A company president’s backyard sets the stage for an employee bash.
For Steven Eisenstein, the best indication that a backyard tented party has been an unqualified success is in the post-party thank-you letters.
“We love the fact that we can take someone’s home and turn it into an awesome event space,” Eisenstein, president of Classic Tents & Events, Atlanta, Ga., says. “People are just so proud to show off their homes, their personal area. It becomes an awesome place to have a party, and they take pride in the event.”
This was the case for an April 2011 employee appreciation party at the home of the president of an automobile finance company, whose property on the Chattahoochee River provided a scenic locale.
Classic Tents & Events installed a 40-by-55-foot Navi-Trac® Tent by Anchor Industries for guests and a 10-by-10-foot Fiesta® Tent for the caterer. Decor included a dramatic LED lighting scheme inside the tent and around the house and pool. Classic sales manager Bari Schlam worked with the client to book all rental items for the event, including items that needed to be subrented.
“It was a huge hit,” Eisenstein says. “The client was more than pleased, praising us in a letter afterward about how happy they were.”
A backyard tented party can be a great alternative to a permanent venue for businesses hosting company events. The cost of renting tents and party supplies can be offset by avoiding numerous other fees including special event venue rental and the food and beverage minimums they often require. In addition, hosts can purchase alcohol at retail prices, eliminating the huge markups of restaurants and hotels. Finally, a party at the home of a president or CEO can create a more intimate gathering for guests, promoting a feeling of family among employees that continues long after the party is over.
Like most backyard events, this party had its set of installation challenges.
“There was a small fence with a narrow gate alongside of the house that everything had to go through, so everything had to be hand carried,” Eisenstein says. “We had to charge a difficult-access fee for this client. It worked out, it just took a little bit of time on the labor side.”
When installing tents in a backyard, underground sprinkler systems are a concern in addition to public utilities, as is landscaping that homeowners cherish. Eisenstein approaches those issues by clearly communicating on site visits and in proposals the steps the property owner and the installers will need to take to avoid damage and leave the space exactly the way it was found.
“You are dealing with people’s personal space,” he says. “It’s their garden, it’s their yard that they take such care of. When somebody runs over someone’s bushes and flowers, we’re dealing with a lot more emotions, verses a corporate event where it’s a nice blank space with no emotions involved.”