Tenting Tips


Structures – More Than Just a Tent

Not every tent is created equal. Especially when it comes to structure tents – tents that are built on an aluminum beam frame and can hold up to thousands of people. Our job at EventQuip is to make sure that our clients are served with safe, beautiful structures, delivered and installed by our experienced crew, and managed by our professional project managers and office staff. So what makes a structure “not just a tent”? First, take a look at what structures look like:

Clear top Tent Structure on City Street in Philadelphia

Grand Opening of the National Museum of Jewish American History – Clear Vinyl Top & Sidewalls


Structure Tent Philadelphia Main Line

Inside an open-ended white top structure at a private residence


Structure Tent Philadelphia

Small glass house with white top, clear sidewall and glass doors


Structure Tent Glass Sidewall Philadelphia

A close-up of glass wall on a large structure tent outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art


Structure Tent Clear Top Interior Philadelphia

Inside a clear top structure with clear vinyl sidewall installed over a fountain


White Structure used as Temporary Firehouse

This structure was built as a temporary firehouse, and holds three fire engines and fire equipment


Structure used as Supermarket

This temporary supermarket was built to withstand up to 90 mph winds, and remained in place for 13 months

As you can see, structures can be both beautiful and highly functional. Learn more about structures and their considerations below:

1. Structures are available in a wide range of sizes and varieties.

2. Aluminum beams in varying widths make up the frame of the structure and it is secured in place with either concrete ballasts or long tent stakes.

3. There are a variety of options when designing the look of the structure.  It can be built with clear or white vinyl sidewalls, glass sidewalls for a more elegant look, or no sidewalls at all for a more open feel.  The top can be either white or clear vinyl panels and can be left open at the ends if desired. Clear mini string lights are a classic lighting element, especially when lined along the clear top structures.

4. Structures are also called “clear-span” tents, because there are no interior poles that support the tent.  There is a wide open, unobstructed space inside the tent.  This allows more flexibility in terms of the placement of dance floors, stages, tables and chairs.

5. Installing a structure involves careful pre-planning and skilled, experienced installers who will guarantee the safety of the finished structure.

6. Structures are a great alternative for one or two day special events, but can also be installed on a semi-permanent basis.  Some structures have the ability to resist up to 90 mph winds and snow loads.

7. Just like other tents, structures can be heated or cooled depending on the weather.  The possibilities for lighting and decor are endless and can be quite impressive.

Being inside a structure tent is a unique experience, as you can see from the photos above!



You Should Be Dancin’ – Yeah!

Wood Parquet Dance Floor under Tent in Philadelphia area

Of course you want your special event to be perfect. So many things go into planning a special birthday, wedding, mitzvah or any other big party. You want the setting and ambience to match the mood of your celebration, and the food to be delicious. But most of all, you want to have fun! For most people, fun includes dancing to a live band or a DJ. EventQuip offers many dance floor alternatives to get your guests up and moving! Here are some considerations and information to help you when deciding which dance floor is best for you.

General Dance Floor Considerations

1. Approximately 50% of the people at a party will dance if there is good entertainment

2. One couple needs approximately 9 square feet of space to dance comfortably

3. A younger crowd means that most likely more than 50% of people will dance, but they generally dance closer to each other, and therefore may use a little less space

4. An older crowd indicates that less than 50% of people will dance, but they need more room because the style of dancing requires more space to move comfortably

5. You want to provide a big enough dance floor for your guests, but not so large that it appears empty

See the following chart that provides approximate guidelines for the number of guests and recommended dance floor sizes: 

Dance Floor Size Guidelines *
Total Number of Guests Approximate Number of Dancing Guests at One Time Size Options
60 30 12′ x 12′
90 45 15′ x 15′
130 65 18′ x 18′
170 85 20′ x 21′
200 100 21′ x 24′
230 115 24′ x 24′
270 135 24′ x 28′
* Note, all estimates and sizes are approximate.  Please call for custom sizes for your event. We have many custom sizes and options available.

Take a look at some of the floors we have done in the past, and let us know what you think! We can install our dance floors directly onto outdoor grassy surfaces (provided they are protected by a tent), on top of our leveled flooring, or at an indoor venue, either directly onto carpet, tile, granite or other hard surface.  We can even create elevated floors so that everyone can see the action. EventQuip has beautiful oak parquet dance floors, all black floors, all white floors, and we can do custom checkerboards or other designs.  We can also create custom decals and laminates that are adhered to the dance floor for a signature look.

