Secrets Behind Tenting- Scott Pickel, Everything Tented

I am SO excited to learn more about tenting and even more excited to learn from a pro.  Scott from Everything Tented was kind enough to do the interview on some behind the scenes information about tenting.  Tenting seems simple but in reality it can become one the most costly and complicated things involved in a wedding.  So, before you call on a company and ask them to throw up a tent in your backyard, read some of the details Scott had to offer.  

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: There are two.  First, most people look at tenting as strictly seasonal, but we put on some great events in the winter time.  Costs are higher, but can be just as comfortable and it so very cool to look out from inside the warm tent at a snowy landscape.
Second, we experience a good deal of customers who think that a tented reception at home is going to cost less than renting a hall.  One of the first things we try to do is educate the potential client of the cost difference.  Renting the hall at “X” and it comes with tables, chairs, dishes, basic glassware and maybe even basic linen vs. Renting the tent at “X” and then also having to rent everything else under it for “Y & Z”
Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when choosing their tent company?
A: Focusing more on price than quality and service is a big mistake that brides will make.  The lowest price tends to come with the lowest quality and service which is an unfortunate way to spend one of the most special days of your life.  A good deal of consumers view our product as a commodity.  There are subtle important differences even in the same exact tent product installed by two different companies.  I think that the most important thing that a bride can do is find someone that they like and trust.  It’s an important day and a big decision.  Get to know, like and trust your tent provider

Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when selecting a tent?
A: Tent location is huge.  Flatness, how the site holds or drains water, overhead issues, ease for older guests to get to the site or obstacles within the site should be considered.  In most cases, a tent can go in the site, but the cost may be higher due to elevated flooring or alternative anchoring methods.

Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: That’s a tough one… it depends on the event and the budget.  Things like going from a pole tent to a more costly frame tent can eliminate center poles and upgrade to trac-style sidewalls.  Adding a liner to a frame tent is a great thing to splurge on as well.  Depending on the way that a site holds water it could be adding a subfloor to protect guests.

Q: What is a story you have heard about mistakes made in your industry has made?
A: We don’t make mistakes in our industry…lol.  Well, I certainly wouldn't “air-out” a competitor here.  A common mistake that happens all around the country everyday is not properly anchoring a tent.  Especially with water barrels.  People don’t understand the real amount of water barrels needed to safely keep that tent from sliding around the parking lot.  It is typically 3-5 times the actual amount that are used. 
A mistake that I made a long time ago was talking a father of a bride out of paying for a subfloor because it was “too costly”.  The day of the event it rained so much that there was an inch of water under most of the tent.  Had a sold him the floor, the event would have been fine.  Now I make a point of quoting what a floor would cost and the fact that only about 10% of the time would you need it because it rained enough.  I let the client decide how to spend their money. AEP-(I have the utmost respect for vendors who admit mistakes, it does happen!!!!)

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: Carpet instead of Astroturf, liner for the tent, clear cover dance floor over the pool.

Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in contracts with their tent company?
A: Special notes and disclaimers.  There are times that we’ll make notes that the client is responsible for marking the sprinkler system and so many times no one read it and we don’t have it marked once on-site for installation.  Also, if a company offers a “damage waiver” go through the scenarios that this would benefit you to have it.  In general it’s not good for the client and we don’t even offer it.

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: Site inspections are the best way to get the most accurate quote for your special event.  Over the phone pricing is hard and a waste of time typically for both of us.  We are trying to give you service for your dollar from the first phone call.  By being at the site and hearing your vision for this special event, I can find other/better ways that we can make your day a huge success!

Now that is some great information on tenting.  I've been planning events for 13 years and that was even insightful to me.  I hope you learned a little more about tents and now you know who to call for your wedding and event tenting needs!  Thanks Everything Tented for your time!
Happy Planning!