The best tips for heating an event tent

Event tents are like portable venues, which you can situate in pretty much any location where there is enough space. They allow you to have the most amazing outdoor weddings, memorable corporate events, fundraisers and galas – all with the great outdoors right at your fingertips.

However, any outdoor event is bound to come up against one unpredictable and undefeatable opponent – the great British weather. Of course, event tents do provide much-needed shelter and protection against the elements. But while they do keep the chill out and the rain off, they can get a little bit nippy in winter without the right heating.

Here are 5 useful tips for heating an outdoor temporary structure like a SaddleSpan event tent:

  1. Get expert advice. There are companies which specialise in heating for event tents and other outdoor venues, and you’ll also find that suppliers of event tents like the team at Amazing Tents can also offer some advice and point you in the right direction.


  1. Choose equipment that is fit for purpose. There are lots of types of heaters for tents and marquees, from ducted and infrared heaters to fan heaters. You need to choose one that is suitable for heating large spaces efficiently and evenly, whilst also being safe, within budget and suitable for outdoors.  For example, small patio heaters won’t be powerful enough to heat a large marquee, whilst anything involving open flames is unsuitable for a tent unless it is designed for this purpose or is installed and managed by an expert.


  1. Heat your tent before your guests arrive. You need to get your event tent to a comfortable temperature before your guests arrive, so that it is pleasant inside the tent when the event starts. It takes a while in these large spaces to bring the temperature up to a comfortable level, so start early if you want to be ready for your first guests.


  1. Don’t forget about the entrance. Making your guests feel warm and welcome the second they step inside your event tent is crucial, so consider a fan heater directed at the door (just like shops use over their entrances). It isn’t the most efficient heating method, as all the heat is directed towards the outside, but it will make a more welcoming first impression for your guests.


  1. Take safety seriously. Heating equipment and tents can be a bad mix if you don’t know what you’re doing and you ignore all the safety rules. These include ensuring that nothing (including the walls of the tent) is touching the heater, that flammable materials are kept away from heat sources and that all electrical equipment is properly maintained and set up. You also need to include heating equipment in your general health and safety risk assessment for the event, bearing in mind that there are different risks to combat in an event tent compared to a standard building.

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