White Dance Floor installed over a Pool under Tent; Philadelphia Tent, Bucks County Dance Floor, Montgomery County Dance Floor

This 18′ x 18′ white dance floor was placed on a custom elevated floor that we installed to extend over our client’s outdoor pool.  It is all enclosed by a large clear span tent that was set up adjacent to the back of the client’s home to act as the lounge and main party space for this special event.


Dance Floor on Grass Under Clear Top Tent Main Line Philadelphia

For a rustic wedding on a family farm last fall, the bride and groom chose a traditional and warm wood parquet floor for their guests to enjoy. This was installed directly on the level grass surface and is secured by beveled aluminum trim around the edges.


Custom Laminate Dance Floor Philadelphia

Here’s our wood parquet dance floor covered with a custom laminate decal that our client loved.  The decal is affixed to the floor with a special laminate backing that is durable enough for dancing, but can be easily removed when the party is complete.


Black & White Checkerboard Dance Floor Philadelphia

Here’s a fun black and white checkerboard dance floor that reflects the black and white color scheme of this party. Its placed under a white frame top tent and surrounded by our charcoal outdoor carpeting.


White Dance Floor under Pole Tent Philadelphia

At this Lilly Pulitzer-inspired wedding along the Delaware River, our client asked for our gleaming white dance floor to keep the party bright!  Surrounding the dance floor is our plush tan carpeting installed over leveled flooring.


Wood Parquet Dance Floor in Ballroom Philadelphia

Here’s another example of our wood parquet dance floor, this time installed on top of carpet inside a special events venue.


Former PA Governor Ed Rendell on our White Dance Floor Philadelphia

Finally, we have former Pennsylvania Governor and former Philadelphia Mayor, Ed Rendell tearing it up on our white dance floor under a pretty little clear top tent!



Advance Tent Planning for Bad Weather

With Old Man Winter bearing down on us and bringing unpredictable weather events, it is important to remember advance planning for your special event. Ed Knight, our owner, shares an interesting story from several years back.

Ed recalls meeting with our clients and their planner, decorator and caterer at the clients’ home to discuss the initial planning stages for their son’s Bar Mitzvah. Our clients were excited to get their home and grounds ready far in advance of this special day and celebration. They had their event team meet at their home, three years in advance, to begin the initial plans and site evaluation. Their son’s 13th birthday was in early December, and as such, so would the Bar Mitzvah be. The meeting was also set for early December, so everyone would have a sense as to what to expect for the weather. However, this particular December day was unusually mild, with nearly 70 degree temperatures and everyone in short-sleeve shirts.

Our clients knew that they wanted to hold the main celebration under a tent that we would set up in their backyard. Ed did what we call a “site evaluation” where we come to the clients home, talk to them about their expectations and survey the location. We inspect the actual property size, location of the home, trees, walkways, shrubs and access points for the guests, as well as for our crews and equipment.

This is the actual photo that Ed took on the day of the site evaluation, where he laid down tape on the ground to outline where the main tent would be located in the yard. The original plan was for one tent, with retractable sidewall and a catering tent.  The cocktail hour would be held in the yard.

Tent for Bar Mitzvah; Philadelphia Tent Rental

However, Ed knew that it was unlikely that the December day three years later would be equally as warm.  He had to draw up a proposal for bad weather. Now, that is something that we do on a regular basis. Anyone considering an outdoor event needs to fully understand that they might just get a rainy, windy, snowy or swealtering hot day. Sometimes, you might get a freakish out-of-the-blue “Snowicane” that happened to this bride in October 2011.

Ed worked up a “bad weather” plan just in case it snowed or rained on the big day. Our clients were completely aware and prepared for any additional options that they would need. Its a good thing that everything was planned in advance, since this photo was taken the day of the party!

Tent in Snow, Philadelphia Tent Rental

Everyone was kept warm and dry, thanks to advanced planning by all of those involved. Here are some important things to consider whether dealing with a little bit of rain, or a full-on snowstorm:

1. Will there be a need for flooring under your tent?  If the ground is wet, muddy, or snowy, you might need to consider some type of flooring and turf/carpeting to protect your guests shoes and clothing.

2. Will you need additional heating or cooling options? If the weather gets freezing cold, or sweltering hot, we have various options for heating and cooling down the inside of the tents.  We have kept over 1,000 guests warm in the middle of winter and have sheltered guests from rains and winds with our various sidewall options.

3. Your caterer might need additional space under cover. Many parties have space for a catering or “prep” tent.  However, when the weather goes to extremes, those people may need additional heated or cooled space because they won’t have any access to the outdoors, which they frequently use for their “spillover” needs. A catering tent may need to be bigger than originally planned.

