By Jake Kulju, InTents magazine  |  August 2, 2016

Tented events require a lot of forethought. Marathons, music festivals, and community celebrations immediately bring large event tents to mind. Most tents at large events are auxiliary structures, however. For an event run smoothly, tenting is often required for medical services, catering, sound systems support, restroom facilities, and other needs.

“There are so many different tents that can be used [for auxiliary tenting],” says Sarah Lapping, director of sales and marketing at Economy Tent International, Miami, Fla. “You may have a marquee tent that extends out from the main event tent for convenience and coverage to a catering tent, [or] you may have a tent hidden off to the side completely enclosed as a bridal tent.”

Determining the needs and goals of an event can help rental companies accurately estimate the required number of auxiliary tenting, including the types and sizes of tents. Donny Vasquez, vice president of marketing and special projects at Made In the Shade Tent Rentals of West Sacramento, Calif., points out that available space is an important variable. “A lot of times the tent sizes are determined by what the space will allow,” he says. “We always have to take in code requirements such as 20 feet from a flame or barbeque [grill], and 20 feet from a building. If we are supplying a catering tent we have to ask what type of work will be done inside the tent. That determines what tent will be used from our inventory.

“For some of the marathon races we work on, the back-of-house tents tend to be first aid or triage tents,” he continues. “These tents service hundreds over the course of a race. We will determine the sizes based on what type of weather we are having and how many people are participating. There is no sure method for figuring out how many people will be in the tents, but we do our best to estimate…in partnership with the customer.”

These crucial services are often what make large public events run smoothly. Anticipating the need for adequate and useful auxiliary tenting can help rental companies upsell tents for events if customers overlook the need for the support structures when placing their order.