Ease of handling. Ease of installation. And a new product that no one has seen. That’s what led McCarthy Tents & Events of Rochester and Buffalo, N.Y., to bring the Evolution Dome to the United States, according to owner Sean McCarthy.
“When you see how it looks, it’s amazing,” he says. “Anyone who looks at it who likes tents says, ‘Wow, what is that?’ It’s a point of interest.”
Based in the U.K., Evolution Dome offers inflatable domes and cubes ranging from 8 to 24 meters. McCarthy Tents & Events is both offering the domes for rent to its own clients and serving as the U.S. distributor for Evolution Dome.
“The most important part of introducing a new style of tent into our business is getting our entire staff excited about it,” McCarthy says. “This is the current ‘hot button’ product, and we are working and succeeding at creating a buzz on a national level.”
McCarthy sees indoor tradeshows as an exciting application for the domes—and one that is largely untapped by the tent rental industry.
“We see inflatable pods, office spaces and seminar areas being a huge part of the appeal,” he says.
The company’s first installation of a dome was for an indoor tradeshow in Detroit, Mich., creating a private seminar space on the busy tradeshow floor. The second use was at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, where the dome served as a private, air-conditioned VIP space.
McCarthy says that training for installing the tent is minimal because “it is such an easy, straightforward product.
“From an install standpoint, the time savings is huge,” he continues. “The only difficult portion is rolling out the fabric. In the right conditions, six people could set up a 24-meter dome in less than an hour indoors, and two hours outdoors.”
The dome blocks out 20 decibels of sound and also provides insulation in cool or warm air, depending on the season. The only drawback, he says, is that for a fully enclosed dome or cube, climate control is required in very hot weather.
The inflatables currently meet a 55-mph wind rating, and the company is working to get it upgraded to 69 mph. “In addition, we are working on new designs with additional air beams for more strict permitting parts of the country,” McCarthy says. “Long term, we do not see any permitting issues we can’t work past.”