Whether it’s a tipi, sailcloth, clearspan marquee or even a yurt —couples getting married only have one chance to pick the right tent hire company to entrust their special day. And to be honest even if it isn’t a wedding, if you are having a special occasion in a tent you need to know that things will go without a hitch.
But sadly, we often times still choose poorly.
Although we’ve written several articles about how to properly choose your tent provider I wanted to give everyone today one simple technique/piece of advice that will surely make a huge difference if followed by event planners and those organising a wedding or party outdoors.
And what is this piece of advice?
Well, to make a long story short, it all comes down to references.
Let’s be clear – I don’t mean reviews… because while it is wonderful to get reviews and very useful to read reviews, when you start to dig into some companies you find the reviews can be quite generic. So if you do use reviews as your yardstick, ensure that they refer to a specific event, with a date and a real person writing the review!
No, here I am talking about references. People that would be happy to talk to your prospective customers about their experience with their tent hirer.
Now before you say, “Yes, Jacquie, I already knew to ask for references from our tent supplier,” understand that there is more to it than just asking for references. In fact, here is the proper approach:
How to Properly Ask Your Tent Hire Company for References of Previous Work
Let’s assume you have a quote from a company for a tipi. Instead of asking them for their reference list, ask this simple question first:
How many tipis did you install last year? Or, How many events did you provide tents for in the last year?
Simple question, right? But here is the thing — every tent hirer will quickly tell you the answer to this question. Heck, many will even round up in an effort to be perceived as larger.
Now, once they have told you how many events they did last year, your next question will be the tell-tale:
May I see your reference list from last year then?
Let’s assume the contractor said he delivered tipis for 20 events in 2022.
If this is the case, and you only get, say, 10 references, then this essentially means one thing—a 50% satisfaction rate.
How do you feel about those odds?
As I’ve discussed this simple contractor qualification technique over the years, I’m always amazed at how many customers have told me, “Jacquie, the tent hirer tells me that he’s not allowed to give out the names due to privacy.”
Again, this is a lie.
In over 10 years of setting up tents for events, our company has never had a customer tell us their name couldn’t be on our reference list, with the exception of a handful of people, and that’s because they were celebrities.
Think about that for a second. Over 1000 names and not a single person has told us ‘NO’.
The reason for this is simple.
So for those of you that willing be picking your tent hire company in the coming months and read this, please make the decision to do what I’ve suggested here.
And if a contractor refuses to give you the references you request, just walk away. Surely there is someone in your area that is willing to be honest and transparent with their business.
By taking this step, you just may save major stress, headache, and money.
So be smart, my friends, and follow this advice.
Trust me, it works.