4. Covered walkways may need to be added.  This will allow your guests to be warm and dry while moving from the driveways or the event site to the main tent, in addition to the restrooms.

5. Consider adding restroom trailers fully enclosed by tents.  We have a wide variety of restroom trailer considerations from basic to luxury options. This will allow guests ease of use, without having to enter into the main home.

6. Will you need an additional tent for cocktail hour if the weather is bad? Many clients originally plan for outdoor cocktails without cover, but this may be a consideration if the weather does not cooperate.

Our experienced project managers have the knowledge and the skill to design not only your fair weather event infrastructure, but can provide you with optional plans based on the possibility of severe weather. While everyone keeps their fingers crossed for the best weather scenario, the truth is we just never know what kind of weather that Mother Nature will bring.  Our advice is to be prepared!


Sky High Tenting on the 25th Floor

Last week in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, we set up shop on the 25th floor of a skyscraper. A local company was holding an appreciation party for their partners and needed some additional space for dancing. What better place to celebrate than on a 25th floor terrace overlooking the skyline of our beautiful city?

It started off with a phone call from our client back in August, wondering if we would be physically able to install a tent on their building’s rooftop terrace. So we sent down our Senior Project Manager, Alan, to take a look. After meeting with the client, and discussing their needs and concerns, Alan put together a proposal and a drawing for the client to review. Many factors are considered during a site inspection, and this one presented some unique challenges.

First, take a look at the finished product… here is the interior of the tent, after the lighting and staging company set up, ready for the band and the party!

Rooftop tent, interior

Now, here’s how we did it! An unusual load-in and load-out was our first issue to tackle. We checked the size of the elevators, stairwells and access points to ensure our equipment would fit inside. We also needed to be confirm that we could properly secure the tent to the building for the safety of the guests.

Rooftop Tent Load In Philadelphia

Rooftop Tent Philadelphia Load In

Once we moved all of the equipment up the freight elevators, the tent assembly itself was similar to a standard ground-level installation. Here, our crew begins assembling the upper portion of the frame of the tent, which gives the tent its overall shape. The clear and white roof panels are installed while the frame is still on the “ground”.

Rooftop Tent Philadelphia Assembly

Tent on Roof Philadelphia Installation

This photo shows the completed basic tent construction. Since we could not stake the tent into the building, it was secured with water ballasts (the white barrels shown) to weigh the tent down. Once the frame is up, we added the white and clear sidewall that the client requested.

Rooftop tent, water ballasts

Tent on Roof Philadelphia Sidewall Installation

Finally, we attached the tent to the building itself using ropes and ratchet straps to secure it for the comfort and safety of our clients and their guests.

Rooftop Tent - Securing the Tent

Here’s the view of the city that our installation crew enjoyed all day. Good job guys – nice work!

Rooftop tent, view

View of Philadelphia from Rooftop Tent


Community Day at the New Einstein Medical Center

On the first day of fall, the new Einstein Medical Center Montgomery (EMCM)  located in East Norriton, PA opened its doors to celebrate its upcoming grand opening on September 29th.  EventQuip was there at the “Destination Einstein!” event that allowed the community to explore the new hospital with tours, entertainment and health education activities.  We provided a 82″ x 116″ clearspan European-style structure, which we built in the shadow of the gleaming new building.

Clearspan Tent Exterior

Eager participants lined up to tour the  new facility, meet hospital officials and medical specialists.

Einstein Hospital

Inside our large clearspan structure, members of the community stopped by the educational booths, participated in activities and learned more about the new hospital.  Sometimes people think that a “clearspan” structure or tent means that the roof or tent walls are “clear”.  But as you can see here, this “tent” has a white roof with alternating clear and white walls.  A clearspan structure actually means that the entire interior of the tented area is completely open, or clear, from any poles or structural support.  This provides the client the freedom to place their equipment, tables, chairs, etc. anywhere inside the area that works best for them.  A “clearspan” structure can also be built with an actual clear roof as well, which is beautiful for nighttime events when lit with special event lighting.  These types of structure tents are specially rated for high wind resistance, and can be particularly useful for long term events.

Clearspan Structure Interior

EventQuip also provided auxiliary tents, such as this frame tent (below), service tents, guttered tent connections, restroom trailer tents and lighting and flooring throughout the event.

Einstein Frame Tent Interior

But our clearspan structure was so cool, even the ice cream truck wanted to be next to it!

Montgomery County Clearspan Exterior