Creating a Memorable Display for a Trade Show

Tent Rental | American Pavilion

Creating a product or service can be hard work, spending many hours developing the idea until you finally reach the finished product. This is when you get to have fun marketing your product! You will need to come up with creative ways to get noticed by consumers such as using a tent rental or clever lighting. And, yes, you will need to do more than just stand on a street corner holding a little sign or throwing a little ad up on social media. The method you use to draw in attention from consumers can either make it or break it.

Today there are many methods to reach consumers, such as social media, television, postal service, and e-mail. However, there is nothing as memorable as face to face communication with a potential buyer. At trade shows and the like, there are dozens of products and services begging for attention. What can you do to stand out? What can you do that will set what you have to offer apart from everyone else? Keep reading to find out.

Color, Color and More Color

Let’s face it, humans are like little infants at times. We get fussy when we are hungry, we spit out food we don’t like, and we are drawn to bright objects. They say babies are stimulated by bright, primary colors. As adult consumers, so are we. This is something to keep in mind when you are creating your product display. The colors can be built in to your booth or a tent, as well as any banners you are going to hang. Make them bold, make them bright.

Location

Many trade shows will not allow you full authority to place your display where you want it. For this reason, it is best to make sure you sign up early so you have more choices to find the best location for your product display.

You want to look for the flow of consumer traffic and make sure you select an option along this flow route. For example, near the entrance or perhaps near restrooms or food locations. Another good location is the walkway intersections. This option gives you a corner space, allowing consumers to find you from more than one direction.

There are, of course, areas you should do your best to avoid. No one wants their display to be in the far back corner of the room or buried behind the top seller in the industry. Aisles that divert traffic from the main aisle tend to see less traffic flow, as well.

Using a Tent Rental for Logos and Product NameTent Rental | American Pavilion

It is a must to make sure that your name and logo are visible in all directions. While many companies opt for a banner, it may be wise to invest in a tent rental. This will stand overhead of your product display and will allow consumers to spot you over the foot traffic around them.

Tent rentals for this purpose can be ordered and customized with your company name and logo. And this is a good place to throw in those bright, eye-catching colors, too! Tent rentals are simple to set up, very easy to transport, and well worth it.

One key point, should you decide to go this route, make sure you that have your company name and logo listed on all sides of the tent rental. That way, no matter which direction consumers are walking or looking, they will be able to see your booth overhead and read the name of your company or product/service.

Lighting

Just as color and boldness draw attention, so does light. Aim light on your product or anything that you want to stand out to those strolling by. Think about it – if you have 10 things at your booth and you have bright light shining on 1 of them, where do you think people are going to automatically look first? Exactly! At the lit object! Whatever you want to stand out, let it be the focus of your light.

Be approachable, smile. There is nothing more approachable than a smile. Some companies find it fun to dress in costume or in a manner that is relevant to your product. Even if it is not relevant and you think it will attract traffic – go for it! Just keep it tasteful — there are many things that could attract attention, but it just may not be the kind you are looking for.

Often, those at trade shows sit behind their table or in their booth area and wait to be approached by consumers. Some are afraid to reach out to those walking by, for fear of seeming too pushy. Attendees can sometimes be distracted by all the sights and sounds going on around them. A simple acknowledgment from you as they walk by could divert their attention from whatever has it and turn them straight toward your display.

Promotions, Giveaways, and Treats

Offering up treats at your display can draw a crowd – especially if they are good treats! For example, food items such as candy, popcorn, coffee, water, etc. are always a good idea. Engage in conversation as they are collecting their treats. Also, having goodies with your company name and logo on them, such as pens or ear buds, will always be a success. Even if the consumer is only drawn to you for your freebies, they will know your product every time they sign their name with your pen. Having a game for attendees to play can draw them to your table, as well as allow you time to interact with them about your product or service. It doesn’t have to be a complex game, but something simple to just reel them in. A few good examples are a prize wheel, a trivia game, or a hashtag game that requires consumers to follow your brand on social media to get a small prize.

There are many ideas for trade shows that can make or break your product display. The key is to use your imagination. Remember to remain visible – having your sign or tent rental above eye view – and stand out with your color selection. Get creative with your freebies and remain friendly. The way you carry yourself and your brand will be how you are remembered – so make it good!

 

Glamping in Your Own Backyard

Clear Span Fabric Structures

Life gets busy sometimes. Our phones are always making some sort of ding, ring, chirp, vibration alerting us to calls, emails, text messages, app notifications. Sometimes we need to step away. The idea of running out into the woods, popping up a tent and secluding yourself may sound delightful. The idea of actually doing it, not so much. The idea of giving up your four walls of safety for a tent is a bit scary. Not to mention that you may have a hard time falling asleep knowing that you are resting right in the middle of the home of all nocturnal wildlife – and bugs! Fact is, camping is not for everyone and can create a challenge for those not willing to give up the comforts of home.

Good news — Camping outdoors doesn’t necessarily mean that you have you to give up the luxuries you are used to. Glamping is a term comprised of the words glamorous and camping. It takes the idea of camping and adds the comforts of home. Sometimes, even more! This allows everyone a time to enjoy nature and remove daily routines without having to learn what it means to rough it.

And what better way to go glamping than to have a glamping party in your own backyard! Below are some ideas from using a clear span fabric structure instead of a tent to what luxuries to bring, that will help you get started on creating the most memorable glamping experience ever.

Who to Invite?

Who do you invite to a glamping party? Well, you surely would want to steer clear from hardcore campers. This is glamping, after all – not camping! Pick a few of your favorite people who will openly enjoy the experience and add to yours.

Remember, you will be in an element a tad bit different than you are used to so make sure you select those guests you know will be willing to join you without hesitation!

