March 12, 2018
So far we have used our series of ‘Meet the team’ articles to introduce you to our Managing Director, Iain Booth and our Operations Manager, Dan Hearne. And whilst Iain and Dan are obviously very important members of the Inside Outside team we’d like to introduce you to someone who actually gets out and builds the marquees. Meet Robin Prigent, expert Marquee Foreman, leader of men and deliverer of outstanding marquees!
We assign an experienced and highly skilled foreman to every marquee build. Foremen are a special breed – with the gravitas and authority needed to keep a team of burly marquee riggers on track yet the subtle interpersonal skills required to ensure our customers are happy and up to date with the progress on their marquee build.
Robin joined Inside Outside in early 2017. Already an experienced marquee builder with an eye for detail, Robin brought an excellent work ethic and strong focus on customer service to the table. His experience meant that he was able to jump straight in, quickly getting up to speed with the Inside Outside way of doing things. In previous roles, Robin had been responsible for the installation of smaller scale marquees in high volume. Inside Outside’s Focus on luxury marquee hire – quality, not quantity – was a challenge that he couldn’t resist! Let’s hear from the man himself.
What is it about the job that you enjoy?
“Lots! I love the challenge. Each job is unique and rarely straightforward. I love problem solving and the look of amazement on a client’s face when we show them how we’ve built their pergola, pond, flowerbeds or even trees into the marquee. Clients often have to pinch themselves or double check that they are still in their own back garden when they see the end result! Seeing a look of excitement, getting positive feedback from customers or reading testimonials gives me a real buzz.
“The job means that I get the chance to work in some beautiful locations and build some amazing marquees. No two days are ever the same and I get to work with a great bunch of guys. We always support each other and we work hard but we always have a laugh too – the camaraderie is one of the best parts.”
But it must be hard work? Sometimes you’re out in the freezing cold, other times the heat and (often in this country), the rain….
“I love working outside and in different settings every day, I’m not the type that would be happy to turn up and sit at the same desk in the same office staring at a screen all day.
Yes it’s hard work but to be honest the hands on, physical nature of the job is one of the things I enjoy the most and I save a fortune on gym membership.”
What would you change if you could?
“The toughest part of the job is taking the marquees down – not physically but mentally. We know we are building temporary structures but we put our hearts and souls into them and they look incredible. I love the creativity of the build phase, but taking them down is like destroying all of our hard work. If I could change one thing I would never have to take the marquees down… that would be someone else’s job!”
So, what exactly does a foreman do?
“We deliver on the promises that Inside Outside makes to its clients. As a foreman, I am ultimately responsible for the success of the jobs that I’m running. I manage a crew of marquee builders, keep the build on schedule, solve any problems that come up and make sure that the end result is spot on – our clients expect the best so I make sure we deliver it.
To begin with, I have to make sure that everything is picked and loaded correctly at the warehouse and at the end of the build I walk around the marquee with the clients and make sure that they are happy with everything… but there’s so much that happens in between.
The guys are great and work really hard but I’m there keeping them on track, supervising the build and getting stuck in too. I liaise with third party suppliers such as florists, toilet hire companies, furniture suppliers. I make sure that they arrive on time and put everything where it’s supposed to go, otherwise it can throw our whole schedule out.
To sum it up, to be a foreman you have to be a great communicator, a great team manager, a motivator, a mentor and a perfectionist!”
What would be your dream marquee build?
“I’d love to do a Royal Wedding. It would be a huge challenge and we’d get to show off what we do to the world. We had a lot of enquiries for clear marquees after Pippa Middleton held her wedding in a huge glass marquee last year. We do a lot of clear marquees and they always look amazing. Other than that, I love Formula One racing so doing something for F1 would be amazing. We’re based just down the road from Woking where the McLaren team are based. Also, we are currently quoting for a marquee that would house several classic Formula One cars for an exhibition later in the year – so fingers crossed!”
If you’re planning a marquee event, our foremen (Including Robin) are here to help deliver an unforgettable experience. Call us on 01372 459485 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a site visit.