Open Air Business January 2018


The UK's outdoor hospitality business magazine for function venues, glamping, festivals and outdoor events

ISSUE 15 | January 2018 |




> Wedding Trends

> Lighting

/ /



> Franchises

> Professional Services


> Marquees




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The Guardian (UK Newspaper)

ISSUE 15 | January 2018 |



HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. It might be dismal outside but we

have turned the corner and the days are getting longer. Mind you,

there is still plenty of opportunity for outdoor hospitality across

all the sectors.

Glamping? Quality Unearthed’s Tim Rees details the surge in

winter bookings and how to make the most of what had been

considered the off-season.

Our Function Venues case study, Huntstile Organic Farm in

Somerset, also does a good trade throughout the winter, with a

permanent marquee adjoining its farmhouse creating a cosy, all weather enclosure

while maintaining a connection with the beautiful scenery outdoors.

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Kent, follows suit in the Events case study with a

revenue boosting Christmas event complete with eco-friendly ice rink and Alpine cafe.

We are trying something a little different this issue – product case studies where

we ask suppliers to showcase their wares through real life examples. We start off with

event marquees, and there are some wonderful examples of creative use of temporary

structures, from bespoke picnic tents for an English country opera season to 360 degree

projection domes for a car launch. In between we have fully branded marquees of all

sizes, a giant stretch tent, and an amazing stage cover for the BBC Proms!

Enjoy the rest of the dark bit of the winter and, if you are into events, come and find

us at the Event Production Show, Olympia, 28 February-1 March.

Tally Wade

Editor / Publisher

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Steve Rix -

Tally Wade -


Tally Wade -


Marney Whyte - 01892 677740


James English -


Coffee Shop Media - 01580 848555

The House on the Hill, Friezley Lane,

Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 2LL

t: 01580 848555

Contents ISSUE #15 January 2018


4 News

6 Product News

8 Show Review – the Event Production


10 GDPR – are you ready?


12 Huntstile Organic Farm – a 15th

Century farm house with its own

stone circle

16 Venue Insurance – the ‘big four’ and

why you need them

19 Wedding Trends – what’s hot in 2018

with Kelly Chandler

22 Lighting Design – top tips for

transforming a venue’s spaces

26 OAB Loves… Lighting – tunnels of

light, twinkling trees and more


29 Fair Farm Hideaway – shepherd’s

huts galore with lakeside views

34 Winter Glamping – why ‘seasonality’

is the new buzz word

39 Franchises – two opportunities for


43 Professional Services Advice – from

planning to reservations


47 Riverhill at Christmas – turning a

profit in the off season

51 Procurement – it’s more than just

‘buying’ says John Radford

55 Volunteers – how to recruit, train and

motivate them

68 In Focus: Marquees – six real life

event applications

62 Spotlight

65 Classifieds

66 Ask Periwinkle







Find more expert advice online:




ISSUE 15 | JANUARY 2018 |




> Wedding Trends

> Franchises

> Marquees

/ /

> Lighting

> Professional Services

> Procurement




Image courtesy of Quality Unearthed, unique

accommodation agency and glamping consultancy - Turn to pages 34-36

for more on maximising bookings in the ‘off season’.



The latest news from the world of outdoor hospitality

New Online

Temporary Structure

Safety Course

MUTA, THE UK’S marquee and temporary

structure trade association, has recently

launched StructureSafe Online, the UK’s

first course tailored specifically for those

working in the temporary structure

industry. Developed by industry experts

and online training specialists, it is

accredited by the Royal Society for the

Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

StructureSafe Online has been designed

to help everyone, including event

organisers, acquire the key knowledge

for working safely on-site. Arranged in

four modules, the course has interactive

activities throughout and, upon successful

completion of a short test, you will

be rewarded with a RoSPA approved


With StructureSafe, there is no need

to send staff away for training, or bring

trainers in – it can be taken anytime and

anywhere there is an internet connection.

Many forget how important training

really is. Keeping people safe is the number

one priority and many prosecutions from

the Health and Safety Executive cite lack of


What better way to start the year than by

ensuring you (and your team) are trained

ready for the season ahead. And make

sure those who work on your site have a

StructureSafe certificate too. www.muta. Announces

its Award Winners



announced the winners

of its 2017 camping and

glamping awards. The

list includes some of the

most popular and unique

sites in the UK, as well as

recognition for deserving


Martin Smith, founder

of, said:

"Good work deserves

recognition, and each of

our award-winning sites

has offered something

above and beyond to their


Cumbrian campsite

Park Cliffe, near

Windermere, won the

Popular Choice award and

Melody Farm Shepherd’s

Huts, Cornwall, scooped

the Best Glamping Site

award for its great site

facilities, including a

swimming pool, tennis

court and gym.

Sandy Balls Holiday

Village in Hampshire

received the Top Dog

award for dog-friendly

ABOVE Blackberry Wood, Sussex

sites, offering an on-site

exercise field and the

chance to rent bikes from

a local company that

include doggy trailers.

Blackberry Wood in

Sussex won the award

for Most Unique Site,

featuring a range of quirky

glamping accommodation

such as the handcrafted

treehouses Higgledy and

Piggledy, plus the chance

to sleep in a converted

London double-decker

bus and a Wessex


The full range of

regional and national

awards can be found at


Tourists to UK

Forecast to Spend

2017 WAS A record year for inbound

tourism to the UK, with growth set to

continue in 2018 according to forecasts

from national tourism agency VisitBritain.

Overseas visits to the UK are forecast to

break through the 40 million mark for the

first time in 2018, reaching 41.7 million, up

4.4% on 2017 which saw 39.9 million visits.

Spending by overseas visitors to the UK is

forecast to reach £26.9 billion in 2018, up

6.8% on 2017.

VisitBritain director Patricia Yates

said: “Tourism is one of the UK's most

valuable export industries. It is also

a fiercely competitive global industry

and these results not only demonstrate

Britain’s continued ability to compete


internationally for visitors,

they are testament to tourism’s

importance as a driver of

economic growth.

“We are working with partners

across the world to tell customers

of experiences they can only have

in Britain and encourage them

to book a trip now. We have seen

good growth this year from the

US and China, and are developing

new products that make it easier

for overseas visitors to book and

explore all of Britain.”

The UK was ranked third for

tourism globally in the 2017

Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index

(NBI) published last month,

equalling its highest rank ever and up two

places from last year. The NBI considered

attributes including historic buildings and

monuments, having a vibrant city life and

natural beauty.

Tourism is worth £127 billion to the

UK economy, creating jobs and boosting

economic growth across its nations and



Cornwall’s First Stone Circle in 2,000 Years


has unveiled a stunning new stone

circle built atop the Pentillie estate in

the Tamar Valley AONB, overlooking

the Tamar Valley, Dartmoor and

Plymouth Sound.

The stone circle, thought to be the

first to be built in South East Cornwall

for at least 2,000 years, is the folly of

Pentillie's owner, Ted Coryton. The

position of the Pentillie circle follows

the tradition of being in line of sight

with important local features, in this

instance Kit Hill, Brentor Church, North

Hessary Tor at Princetown and the Mew

Stone off Plymouth.

"It started as a mad idea," says

Coryton, "but then we thought it

would actually be worthwhile – an

opportunity to build something really

simple out of natural unworked local

material that would last for centuries”.

Pentillie is now hoping the stunning

circle, with an outlying stone to record

the winter solstice, the beginning of

longer days and the growing season,

will provide an interesting and unusual

new location for wedding ceremonies

or celebrations, as well as a venue

for those wanting an outdoor event

with a difference or just for quiet


Pentillie Castle, the five-star luxury

wedding and events venue, which is

also the location for Sky One’s drama

Delicious starring Dawn French, offers

bespoke weddings, shooting and

conference packages in the castellated

Georgian house and stunning grounds,

with B&B accommodation in nine

double en-suite bedrooms.

Green Start-ups

Get Boost at GEI10

THE GREEN EVENTS & Innovations Conference (GEI)

is A Greener Festival’s annual flagship event held

on 6 March at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington,

delivered in partnership with the International Live

Music Conference (ILMC) the next day.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the conference,

organisers are creating a Quick-Fire Pitch

Session aimed at new and innovative businesses.

This session will provide a platform for five start-ups

who are dedicated to improving the environmental

impact of events, enabling them to showcase their

service, product or innovation to an audience of

over 100 decision-makers from the festivals and

events industry, and to further share details of their

innovation with A Greener Festival’s environmentally

conscious membership.

Start-ups must apply in advance to be considered.

Please note that only applicants that register for

GEI10 will be allocated a pitch. For more information,



Covering your park and your business

Bespoke policies based on your holiday park

requirements including new markets such

as Glamping.

Specialists in caravan, lodge and leisure home insurance..

As well as insuring against damage to the material

aspects of your business, Towergate can also provide

Business Interruption cover, should your business

be left unable to resume normal operations.

Call 0344 892 1721

to discuss your requirements and get a quote

Towergate Insurance is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England with company number 4043759. VAT Registration Number: 447284724. Registered Address: Towergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne

Rd, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Pallet Sized

Perfection – Compact

and Transportable

LIGHT AND POWER supplier Morris Site

Machinery has developed a static eightmetre

lighting tower that offers a neat and

highly transportable new option for the

events sector.

The company is launching the SL80

Pallet light to give the market a new

option, enabling 22 units to be loaded

onto a Euro trailer due to its compact


The model allows multiple specification

options to bring real flexibility and

customisation to the sector and can be

supplied with either a Perkins or Kubota


With the Perkins 403D-07G engine, it

has a run time of 246 hours and 4 x 300W

LEDs delivering over 150,000 lumens. The

Kubota Z482 engine has a run time of 265


The SL80 Pallet can also be fitted with

the company’s new Halo lamp head, a

powerful, anti-glare next generation lamp.

The Pallet light has been created with

end user ease in mind; there is no need to

open any panels to deploy stability legs.

Richard Denholm, sales director at

Morris Site Machinery, said: “We are

always looking to develop new products

to meet market needs and provide top

class solutions. The SL80 Pallet light is

further evidence of our continued drive for


This latest model adds to the raft of new

products that have joined the line up in

the SMC lighting tower range.

For more information visit www. or call 0345 409


Add Duŝo Style to

Your Amenity Block


planning a completely

new facility this winter

or refreshing an older

amenity block for your

campers and glampers,

the Horne Duŝo shower

column will add a

touch of minimalist but

vibrant design. Not only

does it look smart and

modern with its smooth,

anodised aluminium

column, arching head,

chromium flash and

trim colours, it’s also

pre-plumbed, and is a

piece of cake to install. It

operates with the lightest

touch and requires

minimal maintenance.

The Duŝo is a timed

flow control shower

that delivers water at

a constant rate of 8L/

min for 60 seconds (30s

variant also available)

before flow cessation.

This combined flow rate

and duration offers the

optimal balance for an

effective shower while

minimising use and

wastage of pre-heated

water. A single unit, or

a small group of Duŝo

showers, can be supplied

with pre-blended warm

water from an upstream

Horne thermostatic

mixing valve (TMV)

– either in an open

wet-room arrangement

or separated by vanity


Available in four

colours, the push-paddle

and spray plate add to

its visual appeal and

can, perhaps, connect

it to other elements

of the chosen interior

design. Alternatively, use

the colours to indicate

specific functionality

such as a colder shower

(aqua blue) or cater for

users with limited sight

(yellow). Although the

spray-plate - with its

flexible silicon nozzle

array - is very easy to

clean in-situ, a regular

colour swap of the spray

plate could indicate a

specific stage in a formal

cleaning regime.

Cleaning and

maintenance is

very simple and

straightforward: remove

the spray-plate to access

the shower’s active

components - flow

regulator, timed flow

control cartridge and its

fine-mesh strainer, which

protects the mechanism

from particulate matter

that can be carried in the

water supply.

At 1,176mm tall,

and mounted at a

recommended height

of 1,950mm from fixed

floor level (FFL), the Duŝo

can easily accommodate

taller adults. Younger

children can also use the

shower with ease: set

at 875mm from FFL and

requiring a light touch,

the push paddle is easily

reached and operated

for flow actuation. www.




‘How to’ Guide

for New Event


GL EVENTS UK has launched a ‘How to’

guide aimed at new organisers entering

the events industry. The online resource is

available now and features short chapters,

offering advice on everything from

marketing and ticket sales, to legal matters

and sponsorship; all presented through

the voices of event professionals who have

experience in creating and producing new


The fun and engaging guide was created

as a result of GL event’s ongoing research in

the industry which identified the need for

more commercially-minded, collaborative

relationships, and for more guidance and

support to be passed on to new and younger

event organisers. The guide is intended as

a first steps document that uncovers good

and bad practice, outlining some of the

experiences to come for any new event.

Chapters include commentary from

Louise Young (Strawberries and Creem),

Lee Denny (Leefest), Nick Morgan (We

are the Fair), and Gill Tee (entertee), with

wide-ranging subjects including funding for

new events, event technology, safety and

security, supplier and sponsor relations, and

marketing masterclasses. The guide includes

articles, infographics, top-tips, animations

and visuals, making it as entertaining as it is


“We’re often approached by talented new

and potential event organisers who have

great ideas but very often lack the full, 360°

view of the operational logistics involved in

organising an event,” commented Rachel

Baker, GL events UK group marketing

manager. “We wanted to take our experience

of commercialising events and apply this

knowledge to a project that would help

to nurture great ideas and develop great

events. We’ve produced a genuinely helpful

guide that’s easy to use and could support

newcomers to our industry, as well as their

events, giving them food for thought and

directing them towards further expert


Access the guide at


Event insurance cover,

come rain or shine

If you have an important event coming up, we have a policy to keep

you, or your clients, protected. We have provided peace of mind to over

200,000 policy holders, so you know that we’re a company you can trust.

Our policies offer affordable, reliable insurance, tailored to fit the scale

and style of the occasion – from festivals to fetes, high profile weddings

to small ceremonies, conferences and more.

Get a quotation today at

Become an Introducer

Venue owners or event organisers can earn 15% commission simply

by introducing clients to Event Insurance. Contact Jamie Hanlon at or call 01425 470360

Event Insurance Services is a limited company registered in

England and Wales. Registered number: 3238686. Event

Insurance Services Limited are authorised and regulated by the

Financial Conduct Authority, Ref No. 309998. ID000038 11/17


Event Production Show

The Event Production Show returns to Olympia this February

to provide innovations and solutions for events of all sizes


leading event for the UK’s live and outdoor

event sectors. Taking place at Olympia,

London, on Wednesday 28 February and

Thursday 1 March, EPS offers innovation,

inspiration and education to over 5,000

of the event industry’s frontrunners.

Anticipation is growing for the 2018 event

following a record breaking number

of visitors in 2017. Visiting the show is

complimentary, as are all the sessions, so

make sure you claim your badge and plan

your visit at www.eventproductionshow.

