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TentCraft News

We aim to provide you with insight into the ever-changing outdoor marketing and experiential marketplace and help create worry-free events. It’s full of things like industry updates, company news, and a whole lot of valuable content you won’t find anywhere else. Go ahead – read your heart out.

Custom Tents - More Than a Commodity

Tentcraft /// 01/30/2017

As a member of TentCraft's Inside Sales team, I'm often reminded that our event tents and structures aren't the most budget-friendly on the market. Accordingly, my conversations often center on why making a greater initial investment with TentCraft can ensure deadlines are met and help avoid additional costs down the road for things like replacement parts, canopies, and entire tents. This often leads to a brief discussion surrounding brands and commodities. While the world of outdoor tents and event signage appears commoditized, everything we do is custom — a big reason why you won't find pricing on our website. Well, what about the hardware? TentCraft is the exclusive MASTERTENT™ partner of North America, meaning you won't find our heavy duty, anodized aluminum frames (with patented design and accessory features, I might add) anywhere else. Same goes for similar products on our roster, including the inflatabled Signus ONE and MASTERTENT shop pop-up model, among others. While the general class of canopy tents is a commodity, the design, materials, and associated functionality is what distinguishes our tent models. From patented design features and accessories to edge-to-edge custom printing — it's all distinct. There's no apple-to-apple comparison to even allow for a decision based solely on price. While we could source cheaper hardware and even outsource certain aspects to our business to focus on being the price leader, we take extreme pride in being a scalable, full-service partner for our clients — we design, we print, we manufacture, we custom fabricate, and we even train on and offsite for larger experiential programs and mobile events. In the end, we'd rather be the quality leader with a distinct set of capabilities. You'll also find that the work we create and the team that creates it is as unique as the bygone harbor towns that embrace the region we call home. For example — our President is a recent Stanford GSB graduate with a background that includes a stretch on Wall Street, working for the U.S. Forest Service as a wild-land firefighter, and a 10-month tour of guard duty at Guantanamo Bay. He also rides a Vespa to work in the summer — certainly a contender for "World's Most Interesting Man." At the end of the day, we are our own brand. We have a unique personality that stems from our internal culture and the partnerships we seek — and just like our clients, there's a story behind our brand. We believe in our clients' story whether they're a small brand, non-profit, or member of the Fortune 500. Since we can both relate to what we want to accomplish, it's much easier to collaborate from A to Z.

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TentCrafters Spotlight | Chip Kohler

Shelby Oredson /// 11/18/2016

Today we're kicking off a brand new blog series called TentCrafters Spotlight, a Q & A forum that introduces you to a member of the TentCraft family. This month, we're featuring Chip Kohler, a charismatic sewing specialist who, according to our Quality and Safety Manager, Jeff Turner, has "Rock. Hard. Calves..." Chip's been a TentCrafter for five fruitful years, and we wouldn't be the same without him! Q: What's your role at TentCraft? A: Court jester disguised as sewing specialist Q: What's the best thing about working here? A: I get to sew again and we do so many different things that it's hard to get bored like on an assembly line Q: What makes TentCraft different? A: We embrace weirdness Q: People would be surprised to know what about you? A: My name is Charles Q: When you're not working, what's your favorite thing to do for fun? A: Shoot Q: Where's the most interesting place you've traveled? A: Singapore Q: What's your personal philosophy? A: Golden rule still rules: Do unto others as you would have done to you Q: Name one thing in your life you can't live without. A: My family Q: If you could give advice to your 13-year-old self, what would you say? A: Keep all my old comic books, don't burn 'em like mom said to... Thank you for all you do, Chip!

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Winter is Coming: Warm Up With TentCraft

