Thursday, 18 January 2018

Predicted 2018 Trends for Corporate Parties

When a client commits budget to organising a corporate party or event, that budget is likely to be a significant amount. From the venue hire and catering to the event design, entertainment and the overall experience, they want to see value for their money at every level. Ultimately, they want to see that the event has had a positive impact on the morale, relationships and attitudes of those who attended. No pressure then.
Mike Walker is Managing Director of MGN Events, one of the UK’s leading corporate party planners. He has been designing and managing corporate events for national and international brands since 2008. Here are his predictions for what he thinks will be big in 2018.
Get the ‘why’ right and the rest will follow
Smarter thinking is the way forward. Even if a client says they simply want to throw a party, it’s important to take a strategic approach at the planning stage and to understand their business objectives – you may even have to help define them in some cases. Once clarified, use those objectives as the criteria for how the budget is spent – the focus, of course, has to be on attendee engagement.
Unique venues
No real surprise here – booking a hotel or conference centre is no longer enough. Making do with mediocre won’t excite anyone. The wow factor starts with the venue and an unusual setting immediately makes a statement and helps to create a fantastic experience. Expect to see even more non-traditional venues popping up – places that will create a real buzz across the event industry. Just like Airbnb has disrupted the hospitality market, we fully expect to see something similar happening in our industry. There are already whispers of exciting plans developing and 2018 will undoubtedly see some interesting developments. Event tents, already growing in popularity, always allows for a unique and fun event and experience.
Technology to enhance the experience
It’s an exciting time to be in the events industry. Advances in technology mean there are so many ‘toys’ to play with and use creatively within corporate parties. Used well, technology should enhance engagement at an event and help to create a truly immersive experience. Imagine a corporate event whereby different teams and people from regional or overseas offices come together. Handing out name badges and a glass of prosecco really isn’t going to get the party started. But you can use technology to encourage interaction between relative strangers – this very effective icebreaker encourages conversations and can also become part of the corporate messaging. Apps, gamification, RFID, virtual reality activities are all examples of technology which will have an increasingly bigger role to play over the next 12 months and beyond.
Turning a party into a memorable event
Providing an amazing experience that is memorable is an obvious ROI, but it can never be overstated. It’s all about taking care of every last detail to ensure that the party is on brand and the corporate messages are effectively conveyed. Attendees need to come away having had a brilliant time and in no doubt as to what it was all about and why they were there.
Food, glorious food!
As the backbone of any event, catering expectations are always high. The onus will be on caterers and event designers to continue to push creativity and develop exciting menus. Whether it’s edible cocktails that match the client’s corporate brand colours or creating inspiring food stations, catering will no longer be just a matter of taste. It will also become more integral to the event theme and food will help create a sense of theatre, leading to a more memorable experience and creating yet another talking point for attendees.
Content is key, but so is simplicity
In contrast to the advanced technology that surrounds an event, we see a paring back in terms of how content is displayed. The days of all-singing, all-dancing slide decks are numbered – perhaps due to waning attention spans – and there is a move towards simpler presentation. In 2018, less will be more. It will be all about getting the message across simply and directly. It is a party, after all, and people don’t want to have to analyse information in any great depth. Deliver the message in a way that is easily digestible and easy to recall the next day, the next week or even a month later.
Chatting with the chatbots
Expect chatbots to become a ‘must have’ element on event registration sites in 2018. Already in use on messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, the use of chatbots is growing as the technology becomes ever more sophisticated. We anticipate that they will start appearing on event websites with a view to entering into a dialogue with attendees and answering questions traditionally covered by FAQs. It’s only a matter of time before chatbots become the norm within the event industry. Watch this space.
Think industrial
MGN’s Artistic Director, Matthew Strange, always has a great sense of the next big thing and, when it comes to design, he has spotted a trend towards industrial themes. It’s a trend that’s apparent in some of the hottest venues around London – forget highly finished interiors and, instead, embrace concrete, steel and exposed structures that have a strange beauty all of their own. Complementing this will be colour palettes of greys and metallic, along with plenty of texture. A great alternative is hiring event tents to host your swaray - tried and tested Tentickle International Tents offer fantastic event tents for a great, and more cost effective way, to throw a spectacular event!
Small creatures will be big in 2018. We’re just saying.