The show brings together the full scope

of event infrastructure suppliers, enabling

an entire event to be planned with a single

visit. Suppliers cover AV, lighting, crowd

control, staging, features and venues, among

many others. EPS plays host to hundreds

of products and services, showcasing new

innovations for the very first time. Discover

the elements missing from your events

to create a renewed experience for your

visitors, and compare industry offerings for

cost-saving solutions to existing issues.

EPS 2018 will deliver two stages full of

powerful, challenging and educational

content, helping visitors to deliver even

better events. The complimentary content

covers topics and issues relevant to shaping

the events world of the future. This includes

GDPR, security, health and safety and mental

well being, alongside key issues such as

secondary ticketing, and how independent

festivals are fighting back. EPS is renowned

for its high calibre of speakers; the keynotes

and panels are led by well-known and

respected experts and 2018 will continue this

theme with big names being announced.

The show offers visitors a unique and

valuable opportunity to connect with peers.

You can build your list of key contacts within

the industry, whether in the networking bar,

among suppliers on the exhibition floor, or

through attending the seminar sessions.


Attendance to EPS is complimentary, just

register to claim your visitor badge


A delve into the 130+


A1 Loo Hire – Stand H12E

The A1 group has delivered total

waste management solutions for over

15 years, providing portable event

toilet hire through an extensive range

of single toilets and trailer units. It

has centrally located depots and

an extensive support and service

network. If you’re not sure what type

of loo you need, or how many, A1 can

help establish your requirements and

provide the most cost effective solution.

0118 989 4652 /


Canvas Tent Shop – Stand A40E

The Canvas Tent Shop has been

supplying bell tents, shelters and

marquees to the camping/glamping

industry and festival organisers for

over 25 years. Check out the stand for

information on a huge range of canvas

tents and accessories. 01234 740327 /

Blachere Illumination – Stand


Decorative lighting can be a bit of a

challenge, with shrinking budgets and

bigger demands on that budget. But

help is at hand, if you are looking for

that WOW factor or just looking to add

some new touches to your display, give

Ronnie at Blachere a call. From a single

string of lights or a speciality piece to a

fully themed display, he can help. 01337

832910 / www.blachere-illumination.

Gig Tent – Stand I82E

If you are looking for a complete,

professional, impressive stage for your

next event, check out the range from

Gig Tent. Covered stages available

that can be installed on any surface in

two hours; an ideal and cost effective

alternative to a ground stage. 01223

870935 /

Beetle Juice Events – Stand J80E

With a fleet of 16 converted VW bars,

Beetle Juice Events offers cocktail,

‘health boost’ and Champagne bar

hire options for festivals, fairs, sporting

and other public events, as well as

weddings and private parties. The team

makes fresh drinks from high quality

ingredients at very reasonable price

points. Make sure to ask about the

different profit share models on offer.

07872 122 882 /






Smart, small &



Single operator friendly

SMALL in size BIG on output

4 X powerful 300W LEDs

Retractable handles – extend and slide

Lightweight and compact for transport and storage

30 units fit on a euro trailer

Powered by generator or mains with linked lighting capability

+44 1902 790824






No more than best practice

for data handling, being

GDPR compliant provides

an opportunity for more

efficient marketing to truly

engaged audiences, says

Kevin Horler


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

is a legal framework that sets guidelines for

the collection and processing of personal

information of individuals within the European

Union (EU). The GDPR sets out the principles

for data management and the rights of the

individual, while also imposing fines.

The General Data Protection Regulation

covers all companies that deal with the data

of EU citizens and will come into effect across

the EU on 25 May 2018. The Government has

confirmed its intention to bring GDPR into UK

law, ensuring the country’s data protection

framework is “suitable for our new digital age,

allowing citizens to better control their data”

after Brexit.

IN THE WORLD of outdoor

hospitality we still need to

capture and use data; we need

it to generate sales leads for our

events, products and services.

However, it's not fun, it's not

exciting and it certainly isn’t

glamorous, but GDPR may be

just what you need to make

your digital marketing incredibly


Data drives most businesses –

data about customers, delegates,

visitors, exhibitors, suppliers,

sponsors; the list is almost

endless. We have been capturing,

storing and using data since

spreadsheets were invented,

and earlier. They have allowed

us to sort and arrange detailed

information to suit our marketing

and administrative purposes.

However, how we collect, store

and use this information is all set

to change under GDPR.

Marketing your outdoor

business or any product and

service that supports it to both

the general public and within the

industry will have to change. We



have heard people say that the

authorities will not be interested

in seeking out and challenging

companies in certain industries,

ones that cannot withstand the

huge potential fines imposed for

transgressions. Maybe, maybe not.

We have a slightly different view.

There is no indication, available at

the time of writing this piece, as to

how many complaints may trigger

an investigation and subsequent

prosecutions. It may be that just a

single complaint will be sufficient,

it may need more. The key

question to be asked is why take

the risk when there really is no

reason to infringe the regulations?

Permission based marketing

has been around for some time,

its principles and processes

are already very close to those

required under GDPR. They

sit closely alongside content

marketing, SEO and inbound

marketing, all of which are

designed to bring an audience

to you, and to enthusiastically

give their permission for you to

market to them. It requires a

shift in thinking from the usual

email blasts and telemarketing

approach, the effectiveness of

which has dropped dramatically as

audience behaviour has evolved.

The days of the stellar sized

database is over, contacts

within a databases will have

to confirm their willingness to

receive marketing material – so

the attrition rates will be high

– but those that do confirm

will be a much more engaged

audience. Every contact on your

database will have gone through

a second stage of authentication

and by doing so they will have

demonstrated a closer affinity

to the proposition you are


Further down the marketing



Kevin Horler is

project director of

digital marketing

agency Vivid Fish.

Formed in 1997,

Vivid Fish is an

eight person team

consisting of highly

skilled inbound

marketers and


Vividfish is dedicated

to creating

digital marketing

campaigns that are

flexible, efficient and

offer a great return.

pipeline this means that there

should be less wastage, the

recipients will be happy to

receive the material (it should

be stressed here that the quality

of that material needs to be

consistently high and appropriate,

otherwise the audience may

choose to exercise their right to

be forgotten), engagement levels

should increase, and conversion

rates should improve. If you take

a moment to think carefully about

this, it really is just common

sense. The contacts have made

the decision that they want your

information, they have been self

selected, and they are an eager


The challenge for any marketer

is to change the direction of how

marketing is currently undertaken,

and that will be a tough job for

industries that are comfortable

marketing in volume to large

databases. Those organisers,

venues and suppliers that are

fleet of foot, that can adapt to the

new rules under GDPR, are most

likely to see the rewards. GDPR

need not be seen as a problem

for marketers in the outdoor

hospitality industry as a whole, it

should be seen as an opportunity

to really prove our worth.

This is the opportunity to

refine and embed the very best

principles into your marketing.


Kevin has been immersed in

GDPR for the past 12 months

and has helped create a basic

guide to GDPR compliant

marketing. To download your

guide, visit www.vividfish.





An organic farm and wedding venue with

a deep routed culture of sustainability,

and its own stone circle!

John and Lizzie Redout’s family have farmed

Huntstile since 1951. Today the Redout family

hosts an array of weddings from the 15th

Century farmhouse and adjoining marquee, while maintaining

its organic farming activities. We talk to Lizzie about the venue’s

unique offerings including its homegrown cut flowers and ‘zero food miles’ menu.

When did you start your venue

business and what is its history?

John and I began our adventure

into hospitalities in 2005, when

John's sister and her fiancé wanted

to build a stone circle on the highest

point of the farm, for their own

handfasting ceremony at dawn. I

had always enjoyed hosting large

dinner parties and sharing the

house with our ever growing family

and friends, however this was a

whole new ball game for me - a

steep learning curve!

Huntstile was built in 1435 as

a manor house. There have been

several additions over the centuries,

including a Tudor granary and

stables, a stone and brick barn, and

a Victorian wing. In 2012 we built

the Garden Room, a lovely light

conservatory overlooking the pretty

gardens here and the adjacent 10

acre wild flower meadow.

My husband's father came here

as a tenant farmer in 1951. John

was born here, along with his four

sisters, and he has remained as the

farmer here ever since. He managed

to buy the manor house from the

estate in 1986 and started upon a

huge era of restoration work - and

here we are today.

Tell us about your location and site

Huntstile is nestled into the foothills

of the Quantocks, in the centre

of 270 acres of organic farmland.

We are in an elevated position

with breathtaking views across

the countryside. It's a working

family farm still and John spends

a lot of time tending his animals

and growing organic crops. We

have sustainability at the heart of

everything we do.

Huntstile is Grade II listed and this

restricts the alterations one can do,












however we have always had lots

of support from the conservation

team at Sedgemoor Council - and of

course we endeavour to complete

our works in sympathy with the

original aesthetic, which would

never compromise the historical or

heritage asset.

We have an acre and a half of

organic kitchen gardens and a 100ft

long polytunnel where we grow

salads, vegetables, soft fruit and

herbs as well as an array of edible

flowers. Our menus are based

around fresh, seasonal and locally

sourced produce, much of it coming

from the farm itself with zero food


What facilities for outdoor

functions do you offer?

For wedding ceremonies, one

option is the Garden Room which is

licensed. It’s a very elegant building

that opens onto a stone platform,

where the marriage takes place.

This has a short run of local stone

steps (five steps in total) leading

down into the main gardens,

where the guests are seated. It’s

a beautiful setting. And of course

we still have our lovely stone circle

circa 2005! We take the guests up

the field to the stones via a hay

bale ride on our old tractor; it’s

great fun! The stones are set on the

edge of a beech woodland, right on

highest point of the farm. There are

incredible views of five counties on


a clear day. If the weather permits

we have drinks and nibbles up here


This year we have planted a 10

acre wild flower meadow next to

the gardens and marquee - very


We have a pretty dining marquee

that is attached to the manor

house. It’s fully carpeted and

heated, with a fairy-light lining

and mood lighting in the evenings.

There is also lighting throughout

the gardens and grounds, festoon

lights, and coloured uplighters

through the mature trees and

shrubs. Firepits are included - and

the option for a big bonfire, which

always goes down well!

What services do you offer?

Whatever is needed we can provide

it. There are two outdoor ceremony

options - the Garden Room for

a civil ceremony, or the stone

circle for a humanist ceremony or

blessing. The team can also assist

with any planning required.

We have three wonderful

chefs working at Huntstile and

can provide everything from the

very simplest of cream teas to

a mouthwatering seven course

banquet. We also have the facility

for an outdoor rustic bar in the

garden, cask ale on hay bales, kegs

of cider, a Pimms bike - even gin

and tonic kilner jars dispensing

delicately flavoured botanicals into

pretty glasses with paper straws.

Several years ago we planted

a cutting garden and from the

beginning of June we can supply

buckets of stems for use in the

marquee and house. We can

arrange pre-wedding dinners,

activities such as clay-pigeon

shooting, therapies, pizza nights,

picnics, treasure hunts - whatever

the client needs.

Describe how you researched and

sourced your structures

The dining marquee is ours, we

had it made to measure especially

for Huntstile. It’s an all weather

structure which is fabulously

resistant to everything Mother

Nature throws at us. The marquee is

a tasteful blank canvas for whatever

is required and we can easily

change its nature with lighting,

flowers, furniture, plants and

materials - or it can remain in its

natural elegance.

How do you work with your

customers to make their event


Every event is unique. We have lots

of suggestions, however we want

to create the day that a couple has

been dreaming of - not coerce them

into doing what we want them to

do! It's very important to listen to

clients, to listen to their ideas and

the dreams they have for their big

day - then we arrive at the true

nature of what they really want and

can translate these dreams into

workable models and build from



How would you describe your

‘style’ or unique selling point

Huntstile is unique in itself - a

beautiful old manor house with

exquisite accommodation set

in glorious countryside with a

welcoming team of staff.

Our kitchen team is amazing,

drawing on talent from around the

globe. Our food is delicious, colourful

and varied - we cater for all tastes -

and we grow most of it here on our

organic farm; our effort in striving for

sustainability is key!

What challenges have you faced?

Using the stone circle was lovely,

however we wanted to obtain a civil

ceremony license (as we wanted to

be married at Huntstile too!). That

was a challenge because of our

Grade II listing, however with the

help of the conservation team at

the local council we got there and

John and I were the very first legal

ceremony to take place.

One year we had snow just before

Christmas and had to tow all our

guests in their cars from the A38.

We have since invested in a snow

plough! (...needless to say it hasn't

snowed since then).

What are your plans for next


This coming year sees a change in

accommodation with some new

bedrooms being added throughout

the year, and a new bar in the dining

marquee (John is particularly

pleased with his recycling chutes!).

We have always had good green

credentials but we are increasing

this with several farm-wide policies

of no single use plastic, recycling

all materials as much as we can,

increasing our green energy

generation, and reducing waste in


Why do you enjoy the business?

The people we meet here are just

the best. John and I have made

many friends over the years and

we are very lucky. We now have

previous wedding couples returning

with their children, staying in

the B&B or camping in our little

orchard - it’s wonderful to see them

again and get to know the next


I really enjoy the excitement of

the build up to the wedding and

helping to plan a perfect day. Each

event is unique and it’s a wonderful

privilege to be able to share the

excitement of the couples, bringing

their ideas into being. Correct and

complete planning means there is

no stress on the day and nothing for

anyone to worry about.

What other outdoor hospitality

sectors do you operate in?

We have an apple orchard that we

use as a camping field for up to 20

tents, two gypsy wagons as well as

a furnished teepee tent. We also

have nine bedrooms in the manor

house and two log cabins. Because

all our bookings are exclusive, we

include all of these within our venue

hire fees.

Huntstile is a B&B all year round,

we have foodie events throughout

the year including seasonal Food



Custom Covers


Laurie's Furniture Warehouse


Laurie's Furniture Warehouse


Biomass woodchip boiler by

Twin Heat

Feasts which are very popular and

Pizza Night every Friday.

What are you most proud of?

My family - they are all here to help

and work very hard! Particular

mentions for our son Nathaniel who

is one of our esteemed chefs (he

makes a mean pizza too!), our son

Joseph who, despite being a top

barman every weekend, managed

to graduate with a masters degree

in mathematics last year, and of

course my lovely husband John,

without whom none of this would

be possible. He has rebuilt part of

every room, outside wall, renovated

all the roof and built new ones at

Huntstile. He has an artist’s eye, is

an amazing architect, carpenter

and builder, and he is my rock.

What advice could you give

to someone coming into the


Make sure you like people and enjoy

entertaining. If you make promises,

make sure that you can provide

them on the day. Get the best

possible insurance - you may need

it one day and it’s always best to be

fully covered. Be prepared for the

biggest learning curve of your life!