Shelby Oredson /// 11/04/2016

As a Minnesota native and current resident of Michigan, I know the misery of winter. I know what it's like to scrape shards of ice off your windshield at the ass-crack of dawn. I know how it feels to stand at the gas station, quivering in your snow boots while you fill your tank. And I know where to go when snow falls so copiously it covers the tops of stop signs. Hint: bed. You go to bed. Nobody enjoys winter's unavoidable chill. And if they do, well, they're lying to themselves. But the world doesn't stop just because the temperature drops to sub zero digits. From holiday parades to polar dash races, from winter carnivals to outdoor trade shows, winter events are just as popular as their summertime counterparts, and now's the time to start planning for the long, dark, icy road ahead. If your brand is traveling to an event this winter, consider warming up the crowd with some of our must-have winterized tents or accessories. Whether it's full-size walls or detachable heating kits, we've got what you need to power through the cold and become everyone's favorite wintertime refuge. Heating Kits | Hats and mittens can only do so much. Install one of our 1500-watt heating kits in the roof of your pop-up tent and you and your fans will be toasty warm in no time. Full Walls With Door | Speaking of toasty warm, did you know you can add full digital walls to any of our pop-up tents to create a fully enclosed, super cozy hangout space? We recommend serving hot cocoa, as well. It helps with the cozy. LED Light Kits | Let's be real. The sun sets way too early during the winter. But such is life, and you better be ready for your nighttime events. LED light kits, for instance, help your event attendees see things after sunset, and everybody likes to see, right? We think so. Gybe Tent | They're inflatable, they're versatile, they're inspired by kite-surfing technology, and they look really, really, really cool in wintery mountain scenes. Plus, with attachable panels and modular connections, your event will look like a mountainside basecamp straight out of the movies. Footplates | Sometimes winter can get a little nasty. And by nasty we mean windy. Thankfully, our 66-pound, low profile footplates can withstand wind speeds of up to 35 mph, meaning your tent will stay grounded when the weather gets tough.

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Case Study: The Rustic MONARCHTENT

Shelby Oredson /// 10/25/2016

WHO'D WE HELP? CreekFire Motor Ranch, a 105-acre RV campground oasis in Savannah, GA. WHAT'D THEY NEED? To promote their brand onsite and across the surrounding Savannah area, CreekFire Motor Ranch was looking for an affordable pop-up tent that could get the job done. Initially, they told us they wanted a tent design that was plain, simple, and not much else, not knowing about the outstanding capabilities that exist within our art and production teams. SO WHAT'D WE DO?

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It's football season, which means it's time to pack the cooler, load up the car, and head to your nearest stadium parking lot to eat, drink, and be merry. Tailgating is to football what beer is to burgers — you can't have one without the other. And with nearly 50 million tailgaters spread around the country, we've come a long way in our pregame fandom. What started as a Civil War tradition (it's true. Look it up), tailgating has become revered as a time-honored American sporting tradition and a way of life amongst die-hard football fans. If you've never attended a tailgate party, it's fine, just imagine an enormous parking lot filled with gregarious sports fanatics, all of whom have a beer in one hand and another beer in the other, decked out in war paint, team spirit, and foam fingers. It's a hoot — a rowdy, drunken, prideful hoot — and we TentCraft folk are on a mission to further elevate the tailgate party one pop-up tent at a time. You see, we make really cool tents. So we consider it our civic duty to offer those really cool tents to the zealous tailgaters of this great nation, because we think every tailgate party should kick-off beneath the roof of a kick-ass tent. From full-blown cooking stations to competitive yard games to stadium-style viewing areas, we provide the best possible experience for every type of fan, including businesses looking to spread brand awareness across the tailgate scene. Whether you're The Grill Master, The Fierce Competitor, or The Heedful Observer, we can create a custom tent tailored to your every need. You want built-in cutting boards? You got ‘em. You want cornhole boards? You'll get your cornhole boards, friend. You want TV mounts? We'll make it happen. All you gotta do is ask. Interested in learning more about how you or your business can get your hands on one of our tailgate tents? Follow us on Facebook for details, and stay tuned in the coming weeks as we bring our tailgate experience to life at several college football games and events in the Midwest. See you at the game!

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Here at TentCraft, We're Intense About Camping