Thursday, 11 January 2018


Let’s face it, there’s nothing more beautiful or romantic than tying the knot in the great outdoors, surrounded by your closest friends and family; and while you may think you have it all covered and nothing’s going to spoil your big day, there’s always that one lady who marches to the beat of her own drum: Mother Nature. And she sure knows how to throw a whole lot of unforeseen stuff your way.
Since we’re in the business of outdoor events, we understand just how destructive our darling Mother Nature can be. But we also know how important your occasion is, so we’ve come up with a few ideas to help save the day...

  • Plan B: Be smart so that if the weather doesn’t work in your favour on your big day you have a Plan B to fall back on. (Your Plan B might be arranging things so that you can pull things indoors quickly. Or you could also just throw everything into the swimming pool on the assumption that once everything is sodden, it can’t get any wetter. But that might not suit Anal Aunt Alice.)
  • The weather over there: If you’re planning a destination wedding, don’t forget to learn as much as you can about the weather in that destination. That dirts cheap airline ticket to a tropical island? Could be because it’s hurricane season. Although you might be looking forward to partying up a typhoon, you don’t want to plan your wedding on a tropical island during hurricane season. Trust us on this one.
  • Booking business: Always check the venue’s cancellation and postponements policies, and pay attention to policies regarding postponements due to natural disasters or ‘acts of god.’ How far in advance can you cancel or postpone, and how far in advance are they required to notify you if they cannot fulfil their contract? (And no, you probably won’t be able to cancel if you suddenly discover that you’re wearing the wrong undies as you’re walking up the aisle.)
  • Insurance assurance: One way to safeguard your big day: invest in wedding insurance. Research the available policies, and always read the fine print. Your special day is likely to be a major financial investment so choose a policy that’s appropriate for you, your location and your peace of mind. Don’t skimp on the insurance; when in doubt always, always… *always* safeguard yourself and your day!
  • Make a list. Check it twice: Always make sure that you have an updated and accurate hard-copy of your master list - which should include contact information of all wedding vendors, guests and members of the wedding party, and make sure that both you and your right-hand person (maid-of-honour, wedding planner, mum, best friend) have copies of this list. This way, any last minute changes in venue can quickly be communicated to all vendors and guests
  • Use the technology: There are numerous flight-tracking, road travel and weather applications that will help you stay on top of schedules, changes in weather and delays in travel. Forewarned is forearmed.
  • Calm, Cool, Collected: It’s happening - and there is nothing you can do about it. The weather’s worsening - or maybe disaster’s already struck - but you need to stay calm, cool and collected. The important thing to remember is that none of us can control ol’ Mother Nature - but we can prepare for her. So stop, breathe, and rely on your vendors and the people who have planned your day to help you weather the storm. And remember that Tentickle marquee tent manufacturers, UK based, high-quality tent suppliers,  provide peace of mind because there tents can withstand some of the most harrowing weather and wind speeds up to 40 knots.

Hopefully you won’t need to use any of these tips, but whether you do or you don’t, we hope that your day will be full of love, happiness and memories that’ll last forever - no matter what Mother Nature might have in store.
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Monday, 4 December 2017

12 conseils pour organiser un mariage chez soi

[Note from the blogger:
Every once in a while we try to accommodate our global readers and today we found this great article for our ‘comrades-in-tents’ in France. Thank you, Clémentine Marchal, from www.leblogdemadamec for a fantastic read!]

Se marier chez soi, au milieu de ses souvenirs d’enfant et à la belle étoile un soir d’été, nombreux en rêveraient. Dans beaucoup d’esprits, le fait d’organiser un mariage chez soi permettrait de faire des économies.

De mon expérience en qualité de wedding-planner fraîchement retraitée, cela ne s’applique que pour les mariages en petit comité. Pour les réceptions au-delà de 50 convives, la logistique inhérente à l’accueil devient très vite plus lourde. Il faut donc penser à chaque détail avant de se lancer dans l’aventure. J’ai listé pour vous mes 10 conseils pour organiser un mariage chez soi.

