Finding the Right Event Tent

September 12, 2018 | Catering, Décor, Party Planning, Weddings

We always love summertime events, because we get to enjoy the beautiful Chicago summer weather while we work! For those of us in the event industry, the good weather means events can take place under open air tents. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our best advice for finding the right event tent.



The first and most important step in securing a tent for your large event is ensuring that you and your planner are working with a professional and fully-licensed tent company. In addition to the guarantee of a safely installed tent, a reputable tent company will also manage any necessary permits.

After choosing a tent company, the second step is choosing a tent that will comfortably fit all of your expected guests and closely convey the style and theme of the event itself.

There are many different styles of tents, so we have broken down three of the most popular: Pole, Frame/Clearspan, and Marquee.

  • The dramatic pole tent, typically featuring one or more peaks, is often used for weddings because the billowy style expresses a romantic tone. One thing to note about pole tents is that they must be staked into the ground and therefore cannot be set up on concrete or other hard surfaces.

  • The practical frame/clearspan tent is incredibly versatile in terms of layout and design, making it a great choice for virtually any event.  Instead of a pole, the tent is supported by a metal frame and can be set up in most locations. Additionally, frame/clearspan tents can be used with clear vinyl siding and roofing to create an outdoor atmosphere within an enclosed space.

  • The final and most commonly used tent is the marquee, which features the elegant peaked roof of a pole tent with the flexibility of a frame tent.

Flooring may or may not be a necessity with tents. Personal style, the location of the tent and the weather can all determine if a floor is needed. If there is any chance of rain however, flooring is a must.

You’ll also want to consider whether heating or cooling should be included. This is not an insignificant budget item, but it will definitely be noticed if the weather is extreme and no AC or heat is present.

While all these considerations and options can be overwhelming, having a solid foundation of your event’s style, a competent planner and an established tent company will all help contribute to the success of your event.