NFU Mutual


Huntstile Organic Farm

Goathurst, Bridgwater,


01278 662358



BARKER Marquees

Fabric Engineering at its Best

Designer and Manufacture of Traditional and

Modern Marquees, Linings and Accessories

Buy from a UK company with over 100 years experience

• Own your own marquee – ideal for function

venues and event organisers

• Designed to meet UK and EC standards, with fire

retardant materials and structural engineering


• Hand crafted in the UK, with full customer support

Need a chill out

structure? Try the

Tea Rose Marquee

• Our Pole Marquee range comprises the

Celeste, Petal and Traditional

• Free training on construction, de-rigging and

maintenance upon collection from our

workshop (near Junction 6, M25)


Call us on 01883 337099 • Email




Venue Insurance

Kerry Leighton-Bailey explains the four cornerstones of venue insurance

MAKING PART OR all your land, property

or venue available to hire out for events is

a great way of generating an income. But

despite the myriad of issues that could

arise as a result – from unexpected damage

caused by a guest, to adverse weather

conditions, even theft – there is no legal

obligation on you, as a venue owner, to

have any kind of insurance in place. The

only compulsory requirement by law is that

you have employers liability insurance to

protect you against any potential claims

that may arise from staff or volunteers

(whether paid or unpaid), where you may be

required to pay compensation.

Of course, if you are making your venue

or property available for hire and running it

as a business, it is never advisable to adopt

a “bare minimum” approach to insurance.

And when it comes to insurance needs for

any type of business, liability insurance is

essential. This would offer you protection

against claims that may arise if someone

slips or falls at your event as a result of your

negligence, or protection against mishaps

with event equipment.

Without adequate insurance in place, if

you are found liable for errors or perceived

negligence, you may have to pay costs and

compensation out of your own pocket –

including the legal costs of defending your

claim. This could have major implications

for the future of your venue or event.

Despite this, 46% of event organisers

admitted to not spending anything on

insurance last year.


Having worked with venue owners of all

types and sizes across the UK, and across

the globe, one of the most important

recommendations is to ensure that your

clients, and the users of your venue, have

their own insurance in place. No matter how

comprehensive your policy, even if it covers

the liability of loss or damage caused by a

guest at your venue, if you have to make a

claim the cost of your insurance may rise

significantly at renewal.

I am seeing more and more venues – both

private and local authority-owned – making

it a contractual requirement for clients to

take out their own public liability insurance

before their event can go ahead.

As soon as there is accidental injury

caused to a guest, or damage caused to

the venue and/or its contents, through the

negligence of your client, the responsibility

no longer lies with you as the venue owner.

To give you an example, if, while setting

up the event, the client left objects lying

around which a guest later tripped over and

injured themselves upon, your client could

be liable if the individual wanted to make a


If your client doesn’t have their own

public liability in place, you, as the venue

owner, could potentially be held personally

responsible for the claim. We saw a claim

against a wedding policy, where a guest

at a wedding in a stately home damaged

a Versace chaise longue. The cost of the

claim totalled £15,000. If the venue owner

had not insisted their client have their own

insurance, they may have had to cover the

cost of the repair themselves.

As a venue owner, even with your own

insurance in place, you should generally

require that the client have their own public

liability policy, suitable to the event taking

place. It is also important to consider third

party contractors that your client may be

bringing on to site (marquee hire, caterers

etc.) to ensure they, in turn, have their

own public liability insurance to protect

their indemnity in case of any loss or injury

arising out of their negligence.



All this talk of negligence, liability and

indemnity can be confusing. But, an event

insurance policy is very straightforward and



comprises four main cornerstones

that can be taken independently

of each other (in most cases), or

combined to suit your needs, to give

you the levels of cover that your

event, or the users of your function

venue, may need.

› Public Liability Insurance. The

foundation of any event insurance

policy. There are four main cover

levels ranging from £10m, down

through £5m and £2m to the

basic level of £1m of cover. Local

authorities and larger stately homes

are increasingly specifying that

clients take out £10m of cover and I

am seeing that trend spread out to

other venue types as well.

Premiums here can start from as

little as £60, but will depend on the

number of attendees at the event,

as well as the length of the event


› Employers Liability Insurance.

A legal essential for you to have in

place, yet so often an overlooked

level of cover. Employers liability is

potentially relevant if you have any

staff, volunteers or helpers working

or assisting you at the event. This

could range from stewards, catering

staff, ticket collectors or marshalls.

It doesn’t matter whether they are

paid or unpaid, but they must be

under your control and supervision

at the time they sustain an injury.

With cover starting from only

around £53 for up to £5m of cover

for up to 10 volunteers/employees,

this is frequently taken out in

conjunction with public liability.

› Event Equipment Cover.

This level of cover relates to items

that your client may be bringing

into, or hiring for, an event they

are holding at your venue. So this

excludes items which are already

part of the fixtures and fittings at

your venue. Our policy in particular

would provide accidental damage,

loss or theft cover for the event

equipment that your client is legally

responsible for, for the duration

of their event. This cover can start

from an additional premium as low

as £34.

› Cancellation Insurance. This

is a big one, and yet as an optional

cover many event organisers

choose not to add it to their policy.

Organising and hosting an event

can be costly, and this cover looks

to try and recover your costs if

the event you are organising or

attending was forced to cancel



Kerry Leighton-

Bailey is the


director at Event

Insurance Services.

Established in 1996,

Event Insurance

Services provides

affordable, reliable

insurance, tailored

to fit the scale and

style of the occasion

– from school

fêtes and small

ceremonies to high

profile weddings

and events. The

team works with

companies and

individuals across

the full spectrum of

events, as well as

supporting a broker

network of over

2,500 brokers and

450 of the country’s

top venues and


for reasons beyond your control.

There are also several extensions

to cancellation cover, which are

becoming increasingly common:

• Adverse weather cover: With

the unpredictability of the British

weather, and the increasing

number of outdoor events, this

is one of the most common

cancellation extensions

• Terrorism cover: Sadly, a sign

of the times. For an additional

premium, we can offer terrorism

cover for your event, limited to

threats and acts of terrorism

occurring within a specific

number of days and miles of

the event (usually 50 days and

50 miles). There is an option to

upgrade the cover to remove time

and distance restrictions

• Non-Appearance cover:

Designed for events which are

dependent upon a key individual

or a group of performers.


The median spend on event

insurance last year was £2,500,

according to a recent Eventbrite

report. However, this figure has

been pushed up by the increase in

the number of very large events,

such as Glastonbury, which have

huge premiums.

Whatever the size of the event

you are organising, hosting or

attending, there are several ways

that you can look to reduce your

insurance premium. The key is

working with an insurance provider

or broker that fully understands the

needs of your event. By explaining

the policies and procedures you

have in place to help mitigate risk,

you will give the insurer confidence

that you are doing everything

possible to reduce the risk of having

to make a claim.

If you are organising, hosting or

attending multiple events per year

then there are annual event policies

available which generally offer a

lower cost-per-event than insuring

each event individually.

If you work with an insurer for a

period of time, it is likely they will

be able to maintain your insurance

premium, or in some cases reduce

it, based on their long standing

experience of your event or venue.

Building a relationship with your

insurer will stand you in good stead

for the long term.

By opening up your venue, or

organising/exhibiting at an event,

you want everyone involved to

have an enjoyable, rewarding and

profitable event. Ultimately, an

insurance policy is a risk mitigation

tool. Ensuring you have your

own insurance in place to protect

your negligence is important; by

stipulating that your clients also

have adequate insurance in place

can give you peace of mind that

they have financial security to cover

any claims.



7 & 8

NOV 2018










LIVE 2018












0117 929 6087



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2018 Wedding


More than just a heads up on themes and styling, Kelly

Chandler’s wedding trend hit list for the year looks at the

whole package

WHAT BETTER TIME to reflect and

be inspired than January. Make it

the start of a new, fresh and dynamic

approach to your business.

Trends are ever evolving and

emerging and 2018 looks set to be

yet another exciting year in the world

of weddings. With enhancements on

what may have already been popular,

a nod to tradition with a tempting

twist, and new ways to continuously

excite and wow wedding guests, I

have popped together a list of what

I feel are up and coming trends

that you, as either a new or already

well-established venue, should be


Today’s couples expect you to be

engaging with trends long before they

get in touch, let alone make a booking.

They will want to see you up to date

with the latest in your photography

and social media so let’s make a start,

helping you put your best foot



Painting the

perfect picture

In the current market, there is one thing our

millennial bride doesn’t have a lot of, and this

is time. Couples are predominantly opting

for online resources to plan their weddings

with 41% using the ‘Wedding Website’ as the

most utilised planning tool. With evening and

weekend minutes being valued and precious,

the venue hunt can seem a daunting one.

According to The Wedding

Report 2017, couples make an average of 5.4

venue enquiries, typically only viewing 2.8


and are

increasingly looking at venues as the ‘all-inone’

destination for everything.

So, what can you do as a venue in order

to keep up with the brides’ demands and

wishes while seeking the perfect venue?

What can you be doing to ensure you are

running with the current trends and shining

like that beautiful diamond engagement ring

against your local competitors, all the time

being mindful that at a quick glance, you are

‘the venue’ for not only the couple but just as

importantly, their family and friends?

There is nothing more off-putting than a

venue that is looking tired. Nor are brides

wanting to trawl through pages of irrelevant

and repeated text. To be sure you are not

losing your audience due to lack of or hidden

information. Take a fresh and clear approach

demonstrating your offering through your

website with a concise introduction to who

you are (think about a personal intro to you

and your story) and key information listed in

one place. This is an absolute must.

Details of your main areas with wet

weather options, capacities both inside and

out, civil ceremony information, a selection

of striking, wedding focussed, high impact

shots, sample menus and clear directions on

how to get in touch and make an enquiry is

paramount in helping your brides paint the

perfect portrait of their day.

The response is also key. Always bear in

mind the three Ps; be prompt, professional

and personal. A bride will be wowed by

the little things so make this first point of

communication really count.




Fabulous food

Couples are becoming increasingly

aware of the importance of local,

sustainable produce. There will be

a huge surge of this throughout

2018 with new couples looking to

continue to promote and support

local businesses that venues have

already established relationships


There is a real desire now for

a clean minimalist approach

with a focus on quality, taste and

refinement. Modern couples are

looking to continue to wow and

excite their guests through every

element and with this in mind

are moving further away from

traditions like the set three course

wedding breakfast.

Feasting and festival style

sharing is growing fast! The idea

of delicious local foods served on

platters/boards for a whole table

to delve into and discuss will offer

a true food experience. We’re

seeing things like Borough Market

themed platters, informal, with an

opportunity to share and celebrate

our Great British produce and




It is becoming more and more popular for couples to

‘create their own’ day and sway further away from a

traditional cookie cutter approach. Couples are wanting

to take the opportunity to personalise, reflect and share

their journey with their family and loved ones.

Drink stations such as ‘pimp your prosecco’ have been

huge, and this year we will see this creativity and fun

evolve even further. Alternative ways to present food and

drink will be key and what better way to be promoting

your team’s flair than through delicious catering offerings.

It’s about thinking outside the box entirely, with brilliant

and quirky ways of pairing food and drink while guests

mingle and munch - think shots of local craft spirits and

beers, through to a couple’s personal alcoholic creations

(eg. cocktails inspired by their engagement).




Capturing colours and tones

Soft, muted and pastel tones have been very popular up to

this point. In 2018 the bride may be a little bolder shifting to a

statement colour with neutral hints and undertones. Incorporating

earthy hues and textures will still play a key part in many brides’

palette - no the ‘greenery’ hasn’t gone away just yet.

Making your audiences aware you are knowledgeable about

these current trends and promoting this in areas you can

throughout your venue is important. Whether this be through

your marketing material, newsletters or even offerings on your

showrounds. This will help your couples envisage themselves

at your venue, all the time being inspired and assured that your

offerings are in line with what’s currently popular.




Alternative marquee options

Alternative marquee options are a relatively new thing on our little continent. While the tipi and stretch

tent have been popular and will continue to be throughout 2018, alternatives to traditional internal

spaces include glass/clear marquees. They offer infinity views of our breathtaking landscape, pulling in

the twinkle of the moonlight as guests dance on into the early hours of the morning. Although not for

everyone, as they can be costly, these really are a wonderful option to promote to your couples should

you be surrounded by jaw dropping views.





The destination wedding

hit its peak at the end

of last year with brides

loving the idea of a ‘taste

of Tuscany’, and that

‘European dream’ on

their doorstep minus the

headache of flights and

remote planning.

Well a ‘weekend long’

extravaganza is looking

to be the root of every

wedding this year, where

couples are exploring

ways to extend their

celebrations, creating

that dream weekend

everyone talks about.

This of course comes

predominantly down to

you as a venue. Acting as

the ‘star of the show,’ it’s

about ensuring you’re

able to accommodate

and host at least part

of, if not the entire,

experience. Make sure to

showcase your versatile

spaces and facilities to

reassure couples they

are getting value for

money and that you can

maximise their guests’

experience and time with



Wedding chairs

Gone are the days of the dreaded

stretched white Lycra chair cover. We

truly are now spoilt for choice when it

comes to wedding chairs. From ghost

to farmhouse, Louis to upholstered

in luxury vintage fabric, there really

is something perfect for every space/


As a venue, be clever what you

invest in so that chairs can be used

and sit well within several areas of

your property, both inside and out.

The decision can’t be taken lightly

if you are looking at purchasing

for a long term investment. It’s

about selecting something that has

longevity, both in its structure and


Large groupings of chairs for either

a ceremony or wedding breakfast

can have a significant impact on the

overall style/colour scheme of the

day. It has been known for brides

not to have booked a venue purely

on the chair options, so considering

an upgrade, or actively promoting

alternatives should this not be an

option, is a wise move.

We hope you’ve found our 2018

trend round up insightful and useful.

I am a big believer that trends

are trends and not the be all and

end all. That said, it’s important

to understand what couples are

choosing and to understand the

vision of your individual clients

in order to help create the magic,

whether that’s a trend or not.


If you’d like to know more about wedding market trends or are looking to improve your market

presence and sales, then do consider joining Kelly's SHINE workshops written especially for

ambitious wedding venues and locations. The full details of training on 9 February and 9 March can

be found at

Kelly also offers one to one consulting via her signature ‘Refine & Shine’ programme, details of

which you’ll find under ‘Work with Me’ at




Kelly Chandler is a

long-term preferred

service provider for

exclusive venues

such as Syon Park,

Highclere Castle,

Spencer House and

Stoke Park Club.

Kelly’s consulting

services to wedding

venues draw on

prior experience

in international

conference and

event planning, over

13 years of business

management, and

working directly with

discerning couples

planning their

weddings in diverse

locations and

forging successful

relationships with all

components of the

wedding industry.