What Luxuries should You Bring?

The options are endless. Because you want to make sure that you and your guests do not feel deprived, you will want to make sure that you have items that make you feel comfortable. First on the list is comfortable bedding. Long gone are the days of stuffing yourself into a zipped up sleeping bag on the cold, hard ground. For your glamping party, use blown up air mattresses (or even actual mattresses) complete with sheets, blankets and pillows.

Lighting is also important. When indoors we take for granted all the light sources at our fingertips. Outside, however, once the sun goes down you want to make sure you have a means to see. Rather than using old camping lanterns, get creative. Candles, string lights, tiki torches, etc. are all good examples.

While the point of moving outdoors is to unplug from phones, television, social media, computers, etc. The luck of being in your backyard, however, will allow you to run an extension cord, providing a source for electricity. And, likely, a wi-fi signal. If you still decide you want try not to use electronics, the idea that you can still charge your phone and camera, for example, will be comforting.

What Will You Eat?

Pork and beans in a can heated over a fire? No way. Glamping allows you to eat good while you are camping! Make sure you have a cooler (or electric ice chest) handy. You can then keep perishable snacks for you and yours guests. Opt for cheese and crackers – and no, not American cheese with a saltine. Go for the good stuff. Pair up different combinations. Fruit platters are another great idea. (Both go well wine, too!)

You do not have to limit yourself because you are glamping. For dinner, pull out your barbecue grill and make your favorite light and refreshing meal. Try your hand at various side dishes that can be cooked on the grill, as well.

Desserts are fun. Instead of roasting s’mores over the campfire – and finding yourself covered in a sticky, gooey marshmallow mess – you can make dessert on the grill! Banana Boats are a great option! Slice an unpeeled banana lengthwise, insert mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, wrap in foil and place on the grill! When it becomes a pool of melted chocolaty goodness, squeeze it open and dig in!

Use your imagination. Get creative. And don’t stick to the boring old camping food.

Clear Span Fabric StructureUsing a Clear Span Fabric Structure

While the idea of sleeping under the stars sounds exciting, you are going to likely want the overhead protection of tent. For glamping, we are going to shy away from vinyl or canvas tents that you picked up in a box. Sure, they serve their purpose, but clear span fabric structures allow us the covering of a tent with a style that keeps with the fun and light idea of glamping.

You can either buy or rent clear span fabric structures. They are temporary structures, providing shade and protection from other elements such as wind and rain. Depending on their size, clear span fabric structures can come with different accessories, from temperature controls to glass sidewalls. Many even include flooring!

Yes, it is like an outdoor house in the backyard of your house!

What will You Do?

There is plenty to do while glamping, no matter who your outdoor crew is. Playing a game of cornhole, horse shoes, or catch with a baseball are traditional activities. Because you will have the privilege of lighting, you aren’t limited on the amount of board games you can bust out or card games you can play.

If you are looking for a more relaxing approach to your glamping experience, you can always take time to write or read. Just make sure to bring enough for everyone. Grabbing some crayons and coloring books is also a calming way to relax. Get creative with your friends. Play music and laugh while having a dance contest, play hot potato like you did as a kid, or just enjoy chatting and mingling with your friends since you are all not burdened with daily chores.

However you choose to go glamping in your backyard, let your imagination go wild and put together something fantastic. Enjoy the outdoors, breathe in fresh air, and relax on your mini-vacation. You don’t have to give up luxuries to take a break and count the stars, you just need to make a plan and put it into action. Happy glamping!

 

7 Steps to Hosting the Ultimate Dinner Party

Tent Rental | American Pavilion

Anyone can throw a dinner party. Not everyone can throw the ultimate dinner party. So, what makes it ultimate? Planning, planning and planning. Oh, and not leaving any detail untouched.

Making the decision to throw a dinner party can sound exciting. But when the ball starts rolling, the idea of putting it into effect can be a bit overwhelming. It isn’t easy making sure everything goes smoothly – from the initial arrival of guests to the last goodbye. However, if you can arm yourself with this checklist and the will to make it happen, your dinner party will be the talk of the town for years to come.

Timing and Invites

First, timing is everything. Deciding the best time of year, the best day, and best time will be key to how many will attend. Keep in mind possible weather-related issues, holidays, and other events. You will want to gather a list of those you are inviting and prepare the invitations. Mailing (or e-mailing) the invites should take place about 4 weeks from the party date. This will allow plenty of time for any planning or schedule re-arranging that needs to be done by your guests.

 

Creating Space

Decide where you will host your dinner party. If your guest list is small, you may be able to hold the dinner in your home, using your existing dining room table, or adding on to it. However, for those with extensive guest lists, hosting a gathering under a tent rental in the backyard may seem more logical. Using a tent rental for dinner parties is extremely common and can make the dinner more enjoyable – adding space to roam.

Make sure to account for enough space to have a dining area, a food station area, a comfortable sitting/mingling area, and an area to entertain for things such as dancing, games, etc.

Don’t forget to decorate your space! Choose a color scheme or a party them and match your decorations to it. There are many ideas online or at party stores if you can’t decide.

 

Planning the Menu

Most guests will arrive hungry. They know they are coming to your awesome dinner and they will bring their appetite. The best thing that you can do as a hostess is provide something for your guests to munch on prior to dinner. Appetizers or hors d’oeuvres such as chips and dip, veggie platters, shrimp cocktail or skewers, etc., will be light on the stomach, but will keep your guests busy until the meal is ready.

Dinner can be served at the table or via buffet style. Either way, make sure you have a varied selection. Not everyone likes the same dish. Some guests may also have dietary concerns. Make sure you provide dishes with meat, some without, and, if you cook a dish that has well-known allergens, such as shellfish or peanuts, make sure you notate it.

