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Four Major Challenges of Dealing with Tents When Planning an Event

Marquee tents at an event

Most large outdoor events require tents. They’re useful in breaking the event into sections, housing vendors, sectioning off space for staff, providing shade and cover for rain, and so much more. Unfortunately, as with most elements of planning a large event, tents also present some major challenges. Fortunately, there are ways to set yourself up for success when it comes to dealing with tents. Here are four major challenges of dealing with tents when planning an event and some tips on how to overcome them.

1. Custom Sizing & Map Placement

Tents come in a countless range of shapes and sizes. You can even have tents custom-made for your event. This is generally a great thing, allowing event planners to find the right tent for their needs – whether it be for vendors, performances, medical stations, or event staff. The tricky part of custom sizing is that you have to be able to account for your tent’s unique sizing in your site map. Placing a standard tent size won’t always cut it and could lead to inconsistencies between your map and your site.

Luckily, OnePlan allows you to mockup custom tent sizes, ensuring that your site map is accurate down to the inch in both location and scale. It is not good enough to have a general idea of where all of your elements (tents especially) will be placed around the festival site. Miscalculating by even a few inches can mean blocking an exit or overcrowding. Every inch counts! In OnePlan, you can be precise. Enter exact measurements (imperial or metric) for all event elements in the OnePlan studio.

You can also utilize OnePlan’s Object Array, a Snap-to-Grid tool which allows you to space out your tents on the map perfectly. You can input the number of tents needed as well as the distance between them and OnePlan will generate them on the event map. You can use it to map out tents and other elements and make your entire event layout more exact and the process of site planning more convenient.

If your outdoor event includes camping tents, we have designed a comfortable and safe camping calculator. Developed using The Purple Guide, this serves as a valuable guide for planning campsites based on tent footprints and density levels. This tool ensures optimal space utilization, easy navigation, and adherence to industry guidelines.

2. Working with Vendors

Vendors, vendors, and more vendors. One of the great challenges of event planning is managing the massive number of vendors necessary to put on a major event. From lighting technicians and security personnel to medics, food vendors, and yes – tent suppliers!

If you’re still relying on PowerPoint or a similar tool to map out your festival site, you know how difficult collaborating with vendors can be. OnePlan makes this all so much easier with its collaboration features. The ability to share your work with other members of your team as well as vendors who need to see and understand your site map is a powerful tool. Maintain an overview of the entire operational site plan and share it (with view-only or editing capabilities) with your tent vendor to make the planning process easier.

OnePlan is set up for vendor management. Each item you place on your map has a vendor management section where you can track information like vendor name, cost, in-and-out date, and availability status. Learn more about managing vendors in OnePlan.

OnePlan’s Bill of Quantities tool will also come in handy when dealing with your vendors and for inventory management. Everything you place in the site map is automatically pulled into the bill of quantities, so you can see what infrastructure and items you need all in one place. As you design your event site plan, including placing your tents, OnePlan automatically calculates and displays the items you need to source from suppliers in the Bill of Quantities section. Visit dashboard reports to view all of the inventory you’ve placed on your plan and export a comprehensive bill of quantities to a CSV file.

3. Local Regulations for event planning

The important task of aligning with local regulations, applying for permits, and ensuring your event isn’t interrupted by unhappy authorities, is a taxing one. Tents are another element that requires this type of consideration – almost always requiring permits. 

One of the worst mistakes you can make is to delay applying for necessary permits for your event. In most cases, the first thing you need to do when planning any public event is to provide your local government with a detailed event plan, risk assessments, and proof of public liability insurance. Allow plenty of time for these to be processed (we recommend submitting them several months before the event). Connect with your venue and local government to make sure all the boxes are ticked. 

You will likely need certain permits and licenses to put up large tents, so make sure to check with your local government to find out. Your easy-to-share OnePlan site map will come in handy when ensuring your tents and event map comply with regulations. You can find a full permit and licensing checklist in the free OnePlan Event Management Form.

4. Lighting & Electricity in tents at your event

If your event runs into the evening or you have vendors or activities that will require electricity in your tents, you need to account for that and ensure you’ve mapped out where you’ll be sourcing energy. This is a common challenge in dealing with tents at major events, and one that you need to prepare for in advance.

You’ll need to mark all of this in your site map in case additional elements, like generators, are needed. In the vendor management section of any item on your OnePlan site map, you can include power details and information on WiFi/internet, ensuring a smooth – and properly lit – event.

To learn more about planning with tents in OnePlan, book a demo with one of our event planning specialists.

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