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Tent Rental Terms Defined
Renting an elegant tent can create the perfect outdoor setting for a wedding, birthday party or corporate event.
To streamline your event planning process, check with tent rental companies to see what else they may be able to supply. In addition to the tent itself, companies may also offer chairs, tables, dance floors, linens and inflatable bounce houses.
When choosing a tent, the most important factors to consider are functionality and aesthetics. Below, several key terms used by tent rental companies are defined. Understanding these terms will ensure that you choose the most appropriate equipment for your special event.
Pole Tents - Also known as tension tents, these tents are staked to the ground with ropes, ratchets or winches.
High Peak Pole Tents - The tent of choice for weddings and outdoor parties, high peak pole tents are an upgrade from the simple pole tent since their roofs form high, graceful peaks. In addition to improved aesthetics, these tents are well-equipped to withstand wind and rain, and work well on grassy surfaces.
Frame Tents - A self-supporting tent that does not require center poles. Frame tents are usually limited to about 40 feet in size and cost more than simple pole tents. Contrary to popular belief, frame tents do require stakes for stability.
Marquee Tent - Traditionally the tent of choice for circuses, a marquee tent can be very large, measuring up to 150 by 400 feet in size, and is ideal for large corporate events.
Clear Span Structures - A more durable and self-supporting version of the frame tent, clear span structures are designed with translucent vinyl sides and are ideal for long-term installations.
Pop-Up Tent or Canopy - Pop-up tents and canopies are self-erecting, generally smaller in size than other kinds of tents, and can be collapsed into an easy carrying size.
Custom Designed Tents - For an extra charge, some companies will print your company logo on your tent.
The majority of tent rentals are for events such as weddings. The tents rented are large, sometimes capable of seating hundreds of people. Generally, these large tents are referred to as marquees.
Marquee rental companies, however, may also supply other useful items. They often also rent tables, chairs and linen. In some cases they may provide recreation equipment such as inflatables. These are particularly popular at birthday parties. Some corporations may own their own marquees and canopies, but have them installed by professionals. When renting a smaller canopy or pop up, it is common to erect the tent yourself. Pop up tents are particularly easy to install.
When renting a party tent, it is common to also hire a professional to handle the design and décor of the space under the tent. Package deals are common, especially for weddings. Canopy rentals tend to also be for events. However, companies may also rent various small tents, such as camping or indoor/outdoor play tents. The last are often of the pop up design.
The rental business is highly seasonal. In general, party rentals are most common during the summer. Some companies offer heated tents in order to increase winter business. Tents may be set up as an extension to a building with a tunnel connecting the two. Although most tents fit in with a number of standard designs, custom setups are sometimes put together, generally using more than one marquee or canopy. In hot weather, open sided canopy tents are particularly popular, keeping off sun whilst allowing wind circulation.