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Marquee Lead Times and What You Need to Know

April 14, 2021
Marquee Lead Times and What You Need to Know
Written by Eryn B

You’ve decided on a product and have locked in your order, yay! There are a few things we need to finalise before we can pack your order and send it off to you for your first event.

Let’s dive deeper into lead times for what you really need to know and why.

What is a marquee lead time?

When we talk about a marquee lead time, we are specifically referencing the time it takes from the start of production to the completion of your order, a.k.a. the printing and manufacturing of your printed/made-to-order items. 

These times are estimates based on lots of variables which are constantly changing.

If it’s peak season (October to March), lead times are changing all the time. This is because we have lots of customers in a queue ready for manufacturing. So while we’re working on your artwork, other customers are approving orders, which are constantly being added to our production queue.

When the sales team gives you an estimate on lead times, it is based on the marquee lead time at that moment of enquiry. We do our best to factor upcoming orders into our estimates, but as more and more orders get approved, the marquee lead time can still change.

During the process, we will ask you if you have a specific date or event that you require the Technishelter for. It is vital that you advise us if you have a use date, as we prioritise orders based on these dates we are provided with. If there is no specific date, then we will inform you of our standard marquee lead time to give you an idea on when to expect your order.

What else do I need to factor in before my order is printed?

Marquee lead time 2

There are many stages involved in your order, and accountability falls on both sides. We know that it's hard to think of everything, especially if this is the first time you have had to organise something like this. 

To help you prepare, let’s use the example of ordering a printed marquee:

  1. Acceptance of proposal - your advisor will have sent you out at least one proposal. Depending on your approval process, this might take a day, or it might take a month to be approved and paid.
  2. Asset handover - we need you to send us all of your artwork assets in the highest quality you have e.g. logos, graphics, images, photos, branding guidelines etc. On rare occasions, we may need to send your assets off to be redrawn so the design prints at a better quality at full scale.
  3. Artwork direction - you may have a very specific design you want, or you may like expert advice and suggestions on what we can create for you.
  4. Artwork revisions - we’ll send you artwork revisions for you to look over and provide any feedback or alterations you’d like to have done to the design. This could be as simple as let’s make the logo bigger, or a complete change of direction.
  5. Approval - after you have an artwork revision you’re happy with, we’ll send you the print ready artwork for you to sign off on. You’ll need to zoom 1000% to view in life size. We won’t send your order off into production without this sign off.
  6. Your order is scheduled for production - Your order will be added to our production queue. Now we will have a more accurate marquee lead time on production as we can see how many other orders we have in the queue.
  7. We’ll pack up your order and deliver to you - It’s not finished yet! We still have transit times, 99% of the time our delivery times are accurate and delivered on time. Throw in a pandemic and things may be pushed out. We always suggest to select the premium service for your delivery, express services typically receive a higher priority over regular. 

But the sales team said 7-10 days business days?

Yup, 7-10 business days is the lead time to print and manufacture your order. That doesn’t account for all the steps before we get your order into production, and the estimated delivery times afterwards.

Marquee leaed time queues

Queues are one of those necessary evils that no one likes, but everyone agrees is fair. The waiting time changes depending on the demand. If you have ever been to McDonalds, there are times where you can receive your order in 2 minutes. Other times you walk in when it's busy, and it’s 10 minutes. It’s the same principle with us. The marquee lead time changes from day to day and it’s not uncommon for us to receive large 10, 20, even 50 marquee orders that push out lead times.

A lot of people will see 7-10 business days and assume the clock starts after making payment. This isn’t the case. Manufacturing starts once you have approved the ‘Print Ready’ artwork via email, and payment has cleared

For a majority of our orders, the whole order process takes somewhere between 2 weeks to 2 months, and this is heavily reliant on you, the client. While we’ve waved our magic wand quite a few times before to get an order delivered on such a tight time frame, it doesn’t mean it works that way every time. Rushing orders through ends up being a stressful ordeal for everyone

Ultimately, a successful fast turn around comes down to two things: communicating urgency and availability. Are you prepared to make decisions about artwork, provide quick approvals, and be available via phone and email? If the answer is no to any of these, then you may need to reconsider your deadline.

How can I affect the marquee lead time?

Let’s say you start the conversation of ordering a printed marquee in June. We create a couple of proposals for you to consider, and come the middle of November you’ve locked in your order. But you still need it by the end of November. Well, let’s get our skates on!

This isn’t uncommon, as we understand there are hurdles and red tape to cross over before proposals can be approved: whether it’s committee meetings, grabbing the attention of all of the key stakeholders to sign off, or the event date is a while away and there are other things to prioritise first.

Marquee lead time calendar

We will always be upfront as to how much time we need and how confident we are in meeting deadlines. We can work fast. We’ve had orders approved, artwork designed, print ready sign offs and orders sent into production within a few hours, but we’ve also had orders take months to get designed and approved. 

Short answer: the more responsive you are to our communications, the faster we can get things done. This means answering emails quickly with design revision requests, and answering calls when we call you.

What is the most common hold up to lead times?

One of the most common hold ups is when people don’t answer their phone or reply to emails in the proposal or artwork stage. We are then unable to progress with the order as there are some important decisions that need to be made by the client before manufacturing can begin.

Marquee lead time artwork

Another common hold up is when we are waiting on asset files for artwork. If you have your own designer working on your marquee design, there are a few factors that need to be considered when supplying the artwork: 

  1. Deadlines need to be communicated clearly to the designer.
  2. If the design you are after cannot be done in a realistic timeframe, then you may need to reconsider the design used, or, reconsider your use date.
  3. The designer needs to follow our specific set of guidelines for supplying the artwork. If these are not followed, it can involve a lot of back and forth to get it right, meaning further delays and sometimes further cost.

Above all, it is important to remember that the event date does not move. So for every day of delay between reviews and approvals, it makes your deadline harder to achieve. Any time we can save during the revisions process, means a higher likelihood of your order being delivered on time. 

We’ve partnered together to design and produce an amazing asset, and now the work begins. Expect to be contacted multiple times throughout the process; rest assured we are working hard behind the scenes to create your dream marquee.

So, how long should I realistically expect to receive my order?

For the majority of cases, the entire order process from artwork to delivery takes between 2 weeks and 2 months. 

Again, this all depends on how engaged you are in getting your order confirmed and artwork signed off so we can print your order, and then deliver it to you in time for your event. 


When planning your next printed marquee, it’s best to be engaged throughout the entire process to ensure smooth sailing of the order. There is a lot of work that goes into each and every order after acceptance of a proposal.

We’re here to walk you through the process and provide suggestions during the initial artwork conversation and revisions to your design, to keep the order moving in a timely manner to meet other lead times and get your order ready for your first event. 

Marquee lead time business

Ready to get the ball rolling? Let’s begin by planning together your first in-hand date, to make the whole order process less stressful and ensure that your marquee lead time expectations are met from the get go.

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A Technishelter® is the last marquee you'll ever buy.
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