A former director

of trade body, the

Alliance of Wedding

Planners, Kelly is

a well-regarded

innovator, mentor,

trainer and industry

spokesperson on

and in the wedding


www. kellychandler



Lighting up a

Special Day

Top tips for transforming a venue’s spaces with lighting

advice from Version Events

A UNIQUE AND personal wedding is

something many couples aspire to,

but this represents a challenge and

cost if you are looking to reinvent the

wheel. The wish to stand out from

the crowd has led to lighting being a

key component in transforming any

wedding. With many weddings held

at the same venues up and down the

country, the flexibility and adaptability

of lighting designs can allow event

planners to truly dazzle their guests

without wholesale changes to the


Lighting can transform any event by

changing the look and feel of a venue

as well as enhancing the surroundings

to perfectly illustrate a chosen theme.

Simple touches like coloured lighting

can be used to match the chosen

colour scheme, while more complex

lighting solutions create an atmospheric

ambience and even define different areas

to make a single room seem like a larger

and more interesting space.

Practicality is something that must

be considered when choosing the right

lighting for an event even when there

is artistic license to be creative. The

thought process must balance out each

aspect of the day, such as taking into

account whether the guests will be able

to see their food while trying to create an

intimate setting. Weddings are complex

days where the focus often shifts from

the reception through to the dancing and

the lighting must be chosen correctly to

control and react as the day goes on.


The range of lighting options available is

truly staggering and allows you to design

down to the minutest detail to deliver the

ambience you crave. There’s something

for every requirement, from the most

extravagant to more subtle designs. Options


› Up lighters – Perfect for lighting up walls

or features, these small and subtle lights

can be installed around the edge of a

venue or even change colour for a partystyle


› Dappled lighting – Looking to create a

magical feel to your wedding or event?

Dappled lighting gives the effect of

sunshine beaming through the trees and

provides the ideal look for a dining area

or can be used throughout a venue if you

require a midsummer moon-lit theme

› Spot lighting – If you’ve got a centrepiece

on your wedding tables then spot

lighting can concentrate focused beams

of light onto it to make sure it remains the

focal point even when the main lights are

dimmed for evening entertainment



› Fairy light backdrop – Create a

stunning backdrop to your top

table with a fairy light backdrop

in any colour you wish, which

can be defused behind a soft

pleated fabric to produce a

warm and inviting setting for the

most important guests

› Intelligent lighting – Party

your wedding night away with

intelligent lighting often found

around the extremities of a

dance floor. Often twinned with

smoke effect systems, these

lights can be programmed and

controlled from one desk to

deliver colourful and shaped

beams of light in time with


› Coloured wash lighting –

Colour schemes make a big

difference to any wedding or

event and these dimmable

lighting options ensure that you

have no need to be stuck with

the harsh lighting

› Message projection – Project

favourite quotes or initials onto

walls around a venue with these

light designs, which are also

perfect for displaying theme

images if you want to create a

truly bespoke atmosphere

to create a more intimate setting

without becoming claustrophobic.

The use of strings of fairy lights in

various designs can help to reduce

space or draw the eye away from

less visually appealing structures

as well as creating a false ceiling

for large venues.


Lighting is truly capable of

elevating any event to be aweinspiring

and if there is budget

available then the possibilities

are endless. There is the ability

to either bring something hugely

elaborate using versatile and

innovative LED lighting to create a

focal point of the event or to strip

it back to being more traditional

with simple festoon lighting that

adds an understated glamour to a

wedding or special occasion. The

sky really is the limit.



The right exterior lighting at any

event must work during the day

and then come into its own at

night. For when the sun goes

down, there is the ability to use

architectural lighting to highlight

natural landmarks such as trees,

lakes, sculptures and structures.

At many events, guests will arrive

when it is light and stay until

its dark, and in these situations

festoon lighting with older style

Edison lamps, paper lanterns or

fairy lights can deliver an eyecatching

visual effect during the

day and become more practical as

the day moves on.



Barns and marquees are as popular

as ever for weddings and events,



Transforming a venue can be

expensive, but clever lighting

solutions can help deliver an

improved experience without

the associated costs. The beauty

of light is you can change the

colour, intensity or position to suit

your theme and bring a different

ambience. One issue that is often

faced is the covering up of ceiling

artwork or making a ceiling lower



but they pose very different

challenges when lighting them

effectively. Whether industrial or

traditional, barns offer character in

abundance, whereas marquees act

more like a canvas. It’s important

to work with what your space

offers you, highlighting features

to provide the perfect backdrop

to the day. Consider fairy light

canopies, strings of paper lanterns,

crystal chandeliers or up lighting to

provide a bespoke ambience and

theme for the event.


There’s been a huge trend for

the vintage and shabby-chic

look especially for weddings and

extravagant events. It is likely

this will continue into 2018 but

with the development of more

intricate designs incorporated into

fairy lights and theming to create

visually-stunning focal pieces.

With the pace that LED lights and

the devices controlling them are

advancing we are likely to see big

improvements in the capabilities

of this technology, so watch this



The advances in affordable LED

lighting is outpacing any other

form of lighting and has delivered

an opportunity to push the

boundaries for clients without

breaking budget. Their multifaceted

advantages over rival

products makes transforming

prestigious and listed buildings

simpler without putting a strain

on beautiful surroundings. They

create a wonderful atmosphere

in places that would not have

previously been possible. LED

lighting’s environmentally-friendly

credentials makes it ideal for

many events. Just some of their

advantages include:



Established in

1997 and based in

Colchester, Essex,

Version Events and

Wedding Creative have

been providing event

and wedding services

across the UK for more

than two decades.

The two companies

have worked on a

diverse range of events

supplying bespoke


Drawing on experience

gained from theatre,

TV, live events and

architecture, the

team has a passion

for providing creative

design concepts.

Version Events

also carries a large

selection of event

equipment from

outdoor structures

down to finishing

touches and


Contact the team

on 0845 8 340 320 or

hello@versionevents., or view projects




› Low power and recharge

ability – Running on low power

and even being rechargeable

allows wireless-type LED lights

to make the most of open spaces

in venues without the need for

unsightly cabling spoiling the

look of the designs

› Small and light – Compared

to many light sources, LEDs are

hugely light and flexible meaning

they can be placed more

sympathetically around venues

and even suspended from

delicate structures or the roof of


› Lack of a fire hazard –

Renowned for emitting very little

heat, LED lights can be placed

in close proximity to drapery

without creating a fire risk, which

is hugely important for all venues

› Wireless capability – LED

lights have benefited from

the improvements in wireless

technology to be controlled

remotely, negating the need

for multiple control products

spoiling a design

› Individually-controlled – LED

fairy lights can now be controlled

individually making it easier to

sculpt them into shapes that

can work as a focal point for

any event, and to have them

change colour depending on the

ambience required.


Commissioning a company to

manage the lighting aspect of an

event gives a venue the peace

of mind of knowing they are in

safe hands. We are fortunate to

have a number of contracts with

venues that trust us to handle “the

look” freeing them up to focus on

other elements of the day. Event

management firms are happy to

offer a bespoke service to clients

or to provide a package offering

that venues can upsell to their

customers. Our venues know that

by using our experts they have a

professional and experienced team,

who are proficient in all testing

and risk management and able

to handle any eventuality; as well

as someone they can trust to be

respectful of their property.



Lighting never sits alone when

panning the blueprint to deliver

the perfect event. It should work

alongside the design requirements

and capabilities of the venue to

seamlessly exceed expectations.

By hiring a specialist events

company you get experts who

can elevate the experience of the

client by combining all aspects to

work as one and create the perfect

ambience for the client on their

special day.





interlocking tiles - effective

protection for soft ground





020 3302 6947

33 Fairways Business Park, Lammas Road, London, E10 7QB

Ideal for the reinforcement of

parking areas, access tracks,

pitches etc. at:

- camping & glamping sites

- open air event venues

- country & leisure parks

Tel. 01992 522797

For indoors and out, to buy or rent.

01962 877 644 |





Illuminated wonders

for your venue


The Tunnel of Light from Blachere



At 45m long at its max with 57,400

computer controlled RGB LEDs,

the ‘Tunnel of Light’ can be hired

or purchased in 2m sections. At

an event in Norwich over 10,000

people went through it on the

first night, attracting over 10

million hits on social media! Add a

spectacle to your venue – a show

stopper for weddings or high end


The team at Blachere

Illumination is primed to help with

lighting installations of all shapes

and sizes from major venues to

home and garden.


Blachere Illumination

01337 832910


LED trees to rent or buy from

Twilight Trees


Available as maple, cherry or

palm, from ‘Mini’ (for table

tops) to ‘Grande’ (3m), these

enchanting LED trees add a

magical element to any venue,

indoors or out, and are available

to rent or buy.

We’ve experienced these first

hand at the entrance to a high

end hotel near us in Tunbridge

Wells, and they really do create

a unique atmosphere. Twilight

Trees also offers a range of

accessories to add to the

magic including peacocks and



Twilight Trees

01962 877644


‘Alternative’ lighting from Bob Cool



We love the range of hand built funky

lights from Bob Cool. Add some light

to your event from retro style lit letters

to modern LED lit light boxes and

lights. Specialists in letter lights in any

size, this UK-based alternative light

manufacturer builds everything by

hand so can customise your product

to exactly how you want it, designing

and manufacturing under one roof in



Bob Cool Industries

01279 293264



Magical lighting from Hire



Hire Frequencies has worked

with hundreds of venues across

the UK providing sound and

lighting solutions for a wide

range of events. It recently

provided venue lighting for

the Round Chapel in Hackney,

transforming it into a magical

event space for weddings and


The lighting design team

has decades of experience

bringing state of the art lighting

solutions into a wide range

of both historic and modern



Hire Frequencies

0203 3026947

Stay Somewhere


Quality Unearthed hand-pick alternative abodes

for quirky, quality holidays in the most beautiful

spots across the UK. From spacious yurts to luxury

treehouses, from smart eco cabins to cleverly

converted carriages, we provide all the ingredients

for a magically memorable British break.


call 01348 830922

stay somewhere different

If you’re looking to start your own glamping business, give our team a call on 01348 830922



Fair Farm


An adults-only glampsite with lakeside

views in bespoke shepherd hut accommodation

Proud of its farming background, the Watchorn family has created a glampsite that echoes

its heritage. Nine shepherd huts are positioned around landscaped lakes with wild flowers

in eco-friendly luxury. We talk to Anne Watchorn about the new business and the incredible

team behind it.

What’s you back story – your life

before glamping?

We are a third generation farming

family and farm both livestock and

arable in Waltham on the Wolds

and the surrounding area.

We opened the glampsite in

June 2017 as our son had joined

the family business and we wanted

to generate a new income stream.

Two fishing lakes were created 15

years ago, initially used for coarse

fishing on a day ticket basis. It was

always our intention to develop

them further once the landscaping

had matured. When we decided

on glamping the lake came into its

own and nine shepherd huts are

now positioned around it with a

tenth currently in production on

the farm.

We are an adults-only site, with

each shepherd hut accommodating

a maximum of two, with a

minimum two night stay (three

nights over a bank holiday).

How did you research the

business before entering it?

We did a lot of internet research,

read industry literature then

followed up by visits to the

Glamping Show.

Tell us about your location and


Our family farm is on the outskirts

of the village of Waltham on the

Wolds in Leicestershire. We are on

the edge of the beautiful Vale of

Belvoir, with Belvoir Castle close

by, and five miles north of Melton

Mowbray, the renowned ‘rural

capital of food’.

The glampsite itself is in an

undulating lakeside location. The

units are all shepherd huts which

have been carefully positioned

to maximise the view of the lakes

while maintaining a practical siting

for drainage and services.

Keen to preserve some of the old

pasture and wild flower species

from the farm, we harvested some

and have incorporated the seed

around the shepherd huts.

How did you tackle getting


We obtained advice from local

planning personnel, as although

the shepherd huts were built on a

chassis rendering them movable,

planning consent was still required

and obtained.

What glamping accommodation

do you offer and why did you

choose it?

We chose shepherd huts as they

provided something different.

They are a year round option,

with sheep’s wool insulation to

keep them snug, and fit into the

landscape in a sympathetic way,

affording a close connection with

our farming heritage.



All the huts have en-suite

facilities with towels and linen

provided, and Wi-Fi throughout.

There is thermostatically

controlled heating in every hut,

but for that cosy feel, all huts have

a log burner fitted.

Each hut has its own private

entrance and patio area with BBQ

and fire pit. A number of huts have

wood fired hot tubs. We also have

‘dog friendly’ huts.

How did you work out your

brand and how do you publicise


We wanted a close association

with our farm name ‘Fair Farm’

as we are immensely proud of

the opportunity the land has

provided for our new venture and

the connection we all have with

it. We also felt that ‘hideaway’

closely reflected our feelings of a

‘hidden gem’ in the Leicestershire

countryside on the edge of the

Vale of Belvoir.

We have our own website and

have also used a number of sites

including Love Glamping and Go

Glamping to publicise our business

in addition to local tourism sites

and social media with a presence

on Facebook etc.

We entered the Leicestershire

Promotions Awards, nominating

our team for the ‘Best Team’

category, and despite strong

competition from a number of













larger, more established businesses

were amazed when we were


As this is our first winter season

we are still exploring a number of

different avenues to publicise our

glamping business throughout the


How would you describe your

ethos and unique selling point?

Our ethos is to use natural,

sustainable materials in an ecofriendly

environment without

compromising on luxury or quality.

Our USP is sustainability.

We carry the theme through to

utilising local skills and obtaining

the support of local businesses

wherever possible - the shepherd

huts were built on the farm by local


How did you choose your interior


The colour scheme for the

decoration was based around a

Farrow and Ball muted palette

to work sympathetically with the

surrounding countryside. The range



of soft furnishings reflect a country

feel while complementing the clean

lines of the kitchen cabinets and

work surfaces.

We aimed for functional,

practical, quality fixtures and

fittings (such as Villeroy Boch etc.)

and a range of throws and rugs to


What challenges have you faced?

Setting up a diversification business

while maintaining the core farming

business and remaining actively

involved in the day-to-day of


What are your plans for next


We are planning to add a small

caravan park in a nearby location

next year.

Why do you enjoy the business?

As a third generation family farming

business it was refreshing to ‘step

outside’ our normal day-to-day

activities and challenge ourselves,

dealing with customers first hand.

We are extremely proud of our

farming heritage but are well aware

of the challenges farming is facing,

so have taken a proactive approach

to take our business forward and

hopefully remain in control of our

own future

What are you most proud of?

Our team. We are fortunate to have

local families as part of it. They

have, at times, worked long hours

to meet deadlines, working with

interest and dedication. They have

built beautiful shepherd huts with

care and commitment. They have















maintained the shepherd huts to

an exceedingly high standard. They

have, at times, asked their family

members to assist and all have

been happy to work alongside us.

They have adapted from helping

out with traditional farm work to

maintaining the grounds around

the site and greeting guests as

required. Our team comprises

genuine people and our hope is

that they remain a vital part of the

team for many years to come.