Bien définir les espaces et les plans B

Rêver de son mariage dans le parc ou le sous-bois de la maison de famille, cela met des étoiles plein les yeux mais est-ce vraiment réalisable ? Oui, ce serait tellement poétique d’échanger vos voeux à l’ombre du grand chêne centenaire puis de dîner sous les étoiles, mais peut-on vraiment prendre le risque que la noce soit gâchée si la météo nous joue des tours ? Afin d’éliminer tout stress, il faudra anticiper vos plans B pour chaque temps de votre journée et budgétiser le coût de ces infrastructures éphémères.

Prévoir une tente

Si vous ne disposez pas d’une grange ou d’un espace réceptif couvert suffisamment grand, il faudra opter pour la location de tente de réception. Alors oui, elle ne fait pas vraiment rêver cette tente blanche cubique toute poupou à l’ossature de fer. Mais elle devient un poste incontournable à votre organisation en cas de pluie ou de vent violent.

Dans ce cas vous pourrez choisir entre :

  - Le barnum classique,
  - La tente cristal,
  - La tente nomade

Il faudra prévoir 1M2/pers assise pour l’espace de réception et 0,5 m2/pers pour la piste de danse

Les options supplémentaires :

   - avec ou sans parquet
   - si barnum, avec ou sans velum
   - avec ou sans guirlandes lumineuses

Règle d’or n°1 :

Toujours envoyer plusieurs demandes de devis et organiser un repérage sur place avec le professionnel retenu, avant de signer le contrat.
Règle d’or n°2 :

Pour éviter toute mauvaise surprise, toujours faire un plan d’implantation de la tente dans l’espace.
Prévoir un Office Traiteur

Afin d’assurer un service de qualité, le traiteur devra disposer d’un office raccordé à l’eau et l’électricité. Si votre cuisine est trop éloignée de l’espace dinatoire ou qu’elle est de petite taille, il faudra prévoir l’infrastructure nécessaire au bon déroulement de votre dîner. En quel cas, il faudra prévoir une ou deux pagodes et des buffets pour que le chef puisse dresser ses assiettes et les envoyer.
Prévoir des toilettes

Pour le confort de vos invités, la location de toilettes mobiles est nécessaire. Au cocktail, c’est rigolo de traverser le jardin vers la maison pour chercher les toilettes. Au dîner, cela devient juste pénible. Optez pour des toilettes sèches ou une caravane, bien plus sympathique que les toilettes de chantier :)

Prévoir l’éclairage intérieur et extérieur

Les bougies, c’est intimiste mais cela ne suffit pas à éclairer en qualité suffisante votre repas. Il faudra alors penser à votre éclairage. Des guirlandes guinguette, de beaux lustres ou des leds, selon votre ambiance et votre budget, vous pourrez ajuster ce poste. N’oubliez pas de prévoir les éclairages extérieurs jusqu’au Parking afin d’éviter de petits accidents de fin de soirée.
Evaluer les besoins électriques de votre réception

Organiser une réception chez soi nécessite des besoins électriques. Demandez au préalable à chaque prestataire ses besoins en Watts afin de vous assurer que les plombs de la maison ne sauteront pas. Et pour ceux qui ne veulent prendre aucun risque, louer un groupe électrogène. Il en existe aujourd’hui des ultra silencieux.

Prévoir un parking

Recevoir plus d’une centaine de convives, nécessite un espace de stationnement à proximité du lieu de la fête. Si le lieu n’en dispose pas, il faudra s’adresser à la mairie pour entrevoir des solutions annexes ou mettre en place un service de navettes.
Penser aux accès

Notamment pour vos prestataires et en priorité le traiteur et le tentiste. Il faut s’assurer qu’ils puissent accèdent à la maison avec leur camion.

Penser aux nuisances sonores

Il est impératif de prévenir le voisinage de cette réception exceptionnelle, ainsi que votre gendarmerie de quartier et les pompiers.
Penser au dortoir des petits

A moins de ne pas avoir d’enfants parmi les invités, il faudra prévoir la logistique des baby-sitters, des repas et du dodo. L’anticiper permet à tous de passer une soirée plus sereine. Il faudra du coup réserver dans la maison un endroit dédié au couchage. Charge aux parents d’amener leurs lits parapluie.

