The humble marquee – an event necessity and usually one of the first things organised when planning or hosting an event.
It’s the “foundation” if you will and the one thing that every other details revolves around.
What style, what size, what colour, where should it go, closed walls, open walls???!!
After all, keeping your guests protected from the wind, rain and harsh Queensland sun is a must at any birthday, sports day, wedding, stall or corporate function!
Read on for the ultimate guide to hiring the right marquee!
Let’s start with the problem…not all marquees are built the same! Weak framework, paper-thin roofs and the need for an army of volunteers to assemble it, doesn’t get your event off to the best start (usually bright and early as well!).
Use this handy guide as your go-to when selecting the right marquee to hire to ensure it meets your purpose, budget and requirements!
Don’t Stop The Party supplies three styles of marquees for your event:
- Pop up marquees – DIY for budget hire (we deliver, you set up). Don’t mistake these for the cheap marquees you see around though! They are commercial quality and perfect for backyard functions, sports carnivals, fetes, food stalls, store promotions and more. Set up in under 5 minutes (we can install and pack down for an additional cost)
- Commercial pagoda (or peak-top) marquees – feature a pointed roof top and clearspan floor space for decorations. Much like pop up marquees, they do have a centre support structure that may not suit pending the event. For fully open spaced marquees, see below.
- Commercial structured marquees – Installed by our team members, these are heavier duty marquees for weddings, larger corporate events or any location, you’re trying to make an impact. They’re available in various span widths that are then constructed in “bays” depending on the length required.
1. How big is the marquee you need to hire?
The first most important question could also have been – what is the intended purpose for hiring the marquee? This will determine both the type AND size you need. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the marquee to be used for a stall, promotion or display?
- Do you plan on seating people underneath the marquee?
- Are there set up restrictions where the marquee will be installed?
- Do you need cover or separation from other marquees ie. walls to protect from wind or an adjacent marquee?
Generally a budget priced “pop-up” marquee is adequate for most school fetes, food stalls, store promotions, exhibition displays and backyard parties. Brisbane Event Hire stocks three sizes of pop-up marquees – 3 metre x 3 metre, 3 metre x 4.5 metre and 3 metre x 6 metre. You can of course arrange these together to extend the length of cover you require!
“Three by threes” are the most commonly used size at school fetes and food stalls. They allow a trestle table to be used for serving or display and leave plenty of space for busy volunteers and stock.
Move up a size or two and 3 x 4.5’s or 3 x 6’s are perfect for events where you either need to fit some guests underneath the shade or you need a nice open display to showcase your goods.
These are great for weddings, engagements, birthday parties, expos and more. It really comes down to what you need to display or how many people you need to cater for!
If you’re setting up for a display or expo, consider what you need to showcase, how it’s going to be set up, what material you may need to access and how you can best engage with potential visitors to your stall.
2. Setting up the marquee
Are you happy to set up on your own or do you require install? Do you have time available between delivery and your event starting? How many other things are you organising on the day?
Generally pop up marquees (our quality ones at least!) can be set up in a matter of minutes by either 1 or 2 people! Simply:
- Unpack the marquee from the protective cover
- Stand the marquee frame upright and pull each leg sideways to expand the scissor frame
- Once fully expanded, throw the marquee roof over the marquee frame
- Extend each leg frame upwards one at a time until the marquee is at full height
- Secure the roof using the appropriate straps or hooks
- Wallah! Done!
If you’ve got the time, then why not save on costs! It really is that simple with a QUALITY marquee.
Hiring a larger commercial style marquee means likely more space, more options and a better design.
Most marquee hire companies will supply team members to set up and install these larger marquees to ensure they are both safe and erected to manufacturer specifications.
Pick a size, then sit back and relax while you watch your “mini house” get built:)
3. Add-ons like walls for your marquee
Surprisingly, marquees can come with an array of accessories or add-ons when hiring.
The most common one is a side or back wall. Think about whether you require an enclosed set up or open style marquee.