We have embraced the new

venture working together, each

member of the team valued for

their unique contribution. We

have built the shepherd huts

together, designed the website

together, dressed the shepherd

huts together, welcomed the

customers together, and lit the hot

tubs together. Everyone has played

their part and collectively we have

launched a new business which to

date has exceeded all expectations.

What other outdoor hospitality

sectors do you operate in?

We have lots of ideas going forward

but, as we have only been open for

six months, we need to build our

expertise and experience with our

current shepherd hut business

What advice could you give

to someone coming into the


Be passionate about what you do,

strive for excellence and listen/take

advice from others.



Designed and built on site


Naked Flame Eco-Tubs


NFU Mutual


Yvette Design Solutions


Fair Farm Hideaways

Waltham on the Wolds

Melton Mowbray LE14 4AJ

07958 373049






Quality Unearthed’s Tim Rees

explains why ‘seasonality’ is the

new buzz word in glamping


WINTER - NOT A time of year

you’d automatically associate

with sleeping in the great British

outdoors. But think again! What

if we were to tell you that your

natural winter experience can also

include underfloor heating, hot

showers, roll top baths and cosy

wood burning stoves? Interested?

You won’t be the first – indeed,

glampers nationwide are turning

their attention to what had

previously been considered as the

off-season months. Seasonality

is the buzz word of the moment

in the glamping world, and

the notion that you can only

reasonably go glamping between

the months of March and October

is fast becoming a thing of the


The glamping scene in the UK is

fast developing, as demonstrated

by record attendance to shows

such as The Glamping Show and

the Farm Business Innovation

Show, with more and more

landowners, campsite operators

and self-catering businesses

turning to this alternative and

exciting holiday industry than

ever before. The speedy evolution

of this popular industry means

that not only have the types

of structure on offer become

increasingly unique, but the

duration of rental periods is also

expanding, meaning that guests

to these alternative abodes are

able to enjoy the wildness of

Britain in all its perennial glory.

After all, we all love a sprinkling

of snow over the mountain tops,

frosty leaves cracking underfoot,

and a good, chunky bobble hat

on a crisp, clear, starry night. But

we love crackling fires, a warm

bed and an excuse for a mug

of hot chocolate to defrost our

noses, too.

What, then, does this mythbusting

transformation in

seasonality mean for those

interested in glamping? Our

research over the last four years

has shown us that online search

trends for winter glamping

holidays have doubled between

2014 and 2017, meaning that

guests and site owners have

seen the demand in winter

glamping opportunities

rise significantly… and

it doesn’t show signs of


Here’s Quality

Unearthed’s guide to

setting up a successful

and sustainable allseason

glamping site.



Do you have a parcel of land that’s prone to

flooding during the rainy months? A steep hill

that becomes treacherous when icy? A woodland spot

where branches regularly fall during high winds? You

can see where we’re going here… planning your allseason

glamping spot is as important as choosing the

structure itself. Now we’re not saying that you should

avoid interesting and adventurous places to site your

glamping creation. We encourage the courage of a

cantilevered cabin or the thrill of a converted boat

gliding across treetops. But the ethos of glamping

is being in tune and accord with Mother Nature, not

battling her every time the seasons change. What may

be a fantastic spot in the warm summer months may

be trickier for you and your guests during the winter.

Try to think ahead and make the experience easy and

enjoyable at all times of the year.





Gone are the days when glamping meant a posh tent

and a hole in the ground for your loo. At Quality Unearthed,

we’ve found an increasing number of unusual structures being

converted and modified to suit all-weather stays.

There are, of course, some structures that fare better than

others during the winter months. Cabins and treehouses

have become the structures of choice for UK and European

glampers over the last 12 months, with a surge of Christmas

stays in cosy wooden abodes allowing for warmth and the

feeling of a winter wonderland lodge stay. In fact, a third

of people asked by a popular tabloid newspaper in May

2017 said that a treehouse stay would be their dream

staycation, no matter what the weather.

Earth sheltered housing, or Hobbit Houses, offer

the bonus of being well insulated due to the soil and

grass which covers them providing external thermal

mass, as well as protecting against wind and rain. And

the introduction of high performance natural insulation

products in the building of eco pods means your glamping

experience can be ‘Scandi cool’ as well as efficiently warm.

Canvas structures can prove to be a little trickier. Not as

windproof as other, more robust structures, a well-insulated

yurt or safari tent can be just as cosy during winter months as

they could be packed thickly with natural insulation. If canvas

abodes are your structures of choice, then it’s the canvas

itself that needs careful consideration. The juxtaposition in

requirements comes since all-season canvas structures need

to both keep water out and expel moisture from the inside, to

stop the canvas from rotting. Although the greater proportion

of modern canvas is highly water resistant, it’s difficult to find

material which is waterproof, breathable and durable. We

advise that you seek advice from specialist companies before

spending any money on your structure to ensure the longevity

of your investment.




For many, one of the highlights of a glamping

stay is the ritual of stacking, lighting and

relaxing in front of a roaring fire. Marshmallows

are optional, but we know that our guests love the

sepia glow, hugging warmth and almost instant

gratification they get from creating their own fire. But

installing a wood-burning stove is not the only way in

which you can keep your guests in balmy bliss during

brisker bouts.

There’s no need to go to Iceland to experience a

soak in steamy water while staring at the stars – the

installation of a hot tub can give your guests the

same experience from your own patch of paradise.

Our research shows that guests prefer a stay with

a hot en-suite shower, so why not allow a little

homegrown hygge with the investment of a roll top

bath overlooking a lake or woodland scene?

Underfloor heating was the great trend of 2017,

and by using a biomass boiler or a solar thermal

panel, heating your alternative accommodation this

way could be up to 90% cheaper than a conventional

radiator system.

You may wish to opt for electric heating or small

boiler systems, and while this is a viable way of

heating your structure and will keep your guests

toasty, it’s important to assess the initial cost of

getting services out to your site. This can be costly

if your location is very rural, and can involve a lot

of disruption to the ground leading to and around

your site, meaning that you’ll also have to factor in

landscaping costs.

Don’t forget that making your structure warm and

inviting doesn’t have to cost the earth or be overly

fancy, either – a well-placed sheepskin rug, a few fluffy

blankets and hot water bottles for cooler nights can

also warm the cockles without emptying the bank



Tim Rees is the

managing director of

Quality Unearthed,

a specialist agency

promoting some of

the best alternative

holiday abodes in the

UK. Having spent a

number of years living

in unusual places and

working on off-grid

homes, Tim spotted

an increase in demand

for holidays offering a

more grounded, back

to nature experience.

He started Quality

Unearthed in 2010

and can personally

recommend each

holiday represented

for its accommodation,

location and overall

experience. 01348

830922 / www.



When it comes to all-season glamping,

we believe we know our stuff. We’ve been

at the forefront of the glamping industry since

2013, and have seen its evolution from warm

weather holidays to guests taking advantage

of the beautiful British countryside, enjoying

the colour and character that every season

brings. Why not visit Sussex in the spring, the

stretches of sandy beaches and ancient islands

at Pembrokeshire in the summer, hike miles

of upland Britain in Autumn and cosy up in

Cornwall for Christmas? We don’t stop when the

school holidays end, and neither should you.

We’re quickly dispelling the myth that glamping

is a summer activity, and our array of all weather,

all season structures are proving incredibly

popular all year round.

If you’re still not sure about how to go about

setting up a structure that guests can enjoy

whatever the weather, giving you a consistently

healthy return on your investment, then Quality

Unearthed offer consultancy appointments and

consultation documents tailored specifically

for your project. We’re happy to come and have

a cup of tea and advise you on all aspects of

your glamping adventure, ensuring a smooth

business experience for you and an enjoyable

experience for your guests – don’t be left out in

the cold, give us a call!











Fast Delivery &

Full Support from a

Company that Cares

Call us to arrange a visit 01379 687 467

Church Farm, Church Lane, Bressingham, Diss, IP22 2AE

Carefully chosen, high quality 100%

cotton canvas Bell Tents to buy

Perfect for festivals, events and occasional camping.

Call 01497 851 603 / 07968 783 325


by Future Rooms

Tel: 01452 501455



Pods by Future Rooms are proud to offer a range of quality Pods

that are versatile, affordable and are perfect to generate new or

additional income for camping, event and accommodation


We design and build all of our Pods in our workshop and they are

delivered as one complete unit to your site.

We have a range of different

styles and sizes, which can

all be upgraded or designed

to meet your exact needs,

such as en-suite shower

rooms, kitchenettes,

furniture and equipment.

Full Bespoke Service


Shepherd’s huts

designed specifically

for the glamping

We supply:

• Flat pack kits

• Accommodation huts

• Off grid solutions

• Wet-room en suites

• Catering huts

• Bespoke solutions


For more information: Tel: 07903313922


The Answer to the

Off-Grid Question

Boutique Outdoor

Showers & Toilets





Two glamping franchise opportunities for

landowners to ponder

Wigwam Holidays

0131 450 7126

Introduce the franchise opportunity: To

come on-board, there is a one-off franchise

fee, a minimum order of cabins and a

commission taken on all bookings.

One of the key factors of the success

of the Wigwam franchise is its emphasis

on branding. The Wigwam brand is

recognised in the glamping business

sector as one of the most successful of

its type, and franchisees receive all the

benefits this brings.

A key to success is Wigwam Holidays

marketing, which is carried out on a

national and regional scale. All franchisees

can expect support from the team and

targeted promotion prior to site opening

(and ongoing), with a package that


› Assistance with planning and finance

(additional costs may apply)

› Funding application assistance

› A Wigwam Holidays website, including

online booking system

› Ongoing IT assistance

› Use of the Wigwam Holidays trademark,

a recognised quality brand

› Geographical exclusivity

› Support from the Wigwam Holidays

team to plan and launch your business

› Design and creation of printed literature

› Training seminars and annual


› Access to a supportive franchise network

› Social media support

› PR and marketing for the Wigwam brand

› A selection of Wigwam cabin types,

including an en-suite option

What are you looking for in a

franchisee? There isn’t a typical Wigwam

Holidays franchisee, however aspects

to take into consideration for a new

site include location, site access and a

dedication to great customer service.

Many of our existing franchisees sought to

diversify an existing business, for example

landowners and farmers.

What can a franchisee expect? A

Wigwam Holidays franchise offers a

chance for owners to become part

of one of the UK’s leading glamping

accommodation brands, and the Wigwam

Holidays franchise is just about to enter

its fourth successful year.

The Wigwam Holidays franchise

presents a business that’s ‘ready to go’.

From the crucial early planning stages

to sourcing funding; from making the

Wigwam cabins from sustainable timber

to on site cabin delivery; from a bespoke

website to taking those all-important

bookings. Wigwam Holidays franchisees

get the complete business package.

Expected ROI: While no one size fits all,

new franchisees can expect all that’s

detailed above, in short a business that

is 'ready to go'. However one of the key

points with Wigwam Holidays is bookings

are taken in advance of the official

opening date, making sure new sites have

glamping guests ready to visit them.

Please detail a successful franchise:

One of the our successful franchisees is

Wigwam Holidays Crowtree, near Spalding

in Lincolnshire.

Based on a traditional working farm, the

site has nine Running Water Deluxe cabins

and recently introduced hot tubs to some

of its luxury cabins.

With two successful seasons under its

belt, factors that have helped Crowtree

to succeed include assistance with early

planning applications, professional

photography and video footage (available

to all franchisees), and brand recognition.



Amber's Bell Tent Camping

07580 072861

Introduce the franchise

opportunity: Amber's Bell Tent

Camping began six years ago in the

beautiful grounds of Mannington

Hall in North Norfolk. We started

small with just two rustically

furnished tents but quickly saw the

demand for what we were offering

and have expanded year on year.

We now offer 16 tents across two

stately home locations in North

Norfolk with a third partner for

2018. We are currently seeking new

partnerships through franchising

to other land owners across the

UK and beyond, giving them an

accessible way to approach the

glamping industry and create a

sustainable revenue.

What are you looking for in a

franchisee? We are looking for

people who have access to land

in areas of outstanding natural

beauty, and who are excited about

sharing the magic of their location.

You need to enjoy dealing with

a broad range of people, and be

friendly and approachable. Hard

working, of course, although with

a franchise, a lot of the hard work

has already been done for you. An

essential is an eye and mind for

detail. This business is all about

the little things. We want to work

with people who believe in offering

something truly special and have

the determination to succeed on

this adventure.

What can a franchisee expect?

First up, we will come and see

your space and offer our expertise

on site suitability, design and

management. Once we're both

agreed that this partnership is

mutually beneficial, we need to get

the word out. To get the ball rolling,

we will design your own pages

on our highly successful website -

with new pages for each franchise

location. You will have access to

our live booking calendar, which

will enable you to keep a check on

all the bookings so you can easily

organise things ready for your

guests. We will then actively begin

to seek press attention for your

site using our contacts. Alongside

this, we will begin to market your

site through our social media and

marketing streams.

All your kit will be delivered to

your door. We will send you all you

need for your tents, inside and

out, all sourced with our expertise

and with trade discounts passed

onto new partners. We will then

host a two day training course

either at your place or ours, which

will teach you all you need to

know in the logistics of running

a glampsite. Use our expertise to

swerve the usual headaches of

running an outdoor hospitality












Expected ROI: Taken from a three

year profit and loss forecast in

summary, based on a set up of six

tents over a full season (Easter to


Year 1 Summary:

Set up - £27,956,

Sales - £77,064

Costs - £30,115

Profit - £18,993

Year 2 Summary:

Set up - £4,546

Sales - £94,897

Costs - £31,040

Profit - £59,311

Year 3 Summary:

Set up - £1,738

Sales - £103,682

Costs - £32,050

Profit - £69,894

Please detail a successful

franchise: The success of the

launch of our second partnership

with Wiveton Hall in 2016 was

really when the penny dropped

and we started to appreciate the

scope for franchising this business.

We took what we had learnt

from the three years trading at

Mannington Hall and effectively

duplicated it at the new site. We

opened the calendars for bookings

in the January, and achieved the

same booking capacity from year

three at Mannington in our first









Successful agricultural building

Successful agricultural

building to residential

Successful change

of use to offices


Booking Management Software




CampManager will help you get more bookings, increase your

exposure and maximise potential booking opportunities by linking

in directly with many popular 3rd party websites, such as, AirBnb,,, Pitchup,

and more, keeping all your bookings in one central location.

The glampsite booking website

Generate demand & promote your

glamping accommodation

· Reach out to more guests

· Boost your bookings

· Grow your business

List your glampsite for free at


Contact us to nd out how

CampManager will help

your glamping business.