Pour pense-bête, prévoyez en nombre suffisant les professionnels en charge des petits et assurez-vous de leurs références :

  -  1  personne qualifiée pour 7 enfants âgés de +3 à 12 ans
  - 1  personne qualifiée pour 3 enfants âgés de +1 à 3 ans
  - 1  personne qualifiée pour 2 bébés de 0 à 1 an

Si piscine, embaucher un maître nageur

Une piscine est toujours un visuel charmant mais il apporte son lot de dangers. Dans le contexte d’une fête, il est important de veiller à la sécurité de vos convives. Un accident est si vite arrivé.

Penser aux navettes

Pour que la fête se termine dans la joie et la bonne humeur, je recommanderai la mise en place d’un service de navettes. Soit en utilisant votre propre véhicule et en embauchant un chauffeur privé, soit en faisant appel à un service de navettes en bus ou mini-bus. Et pour ceux qui ne souhaitent ou ne peuvent pas investir dans ce poste, une affichette avec le contact de 2 à 4 taxis du coin sera utile.
Author: Clémentine Marchal

Monday, 6 November 2017

Top Tips to Choosing the Right Tents for Hire for Your Corporate Event

Been tasked with organising a big corporate outdoor bash in Johannesburg? If you’re planning on having an outdoor corporate event, there are a million and one reasons to hire a tent. From the location, unpredictable weather, cost effectiveness, labour and serving staff, to flexible spacing and the ambience – tents have a way of offering it all. Having come a long way over the past 20 years, today’s tents offer much more than just four legs and a tarp.
Offering limitless possibilities, they come with walls, floors and even doors. While you may have already decided that tent hire is the way to go, the hard part is choosing the right type of tent for your corporate event. If you’re in the dark about what to hire – here are a few tips to get you going on your quest for the right tent.
#1 Determine Your Venue and Budget
When you are considering tent hire, as opposed to purchasing or even renting out a hall, country club, beach venue or restaurant, an outdoor tent wins hands down. Although tent hire varies in price amongst tent hire companies, the cheapest type of tent for hire is the peg and pole marquee. However, what can add up are the tables, chairs, lights, heating, dance floor, cutlery and catering. Fortunately, most companies that offer tent hire also offer draping, décor and catering services.
An enormous job that involves a lot more than just hiring a couple of chairs and tables, when you allow a tent hire company to take care of the catering, bar, décor and service, you won’t need to worry about anything. Your only job as the host will be to show up, smile and have a brilliant time.
#2 Decide What You Want from Your Tent
Once you’ve established your location and budget, you can now decide on the type of tent to hire. Most tent companies carry a variety of tent types, but the most common are Bedouin, frame and marquee tents. All boasting different features and prices, here is a basic breakdown of each.
  • Aluminium Frame Tents – distinguished for its “A” shape design and it's clear-span aluminium frame, these tents are durable and waterproof. Contemporary, sophisticated and easily erected, they are ideal for hard surfaces and tight spaces. A little more expensive than marquees, frame tents can be joined with other structures, which means that you have more options when it comes to the shape/configuration
  • Bedouin/Free-Form Tents – a South African invention that originated from the outdoor trance dance scene in the early 90s, Bedouin tents can transform the dullest of locations into magical spaces. Ideal for any venue where the ground is soft enough to be rigged, using creative rigging techniques, free-form tents can create the most incredible range of organic, curvaceous sculpted shapes. A durable and waterproof winner used by those who demand a backdrop, not only can they be left open or partially closed, but they can also be attached to other tents or fixed structures to create extra space if required.
  • Peg and Pole Marquee Tents – durable, flexible, waterproof, and a whole lot cheaper than frame or free-form tents, marquee tents are best suited for grass and beach sand. Durable and aesthetically pleasing, marquees have centre pole obstructions and will require a clearance on all sides for stakes and anchor ropes. Never failing to deliver, marquee tents bring a sense of security and comfort to those who use them.
From peg and pole marquees to frame tents and curvaceous Bedouin free-form stretch tents that boast organic sculpted shapes – tent hire is and will always be celebrated for unforgettable outdoor experiences in different outdoor locations and settings. Make your corporate event one of a kind with the tents for hire at Tentickle Tents UK.