Always conclude the meal with a dessert. Get creative. You want this to taste delicious since it is going to be the final taste left on the tongues of your guests! Chocolate fountains with a variety of fruits, a sundae bar, pies, cakes, brownies. The choice is yours—just make it good!

Tip: If you decided to go with a theme, let your food keep in line with that theme. For example, if you decide on that Mardi Gras party, then serving a crawfish boil or jambalaya would be fitting.

 

Plan for Weather with a Tent RentalTent Rental | American Pavilion

The comfort of your guests is very important. If you are holding the dinner party indoors, make sure you have adequate cooling or heating. In addition, make sure you have a plan for wet shoes, clothes or umbrellas – you do not want a wet, dirty floor should Mother Nature decide to soak you!

This point is more important to look at if you decide to host your party outdoors. You will need to be prepared for all types of weather conditions. A tent rental can provide shelter from rain and sun. If it has walls or a floor, then you can avoid wind and mud. You can also set up fans and heaters or use a tent rental that allows you to control the temperature.

If your guests are exposed to the elements, you would be an ultimate hostess if you provide little luxuries that others may forget. For example, soft throw blankets, insect repellant, sun glasses, flip flops, hand-held fans, etc. The more comfort you provide, the happier your guests will be.

 

Lighting

Lighting can make a bold statement and set the mood. Soft lighting can create an intimate environment, allowing your guests to come together.  Make use of candles (citronella candles if you are outdoors), delicate string lighting, or lanterns. Switching your normal lightbulbs for those of a lower watt can make a big difference, too. Having more soft lights rather than less bright lights can create a calming effect, making the night more serene.

 

Drinks

You will need to make the decision of whether to serve alcohol at your dinner party. Sure, some people do not drink, but many others do. Asking your guests to bring their own drink, i.e. a “BYOB., will not lead you to win the ultimate dinner party host award. Your guests want to be catered to and treated. If you choose to treat them to booze, then you are going to have to make some decisions as to what you will serve. For the sake of your budget, you will want to ignore specific requests. Decide on a special drink of the night – one that goes with your party’s theme or color – and buy a load of white and red wine. Your guests will be appreciative, guaranteed.

 

Plan a Group Activity

This doesn’t have to be cheesy. You can choose a game or event that matches your party theme or you can just choose something to get your guests moving and talking. Guests don’t want to be bored and they surely aren’t coming just for your Aunt Mary’s old casserole recipe. Whatever you decide, keep it fun and entertaining.

Dinner parties can be exciting and memorable. It doesn’t take any special skill to throw an ultimate dinner party – just organization, planning, and a thoughtful attitude. Remember your guests are guests and treat them as such, even if they are your closest friends.

 

How to Handle Too Many Thanksgiving Guests

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You have always dreamed of hosting Thanksgiving dinner, bringing together family and friends, feasting on all kinds of goodies, playing games, and watching football. Leading up to the festivities, you are feeling confident and ready. Your invites have been sent, the menu is selected, and the table decorations are almost finished.

You know it is a busy time of year and many people may already have plans, so to ensure a good turnout, you send out a few extra invites. After all, you have done so much preparation, it would be a shame if no one came!

Then the unexpected happens. Everyone seems thrilled that you are hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner and they have RSVP’d with a “yes!”All of them. A few have even called to see if they can bring in-laws, friends or other family members that may not have a place to go. Its Thanksgiving and you are grateful for being able to provide a gathering place for your loved ones. Of course, you cannot turn anyone away.

Even though you are stressing out about how to accommodate the crowd and make the day a success, a little creativity and planning can leave everyone stuffed, smiling and thankful, including yourself.

Below are a few ideas to make your Thanksgiving a memorable time (especially when you are overflowing with guests)!

Food Planning

Having enough food for everyone is essential. However, cooking for such a large crowd can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, you have a plan. Take time to contact each of your guests and request that they bring a side dish, dessert, beverage, etc. if they are able to. Reducing the number of recipes you need to prepare can take a load off of your shoulders. Not only will it lessen your cost drastically, but it will also reduce the time you will need to spend in the kitchen.

Make sure to organize what part of the meal you have decided to tackle. Create a list of the dishes, cooking times, temperatures, and cooling times. See if there are items you can prepare in advance and re-heat prior to dinner.

Rent a Tent and Go Outdoors  Rent a Tent | American Pavilion

Due to the number of guests, you realize that you are going to have to make some serious adjustments to your home to accommodate everyone. Sure, you could have a get-together that requires guests to eat in shifts. But that just isn’t your idea of a Thanksgiving dinner.

Another option would be to line your whole house with portable tables. Everyone would be able to eat at the same time, but your guests wouldn’t have much room to maneuver through your home and it could be a bit uncomfortable. This isn’t the most feasible option, is it?

Unless you have an event hall or other space you could utilize, your best solution could be to move the party outside and rent a tent. Tent rentals come in so many types, shapes and sizes that you will surely be able to find one to fit your needs. For example, a frame tent rental with side walls and heaters to keep the weather at bay and flooring (instead of grass or mud), can provide an intimate setting for your Thanksgiving feast. Not to mention that a large tent rental gives you a huge open space to decorate for Thanksgiving and make it welcoming and open for all your guests.

Organization

The potluck idea was a success with your guests and you plan on having an entire smorgasbord of food. You also decided to rent a tent, providing lots of space for you and your guests. Now you are left scratching your head, trying to decide how you are going to make the dinner event flow smoothly. Here are a few tips:

  • Place name cards on tables. This sits guests where you want them to sit, rather than everyone fighting for the table closest to Aunt Betty’s double-chocolate fudge pie.
  • Create a buffet. Line up tables of food and allow the guests to take as much or as little as they’d like.
  • Buy takeout containers. These are perfect for guests to take food home at the end of the dinner. It will also help you manage the storage space in your refrigerator! Another option would be to ask guests to bring their own containers.

