last-minute change will be added to your bill!

Muskoka Event Services works with one point of contact for decisions to save you those extra charges.

4. Not enough space. Most clients do not know how big a tent they need and if their property is suitable for a tent setup. Some events may need separate tents for the band, kitchen etc. While there are online calculators for working out the size of tent you need depending on the number of guests, these calculators do not take into account issues such as overhead powerlines, protection from wind, uneven ground, underground sprinklers, soggy ground, distance from power sources and access to the tent location for the set-up crew. For some cottages, the best way to bring in the tent and equipment is with a barge.

Muskoka Event Services has the experienced professionals to help you address these issues during a site inspection.

5. Picking the wrong kind of tent. These mistakes include the tent material, type and shape. In terms of material many people rent a tent without making sure the material is flame resistant. When it comes to types of tents there are trade offs in picking tents. Tents come in three main styles: pole, tension, and frame. Pole tents, the most common and least expensive choice, are lightweight, portable, and easy to install. These elegant tents have small peaks in the center and a downward sloping appearance, due to the high poles in the center of the tent and shorter poles on the outside perimeter. Since the poles must stake into the ground, this type of tent can't be used on concrete or gravel. Tension tents are characterized by large poles in the center, which make high peaks and a very sloped roof. The sculpted shape of the tent comes from the tension placed on the tie-downs and fabric. Since tension tents often have high ceilings, the interior feels spacious and open. This type of tent stays strong against wind and holds up in inclement weather. Frame tents rely on a metal frame, instead of interior poles, to hold up the canopy. They're ideal for smaller spaces, since they don't need extra clearance for ropes and stakes, and can be erected on most surfaces. However, frame tents are heavier, more expensive, and harder to install than the alternatives.

Finally in terms of shape, you will want to choose the “squarest” tent your site will allow. A squarer tent will have a taller ceiling, which in addition to looking better will also keep the tent cooler. Also, it’s much easier to make sure that all of your guests feel included when you’re seated in a squarer shaped tent.

Muskoka Event Services, through it rental network, has access to the widest range of tents and other rental accessories in Ontario.

6. Booking a party tent for a wedding. There are many party rental companies who offer party tents which should NOT be rented for weddings or corporate events! The party tents are often cheaper to rent because the condition or cleanliness of a party tent is very different than for a wedding tent. Party tents are often not cleaned after each event on the assumption that the event will be at night when guests will not notice the condition or cleanliness of the tent. However, for weddings and corporate events which may often start or be held during the day the quality tents is very important.

Muskoka Event Services ensures the quality of tent matches your needs and that only cleaned tents are used.

7. Peak times for set up and take down. Most rental companies hire summer students to do the set up and take down of tents and most do not work weekends. Therefore, the biggest demand for set up of tents is on Friday and the take down is on Mondays. These crews typically take 4 to 8 hours to set up a tent. If your set up crew can set up on Wednesday or Thursday instead of Friday and if the takedown can be on Tuesday or Wednesday instead of Monday, you can save the premium charge for set up and take down. If you are renting a property and the set up or takedown is required on a weekend, expect to pay a heavy premium!

Muskoka Event Services is the only company in Muskoka with a professional crew and the Tent Ox equipment that can do the work in half the time with half the crew which is a significant saving for clients.

8. Too many vendors. There are so many things to rent for a wedding or corporate event. The tents, the lighting, heating, tables, chairs, glassware etc. that many people make the mistake of using too many vendors. The delivery charges, especially for cottagers in Muskoka from each vendor delivering rentals can be prohibitive.

Muskoka Event Services has access to all the vendors and can consolidate your needs on one delivery, with one invoice and make sure nothing get forgotten.

9. Not budgeting for extras. Renting special event tents can cost $5,000 to $50,000 or more depending the extras including: flooring, sidewall, liners/draping, lighting, portable restrooms, dumpsters, tables and chairs, dinnerware, generators, etc. Some extras are worth it. For example, we recommend that all brides consider getting flooring for their tents, since the natural ground can be soggy or muddy. Temporary flooring also eliminates the problem of female guests' high heels sticking into the grass. The bride and groom can opt for full floor that spans the entire tent, or a less expensive dance floor.

Muskoka Event Services has the expertise to advise clients on the extras that make and difference and the extras that are a waste of money.

10. No plan B. Most weddings and corporate events for large crowds of people have unexpected challenges. Sometimes there are more attendees, than planned, bartenders or caterers don’t show up, power outages, heavy wind or heavy rain damage to tents etc.

Muskoka Event Services has the contacts in Muskoka to be able to offer a 24/7 event emergency service to clients.

For more information contact:

Tel:(705)-706-2949 Devin Morley

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