This will depend on the type of event though usually stalls and exhibitions will at a minimum feature a back wall but also usually side walls in order to separate them from adjacent stall holders or potentially walls for every side so that they can be “locked up” overnight for security.
Hiring a marquee for your wedding or special event?
There are also walls available with windows or completely clear walls, roll up entries and so much more which is why selecting a structured or “framed” marquee supplies you with endless possibilities!
It’s even possible to mix and match! Maybe you want clear walls but a solid roof or vice versa…whatever the reason…it can be done!
Speak to your marquee hire company when enquiring.
4. Structure/Strength of the marquee
So now that you know WHAT you want, you can compare WHAT you’re getting for varying prices. Let’s start with the pop up marquees!
Search online for pop up marquees or visit your local camping, auto or sometimes even the grocery store and you’ll be inundated with cheap marquees for purchase or hire. Unfortunately, fancy marketing can sometimes disguise the true reality! “Deluxe”, “Premium” and “Commercial” aren’t always what they truly are.
There are only two main components to a marquee that you really need to be aware of – the frame and the roof. That’s it! Both though are vital to how successfully your marquee hire is managed and how much trouble it will cause you on the day of your party or event.
The frame as with any construction is the single most important factor as it holds up the entire structure! “Cheap” marquees usually have thin framework which causes instability within the entire marquee. Pretty simple right? The thinner the legs and roof beams of the marquee, the WEAKER your marquee structure is.
So what does that mean? It means a gentle knock from a passing patron could destabilise the marquee, too much weight on the roof causes sagging or an uneven frame due to weakness presents an unprofessional display. Let’s not get into wind!
Compare the most common frames being advertised in the marketplace using the table below. We’ve used our 3 x 3 pop up marquee as an example:
Don’t Stop The Party
Main Frame (mm)
30 x 30 x 0.6
30 x 30 x 0.6
45 x 40 x 0.7
Roof Beam (mm)
25 x 12 x 0.5
25 x 12 x 0.5
30 x 15 x 0.6
210D PVC 3.5kg
150D PVC 3.0kg
600D PVC 6.0kg
^The above measurements relate to pop up marquees only.
In each measurement, there is a MINIMUM of 20% strength difference in the build quality – all of which affect the marquee’s ability to withstand wind or rainy conditions, set up, durability and more!
The exact same theory can be applied to larger, commercial, wedding style marquees! Sure you can go to certain auction sites and find a “$200 wedding marquee measuring 18 metres x 9 metres” but the reality is, it’s going to look more like a cheap car gazebo then a wedding centrepiece! One small gust of wind and the frame will likely bend in half.
Not sure what you’re actually hiring? Just ask! Each company should know the specifications or at least be able to find out and if you focus on the above, you should be in good hands. Remember – cheaper is not always better!
HIRE A 3×3 MARQUEE
For your next backyard party, school fete & more…
FROM ONLY $75
5. Set up environment of the marquee?
Where are you planning on setting up your marquee? It may sound trivial but different environments will require different types of set up or add-ons (such as weights on concrete).
Consider the following when finalising where your marquee will be installed:
- Access required to get to your set up point
- Surface type
- Surrounding space and distance to other activities or structures
- Height – tree branches, ceilings etc
6. How portable is the marquee?
We’ve reached the final aspect of what we consider the best checklist when hiring a marquee and it’s a simple one!
Are you planning on transporting the marquee and installing it in a different location when hiring? As an example, having it delivered to your house and then taking it to a park for set up?
If this is a necessity, consider how the marquee is delivered to you by the hire company. The last thing you want is bits and pieces everywhere or a large cumbersome package that is difficult to transport.
All of the DIY pop up marquees from Brisbane Event Hire are supplied in a single, durable, wheeled, protective bag for ease of transport. They fit across the back seat of a car and can be rolled across most surfaces for set up!
READY TO HIRE?
Now that you’re fully equipped with the knowledge and necessary details to intelligently select the correct marquee hire company, check out our range of self-install marquees as well as commercial marquee hire options here!