Put Your Guests to Work

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be assertive and assign tasks such as setting the tables, collecting garbage, or assisting in the kitchen. Many guests are willing to come early to help you prepare or stay and help cleanup. Just be sure to ask in advance – no one wants to be surprised with cleanup duty after stuffing themselves with a turkey feast and a couple helpings of dessert.

Game Time

Have a plan for entertainment. Sure, mingling is perfect, but having a few ideas to hold your guests’ attention can lead to laughs, bonding moments, and created memories. Games or scavenger hunts are always fun. Keep it simple.

Every family get-together always has a designated kid’s dinner table. How about taking it a step further and creating an area to treat the little ones while the adults socialize? Providing board games, coloring books, Legos, etc. can be a great way to keep them occupied.

It is Thanksgiving. It is the time of year to be grateful for all the blessings you have, not a time to be stressed when obstacles come your way. Run with them. So, your small get-together turned into a huge gathering? Be thankful that you have so many people who want to spend Thanksgiving with you! It is important to remember that no matter how prepared you are, things are going to happen. Silverware is going to end up in the trash, drinks are going to be spilled, and you are most likely going to run out of dinner rolls. Don’t try to control the party, just enjoy yourself. Rest assured, your impeccable planning skills will lead to a beautifully decorated tent rental space, a successful dinner, and new bonds formed with your family and friends.

 

 

Plan the Perfect Outdoor Fall Wedding

Tent Rental | American PavilionFall is quickly becoming one of the most popular seasons to wed. With the gorgeous autumn colors, nearly perfect weather and golden light, it is no wonder that more couples are choosing this time of year to say “I do”. Autumn is a romantic time of the year. It is when life starts over. The beginning of autumn brings hope with it. What a perfect time to start a new life with the love of your life.

An outdoor fall wedding is very mysterious and charming. Mother Nature provides a gorgeous backdrop, the air is crisp and beautiful fall flowers make lovely scenery. We have compiled this fall wedding guide to help you plan the perfect outdoor fall wedding.

Plan for the Weather

Fall weather all across the United States can be unpredictable. Some states in the northern part of New England get heavy snow as early as September. Southern states, such as Louisiana, Florida and Texas sometimes have heavy rains from fall hurricanes and tropical storms. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare for any type of weather. Here are some tips for dealing with fall weather.

Learn About the Climate

If you are getting married in your hometown, you are probably quite familiar with the climate, especially if you have lived there a long time. But, if you are getting married in another state, research the climate patterns so that you have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Make Sure Your Guests Are Comfortable

There are small things that you can do that go a long way towards making your guests feel comfortable. For instance, if you plan to have a cocktail hour on the outside patio or terrace, then bring outdoor space heaters if there is any indication that it will be cool. You can also purchase inexpensive blankets, pashmina or other wraps to help your guests stay toasty.

Consider a Tent RentalTent Rental | American Pavilion

Tent rentals can be used year-round most places for outdoor events. Many companies offer tents that are equipped with climate control. Large clear-span tents are perfect for outdoor weddings as they do not have any interior posts to interfere with decorations and take up space. In addition, they are clear, which allows you and your guests to view the lovely fall scenery outside.

Choose the Right Weekend

Fall is an important season for college and NFL football fans alike. Avoid big game days like the plague. Otherwise, super-fans may choose to skip your wedding and go to the game instead. Sports fans that feel like they have to attend your wedding will likely be irritated that they are being forced to miss the important game. Others will be glued to their smartphones rather than watching you and your significant other exchange vows. Therefore, check local sports schedules well in advance and avoid any big game weekends.

Use Fall-Themed Wedding Invitations

Consider using wedding invitations that feature festive fall colors or a wedding invitation that has a natural, autumn motif. Fall designs feature leaf-like designs, illustrations of falling leaves and tree motifs. Craft paper invitations with gold foil or nature-inspired details are perfect for a fall wedding. A neutral invitation that features foil-pressed leaf motifs is great for a more modern autumn wedding.

Pick Colors That Mirror the Season

If you are planning a fall wedding, find inspiration from the changing leaves. Choose warm Earthy hues in shades of gold, red, brown and orange. Other popular fall colors include sage, cherry and warm vanilla. If you want to go bold, choose rich jewel tones like red, green and purple.

Use Seasonal Floral Designs

Choosing in-season floral designs not only captures the beauty and warmth of the season but will help you keep costs down, as well. Fall bridal bouquets often feature gorgeous yellows, fiery reds and rich oranges mixed with amber, gold and brown. Popular fall flowers include roses, hydrangea, dahlias, gerbera daisies, lily of the valley and stephanotis. Fall bridal centerpieces and bouquets are often adorned with autumn decorations and foliage, such as crab apples, acorns, oak leaves and branches. You can also decorate with dried greenery, including figs, ornamental cabbage and heirloom pumpkin.

Go With Autumn Decor

Use dried greenery, warm candlelight, figs and flowers for your decorations. You can also incorporate pumpkins into the decor or accent place settings with a fresh fig. Wreaths made of seeded eucalyptus are perfect for fall and pinecones make wonderful decorations, as well.