02081 331 005




Services Advice

Advice from professional service suppliers to glampsites

Advice from: James

Whilding, rural planning

director, Acorus

Specialism: Rural planning

Contact: 01392 873900 /

What is the planning climate like for

landowners looking to diversify into


National Planning Policy seeks to ensure that

the planning system provides sustainable

development, incorporating three

dimensions: an economic role, a social role

and an environmental role. Diversification of

land and buildings continues to be popular

with many landowners, even at a time

of uncertainty over Brexit, in generating

additional income streams and enhancing

asset values.

Proposals which can be shown to

be contributing to the achievement

of sustainable development should

be considered favourably, however it

is important to consider the planning

implications very early in the thought

process as having the right site is key.

Consideration must be given to any local

planning policy that applies, impact of

designated areas such as National Parks,

and other environmental issues. Despite

being a niche market, glamping continues

to be popular, and could be a suitable land

use and diversification option for many


More and more glampsites are wanting

to offer unique structures, how can your

architectural and planning departments


Our business is principally concerned with

advising and assisting clients with land use

considerations primarily in rural areas where

development is in many cases restricted.

In most cases diversification requires

planning consent and this in turn requires

both planning and design elements to be

considered. Regardless of planning consent,

design advice can assist in the production

of schematics to develop a project, for

budgeting or at the build stage and the

setting out of a scheme.

There are a huge number of options

available from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Acorus has dealt with a great range of

glamping cases including camping and

caravan sites, log cabins, yurts, geodesic

domes and shepherd huts. It is important

for proposals to be designed properly,

and in some cases specialist input from

structural engineers, for example, may also

be required.

How can you help a landowner wanting to

diversify or an existing glampsite wanting

to expand?

Whether a new or existing glamping

provider we have a range of services

available to our clients including initial

planning advice and the gathering of

a brief, designing buildings and other

structures, obtaining planning permission

and overseeing construction. We can tailor

a package to meet an individual client’s


Please mention a case study

We gained planning approval for 12

geodesic domes for a client in Devon.

The development site was in a parcel of

woodland on a working farm, so it was

perfect for a restful holiday making the most

of the countryside surroundings. The client

requested a specialist architect to design

the dome structures and Acorus submitted

a planning statement, design and access

statement and planning drawings for the

application. During the planning process

issues concerning the impact these unique

structures may have had on trees and other

ecological features had to be considered, as

well as ensuring suitable and safe access.



Advice from: Leona Mills,

marketing manager,



Bookings systems


What advice can you give glampsite

owners on the booking process?

Your online booking process should be

quick and simple, making it extremely

easy for customers to book. Some of our

customers are seeing up to 90% of their

bookings being made online so your

booking pages should be seamlessly

integrated with your website design.

Customers should never be presented

with a “no availability” message when

trying to book. You don’t want a potential

customer leaving your site frustrated and

you missing out on a booking. To avoid this,

present all the available choice by showing

alternative dates and all accommodation

options available in one view.

What absolute “no no’s” should they

watch out for?

Don’t choose a system that charges you

commission for taking bookings via your

own website. Hidden costs also include

providers charging for additional users or

for having the software on multiple devices.

Don’t perceive that a system is going to

‘break the bank’. CampManager customers

have been pleasantly surprised by the cost

and immediately generate more bookings,

quickly earning back their return on


What can CampManager do over and

above other booking systems?

Experience matters and we have over 10

years of it. We are an established company

with a proven record and a reputation

for quality. With over 350 customers we

provide not only a superior product but

exceptional service, advice and support.

One way we go the extra mile is by

proactively marketing our customers’

glamping accommodation via our

glampsite booking website Glampsites.

com. This helps our customers to reach

more guests, boost their bookings and

grow their business. Glampsites is fully

integrated with CampManager so bookings

and allocation can be managed from within

the one central system.

How do you work with glampsite owners

to make their booking system bespoke?

We work closely with our customers,

listening to their needs and developing

a system tailored to suit their specific

requirements. Our flexible system can

be customised in many ways. Booking

confirmations, balance reminders and

welcome emails are all personalised to

the individual glampsite. CampManager

is modular so you can tailor the system to

your needs, paying only for the modules

you require. You can bolt on additional

features and functionality as required, as

your business grows.

Please detail a glampsite that has used


Julia from Woodland Tipi and Yurts has a

small glampsite consisting of three tipis and

six yurts. She comments: “CampManager

does all the work and automates many

of my time-consuming daily tasks such

as invoicing, booking confirmations and

balance reminder emails. I now manage my

glampsite with increased efficiency which

saves me time and money and allows me to

focus on other aspects of the business.”

Advice from: Tim

Rees, founder, Quality


Specialism: Unique


Contact: 01348 830922

What is the main challenge for new

entrants into the world of glamping?

Glamping is an ever-evolving industry

that, due to it’s rapid expansion and

myriad of possibilities for both owners

and guests, has become a worldwide

phenomenon. An increasing number

of budding entrepreneurs have turned

to creating their own fantastic spaces

and imaginative sites as an alternative

to the more traditional campsite or as a

more naturalistic substitute for a hotel

stay. But with a surge in UK alternative

accommodation, it can become

increasingly difficult to stand out from

the crowd. At Quality Unearthed we

work with sites to help them become

both striking and successful.

What is it about glamping that has

made it such a popular holiday


Glamping sits in the multi-faceted

medium of self-catering holidays. It

allows people to connect with nature

and the natural surroundings of

coastal and upland Britain as well as

themselves and each other, while still

allowing them comforts they cannot

have if they went camping. To be able

to have a hot shower at the end of a

day of adventuring through woodlands

or on beaches with your family creates

smooth edges to the idea of roughing

it. The ability to capture a video or



picture of a sunset, waterfall or

beautiful building with your loved

ones on social media because

your glamping structure has

Wi-Fi and charging points for

your technology only enhances

the experience… as long as you

remember to capture the moment

with your heart as well as your


How can a glampsite

differentiate itself in today's


With the rise in popularity and

volume of glamping structures

comes a demand by guests for

more unusual and unique stays.

Our company tagline is “Stay

somewhere different” because we

feel it really resonates with our

guests – the more unusual your

structure, the more it will grab

potential clients’ attention. And

in a world where it’s becoming

increasingly easy to buy an ecopod

or shepherd’s hut, we feel that

throwing a little personality and

character at that structure can

make the world of difference. Why

not hang your tent from a tree?

Or paint your shepherd hut bright

blue? What if your cabin floated on

a lake? Or the inside of your safari

tent looks like the set of an Indiana

Jones movie? Think outside the

box to see your bookings increase.

What services can you offer a

prospective glampsite?

As a glamping agency we offer

comprehensive services, from

initial consultations and planning

support right through to our sales

team taking bookings on your

behalf and creating an ongoing

PR and marketing package just

for you. We pride ourselves on

our mixture of competence and

professionalism, as well as a

personal service – we like to sit

down with a cup of coffee and get

to know the vision and dreams

of our clients, so that we can do

the best job possible for their

venture. You put the kettle on,

we’ll bring the biscuits! For us,

it’s about us understanding each

other and having a great working

relationship, so that you know that

you can pick up the phone and

speak to a team who understand

your site and can be flexible with

what you need from us.

Safari & Glamping Tents

F u l l St r uctura l E ng i ne e rs Re p o rt s

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marquees and glamping structures, we are a leading

manufacturer of high quality Safari & Glamping Tents.

We can also create something unique to suit your own

specific requirements. Please call us or visit our

website to view the full range of safari tents and

structures available and download our brochure.

0 1 4 5 3 7 6 7 1 7 1



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Discuss the industry’s future in

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Riverhill at


A mini ‘immersive’ Alpine experience

at the Riverhill Estate, Kent, complete

with ice rink, reindeer and party tent

In order to increase revenue to cover staffing costs for the Spring/Summer season, the

Riverhill Estate’s Himalayan Gardens made use of its infrastructure in the ‘off-season’

to create a winter wonderland at Christmas. We talk to Sarah Rogers, who manages the

estate with her husband Edward.

Describe your event and how many

people it attracted

The ‘Riverhill at Christmas’ venture

offered visitors a skating rink, Alpine

Café and events marquee, hosting

breakfast and afternoon tea with

Father Christmas and pre-booked

Christmas lunches and parties.

Explain a bit about your venue and

its history

The Riverhill Estate has been home

to the Rogers family since 1840.

The current owner’s great, great

grandfather was passionate about

gardening and bought the property

in order to create a fabulous hillside

garden. He sponsored some of the

early plant hunters who brought back












specimens from the far East, hence the

name ‘Riverhill Himalayan Gardens’

which, to date, has been the core

business for the estate, attracting

c30,000 visitors, alongside property

rentals and farming income.

What is the event’s history and what

made you decide to run it?

The gardens are open for six months

of the year (March to September). As

the business grew we realised that we

would benefit from having permanent

staff members (café manager, events

manager as well as the current garden

team). It was therefore important to

us to generate income in the Autumn/

Winter to cover these costs.

Our visitor car park which is unused

in the Autumn/Winter provided the

ideal location for a winter venture, with

hard standing for the marquees, plenty

of room for additional parking and fine

views across the Weald of Kent. Visitors

wouldn’t need to access the gardens,

so there wouldn’t be wear and damage

to these areas and essential garden

restoration and maintenance could

also be continued during the closed


Having decided on a winter venture,

we heard that another local business,

Tonbridge Old Fire Station (TOFS),

was also thinking of running a skating

rink. We decided to join forces and to

operate Riverhill at Christmas as a joint

venture. We were thrilled to benefit

from TOFS’ experience of running

evening events and parties.

How did you find applying for

permission to run the event?

The events were all covered by our

existing Premises Licence.

How did you plan the layout of the

event and what structures did you


The dimensions of the top terrace

of the car park dictated the layout

to a certain extent. With our Spring/

Summer garden opening business

being weather dependent, we were

determined that a winter venture

should be protected from the

elements, so we opted for a huge

marquee with clear sides and a clear

roof to cover both the skating rink and



Alpine Café. This meant that visitors

were protected from the elements but

still had the sensation of ‘skating under

the stars’ at night and the benefit of

the wonderful views and blue skies

during the days.

The event marquee had a very

different feel. Still with clear sides to

enjoy the view, this marquee was fully

lined with a dance floor and starlit

ceiling. The catering tent and toilets

were sited so that it could serve both

the event marquee and the Alpine


We focused on ensuring the short

access path from the car park to the

marquee was dressed to create the

feeling of a ‘winter wonderland’ with

lit fir trees, groups of hand-made

wooden ‘log reindeer’ and even a

wonderful sleigh for families to sit in

for photographs.

How did you research and source

your marquees, flooring, bars etc?

To a certain extent the size of the

marquees required dictated our

choices. The bars and café furniture

were constructed here using scaffold

boards. As skaters were able to keep

their skates on to visit the Alpine bar,

the flooring needed to be non-slip

throughout the skating marquee,

whereas all other areas were carpeted.

What entertainment did you offer

and how did you choose and source it?

The skating was all provided by the

rink supplier. We opted for a synthetic

rink made of the latest materials. This

meant that we could have the rink

within a (warm) marquee, it was more

environmentally friendly and visitors

wouldn’t get wet when they fell over.

We had also heard that it was an easier

surface for children to skate on.

We chose a well-known DJ and

party planner who we have worked

with for many years to provide the

entertainment for the parties.



What provisions did you make for

power, lights and sound?

We had two generators (one for back

up). Although the back up seemed

an expensive precaution, we were

extremely grateful for it when the first

generator had a fault in the middle of

a busy weekend!

How did you manage admissions

and visitor safety?

The majority of skating tickets were

pre-booked with limited numbers on

each session (numbers were advised

by the rink supplier). All Father

Christmas sessions were also prebooked.

A separate exit meant that

we avoided any congestion, although

it was a shame that exiting visitors

didn’t get to enjoy the reindeer walk

– perhaps a consideration for another


What ground protection did you use

for cars and footfall?

We were fortunate that all the car

parking and pathways were already

hard standing, although some path

improvements were necessary after


How did you publicise the event?

Mainly through social media (using

both TOFS and Riverhill channels) but

we did distribute leaflets locally. Large

banners and plenty of fairy lights

on our road frontage also helped to

spread the message that there was

something going on!

As we are in the process of

upgrading our main garden website,

we chose to create a new website (and

logo) for the winter venture.

What challenges have you faced?

The particularly cold weather at the

end of November and December

created some unforeseen problems.

Not only were our heating costs

greater than expected but the initial

design of the marquee, running East

to West, created a ‘wind tunnel’ so we

quickly had to install an additional

porch on the catering tent and some

better doors and thick entrance

curtains. Thankfully this worked well

once installed but caused a headache

at the start.

We also, rather ironically, faced

difficulties in the ice and snow.

Although we had supplies of salt,

heavy rain and freezing temperatures

meant that we struggled to keep the

access road open and had to close the

rink on one day.

How did you finance the event?

The majority of the event was

financed as a joint-venture between

TOFS and Riverhill Gardens. We also

had three sponsors who provided

sponsorship in return for web/media

branding and signage on the reindeer

walk and by the skate hire stand.

While some areas of the venture

provided a good return, we lost out on

skating numbers during the first two

weeks of opening as this was before

the schools broke up.

What are your plans for next year?

We need to think carefully about the

timings and marketing of the skating

rink to ensure that tickets sales are

more evenly spread.

What other outdoor hospitality

sectors do you operate in?

We offer weddings, outdoor theatre

and, as previously mentioned, the

gardens are open to the public March

to September, with many associated

family events within the gardens and

The Riverhill Café.














What advice could you give to

someone coming into the outdoor

event industry?

Always think carefully about the

logistics of an event. Make sure that all

your visitors can park easily, are warm

and have access to lovely loos – it

makes a big difference!



Leisure Skate


County Marquees


County Marquees


Geoff Boorman Fuels


County Marquees






Simon P Productions


NFU Mutual


Riverhill Himalayan Gardens



Kent, TN15 0RR

01732 459777


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Are we just talking about the process of buying, or is

‘procurement’ a rather more detailed function? John

Radford discusses

FROM A BUSINESS perspective,

procurement is not the same as purchasing.

Procurement deals with the sourcing

of activities, negotiation and strategic

selection of goods and services that are

of importance to an organisation, or

event in this example. Purchasing is the

relatively simpler process of how goods and

services are ordered. With this definition

in mind, clearly there is a far greater need

to do your homework before that final

purchasing decision is made. This article

looks to explore in just a little more detail

the process you may wish to employ

before taking that final leap of contracting

someone or something.

At some point in the event production

process you will need to source something

from another provider; it may be as simple

as cable ties, or encompass a contractor

bringing a team of staff to provide you

with the production knowledge, skills and

manpower required to put on a safe and

successful event. It’s your money being

spent, so think carefully and consider

the options carefully. Getting the right

team or supplier on site through careful

procurement can make all the difference to

the success of your event.

Taking time at the start of your project life

cycle can pay huge dividends and provide

you with more than just a collection of

suppliers. You should be creating a team.


