rent or buy a tent

Enter a corporate client in the service industry. They are considering purchasing a tent for their event space and intend to erect the tent when their clients’ needs for rain cover arise on a per-event basis. The space is a large tarmac open ground.

Firstly, they host various sized groups of people, which would call for varied tent sizes. Purchasing a single tent of let’s say 10x12m would not be able to cater to various sized groups. A 10x12m tent would accommodate anywhere between 60 and 100 guests, depending on the seating arrangement. What happens to the larger group bookings? They would not be able to cater for an event of 350 people unless they invest in a second –much larger tent.

Secondly, they would need to train their staff, and legally in South Africa, vocational safety and rigging training are required in order for a tent to be erected in a safe manner. Rigging training & safety training also needs to be renewed on a yearly basis to ensure that the staff retains the information. This, of course, adds to the budget.

Thirdly – storage and maintenance of the tent become a logistic that they would need to plan for.
If a tent is not folded and stored in the correct manner, it can incur damages. For example, if an inexperienced team of people pack up a tent (and it is heavy) without folding it correctly, or pack it up while the tent is still wet after rain, this can cause damages to the fabric. All gear has to be efficiently sorted, cleaned and stored after each setup/break down to ensure the longevity of the equipment and that nothing goes missing. A groundsheet of the correct size would also need to be acquired in order to protect the tent from being soiled at the start of set up. Another extra cost consideration.

Lastly – the tarmac which covers their grounds does not cater to tent pegs of 1,2m long. The need for temporary anchor points arises, which are either 1000lt water ballasts or 1-ton concrete blocks which would need to be placed at a certain distance from each pole point instead of pegs to ensure the correct tension of the tent. Not only is this a hefty extra cost, but also heavy and bulky for storage, often requiring a lot of manpower or even a forklift to move around.

Enter a tent hire company, with a large stock count of various tent sizes in an array of colours, able to cater for large and small groups. A company with professionally trained teams of tent riggers with all their training up to date and included in a safety file (as per government regulations), groundsheets of all sizes, vehicles that can cope with any size tent, and last but not least – an artillery of concrete blocks and water ballasts – delivered as needed. You call – they deliver a high-quality clean tent, set it up safely and professionally. You enjoy the party – they arrive, break it down, pack it up neatly and take it away to give it a clean, then store it neatly until the next time they get your call. All this for a tiny fraction of what it would cost to purchase a new tent and deal with a long list of logistics which are often overlooked.

In conclusion, should a tent be required for a temporary occasion, renting is the best value for money, and turns the headache of dealing with logistics into a breeze by rather making a phone call to the professionals.