Consider a Fall-Themed Menu

Match your catering with the fall theme by going with a fall themed menu. This will make the most out of seasonal, fresh food and impress guests. Here are some fall menu items that are popular for wedding banquets:

  • Turkey and game meats
  • Apple side dishes
  • Sweet potato pie
  • Pumpkin soup
  • Root vegetables
  • Spiked apple cider
  • Pumpkin-based drinks
  • Fresh baked cookies
  • Caramel apple bar
  • Cider donuts
  • Hot cocoa

Incorporate Natural Scenery into Your Photography

Use the breathtaking fall scenery as a natural backdrop. The beauty of the fall light is absolutely gorgeous in photographs. Therefore, incorporate the natural beauty into your photos every chance that you can. Pose in front of a tall oak tree full of changing colors or in front of a rustic-looking barn.

Make Sure Leaves Do Not Become a Hazard

Wet leaves can be a danger to guests as they are quite slippery. Therefore, make sure that you remove leaves from any outdoor surface that you or your guests will be walking on, such as paths and tiled patios.

Fall weddings are absolutely gorgeous and the natural beauty of the season makes it the ideal time to tie the knot. Following the easy tips above will help you have a wonderful outdoor fall wedding.

 

How to Keep Your Construction Project Organized

Construction Tent | American PavilionThe great outdoors. Some people hate it, some people love it, and others choose to work in it. Despite how you feel about being out in the elements, if your job takes you there, then you learn to handle whatever gets thrown at you.

When you are responsible for a huge construction project, you will want to make sure your crew is prepared always. In addition to handling the weather, finding and maintaining organization when the outside world is your office can be a bit tricky. Without a building or an office, construction teams must figure out creative ways to take care of business, including keeping your crew and your equipment safe. Whether you need to rent a construction tent to shelter your project or ask your crew to wear protective clothing, preparing for unexpected weather is the best way to keep your project on time.

Here are a few ideas to keep even your most intricate job site organized and secure:

Deadlines

When you set out on your mission, you created a deadline. Between your crew, the equipment rental, the recipient’s expectations — you know that the project needs to be done by a specific date. Setting checkpoints throughout the process will help make sure you remain on track.

Working outdoors, you can never count on a perfect day. Something may always interfere with the construction process and push a project back. Allowing time for these days will make you look great when you finish on – or before – the expected completion date.

Storage

How many times have you driven past deserted construction sites and wondered whether the sites ever become victims to theft? According to Lojack, a 2015 study of stolen construction equipment, at least $300 million worth of equipment has been stolen from job sites.  Without a place to secure equipment, such as towables, loaders and excavators, you must leave them at the job site and hope that they are still there the next day. That is a lot of trust to have!

Use some of these tools for protection:

  • Secure identifiers on your large equipment as a way for you to distinguish your equipment from another’s.
  • Surveillance cameras or motion lights.
  • Rent construction tents to enclose the equipment.
  • Place smaller tools in a lockbox with a deadbolt.

Failing to maintain a secure job site can lead to disruptions in your timeline should you become a victim of theft.

Keeping it clean

A clean space is an effective space. At the end of the day, make it a rule that all tools and equipment are to be secured and cleaned. It is important to have a place to store all tools and supplies and make sure that they are returned to this location at the end of each day. Dust and debris can dirty your site after a day’s work. Requiring your crew to take a few minutes to tidy up before leaving means that they can start fresh the next day.

Plans and paperwork

Working construction is primarily an outdoor job. Having no desk, it is common to carry important paperwork on a clipboard or leave it in a truck. As for reviewing plans for the job site, the hood of the truck makes a handy desk.

And then the wind picks up and it begins to rain. Yikes!

Besides moving your review of the plans into your truck, your only other option may be to hurry and put away any paperwork until a drier moment — halting further movement on your project.

Make sure you have a backup plan. Whether it’s under a nearby bridge or overhang, a close office location, a construction tent or even a nearby McDonalds, have somewhere to go when you need to review your plans. Save your deadline from being crushed.

Protect your crew with a construction tentConstruction Tent | American Pavilion

Depending on your location and the season, working outdoors can mean that you are personally affected by all sorts of weather related conditions. Rain, sleet, snow, ice, thunderstorms, lightening, wind, heat — you name it. When you have no protective shelter, you are left exposed.

Some construction crews may run to their vehicles when bad weather strikes, others may shut the site down completely.

A few ideas for protecting your crew:

  • Encourage your crew to dress appropriately for the weather
  • Take frequent breaks to warm up or cool down, depending on the conditions
  • Halt construction when lightning is near
  • Provide a place of shelter, such as a portable office or construction tent, to escape the elements

You need your crew for your project to be completed – take care of them!

Protects projects, not just your crew, from the elements

Depending on what your specialty is, you may find it beneficial to have a protective cover for your actual work – not just for your crew or equipment. For example, let’s say you are an excavator. You spend precious time digging a hole for a project, careful to get the exact measurements and depth – and then the weather strikes. Rain or strong wind could cause your work to get ruined, forcing you to have to push back your completion date. Or if you handle carpentry and are working with delicate wood for a structure, you are likely not going to want to have your wood and supplies soaked, putting your project on hold until it dries up.

It is important to pay attention to weather reports. Having an idea of what Mother Nature is going to do can help you plan your work. Having some overhead protection, such as a construction tent, can ensure that your time is not wasted.

Even though construction crews spend most of their time outdoors in an unpredictable environment, using these ideas can keep you moving forward no matter what! Planning in advance and reviewing the plan throughout the length of the job can keep you on track to meet your deadline. Maintaining a clean site that is safe and secure can lead to fewer reasons to halt your work. Just as a car needs a well-oiled motor to run, a construction project needs a well-organized crew.

Simple Strategies for Maximizing Storage Options

Temporary Storage Structure | American PavilionWhen you first moved in, finding a place to store everything was not a problem. Now you find yourself constantly rearranging your belongings so you can squeeze in one more thing. It’s time to take a good look around the house and identify ways to put the unused space in your home and on the grounds to better use. Here are some tips that will help you do just that.

