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Why two smaller marquees are a better idea than one larger marquee

January 29, 2020
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Why two smaller marquees are a better idea than one larger marquee
Written by Alex C

One of the first questions that we ever ask someone who wants to buy a large marquee (like a 3x6m or 4x8m) is “how many people are going to be setting it up?”.

This is because we almost always recommend the use of two smaller marquees over one larger marquee. 

Reason 1: The entire marquee set up will be stronger

The smaller the size of the marquee, the higher the design limit of the structure is. This means that smaller sizes will hold up better in strong winds compared to larger sizes.

Size Structure Design Limit
2.4m x 2.4m 115 km/h
3m x 3m 108 km/h
3m x 4.5m 100 km/h
3m x 6m 75 km/h
4m x 4m 54 km/h
4m x 8m 39 km/h

Wind speed limits for different sizes of marquee

By covering a 3x6m space with two 3x3m marquees, your total absolute strength will be higher than using just a single 3x6m marquee - 108km/h vs 75km/h.

This is due to the following reasons:

  1. More legs, more support - two 3x3s back to back have stronger central support with eight legs, opposed to 3x6s that have only six legs
  2. A smaller surface area in the roof means less pressure on the structure in windy conditions
  3. More flexibility and manoeuvrability when setting up on ground that is not level i.e. like stepped fences following the fall of the land

Reason 2: Set up & pack down will be easier

Due to the weights and overall size of the units, setting up a 3x3m up is much easier than setting up a 3x6m. A 3x3m is half the weight and half the size of the 3x6m marquee, so it is a lot easier to handle.

We typically say that for a 3x3m you need two people (although it can be done solo), and for a 3x6m you need at least two, but realistically three or four people make the whole process a lot easier. 

Reason 3: Transport will be less strenuous 

A 3x3m weighs 32kg, where as a 3x6m weighs 54kg. The frames cannot be disassembled as they’re a single “all in one” design. Thus, the weight of a 3x6m will always make it more difficult to lift, carry, load, and unload from vehicles. 

One person lifting a 3x3m marquee
One person can generally lift a 3x3m marquee, but a 3x6m is much more difficult to handle easily

Another consideration, especially if you’re doing markets or shows, is thinking about how you’re going to be packing the marquees into your vehicle. Yes - two 3x3m’s are going take up marginally more room in vehicles & trailers, but there can be circumstances where you simply don’t have the space allocated to fit the larger frames - especially if you’re fitting it all between stock and other items.  

Reason 4: More versatility for set ups

Are you always going to need the larger size? Perhaps not.

If you have multiples of small sizes, it allows you to cover a larger variety of spaces. If you only need a 3x3m for one show, but then you need 3x9m for the next show, you can achieve it using multiples of 3x3m's set up side by side.

Multiple marquees being used to cover a large area
Multiple 3x3m marquees being used to cover a large area

Having one larger size broken down into two smaller sizes allows the versatility of only taking a 3x3m marquee one day if that’s all you need or using both marquees in two different locations at the same time. 

What about the gap between two smaller marquees?

A common concern when we recommend multiple marquees is “what about the rain?”. We’ve thought of that. 

We have gutters that fit in between side-by-side marquees that drain water outwards from where the marquees butt up against each other. They’re simple to use as they just utilise the velcro that a wall is normally attached to. 

Gutter being used between two marquees
A gutter between different marquees prevents water running into the space

Additionally, we’ve designed our sidewalls in such a way that two marquees that are side by side can connect the walls to each other.  The marquee walls simply velcro together and the toggles wrap around the legs to prevent the wall from moving in the wind.

Walls connecting between multiple marquees
Walls can connect to each other between marquees set up side by side

Summary

Using two smaller marquees over one larger marquee will almost always be our recommendation to customers looking to cover a large space. 

By electing two smaller marquees over one larger marquee, there are a variety of benefits including

  • A higher absolute strength 
  • Easier pack up & pack down with fewer people required
  • Less effort during transport as the frames are lighter to lift and smaller to pack
  • And more versatility as to where and when the marquees are used

Ultimately, it is your choice to select what you feel best suits your needs, but we will always provide impartial advice based on our experience as all we want to do is ensure you have the best experience post-sale. 

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