The structure you are renting can be brand new or used. If the tent is used, make sure the condition of the fabric is specified so you receive a structure that is compatible with your expectations. A tent that is used, but in excellent condition, will look much different than one that is rated as fair or grade B. Also, ensure that the tent rental company is supplying you with a clean tent since some providers may not clean their equipment after every event.
Standard side wall heights vary by tent renal company. Some tent rental companies use a 7 ft. standard sidewall while other use 8 ft. Larger tents look and perform best with even taller side walls. Insufficient sidewall height can make a structure look cramped and doesn't provide enough air flow for larger tents. Make sure the side wall height is specified and comparable.
Sometimes, tent rental companies will use multiple tents to provide the square footage specified in the proposal. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but for some events, this can mean working around the securing structures of the tents in what would otherwise be usable event space. Check that the number of tents and the tent styles are specified in your proposal. This will help you avoid last minute adjustments to work around wires and stakes or weighting systems inside your tent.
Rental periods can vary widely among tent rental companies. Depending on the size of the tent, some companies may provide you several days on either side of the event period to allow for installation and removal flexibility. Other companies may have very little flexibility and charge fees for early installation or late removal, regardless of the reason. Make sure you understand any extra fees associated with the rental period terms and exceptions to their contracts or proposals.
Events seldom function perfectly and how you respond to the minor and sometime major mishaps can have a big impact on your event. Occasionally, you will need the services of personnel from your tent rental company. Your agreement should specify the availability of tent rental company personnel during your event and if they have 24 hour emergency service. Responsiveness to your urgent needs is part of the service a tent rental company should provide, so ensure it is documented and that you are aware of any charges associated with that service.
It can also be very important to know how much appropriate replacement inventory your tent rental company has available. Sometimes having a suitable replacement tent, in case of a setback, can prevent you from having to cancel your event.
Insurance is always an important consideration when dealing with, installation crews, large structures and many guests. Request certificates of insurance for workers' compensation and liability coverage and compare all coverage amounts, terms and limitations. Make sure you are satisfied with the coverage and note any differences between the providers. You could end up being responsible for any shortfalls in coverage if an accident occurs.
Take the time to read and compare the terms and conditions in the fine print. It will contain many important provisions that will affect your service and determine your final bill. There can be a great deal of variation in these legal stipulations. If you find something you don't like, ask that it be altered.
A recurring theme in this discussion is ensuring that all important considerations are documented in your agreement. If it isn't included, ask that it be included. And, provide each tent rental company with the same comprehensive information for their proposal submission. If they begin with the same information, they are likely to be much closer to presenting comparable proposals which means fewer significant differences for you to resolve.
The proposal price is very important. However, it may not be the final price and could include some risks and service limitations that make you uncomfortable. Take the time to fully understand and compare your tent rental proposals and make the choice that is best for you.
Mike Holland is a 30+ year veteran of the tent rental business and Vice President of Operations for Chattanooga Tent Company. This nation-wide tent rental supplier and tent manufacturer has been servicing the needs of the special events industry, wedding and party planners, festival organizers and sporting event directors for over 75 years. Please give us a call when you're ready to plan your next event and visit our website at http://www.liri-structures.com/