Rework the Closets

The closet space in your home was built using an old construction guideline that has not served you well. That guideline is to install one rod and one shelf per closet. This worked well in the days when the typical closet needed to accommodate longer garments like gowns and provide overhead space to stack hat boxes. Unless those are staples of your wardrobe, it’s time to rework your closets.

Remove the current rod and shelf. Reposition one rod so that it’s slightly higher and place another one that’s lower. Make sure there’s enough room in between so that shirts and jackets can hang on the upper rod without touching the lower one. That second rod will be the spot for hanging your slacks and jeans.

Overhead, install at least two shelves. Consider using modular shelving that you can adjust with ease. That makes it easier to store just about anything you need and utilize the vertical space more efficiently. Once you make these changes, you’ll be amazed at how much each closet will hold.

Tackling Space Issues in the Kitchen

The shelving problem in the kitchen is not unlike the one in the closets. You have too much wasted space in between shelves. Consider removing the old shelving and replace it with adjustable shelving. You’ll find that it’s easier to include at least one additional shelf in each cabinet. Organizing everything from canned goods to pots, pans, and the day to day dishware will be a snap.

While you’re in the kitchen, take a good look at the amount of unused space over the cabinets. Do you have at least six or so inches between the ceiling and the top of the cabinetry? That’s space you can put to good use. Small appliances you rarely use, cookbooks you consult only once or twice a year, and a number of other items can be arranged in the space.

Create a list of what is stored overhead and mount it on the inside of one of the cabinet doors. That eliminates the need to go on a hunting expedition when you do need something you’ve stored overhead.

Using under Bed Storage Options

The only thing that’s happening under your bed right now is dust bunnies are proliferating. How about using that space to store some of the things that are cluttering other areas of the house? Invest in under bed storage containers that come with handles. Fill them with whatever you like and label the outside so you know what’s in each unit. Use this space for everything from out of season clothing to board games or even seasonal decorations. Everything is still easy to reach but it’s out of sight.

A Different Way to Dress the Windows

If your ceilings are at least ten feet high, there’s a lot of valuable space over the windows. Think about adding a shelf that rests just above the window casing. It’s fine to allow it to extend a few inches beyond each casing edge. Use that space to arrange books, some type of potted silk greenery, and maybe a set of candles. Finish off the look with a pair of simple drapery panels that you can open and close at will.

Along with freeing up more shelf space elsewhere in the house, you create an attractive focal point in the room. The arrangement will help to draw the eye upward, which also gives the impression of a more expansive space.

Finish the Attic

If the attic is not finished, now is the time to install flooring and shelving in the space. Anything that does not require storage in a climate controlled environment can be tucked away neatly. By organizing the space properly, it will be easy to go up to the attic, find something you need to use, and put it back once you’re done with it.

Temporary Storage Structure | American PavilionRent a Temporary Storage Structure

You are remodeling one or more rooms and the contents need to go somewhere. Instead of trying to shoehorn furniture and other belongings in various parts of the house, why not put your yard to good use? Renting a temporary storage structure and having it set up in the back yard makes a lot of sense.

Temporary storage structures of this type can be rented for reasonable rates. Opt for one that comes with an aluminum frame to provide stability. Vinyl material to fit over the frame creates a space that offers protection even when a storm moves through the area. Many of these temporary units come with vinyl floor panels, so your belongings never touch the ground. Use the unit as long as you like, then return it once you move your things back into the house.

Don’t Forget the Garage

What would happen if you were to mount an adjustable shelving network along one of the uninterrupted walls in the garage? Think of what could be done with that storage area if you invested in clear storage boxes. It would be easy to fill the boxes with like items, print out lists of contents to affix to the side of each box, and have everything within easy reach. Since those boxes come in all sizes, it won’t be hard to find ones that are a perfect length and height for each shelf.

Even in small homes, there is usually some amount of wasted space. Your goal is to identify those areas and figure out a way to utilize that space to better effect. Be creative as well as practical, and you’ll never have to worry about running out of storage space again.

 

What’s Trending in Events Today

Event Tent | American Pavilion
Society is always evolving. New ideas and fads get introduced — some stick, others disappear and are quickly forgotten. Factors for change can be anything from new technological advances to fluctuating economies to a growing and maturing population. These transformations affect all industries and the event planning sector is no exception!

Looking back over the last few decades, we can clearly see how much events have changed. For example, an event in the 1960’s would have been filled with tie-dye, flowers and peace signs, the 1970’s would likely guarantee the use of a disco ball, and the 1980’s would have showcased neon colors and big boom boxes. Trends today are much, much different – thankfully.

This year events are bringing more creativity and fresh ideas. The focus seems to have turned from acquiring stuff – a.k.a goody bags – to acquiring new, original experiences, comradeship and building lasting memories.

Below is a list of the most popular event trends thus far for 2016:

You are there, even when you aren’t

With technology always expanding, it has become so easy for guests to attend events without ever having to leave the comfort of their living room. The idea of streaming events live is soaring. With the use of a computer or smartphone, this concept allows people all over the world to watch loved ones come together for special events. Weddings, graduations, or birthdays no longer must be missed by those who cannot travel.

Streaming has done wonders for businesses, as well. It is not always feasible for management or leads to take time out of the office to travel and attend events. Providing a streaming option allows more people to join a seminar or conference without having to ever leave the office! This allows businesses to keep production moving forward, while allowing employees to learn and network at the same time.

Musicians are also jumping on this bandwagon, offering online streaming for sold-out shows or special events.

This is a trend that is likely to continue to grow with time.

Experiences over party favors

A recent trend in the event industry is moving away from party favors and goody bags. Guests are looking for memories that will last years longer than a pen or salt shaker with your name on it. How do you do this? You create a unique event that will stand out above all others. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, it just must be memorable. Having a chef lead a small event crowd in cooking their own dinner, or having a bride meet her groom at the end of a slip’n slide – both are a surefire way to make memories.