Friday, 1 September 2017

How to Rent a Wedding Tent


It’s important to factor in whether you will need to rent a wedding tent early on in the planning process. When you’re looking at venues, you’ll want to factor the pricing of the tent into any venue that doesn’t have indoor options. Essentially, if you’re considering outdoor venues and there is more than a remote chance of inclement weather on your wedding date (I think pretty much the entire Eastern Seaboard?), renting a tent should be lumped into the “book your venue” task on your to-do list. Tents can sometimes be expensive (depending on a number of factors we’ll talk about below), so you’ll want to factor it into the budget before you fall in love with your dream venue.
Okay, so now what?


If you’re early in your planning process, you may not have exact numbers yet, and you may not have determined what style of party you plan on hosting (sit-down, buffet, cocktail, punch and pie, etc.). However, you’ll want a rough estimate at this point to get a price quote. This spreadsheet will give you a basic rundown of how much square footage is needed for various types of events.
Breakdown chart of what size tent you'll need to rent for your wedding
As a general rule, you’ll 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.
Hooray. Step one is done!


There are several styles of tents available for rent—but the most popular are frame tents,  pole tents and stretch tents. There are three main considerations to take into account when it comes to which type of tent you rent—space logistics, aesthetics, and (of course) budget.
Pole Tent Pros and Cons
  • PRO: Pole tents tend to be the more aesthetically pleasing option; they’re the ones with the swooping roof
  • PRO: Pole tents are less expensive
  • CON: Pole tents will have center poles/obstructions
  • PRO: No frame to cover up—does not need liner
  • PRO: Pole tents require shorter setup time
  • CON: Must be staked into the ground
  • CON: A pole tent requires clearance on all sides for stakes and anchor ropes (on average five to eight feet on each side)
Frame Tent Pros and Cons
  • PRO: Can be erected on any surface (such as asphalt, rooftops, etc.)
  • PRO: Can be attached together—you have more options when it comes to shape/configuration and you could have multiple spaces connected, such as a walkway from ceremony to party
  • PRO: Does not have any center poles or obstructions
  • CON: Almost always pricier than pole tents
  • CON: Frame is visible from the inside—many people don’t like the look of the frame, and the solution is an expensive liner to cover it up
  • CON: Requires longer setup time
  • PRO(ISH): Can be left up for a long time (you know, in case you want to live at your wedding for awhile)
Stretch Tent Pros and Cons
  • PRO: Stretch tents are really beautiful, elegant, grandious tents that compliment any celebration.
  • CON: Can be more pricey but worth every penny
  • PRO: Waterproof, fire resistant and can withstand gale force winds
  • PRO: Sides can be dropped or additional sidewalls attached for extra protection.
  • PRO: Supplier bring a rigging team before and after the event.
  • PRO: Can be rigged on any, even uneven, terrain.
  • CON: A stretch tent also requires clearance on all sides for stakes and anchor ropes (on average five to eight feet on each side)