Just a few minutes of internet research can

yield a plethora of suppliers and contractors

who may fit the bill at first glance, but take

the time to delve just that little bit deeper.

Some questions you should be asking

yourself are:

› Is their previous experience aligned with

your project?

› Does their product or service meet your


› Are they reliable and what is their

reputation like?

› For some requirements, are they able to

make site visits and meetings easily?


You may be wanting contractors who

meet specific criteria regarding their

environmental standards or use of specific

products - try to build time into your project

to resource effectively rather than having to

make last minute decisions.

Large businesses can provide huge

support and backup but don’t write off

the smaller businesses who may be able

to offer you a more bespoke service. They

may also be able to provide a more creative

set of solutions for you and although they

may have a smaller range, this may be more

appropriate. Both solutions have pros and

cons so do your homework as to which fits

better for you.

If the procurement is something like event

management, safety or an area where you

will need to work closely with the supplier,

then try to get a face to face meeting with

the various options of suppliers at an early

stage. Can you easily engage with them, are

their ideas and methods of management

in tune with how you want to produce

your event? Or are they overbearing and

effectively looking to take control of it?

Personal relationships are important and

even more so if you have to be on site

working alongside and problem solving

with those teams for a number of days. You

may already have a network of contacts that

you can talk to in order to discover who they

are using or who they recommend. Personal

recommendations are helpful to both sides

of the equation.


Headline grabbing discounts and low

prices have to be considered – after all it’s





a competitive world out there! But does

another slightly costlier supplier/contractor

bring far greater experience and knowledge

to the event which in turn can benefit

you indirectly? The cost may be higher,

but overall will you save time having a

knowledgeable and experienced supplier/

contractor on site from the very start? The

contractor may have previous experience

on similar sites or locations and can provide

references for their previous work. The

knowledge and experience elements are

almost unquantifiable in terms of an actual

value in money but failing to understand the

benefits of this can lead to additional and

unforeseen costs.

There are also specific roles across many

events that demand a level of knowledge

and experience in order for the event to go

ahead safely. Safety advisors, electricians,

structural build elements and a number of

other areas need sound levels of knowledge

and experience to make the event work

safely and successfully.

You could ask recognised trade bodies to

recommend suppliers in your area or who

specialise in the services or product you

need, but be careful as they may simply

wish to put forward members of what is a

commercial organisation in itself. Again,

this is where personal recommendations

can be of real use. Industry events such as

the Event Production Show or Showman’s

Show can give you easy access to a large

number of potential suppliers who you can

meet and talk through your project with

at an early stage. They can then arrange to

meet you away from the industry event to

provide you with greater detail on what they

can provide.


Talk things through clearly and have a clear

set of needs/requirements. It will be almost









impossible for a supplier to provide you

with an accurate and bespoke quote if you

are vague or unsure about what you need.

Create a checklist of what you need before

talking to contractors and suppliers so you

have a clear focus on what is required. If

you are contracting an event management

and production team, this is clearly an area

where you will benefit from its knowledge

and contacts. Ensure clarity from the

start, maybe even put together some role

and responsibility portfolios so that there

is a clear focus on exactly what you are

procuring. This could greatly assist with any

issues further down the road.


Don’t forget to make sure that you

have a clear description of what will be

supplied, when it will be delivered and

collected, and who your point of contact

is. Create purchase orders that contain the

appropriate information and ensure that

both you and the supplier understand the

exact requirements of the project. If their

supply is subject to a site survey, get that

in place as early as possible. What you may

consider a very straight forward delivery

location may have implications for loads of

a certain height or weight. It’s also a great

opportunity to meet someone from the

company face to face if you haven’t already

done so.

Who is to be their contact on site as

well? You may be tied up running other

aspects of the business or event so

delegate someone to be on site to take

delivery and manage collections. Ensure

those details are passed to the suppliers so

they can easily access answers if needed.

Some companies will charge additional

fees if left waiting on site for equipment

to be off loaded so make sure there is a

realistic schedule that takes delivery and

collection time periods into account. It may

be that you can take delivery early or the

contractor can collect late – this may be in

their interest to reduce transportation so

can be worth exploring to save costs.


Hopefully, your event will take place

each year if so desired, and therefore

constructive feedback is needed to ensure

that everyone - including you - can learn

from their experience and continue to

improve their supply standards. Ask for a

post event meeting if there were areas that

were of particular issue, but be prepared

to listen to comments coming back as

well. Sometimes it could be a case of

miscommunication between the parties

and in hindsight those things can be easily

rectified. Constructive feedback can ensure

that all parties are aware of the positives

and negatives.

If your supplier did a good job then

make sure you thank them, a bit of positive

feedback does wonders for long term

relationships and it’s all too easy to simply

look at what wasn’t quite so good.

In summary – just take that little bit of

extra time so that you get what you really

need and the dividends will justify that

investment in time.


John Radford runs JR Event Services and has worked in the event industry for over 20 years. He provides event management and event safety

consultancy services for a broad spectrum of events from single day and city centre cultural events to week long music and dance festivals. Visit or call 01275 406760 for an informal chat.



Image courtesy of: Scott Prokop, for WE Day.

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How to recruit, train and motivate volunteer staff



industry is changing dramatically

and becoming standardised rapidly,

particularly in the last decade.

The overwhelming majority of

academics and industry experts in

this area agree. While most of this

standardisation has taken place as

a direct result of injuries or fatalities

at large scale events, more and

more are attending events at all

scales from village fêtes to country

fairs and community get togethers.

According to the Business Visits and

Events Partnership (BVEP) ‘Events

are GREAT Britain’ report in 2014,

the value of Britain’s event industry

is £39.1 billion

This practical industry supports

an estimated 530,000 full-time

equivalent jobs (BVEP, 2014)

but the majority of events are

also supported by volunteers.

Volunteers are a complex addition

to any event but with the increase

in the number of events in the

UK, the use of volunteers will

unarguably increase.

The National Council for

Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

defines volunteering as ‘any



















activity that involves spending

time, unpaid, doing something that

aims to benefit the environment or

someone (individuals or groups)

other than, or in addition to, close

relatives.’ It would be true to say

that the majority of events that

take place would not be delivered

without the use of volunteers, and

is it just as well that the appetite for

volunteering at events is so good.

The Northern Irish organisation

Volunteer Now states that over

10,000 volunteers are registered

in Northern Ireland alone for

volunteering opportunities in

relation to event management. The

figure for the whole of the UK must

be considerable!

At the largest scale, the

London 2012 Summer Olympics

demonstrated the appeal of event

volunteering. In the Independent

(2016), it was stated that there

were 70,000 Olympic volunteers,

delivering eight million hours of

voluntary work, and that ‘their

time and energy have been the key

to the Games’ success.’ The BBC

also reported: ‘There is apparently

no shortage of appetite for

volunteering - more than 200,000

people applied and 100,000 were

interviewed to be Games Makers.’

Events will more often than not

have positions that volunteers can

fill, and they are, of course, more

cost-effective than hiring in staff if

you get their management right.


The efficacy of volunteers

within the event management

industry is of utmost importance.

Volunteers need strong leadership

and communication to achieve

the requirements of their roles.

It is important for leaders to

be good role models and be

able to influence the actions of

their volunteers to meet goals,

strategies, and to pursue the vision

of the event.

Organisational management

is of great significance. It should

have a focus on the structure,

retention, and the well-being of

volunteers. Treating all staff well,

volunteer or not, is crucial. It will

bring out the best performance

in people and result in a more

successful event.



For a positive outcome, it is

critical for volunteers to be given an

induction that includes adequate

training and understanding of

what is expected of them. This

will avoid misunderstandings and

later recriminations, minimising

any potential risks. Before starting,

volunteers should sign a position

description and contract with

the organisers, including their

requirements, training received,

and the benefits that they will gain

in return. This will also protect

organisers if volunteers are injured

during something that was not part

of the agreement.

Training will benefit both parties,

as without it, volunteers will not

make an effective contribution to

the event. The training procedure

reinforces the idea that they are of

value and are making a significant

contribution to the event. It also

develops personal skills.

Volunteers should be treated

and trained just the same as

any other staff members and

it should be demonstrated to

them that their time is worthy

and important to the success of

an event. Selection, recruitment

and training were all noted as of

paramount importance for the

London 2012 Summer Olympics.

A great amount of time was spent

on the selection of volunteers, with

a particular emphasis on role and

venue specific training (London

Organising Committee of The

Olympic and Paralympic Games



Katie Radley is an


studying Event and

Festival Management

at Buckinghamshire

New University. She

has experience in

event management

and production

including with Fisher

Productions, at the

L’Oréal Colour Trophy

Tour, Love Supreme,

and the UK Music

Awards. She can be

contacted via katie.

Nick Eade MA, MSc

BA (Hons) (FHEA) has

worked in the event

management industry

for over 20 years and

has been employed

at Buckingham New

University for 13. He

co-wrote the Event

Management BA

(Hons) course and is

course leader for Event

Management. www. / 01494

522141 ext. 3007

should be carefully considered.

Their treatment has an impact

on their retention, as does a

volunteer’s understanding of both

the event and the management

structure they are working within.

Organisers have a duty of care to

look after their volunteers’ health

and safety. All potential risks and

consequences should be analysed

for their roles and incorporated

into the risk assessment to ensure

their safety has been addressed.

The Health and Safety at Work

Act 1974 requires that employers

(i.e. event organisers), site/

venue owners and self-employed

contractors, have a statutory

duty of care to protect the health

and safety of those that may be

affected by their work activity.

To protect your organisation,

your insurance policy should

be checked to see if your public

liability or employer liability

insurance covers volunteers.


According to the book Event

Management, motivation is what

commits people to a course of

action, enthuses, energises and

enables them to achieve goals,

whether the goals are their own

or the organisation's (Bowdin,

2012: p101). Keeping volunteers

motivated will often require an

incentive. Many events will receive

a lot of applicants because of

their interest in the event, and

the reward for their time will

be attending the event for free.

Other incentives for volunteers

will be to enhance their skills and

experience within the industry.

Making the effort to understand

volunteers’ motivation will help

find ways to keep them motivated

and working to the best of their

abilities. This will be a big factor

in whether volunteers enhance

the success of the event and the

attendees’ overall experience as

volunteers are often the main

people in contact with the public.

A way to help ensure volunteers

add value is to use the application

process to your advantage and

carefully select people who have

good incentives for wanting to

volunteer. Their reasons will

affect their motivation and the

effort they put into their roles.

Volunteers with past experience

are a good bet as their track record

will demonstrate their interests,

dedication, skills, and reliability.

In conclusion, volunteers are

a crucial resource and can be

the making of an event with the

right recruitment, management,

training, and health and safety

considerations. However, as

they are often in the most public

facing positions, they can also be

directly responsible for an event’s

success. Motivation is a critical

factor as useful and enthusiastic

volunteers will do wonders for the

experiences of the attendees.


Events can be both demanding and

dangerous; serious consequences

can result from having disruptive

or uninterested staff representing

the event. Long hours are often

expected from those working

at events, and to keep staff

performing as they should can

be difficult. Volunteers should

receive appropriate supervision

to minimise any issues and ensure

they are working to the correct


Management structures need

to adjust to volunteers’ needs,

not the reverse. Those organising

or recruiting volunteers must be

sensitive to their impressions

and expectations. The way that

organisers treat their volunteers,

regardless of a reward system,







A product showcase with a difference; see first hand

how these event marquees were put to use

Company: TentStyle


Telephone: 01403 333135

Name of event: Winter Ball.

Description of event: Fundraising

Winter Ball for 360 seated guests.

Structure(s): 60x15m / 30m

(total 1,065m2) stretch tent, 9x9m

catering tent.

Hired/purchased: Hired.

Extras: Carpet and black matting

floor, LED uplighters / festoon /

fairy lighting, dance floor, heating,

luxury loos, generator.

Details: We (TentStyle) recently

installed an amazing 60m stretch

tent marquee, totalling 1,065m2,

for our client’s ‘Winter Ball’. The

‘Winter Wonderland Tent’ was

created around a woodland theme,

accommodated 360 seated guests,

a large reception, band and dance

areas. The structure incorporated

a vibrant red tent as the entrance,

beautiful lighting, ambience and

warmth. Our tents can be fully

enclosed with skirting and door

systems, creating a warm, cosy,

striking structure.

The organiser said: “The TentStyle

marquee was absolutely brilliant,

and enormous! It looked so

stunning from both the outside and

inside, with lovely lighting installed

by the team. We used a red tent for

the entrance, which was a great

and festive edition. The marquee

made such an impression and

looked stunning and we had a huge

number of compliments after the

event, which meant all our hard

work paid off!”

Company: Barkers Marquees


Telephone: 01883 337099

Name of event: Garsington Opera.

Description of event: A short summer

season of performances in a setting of

extraordinary beauty at Wormsley, in the

Chiltern Hills.

Structure(s): Bespoke restaurant

marquee, series of picnic marquees

and ‘Punch and Judy’ style programme


Hired/purchased: Purchased.

Details: Garsington Opera is located on

the Wormsley Estate, home of the Getty

family. The estate is a splendid example

of an English pastoral scene. Along with

a new pavilion for its performances,

Garsington Opera was looking for

elegant fabric structures to house its



restaurant and picnic facilities. The new

marquees needed to be in keeping with

the pavilion’s contemporary style as

well as taking themes from a traditional

English setting.

We (Barkers Marquees) designed

and manufactured a series of elegant

fabric structures to house the opera’s

restaurant and picnic facilities. The new

marquees used traditional materials,

such as polycotton fabrics and wooden

wall poles and finials, with a modern

design tying in with Garsington’s new

performance pavilion. The restaurant

marquee features a double tiered

canopy giving the structure a feeling of

space and light inside.

Clare Adams of Garsington Opera said:

“The marquees look terrific – elegant

and stylish, and fit in very well with the

whole setting.”

Company: Instant Marquees


Telephone: 01840 219047

Name of event: Hamleys Toy Parade,

Regent Street, London.

Description of event: A promotion

for Hamleys toy store, whereby each

structure is fully branded to represent a

different toy. 800,000 people attended

last year’s event and it was judged the

most successful one yet.

Structure(s): 17 structures, all with

branding, were used. This included four

6x6m inflatable Idome tents, two 4x4m

Idomes, nine 4.5x3m pop up tents and

two 3x3m pop ups. All the structures had

to be weighted.

Hired/purchased: This is an annual

event for Instant Marquees, and four

years ago was the first time we provided

what we call a ‘managed branded rental’.

The customer rents the structures, and

buys all the branded covers which are

then cleaned and stored for re-use (or

not) the following Christmas season. In

2017 there were several new characters

so not all the old branded covers were


Additional extras: For the Bladez

tent, where a motorised toy was being

demonstrated, we supplied special

rubber flooring for the toy to move

around on.