Interacting with and engaging guests at the event is likely to spark a great celebration. Doing so will allow the guests to be more involved rather than, well, just a guest.

Find a space, use an event tentEvent Tent | American Pavilion

It is becoming common to use the space we have, rather than creating a new space. Perhaps it’s the tiny-house, minimalist trend, but anywhere there is room, there is a place for a party. For example, parks, empty parking lots, or vacant land.

It is a simple process to rent an event tent and set it up wherever you can find space. Not only can this save on venue fees, but it also allows the planner to have more control over the decorations, location, and setup. It is all about using your imagination and taking that bare-boned open tent space and making it something spectacular and memorable.

Forming community

This may come as a shock, but we are growing and maturing. We are coming into an era when we realize that the world doesn’t just revolve around us – no matter how much we don’t want to believe it! The importance of community and building relationships is trending right now. This used to be the case when it came to events supporting specific causes or specific industries, but now we are embracing differences and looking to build relationships.

Many events, whether business or personal, are using engaging methods to bring people together. Games and team-building strategies are both fun and effective, as are interactive themes.

It doesn’t stop at the event, though. Thanks to social media, guests are being brought together via an event page on Facebook, or trending hashtags on Twitter, etc. In fact, social media can begin engaging guests before the day of the event! What a way to network and grow!

Boom, Boom Economy

We seem to have finally grown out of the down economy we had several years ago and we are interested in spending money. This has led to an increase in the number of customizations that are going on within event planning. When preparing for an event, it is becoming a trend to move away from the norm and create a custom setting. Whether this is for a tent, a location, or a theme, it is all about being unique and inventive. Many event planners are now using a designer to take a client’s dream and turn it into a functioning event.

Classic Black Tie Affair

A perfect classic black-tie gala will always, always be trending in the event world. Its classy and ageless. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in life, getting dressed up – and having somewhere to go – always makes you feel beautiful and elegant. Pair that feeling with a fancy sit-down dinner and a glass of pinot, you have one welcoming setting. This type of event will never go out of style!

Trends are always changing, that is why we refer to them as trends. In a few years, you may look back on this and wonder why in the world you would have wanted to give up a cool party favor for a little experience or why would you want to record, post and stream your event for the internet world to see? In the meantime, we will continue to plan and host events that bring people together in beautiful, customized, unforgettable settings. What surprising trends do you see in the events industry today? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Tips for Building a Home Workshop

Tips for Building a Home Workshop | American Pavilion

For a long time, you were content with having a workbench and some tools tucked in one corner of the garage. That’s no longer enough space for you to take care of all the do-it-yourself projects around the house. You need a real workshop with space to handle it all. Before rushing into the construction of that workshop, there are several key points you need to address. Here are some of the more important ones that need to be settled now.

Exploring the Building Codes in Your Neighborhood

Unless you live in the country and have acres of land at your disposal, it makes sense to find out what sort of building codes and standards apply in your section of town. Even in small towns, there are some limitations on what and how you can add permanent structures to a residential property. Knowing about those regulations now will prevent you from having to stop in the middle of the project and undo everything that’s been accomplished up to that point.

For example, there may be restrictions on the types of materials you can use for the new workshop. That’s true even if the plan is to add on to the backside of the garage. You also need to be aware of any regulations that impact how closely you can build to the property line. Once you know what the city will and will not approve, you can move on to the next phase of the planning.

Remember that the local authorities are not the only resource you need to check. Restricted neighborhoods sometimes have homeowners associations with specific guidelines that you must follow. For example, no one will get upset if you build a workshop that is in the same general style as the garage and your home. There may also be the requirement that the shop cannot be seen from the street.

How Large Does the Workshop Need to Be?

While you don’t plan on setting up a home business in the new space, you do need an adequate amount of room to organize your tools, set up your saws, and have a workbench that’s long enough to safely lay out whatever you are currently working on. Settling on the amount of square footage means thinking about what projects you’ve done in the past and what you are likely to do in the future.

Along with thinking about how you will use the space, consider how much room you need to devote to storage cabinets and even overhead storage racks. If you are the type who likes to keep spare shingles and a few planks on hand just in case, incorporating storage options into the overall square footage is a smart move.

Whatever figure you come up with, don’t consider it to be the final answer. It pays to add at least another ten percent of square footage to that figure. A little more than that is not a bad idea. Later on, you’ll be happy that you have that extra space, especially when you find yourself working on two projects at one time.

Establishing a Budget

How do you plan on paying for the construction? Do you have money set aside for the project or will you be taking out a home equity loan or using a line of credit? If the goal is to get the job done without creating more debt, you want to work with whatever cash you have on hand. Setting that figure before you move forward will allow you to weigh the costs of each feature and come up with the right compromises.

Consider Using a Temporary BuildingTemporary Building | American Pavilion

Up to this point, you’ve focused on general preparation and the inclusion of certain features. Now it’s time to talk with a professional about the design for your workshop. Start with the layout, including where permanent features will be positioned. Where should the windows be placed so you can make the best use of natural light? Do you need a standard door for the shop, or would having a double door be a better choice? If you plan on having a restroom to clean up before heading into the house, where can it be placed and still leave you plenty of room to work?

Once the interior layout is settled, you still need to think about the exterior. Even if there are no restrictions on the building style, it makes sense to go with materials and roof designs that allow the workshop to blend in with the rest of the property elements. You may find that an aluminum framework coupled with heavy-duty vinyl fabric will fit in nicely. You also have the option to rent a temporary warehouse structure that could be a large weather-proof tent.

