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Working with lighting companies

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While many tent rental companies provide and install their own lighting solutions, others rely on professional lighting companies for certain tent applications.

“We have used outside lighting companies for special chandeliers and lighting requests that are beyond our capabilities,” Wilson says. “It is important that you know what their needs are, including electrical requirements, and how much time they need for installation and removal of their equipment.”

Party Savvy provides basic tent lighting using PAR fixtures and other lighting products. “We do offer two types of chandeliers for tents for some of our upscale events,” Skena says. “When customers are interested in more elaborate lighting, we partner with an event lighting specialist. They have the equipment and expertise to provide whatever lighting effect a client may want. The benefit of this arrangement is that they have the equipment and the expertise to do the job right. We make a commission for bringing them in on the job, and we retain control of the job. The lighting company works for us; we bill our customer for the lighting company’s work, and we are the single point of contact for our customer.”

As with any vendors, communication and clearly defined logistics are crucial when partnering with lighting vendors. “We work with other lighting companies all over the country — when we go out of town, or when they come into our market,” Waldrop says. “For tents, this creates somewhat of an issue as they do not have the extensive inventory of ‘tent-exclusive’ brackets and lightweight equipment that we have developed and inventoried. Tents are a whole new ballgame for many lighting companies, so I would ask the tent provider who they like working with for recommendations.”

Maura Keller is a freelance writer based in Plymouth, Minn.

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