Further details: Because of strict time

limits and so many other suppliers all

trying to move around a limited area, the

whole installation had to be planned like

a military operation, right down to how

the structures were loaded into the vans.

The limited time when the road is closed

means our teams have to be right at the

top of their game to get it all done by the

time it opened again. Finally, all the print

work had to be ready well ahead of time

to strict brand guidelines in each case,

and to Pantone references.

From the organiser, Wilde Ones:

“Throughout the build and removal your

guys were very approachable and keen

to help. One learning point was that

they started building in the south which

caused a minor delay for the Ben 10/

Powerpuff Girls activation but (once I’d

mentioned it) they sorted this out and

were all over the ‘later install tents’ once

the main build had finished.

“I’d like to thank you and Jerome for

all your help and diligence running up

to the event. Hopefully we managed the

suppliers well enough to not cause you

too much stress printing. That we had no

come back on the day and the designs

were all correct was really positive. It was

great working with you on this event.”



Company: Celina Tent


Telephone: 01157 940041

Name of event: 2017 Paintball

World Cup, Kissimmee, Florida.

Description of event: The world’s

largest professional paintball

event where 400 teams compete.

We (Celina Tent) supplied tents

to Virtue Paintball that was at the

event supporting the athletes it

sponsors with tech support and


Structure(s): Virtue used a

60x20 ft Master Series Frame with

a printed canopy as the primary

sales and show room. It built a

hospitality courtyard around the

tent using custom printed 10x10ft

pop-ups. The pop-ups combined

with the larger frame tent gives

the flexibility to design a different

layout for other events, dependent

on space constraints. Everything

breaks down pretty efficiently and

is stored in a 36ft gooseneck trailer.

Hired/purchased: Custom printed

by Celina Tent and sold to Virtue.

Additional extras: Inside the tent,

Virtue had a full retail display using

custom signage, 8ft tall plastic

slatwalls lined with products and

LED lighting.

Further details: In the words

of the client: “Running outdoor

events, the biggest problems

are usually related to setup or

weather. Once, as we setup for a

large paintball event at the Texas

Motor Speedway, the weather

report called for a tornado to come

through the north side of Dallas

later that night. We had a timeline

for our setup before the show

started and couldn’t wait another

day before getting our main frame

tent up. So we anchored every pole

down on our tent with multiple

stakes at opposing angles and

heavy duty ratchet straps.

“Fortunately, the tornado didn’t

hit the site directly, but after the

storm passed by the site organisers

sent some staff out to do a late

night inspection and assess the

damage. Their report was pretty

simple: ‘Everything is knocked

down and blown away - except

Virtue is still standing!’ Always keep

an eye on the weather forecast

and plan accordingly. We’ve been

at events with freezing snow, or

pouring rain and deep mud. But

inside our tent we prepare to

keep it as warm, dry and clean as


Company: Tentickle Stretch Tents UK


Telephone: 01217 401385

Name of event: BBC Proms, Hull.

Description of event: In the Spring of 2017,

Tentickle Stretch Tents was asked to provide

a stage cover for the BBC Proms in Hull. This

would be the first time in history that the BBC

Proms had performed outside of London and its

chosen city was Hull, the 2017 Capital of Culture.

Structure: 15x20m stretch tent.

Hired/purchased: Hired.

Further details: The BBC has very strict

compliance needs that must be met sufficiently.

Tentickle Stretch Tents provided all health

and safety documents, risk assessments and

weather monitoring. The wind is an extremely

important factor for any type of temporary

structure. We use a combination of wind

forecasting services and on-site wind meters to

determine the suitability of installing a stretch

tent; safety is paramount and overrides any

client wishes.

With everything in place for a safe installation

the Tentickle Stretch Tent could be installed

ready for the Proms. The professional crew

installed the 15x20m stretch tent stage cover

in four hours. Once fully installed the orchestra

was allowed to enter the tent and set up ready

for the Proms. The event was a huge success and

was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.


Company: Freedomes


Telephone: 020 3695 4246

Name of event: Audi A7 Sportback World

Premier in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Description of event: The launch of the

Audi A7 Sportback on the roof of of the Audi

Design Center.

Structure(s): Freedome 500.

Hired/purchased: Hired.

Extras: Domes were equipped with a

custom spherical projection liner (screen)

to provide highest visual fidelity for the


Further details: We joined hands with

interactive media production company Sila

Svetato to prepare a launch for the brand

new Audi A7 Sportback in its hometown of

Ingolstadt, Germany.

Freedomes designed a 25m projection

dome installed on the roof of the newly

created Audi Design Center. An orchestra of

projectors, lights and lasers played a visual

symphony that could only be described as


The central part of the laser show fell on

the car reveal moment; at the end of the

projection show hundreds of laser beams

pierced the space and lit up the whole dome

surface, setting the stage for the car itself.

The level of communal immersion in

a 500 square metre Freedome cannot be

matched by any VR goggles, while the

vacuum mounted spherical projection

screen combined with state of the

projection equipment provided superior

visual fidelity.

The self-supporting geodesic framework

of Freedomes means there are no internal

support columns standing in the way

of creativity. These days it is possible to

build a structure that looks and feels like

a planetarium in less than two weeks.

While smaller projection domes offered

by Freedomes can be set up in a matter of


Stand out from the Crowd

Stretch Tent hire & sales covering

the South East and beyond...

Printed Pop Ups, Crossover Dome Tents

& Inflatable Tents

01403 333135




T: 01840 219050



Spot light

A roundup of products for the outdoor hospitality industry



Hire Frequencies

020 3302 6947

Hire Frequencies specialises

in audio visual solutions and

equipment rentals. We also offer

a range of event production

services to ensure our clients

achieve outstanding production

results at every event. We are

passionate about sound, lighting

and video, and pride ourselves

with providing outstanding

service at every event. We stock

everything you need for corporate

events, live music events, music

festivals, and sporting events, and

we regularly supply equipment

to theatres, places of worship,

universities, and for community

events. So, whether you just need

a pair of speakers or a full event

sound system for a large-scale

production, we can help.


02036 378739

Advertise your glamping

accommodation on Glampsites

and make it easy for glampers

to find and book your glampsite

online. We showcase a

wide collection of glamping

accommodation throughout the

UK and beyond including bell

tents, camping pods, tipis, yurts,

safari tents, tree houses and more.

Glampsites actively promotes your

glamping accommodation to an

audience of potential customers,

exposing you to a new market

of opportunity. We help you to

reach more guests, to boost

your bookings and to grow your


Listing on Glampsites is free; there

are no sign-up fees, no contracts

and no subscription costs. Create

your free listing at


Plain Huts

07903 313922

Now is the time to prepare for the

next season and if you plan to extend

your range of accommodation a

shepherd’s hut is a great option.

Plain Huts offers kits that are a

cost effective way of building your

own hut. The kits are made to suit

your site with the door and window

apertures made to the size you

specify and placed according to

your requirements (please note, the

kit does not include the door and

window). The kit arrives with the

rolling chassis fully assembled and

the walls ready to erect. Also supplied

are the rafters and the tin for the roof.

The kit can be three dimensional and

watertight within a weekend leaving

you to complete it and add your

personal touch. The basic kit starts at

£4,180 ex VAT.


Cheeky Monkey Treehouses

01403 732 452

Our team has over 15 years’

combined experience in

designing and building

treehouses of all shapes and

sizes. From simple elevated

cabins to a complex maze

of rope bridges and tree top

hideaways. Whether it is a single

structure as a luxury escape for

two, or a field of individually

built family glamping pods, we

provide a personal treehouse

consultation service with you at

your proposed treehouse site,

where ideas can be gathered,

shared and implemented. Handdrawn,

illustrated and threedimensional

drawings are then

created to suit your needs and

those of your desired end user.




Pods by Future Rooms

01452 501455

We design, manufacture

and supply high quality,

insulated timber framed pod

accommodation across a variety

of markets, with styles and sizes

to cater for all needs and budgets.

Pods can be supplied as open

plan shells with LED lighting, twin

power sockets, USB charging

points and an electric wall heater

as standard. Upgrades include ensuite

shower rooms, kitchenettes,

fitted bed frames, underfloor

heating, right the way through

to our new Full Specification

range that provides the highest

quality and luxury, fully furnished

glamping pods on the market. All

that’s left to do is to connect your

pod up to mains services and start

taking bookings!


Plastic Solutions

0800 334 5742

For both festivals and the

glamping market, our products

allow decent sanitation to

the most remote or off-grid

glampsites, and the collection of

waste and grey water at events.

Our Tuff Tank waste storage tank,

for example, can be positioned

under a shepherd’s hut or event

toilet/shower unit to collect

waste for later removal by septic

tank emptying services.

With the ability to link tanks

together to create exactly the

waste collection volume you

need, the robust yet lightweight

nature of our products makes

delivery, positioning, servicing

and collection a simple matter.

We’ve got tankology!



Acorus Rural Property Services

Acorus Rural Property Services

Ltd was founded in 2002. The

company trade as specialist

Chartered Surveyors and

Planning Consultants. We

operate nationwide from various

strategically located offices offering

planning consultancy, architectural

services, project management

and property sales. Therefore we

are one of the few companies that

can offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ service

from inception of your project to

completion and sale if so desired.

Our consultants are experts in how

permission may be achieved even

in Green Belt areas and AONB.

Whether you want just an hour

of planning advice or a full scale

package of services, we will be

pleased to talk to you.



Cabinville Log Cabins

01379 687467

Cabinville has designed a

shepherds hut for a third of the

regular price by teaming up

with a large Finnish company

to produce a flat pack hut from

high grade timber. All windows

are double glazed and supplied

with toughened safety glass

to meet Building Regulations

- a requirement of insurance

companies should the hut be

used by employees or the public.

Shepherd's huts are incredibly

versatile structures as they can

be used for so many purposes,

including glamping. Cabinville is

a family business that has been

operating in Norfolk for over 17

years selling cabins and BBQ



26 & 27 September 2018

Sandown Park



of business signed on site at Festout 2017


Contact James Linin to discuss the exhibiting opportunities available

020 8481 1122 |



Classified Directory

Innovative off grid pods, quick and

easy setup, all terrain legs and

platform, handmade in Britain





0345 409 0280

FOR SALE Suffolk shepherd hut

available from the end of September

Made by Riverside Shepherd Huts, the quality is simply excellent and has a

steel frame. Clad in cedar wood, with an electric heater, hot water, electric

towel rail and shower. Offers IRO £17,000 Tel: 07871 191042




O7917 457 820 |




Tensile structures:

facilities, camp, glamp & event


design & planning application

01297 444416

Sewage Treatment Systems

For all residential, commercial

and industrial applications

01295 236101 •

mobile cookery theatre

demonstration kitchens for hire

01462 43 44 45


Ask Periwinkle

Rural business entrepreneur Periwinkle shares

his decades of experience in making money from people outdoors

Dear Periwinkle,

Q My husband and I run a

wedding venue business and

would like to add some ‘props’

we can hire out to couples as

part of their package – any

ideas about what we should

invest in?

Hermione, Stockton on Tees

Dear Hermione,

A Periwinkle’s stock advice

on investments is to avoid hogbelly

futures, Cryptocurrency

or government bonds issued in

the Central African Republic. Of

course, your question relates

specifically to wedding day

props. In which case avoid the

following, foolishly sensible

ideas too:

› Oversized lit letters spelling

‘Mr & Mrs’ or ‘Love’

› In rural locations, go rustic -

hire a hay wagon or vintage

tractor for photo shoots

› The classic approach - white

weddings and the like - could

use some beautiful furniture

(Chesterfields etc.) or a

chandelier, stone fountain or

arbour arch entrance.

As I say, avoid these. Far better

to opt for class. Get yourself

a muster of peacocks. That’ll

raise the tone. Or nip down

to the nearest agricultural

breaker’s yard and pick up a

bit of combine harvester or

half an old plough. In the right

setting each will look like a

Henry Moore sculpture; ideal

for photo-opportunities.

Periwinkle’s best advice,

however, is to get yourself a

vodka luge. Serve only Canada

Goose for the alcohol and

insist on a classic theme for

the ice sculpture - a 3D replica

of Botticelli’s Venus perhaps,

or should you wish to hint that

you don’t take culture overseriously,

try Castor and Pollux

playing ping pong.







Dear Periwinkle,

Q What can I do to

impress the inspectors at

my upcoming glamping

accreditation check?

Dunstan Merriweather,


Dear Dunstan,

A The conventional view on

this is straightforward:

› Make sure what you put on

your website reflects reality.

Don’t say that unicorns

roam the estate unless

they actually do (your

gamekeeper will know)

› The ‘whole’ visitor

experience must be

considered – from booking

to arrival to the stay itself

› For a high rating, pay

attention to the quality

of everything – including

fixtures and fittings

› Facilities count – hot water,

en-suite, crisp linen etc. If

you are going for a more

back to basics style then

make sure what you do offer

is authentic and the best it

can be.

Regular readers should

not be surprised to learn,

however, that Periwinkle takes

a more Bohemian approach to

inspections. Many inspectors

welcome a fresh approach

to accreditation. Anything

that adds a frisson to the

anticipation of the inspector’s

final report.

Sprinkle a number of fake

reviews and testimonials

about Facebook and Twitter.

And get yourself a ‘celebrity’

endorsement. Don’t worry if

you don’t know any celebrities

- the Actor’s Guild can always

find you an Emmerdale extra

who once ordered a shandy in

the Woolpack.

And remember, you can

never have enough gadgets:

A deep fat frier with surround

sound can turn heads, or a

home cinema that does chips.

For something really different,

re-wilding your acreage can

energise your business no end,

though do expect trouble the

first time marauding hyenas

bring down an inspector in

open country. Somebody is

bound to knock on your door

about that.

When all’s said and

done, if your inspector

isn’t progressive enough to

appreciate your avant garde

approach, try bribery.


Dear Periwinkle,

Q I have been running

a food fair for the last five

years and I am really keen to

take it up a notch. But how?

Douglas, Dublin

Dear Douglas,

A There are those who

play this sort of thing with a

straight bat. They organise

live cooking demos - with

celebrity chefs if possible - or

set out themed areas (local,

fish, sweets, drink) each with

its own sponsor. They’ll even

organise goodie bags from

sponsors as give-aways to

attendees. But I’m not sure

I like the cut of their jib. I

mean, where’s their spirit of


Far better, surely, to get a

couple of Michelin starred

chefs boozed up on Baileys

before tricking them into a

head to head egg-poaching

competition. Or why not

organise a ‘stuff yourself

stupid’ tournament with

entrants munching the local

sausage by the yard until they

start projectile vomiting over

the guy ropes of the marquee?





If you would like to benefit from

Periwinkle’s words of wisdom,

please email your questions to


Meet the freshest arrival in the field.

Partner your glamping

geodesic domes are ready to W.

business with TruDomes. help businesses like yours

T. 02476 326585

Our home-grown experts in create beautiful and profitable

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