If you have a pretty good idea of the size and type of tent that you want, before getting a price quote it’s important to think about all of the extras that you might need or want. These extras can cause your price quote to vary greatly.
Clear top tents are a very popular alternative to white tents and generally don’t cost much more. However, keep in mind that if any portion of your event is taking place during the daytime, the sun can turn your clear top tent into a giant, sweaty greenhouse.
  • Liner—All that gathered, silky looking fabric that you see inside tents in the movies or magazines… it’s a liner. It’s expensive and not at all necessary, especially if you opt for a pole tent. If you really have to have a liner, be forewarned, they can cost up to three times the cost of the tent! And if you want a colored liner, well, you’ll be paying even more. (Hint, you can do the same with lighting for a lot less.)
  • Walls—The main types of walls are solid, clear, cathedral (with windows), and fabric. Whether you need walls depends on the average temperature. If you’re getting married in a warmer climate, skip the walls. If it’s a cooler climate, walls are probably a good idea. If downpours are common, walls will help keep everything dry. (Fabric walls will not help you in cold or rain—they are really just for looks.)
  • Flooring—The options when it comes to flooring are plain old ground with or without a dance floor, or a full floor under the tent. Obviously the ground is the least expensive option, but there are a few drawbacks. If there’s rain in the days leading up to your wedding, the ground can get soggy. Also, plain ground can be difficult for guests to walk/dance on in heels (which is why it’s super important to inform your guests that they would be best served by outdoor-appropriate footwear). If you’re putting the tent on land that’s sloped or otherwise uneven, you may want to consider flooring in order to level things out. Flooring can run anywhere from $1-4 per square foot, which doesn’t sound like much until you do the math! If you can’t afford full flooring, consider just adding a dance floor (which will be far, far less expensive).
  • Lighting—If your wedding is at night, unless you want to give your guests the sensory experience of dining and dancing in the dark, you’ll need some lighting inside the tent. There are tons of lighting options available—everything from bistro lights strung across the ceiling to lanterns to twinkle lights to can lights mounted on the ceiling or theatrical style stage lights with gels. You can also get lighting placed on a dimmer to allow for more mood lighting during dancing. Sometimes couples choose to DIY their lighting—just be advised that the tent company won’t hang them up for you and will require you to remove them before the tent is scheduled to be broken down. Another important thing to consider when you’re mulling over your lighting options is power—if your site does not provide power, you’ll need to rent a generator.
  • Heating and cooling—If the weather is going to be warm, you’ll want to invest in some cooling equipment. Fans tend to be the best option, as tents are notoriously expensive to air condition. Since tents are neither sealed nor insulated, they require a huge amount of power to keep cool with AC—like industrial generator huge. Fans work great to circulate the air and large ones are generally economical to rent. If you’re getting married at a cooler time of year, you can rent a tent furnace with a thermostat to warm up the tent. I’ve had couples inquire about renting patio heaters to place inside the tent, but that makes me super nervous as they can be fire hazards, plus they take up space, whereas a furnace is usually placed outside the tent where no drunk people can knock it over.


Now that you have a pretty decent idea of what you’re looking for, you can reach out to rental companies for quotes, but where do you find them? Ask around—your caterer and venue should be able to provide you with some reputable options. Otherwise, a google search for “event rentals + your location” should yield a ton of results—just check out online reviews for an idea of who provides quality service.
When you reach out to companies for quotes, you’ll want to make sure the following items are covered in the proposal:
  • Delivery Fees
  • Labor/Setup of the tent PLUS the accessories
  • Fire/Zoning permits (if required)
  • Breakdown
Also, make sure that you’re okay with the change/cancellation policy. There are so many variables that can change between booking and the wedding, you’ll want the option to change the size of the tent or possibly cancel it if the weather looks like it’s going to be totally amazing. Make sure that those points are covered in writing before handing over any money!
When getting a quote ask how long the setup time will take. On average a 40 x 80 foot pole tent takes approximately four and a half hours to set up. If it’s a possibility at your venue, you may want to have the tent onsite and ready to go a few days prior to the wedding—this way you’ll have time to decorate and play around with the floor plan.
Find out if the company will come out to survey the land prior to the event. Some companies charge a nominal fee to do so (which is usually counted towards your rental fee if you sign a contract), but you might find the peace of mind worth it!
Make sure that the vendor knows the tent is for a wedding (and that you’re expecting wedding quality as opposed to a county fair tent—unless that’s your thing).
And finally, if possible, rent from a company that does more than just tent rentals. Many rental companies are full service offering everything from the tent to the glassware. If you rent the majority of your items from one place there will be one delivery charge, one vendor to wrangle, and from a timing perspective, everything will arrive all at once. Here are a few actual quotes my clients have received in the past twelve months:
Bride and groom dancing in a wedding tent


Keep in mind if you get a quote that seems “too good to be true” compared to the other quotes that you receive, odds are it is. Most rental companies will come in around the same price. Your decision should really boil down to who has the most aesthetically pleasing choices, and who was the easiest to deal with (because that will seriously come in handy later). Include a quote from Tentickle Stretch Tents UK, you will not regret it.

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