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Industry professionals discuss changes in the 2009 tent market

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These changes were cited by tent fabric suppliers, tent manufacturers and event professionals in the IFAI tent climate survey.


  • Fewer suppliers due to consolidation, driven by the down economy and lack of credit
  • Shift in growth from laminated products to coated products
  • More structure and clearspan usage in the U.S.

End product manufacturers:

  • Overall drop in sales
  • Fewer companies due to lack of business; some companies merge, but others will go out of business

Event professionals:

  • Sales taxes on rentals hurting growth for tent rental business
  • Building codes and permit issues continue to grow; more engineered equipment will be required
  • Tent rental industry moving toward standards and guidelines, leading to safer tent installation.
  • Commercial events are significantly cut back
  • Private events will be simpler because of reduced budgets or mindset, resulting in less extravagant projects
  • Contraction and more consolidation in 2009 and 2010; fewer companies will be successful and remain in the tent rental industry
  • Decline in event budgets reduce rentals
  • Usage of clearspan tents increase
  • There is a move to more keder tops and frames
  • Tent designs are improving to help reduce labor costs
  • Track-type frame tents are becoming more popular
  • Price competition intensifies as businesses vie for projects

Jeff Rasmussen is market research manager at IFAI. He can be contacted at, or +1 651 225 6967.

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