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5 questions to ask your marquee supplier

November 3, 2021

Ask your marquee supplier these five questions to ensure that you get the right marquee (and provider) for your event.

If you want to create an amazing, personalised and ultra individual venue then a marquee is a fantastic choice. But it’s crucial that you make sure you get the right marquee and (perhaps more importantly) the right supplier. There are marquees to suit all budgets, but in the world of marquees you really do get what you pay for!

Read our marquee hire guide and download the free PDF version to find out all you’ll need to know about hiring a marquee. But if you’re keen to get started with planning your event, read the following ‘top five questions to ask your marquee supplier’ (and why to ask them) before you pick up the phone:

Can you give me a ballpark estimate?

Everybody has a budget. A good marquee supplier should be able to provide you with a ballpark estimate over the telephone.

ask your marquee supplierBut beware that the bigger your wish list the higher the price will be. If you know your budget then don’t be afraid to share it with potential suppliers. This will help them guide you through the best options and choices for you; ensuring the best marquee possible for the price you are willing to pay.

If you just want an idea of what a marquee might cost at this stage, that’s fine too. But if you are phoning around to gather estimates then make sure that you stick to the exact same marquee criteria each and every time. This way you’ll ensure your estimates are consistent.

Some suppliers will ask lots of questions. They will be comprehensive and conscientious with their estimates. This could mean that their estimates seem higher than those provided by some others. If you stray from your criteria during a call then be sure to note down any additional elements that could have increased the costs given in the estimate. This will help you make an informed decision when you revise your notes later on.

What does your quote/estimate include?

Why? Because every marquee company has a different approach to quotes and estimates. If you are phoning around for ballpark estimates and curating a list of preferred supplier by cost then it’s important to understand exactly how the numbers stack up.

5 questions to ask your marquee supplierCost is important, but it’s a good idea to check exactly what is included. Some marquee companies provide initial costs based solely on the hire of the marquee structure itself. This usually ensures an attractive looking price, but along the line you’re likely to discover that there will be additional costs if you want to add things such as linings, flooring, electrics, heating, lighting, furniture and… well, anything else!

If you call Inside Outside for an estimate you’ll be guided through lots of questions. You may not know all of the answers straight away, but you’ll know enough to ensure that your ballpark estimate is as accurate as possible. Take a look at this blog to get an idea of the questions that you’ll be asked.

Inside Outside’s quotations (which are usually provided following a face to face meeting and a full site survey) are comprehensive and fully itemised, so that you can see exactly what you are paying for.

We can’t stress how important it is to understand exactly what you’ll be getting for your money before committing to or rejecting a supplier.

Will you coordinate everything?

We’ve already touched upon the differences you might find in your marquee hire estimates and quotes and the importance of understanding exactly why they might differ, what is included and what isn’t, before making your decisions on the best supplier for you.

 5 questions to ask your marquee supplierRemember, there are often intangibles such as customer service levels that won’t be obviously reflected in an estimate or quote. You’ll usually get some idea of the quality of service you can expect from a company by the way that they discuss your event with you, the questions that they ask, whether they seem interested in the event – or in simply winning your business.

A great way to get a measure is to ask about coordination. We’re not talking about a complete event coordination service here; we’re talking about the way that the marquee build is coordinated and managed with you and any third-party suppliers that might be involved (think caterers, electricians, lighting and AV specialists, bar suppliers, furniture providers and so on).

Some marquee companies are only interested in the build and will leave you to ‘project manage’ and coordinate everything. A good supplier will take control. They will ensure that they gather contact details for every other supplier so that they can manage and coordinate deliveries and integrations with them.

Can you organise the furniture?

Actually, not just the furniture but other items too. Good suppliers will be able to organise furniture, coordinate delivery and ensure that everything is left in the right place. They will also be able to organise the electrics, generators (if needed), lighting and AV, dancefloor hire, staging and more.

 5 questions to ask your marquee supplierIt will be much easier and far less stressful if you have a supplier that can handle all of these elements for you. A really great marquee company will also have well established relationships with suppliers such as caterers, bar companies and entertainers. They will therefore be able to recommend some fantastic, tried and tested people to you.

It’s worth taking these recommendations seriously. A marquee company won’t want to put their reputation on the line by recommending suppliers that don’t deliver. Additionally, companies that regularly work together are likely to work well as a team, ensuring a smooth run up to your event too.

Do you have availability?

Okay, we’ve put this at the end, but you might want to check up front. However, the reason that we’ve left this until last is that people are often willing to be flexible with their event dates in order to get the right suppliers on board. This includes marquee companies too.

A good marquee supplier is often the glue that holds an event together; certainly in the run up to the event and definitely during the build stage. They are a central point of contact for you and all your other suppliers. They will be on the ball with everything that needs to happen and when.

Hopefully, once you’ve been through the preceding questions with your potential marquee suppliers you’ll have a pretty good idea as to whether you’d be willing to compromise your dates in order to work with them.

And finally… Any good supplier is likely to be booked up well in advance, so date options may be limited if you leave things to the last minute. Don’t be afraid to enquire early and give yourself the best chance possible to get all of your preferred suppliers booked and in place for your ideal event date before anybody else does.

Now… Ask your marquee supplier!

Why not put us to the test? Give us a call on 01372 459485 or email sales@inside-outside.co.uk and ask us our top five questions! We provide obligation free estimates and quotations and would love to find out more about you and your event.

And if you’d like to find out more…

Download your full copy of our comprehensive ‘Marquee Hire Guide’ here

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