Suzanne Warner of Surrey, British Columbia-based Tentnology likens white tents to a woman's wardrobe basic, the little black dress, and describes tent accessories as a way to spice up an event's outfit. “Accessories are a way to customize and tailor the event to look unique,” she explains. “Add red, white and blue banners, and you have a backyard party. Add silver and black, and you create a slick corporate event, while pink ribbons and tulle create a romantic wedding setting.” The latest trend in dressing up a tent, she says, is incorporating lighting accents.
Tentnology offers accessories such as stretched fabric sails and pole covers but will also design and build original tent accents for clients who want “something new, unique and customized,” Warner adds.
With extras such as hard walls, dome tops and clear tops, Frederick, Md.-Based Losberger U.S. can give tents a more permanent look and feel, sales manager Pat Moughan says. “Tented events have become more sophisticated,” he adds, as people realize that easily transported tents can still act like permanent buildings. “More and more, tents are not being limited by location.”
Losberger U.S. has introduced a new wall system called “Clip Tex,” a lightweight product with vinyl stretched inside an aluminum frame to create the look of hard panels. The novel system adds stability and makes incorporating color and branding simple, Moughan explains.
Brandy Spainhoward of Evansville, Ind.-Based Anchor Industries loves the altering effects of tent accessories. “Tents look like five-star resorts,” she says. “It's simply amazing what liners and lighting can do for a tent.” She notes that Anchor Industries offers trimmings from leg skirts to cathedral windows to assist with tent transformations.
One arena for a tricked-out tent is the VIP area at professional sporting venues, according to Spainhoward, where tents are decorated with “graphics, liners, lights and doors,” she says. Such tents “are great advertisements as well as elaborate gathering areas for fans.”
Tent accessories have practical applications, too. “Tent doors are becoming standard issue items in all clearspan structures, thanks to fire marshals' specifications regarding exits,” says Alexandre Renaud, international sales manager for Lachine, Quebec-based Fiesta Tents.
The company produces a plethora of tent accessories from pole drapes to chandeliers and provided a tent for Montreal's Fashion Week with double glass doors to keep the elements out and the warmth in, while providing a “grand entrance” for spectators and models, Renaud says.
Anchor Industries, 800/544-4445; Fiesta Tents, 800/465-5070; Losberger U.S., 800/964-8368; Tentnology, 800/663-8858