How to Choose the Best Type of Tent for Your Event

event tent

If you run an event rental or party planning company, you may have clients who need tents to facilitate their outdoor events. Your client will know that they need a tent for their event but still need to finalize decisions on tent specifics. They may need to zero in on whether they want a high peak, a hip roof (West Coast Style) traditional rope and pole, or sailcloth tent. They may also still need to figure out the square footage.

First, let’s look at that last point, calculating the tent size. Then we’ll explore four of the most popular types of event tents and the issue of quality craftsmanship.

Simple equations to determine tent size

Bergen Party Rentals, headquartered in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, uses the following simple math formulas to advise on appropriate tent size (in square footage):

  • Multiply the guest number by 12 if you want round tables for a buffet or sit-down dinner. (150 guest x 12 = 1,800 sq.ft)
  • Multiply the guest number by 10 if you want banquet tables for a buffet or sit-down dinner. (150 guest x 10 = 1,500 sq. ft)
  • Multiply the guest number by 8 if you want to have a cocktail party with limited seating. (150 guest x 8 = 1,200 sq. ft)
  • Multiply the guest number by 8 if you want rows of chairs (sometimes called classroom or cathedral seating. (150 guest x 8 = 1,200 sq. ft)

Four of the most common event tents

Once you know the size, what type of tent do you want? Here are four of the most popular types of event tents:

Hip Roof (West Coast Style Frame)

A hip roof is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a gentle slope (although a tented roof is a hipped roof with steeply pitched slopes rising to a peak). Thus, a hipped roof house has no gables or other vertical sides to the roof. We also have a Gable End which only drains on two sides and the ends are flat, versus the four-sided Hip Roof. These are traditionally used at formal events (weddings, conventions, hotel receptions, etc.) A small hip roof frame tent (10’ x 10’ to 15’ x 15’) will also work and is very popular for a small backyard party to avoid the cost of professional installation. The larger ones work well on decks, patios, concrete, asphalt or other surfaces that do not allow for stakes. The base feet may be bolted down or you may use weights or water barrels.

Common Hip Roof Tent Sizes:  

High Peak Frame (AKA Cross-Cable Frame) 

The High Peak Frame Tent features an elegant, high- peak design that is great for outdoor events including graduation parties, fairs, and festivals. Installed tension cross cables conveniently eliminate the need for traditional center pole or interior framing and provide quick and easy storage. The High Peak Frame Tent can be set up in just a matter of minutes with only 2 people. The extremely durable top consists of 16 oz. block-out vinyl that is heat-sealed and all the corner fittings and base plates are cast aluminum.

Traditional Rope & Pole Tent

This tent is a huge point of focus among the tent rental companies because the style is much stronger and prepared for all-weather needs of important functions. It is known for having a high peak (although it should not be confused with the true “High Peak” as described above. Pole tents are usually associated with Circus Tents or Revival Church Tents. Very popular also for large activities because they can go from 20’ wide to 80’ wide and as long as 100’.

Sailcloth tent

This tent type has elegant peaks and eaves. Its translucent fabric allows natural light to seep through. It is becoming very trending with the hipsters that rather go this route than the previous three more traditional style frames. We will eventually consider this market but for now we concentrate mainly on the traditional styles.

Choosing high-quality tents

Are you looking to better help your clients figure out how to make decisions on tents, such as deciding between the high peak, traditional pole or hip roof styles? All these decisions they make will need to lead to an expertly made tent. All our tents at Tent Renters Supply are made in our 13,000- square foot facility in Tampa, Florida and our staff is eager to help you make the right decision. View our catalog.