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Strategies for small tent rental companies that want to participate in big event trends

March 14th, 2016 / By: / Feature

Condit installed a 22,000-square-foot, two-story structure in Vail, Colo., for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The project included a VIP dining hall and prep kitchen, two bars and restrooms. Photo: Condit
Condit installed a 22,000-square-foot, two-story structure in Vail, Colo., for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The project included a VIP dining hall and prep kitchen, two bars and restrooms. Photo: Condit

As the demand grows for event structures that disguise their temporary nature and add panache, companies with limited resources—employees, inventory, equipment—may wonder where they fit in.

Although small operations may not have Fortune 500 companies knocking on their doors, “the size of your company has no relevance in terms of being able to provide something to a client who is willing to pay for it,” says Alex Kouzmanoff, vice president of Aztec Tents in Torrance, Calif. “There’s nothing to say a company with five employees could not execute a major, never-seen-before tent concept for a client.”

Pat Moughan, general manager of Losberger US in Frederick, Md., echoes the size-doesn’t-matter concept.

“[Tent-rental companies] have to move with the times,” he says. “You don’t have to do it on a large scale. There are accessories that can make your tent look different.”

Accessories can create a high-end look on a smaller scale, in an off-the-shelf product, like two of Denver, Colo.-based Condit’s customers did.

“They took the same 25,000-square-foot structure we did for America’s Cup in 2013 and did it in 250 square feet,” says Sky Curl, Condit’s international business director.

Carol Cundey, marketing manager for Eureka! Tent Division of Johnson Outdoors Gear Inc., says the Binghamton, N.Y.-based company has noted a trend toward using clear tops on frame and clearspan tents.

“Clear tops do require a bit extra care in handling by rental companies,” she says. “But if they handle it right and price it right for their market, it’s a very easy step into for the small guys to set themselves apart.”

“It costs more to do sophisticated things, and a small guy will take a smaller bite of the jump to something,” Moughan says. “But they can’t be afraid to do it.”

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