A proper event tent site survey is vital to delivering a successful, profitable event. Consider it an investment to ensure success for your event rental business.

Picture this.

Your crew arrives at the event and discovers the customer’s description of the tent site was not accurate.

Light poles are right in the middle of the space where the tent is supposed to set-up. And there’s a tree where the restroom trailer is supposed to go.

How can this be? Your customer gave you a detailed list of what they needed and even sent a sketch of what it should look like on site.

You trusted the customer to give you the information you needed. But they didn’t and now the event is just a few hours away.

Cue the mad scramble, a frustrated crew and an unhappy client – who, by the way, doesn’t care that it isn’t your fault. They just wanted their event to be perfect. And now they plan to share their frustration on every online review site they can find.

Solution: The Site Survey

There’s one tried-and-true step to avoid this scenario, keep your customer happy, and keep your online reviews up: the Site Survey.

Conducting a proper site survey allows your team to verify critical information and avoid surprises. It helps you advise the customer on what type of tent their space can handle and provide solutions for challenging environments.

Before you quote a price, write up an agreement, or even consider signing anything, visit the location with your site survey checklist. If your event rental company doesn’t have an official site survey, TopTec will be glad to provide one for you.

What’s in a Site Survey?

This checklist gives your company a clear picture to answer all pertinent questions and make sure nothing is overlooked. It also allows you, the event company, to quote the job correctly.

  • Are there any obstacles such as sidewalks, roof overhangs, trees, or utilities you need to work around?
  • Do you have to take a tent around a house to the back lawn with a considerable elevation change and limited access?
  • Will all the components need to be carried in by hand, limiting your ability to use carts for bulk transport?

If so, those things should be noted in the site survey. Additional charges may apply based on what you find. Without the survey, you could end up eating that expense.

Event Tent by the Water

Don’t forget about utilities.

One big area that’s often overlooked is utilities. If they can’t be addressed, equipment must be moved.

I once arrived onsite for a “standard” frame tent installation on a concrete pad. We found a power line overhead that wasn’t noted when we originally discussed the install with the customer.

As the lead installer, I had to declare the site unsafe and shut the job down until the power company could send someone out to disconnect the power. The power company actually had to move that power line to make the site safe. Only then could work resume.

Installers who were paid by the hour stood around while we waited for this work to be done. This delay – and extra expense – could have been avoided if we had just checked the site in advance.

Covering Your Expense

That’s just one example of a situation where failure to conduct a site survey was very costly. I’m sure you know of more.

But, the reality is that it takes time and money to send a qualified person to the site in advance. So, how do keep from going out of business giving away site surveys?

One way is to charge for these surveys, then credit your customer when they sign the contract for the event. It’s a minimal expense that could save your customer (and you!) lots of money.

A thorough check of your event site leads to more efficient work by you and a more valuable experience for your customer. As the event company, it’s your responsibility to offer a site survey and clearly explain its importance for everyone involved.

Want to Know More?

Learn to conduct a proper site survey at TopTec’s exclusive Tent School. The industry’s longest running tent training program, Tent School will train your team on all aspects of tent setup, tear-down, and maintenance.