Hiring a Contractor Makes Sense

There are tasks that you can handle on your own. All the rest needs to be left in the hands of a competent contractor. Identifying what the pro will do in terms of creating the basic structure, pouring the concrete floor, and making sure the wiring and plumbing are up to local codes is essential.

Remember that while you have learned a great deal about local building codes and standards, the contractor works with them every day. That professional will know where to purchase materials and other essentials at the best prices, and ensure they meet local standards. When the time comes for a building inspection, you can rest assured everything will be approved.

As your discussions progress, you may find that it makes sense to leave more of the project in the contractor’s hands. You may have all the skills needed to install the roof, but do you have the time? When the plan is to have the workshop completed in a limited amount of time, you may find it hard to work all week and then spend your weekends handling all those additional tasks. If the contractor can include those other benefits for a reasonable price, step back and let the pro take care of things.

If you do decide to go the route of putting up a temporary warehouse, most times you will not have to do anything but make a phone call. Tent rental companies will usually put your temporary building together for you. This makes setting up quick and easy, and you can focus on projects within your new workshop.

Breaking down the workshop construction into a series of steps helps you make wise choices, stay within your budget, and still come up with a space that you can put to good use. Start the process today and call in a professional when the time comes. The result will be a work space that you will enjoy for years to come.

 

Planning a Rain and Sun Proof BBQ Event

Event Tent | American Pavilion

Hosting any successful event requires planning carefully for any possible contingency, and barbecues are one outdoor event that demands being ready for any type of weather. Whether you are hosting a formal corporate barbecue or a casual family reunion, planning ahead will ensure that no one gets sunburned and your food does not get drenched. As you get ready for your special event, use these tips to make sure everyone has a good time whether it rains or shines.

Select Your Meats Wisely

Barbecues are all about the meat, which means your guests will be looking forward to sampling your menu. On a rainy day, you may want to limit the amount of time that you are outside working with the grill. Fortunately, many delicious barbecue favorites cook quickly such as skinny sausages and lean meat. You can also grill boneless meats, such as chicken breasts, that you have pounded flat to tenderize and shorten the cooking time.

Consider Precooking Your Meat

It may seem like cheating, but lots of chefs precook meat in the oven before grilling. For example, ribs fall off the bone after slowly cooking them in the oven for a few hours before throwing them on the grill. Precooking indoors will help you avoid rushing through the cooking process due to the rain; yet giving the meat a few minutes on the grill will still give you that delicious barbecue flavor.

Serve Extra Sides

With any outdoor event, you should always plan for more than enough food. Set out some chips, dip and veggie trays, and consider requesting for your guests to bring some extra sides. Asking your guests to bring a side dish will help you ensure that there is plenty of food to go around, even if it takes a little extra time to finish with the meat. Everyone has a favorite barbecue recipe that they love to share, and good-natured debates about who makes the best potato salad or baked beans are great ways to encourage interaction among your guests.

Use Covers and Lids

While grilling, you will most likely be working in stages, which means that some dishes will be finished while the meat is still cooking. Try to limit the amount of foods you leave outside until it is time to eat. This way, there will not be a mad scramble to gather up dishes if a rain shower comes along. For those dishes that do stay outside, bring covers that can help keep them dry in the event of rain while also keeping the hot sun from beating down on them and changing the temperature. Just make sure that any covers you use are waterproof. Those handmade bowl covers your grandmother sewed are pretty, but they will not hold up to a heavy rain.

Plan Indoor and Outdoor Activities

It is important to give your guests options for activities so that they can get out of the rain or relentless sun if it gets uncomfortable. In addition to the typical outdoor games such as corn hole and horseshoes, set up some comfortable seating inside. Place some board games and other conversation starters around the room, so that the guests who choose to go indoors will have something to keep them engaged. If you host your event under an awning, make sure to keep your activities close to the center of the event so that wind does not blow rain onto the fun, or choose a tent with sides that can keep out any type of inclement weather.

Be Flexible With Your Timing

Although your event will likely have a defined time for your guests to arrive, try to be flexible regarding when your barbecue hits full swing. Often, storms pass quickly so waiting a few minutes to fire up the grill can make a big difference in how your food turns out. This is where those extra sides come in handy, since your guests will have something to stave off the hunger if you need to delay your start time for cooking. A little preplanning can help here as well since the hottest part of the day tends to be the same during most seasons. If you know that a big storm or heat wave is coming, then consider hosting your event at a different time of the day. For large events, simply let your guests know that shelter will be provided so that they are not tempted to stay home out of fear that the rain will cause your barbecue to be cancelled.

Set Up an Event TentEvent Tent | American Pavilion

Outdoor events always go more smoothly when there is a shelter available for guests to use as shade or to keep dry in the rain. Tent rentals can be found in a variety of sizes to fit everyone on your guest list while leaving plenty of room for mingling and activities. Depending upon the type of barbecue you are planning, you can also choose additional features to make your guests more comfortable such as temperature control. Having a shelter available helps prevent just about every weather-related concern along with others such as keeping insects away from your guest’s plates.

Keep Your Guests Dry

While an event tent will keep everyone comfortable for the duration of your event, you may add a few extra touches to make sure everyone gets to and from the shelter dry. Scatter a few extra umbrellas and one-size-fits all raincoats around your barbecue venue that everyone can use when traveling between their cars and the event tent. Alternatively, consider setting up a covered walkway between the parking area and your tent so that no one has to worry about a sudden gust of wind and rain.

One of the best parts about planning a barbecue is looking forward to spending the day outside. However, outdoor events can be as unpredictable as the weather. By planning beforehand for ways to battle the inclement weather, you can ensure that everyone on your guest list has a wonderful time whether it rains or shines on your special day.