Shelby Oredson /// 10/06/2016

With a name like TentCraft, people count on us for all things tents. Pop-up tents, inflatable tents, permanent tents, pavilion tents, tailgate tents, frame tents. Whatever event tent you need, we've got you covered. Literally. Don't let that statement fool you, though. You might be thinking — hey, you guys make tents, and I need a tent for my camping trip next month. Can I order a camping tent from you? Oh, friend, I'm sorry. As much as we love camping, and as much as we wish we could make you a kick-ass camping tent, we can't. That's just not in our wheelhouse. Call REI, they'll get you all set up for the wilderness. Moving on. While we may not manufacture camping tents, we do love using them. You see, us TentCraft folk are mega outdoorsman, which means we're pretty much experts when it comes to camping in the wild. When you live in northern Michigan, where recreational opportunities are bountiful and there's a constant bonfire aroma wafting through the air, a campground basically becomes your second home. From stunning lakeside sites to heavily wooded coves, there's something for everyone to enjoy, expert or not. We've rounded up our top picks for camping bliss to help you plan your next visit to Michigan. Take a look, and happy camping! Manistee River Loop This 23-mile loop follows one of Michigan's most beautiful rivers, the Manistee River, making it the ideal place for campers to set up shop on and hike or float along its winding banks. Empire Township Campground Nestled in a wooded area near the beautiful town of Empire, this 60-site campground is the ideal destination for a rustic, inexpensive getaway. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Located in the Upper Peninsula, this 60,000-acre park is Michigan's largest, most expansive places to go camping and explore the wonders of the great outdoors. Platte River Campground If you're looking for a place to take the kids, this is it. With its friendly atmosphere, laid back vibe, and bike trails galore, you can't go wrong with a campsite on the Platte River. D.H. Day Campground Arguably one of the best in the country, D.H. Day offers 88 sites with easy access to some of Lake Michigan's most stunning views. Lake Michigan Recreation Area in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area With private campgrounds tucked in the woods, walking trails, and an expansive dog beach, this is the perfect summertime getaway for you and your pup. Isle Royal National Park Looking for some one-on-one time with Mother Nature? Consider taking a trip to Isle Royal National Park. This island off of Lake Superior offers solitude and adventure for hikers, canoeists, backpackers, scuba divers, and campers. Charles Mears State Park

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Five years ago, we sold a 10x15 custom-printed MASTERTENT to one of the most treasured businesses in northern Michigan — Moomers Ice Cream. With their award winning flavors, homemade treats, and sugarcoated cones, Moomers is a summertime gem for locals and tourists alike. Out of curiosity, we decided to find out how Moomers' tent has been holding up over the years. Our MASTERTENTS are designed to outlast any other tent in the market, so we wanted to make sure we were following through on our promise. We contacted co-owner, Jon Plummer, and asked him some questions about his ever so popular cow-spotted tent. Here's what we found: What prompted you to order a custom tent to begin with? After a bit of research, TentCraft was the best choice for us regarding both quality/longevity of product and brand awareness with a custom printed canopy. TentCraft is a local Traverse City company, as well. What TentCraft products do you own? We own a 10'X 15' custom-printed MASTERTENT.

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It's true, our MASTERTENT and mightyTENT models are really, really, really good-looking, crafted from the finest, most durable materials available. But did you know they're also smart and agile and sewn together with love? Here, 10 impressive things you probably didn't know about our pop-up tents: They've been battle-tested to withstand wind gusts of up to 30 mph (with optional foot plates). In other words, they're mega-strong, and they're not afraid of Mother Nature and her obnoxious wind. Speaking of strong, did you know our MASTERTENT model acts as a home gym for anyone interested in pumping out one or twenty pull-ups at their next event? Yep, you read that right. The MASTERTENT's anodized frame and octagonal-shaped legs make it the strongest commercial pop-up tent in the market. We currently hold the world record for fastest pop-up tent assembly time. It's 26 seconds. To put that into perspective, your dentist recommends you brush your teeth for two minutes. Just saying. A wrinkled, saggy canopy makes us sad, so we found a way to fix the issue. Thanks to our patented system of tension straps and 500-denier polyester material, our canopies are taut, tight, and tidy, meaning your brand will look sharp everywhere you go. Just call us the Swiss Army Knife of the tent world. With their detachable countertops, removable vinyl walls, and adjustable leg heights, our pop-up tents are the adaptable tools you've been looking for to tackle all your event marketing needs. Talk about homegrown. Each individual pop-up tent canopy is hand-sewn by one of our seamstresses at our in-house production facility located in Traverse City, MI. Every stitch, every thread, every pin-pricking ouch — we do it all. Here in Michigan, we've experienced our fair share of nasty weather. From scorching hot days to blizzard-like conditions, we've seen it all, and we know how detrimental nasty weather can be for your event. That's why we offer heat kits and cooling misters to give your tent optimum temperature control and comfort. Our pop-up tents are big and mighty, yes. But I bet you didn't know they breakdown into one, easy-to-transport storage case designed specifically for your traveling needs. Wondering where the canopy goes after breaking down your tent? Good news — it stays put. Unless your canopy needs cleaning or replacing, it can remain attached to the frame during storage. 3 days. That's how long it takes us to bring your pop-up tent to life. From your quote request to your shipping date, we produce your project with speed, quality, and an extra dose of tender loving care.

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Case Study: The Ultimate Brewery Setup

Joey DiFranco /// 09/09/2016

Beard's Brewery Beer Tent Transformation Every so often, an idea comes along that sparks an entirely new passion within a company. More than likely, it involves a little bit of risk and a whole lot of creativity, a daring concept that may or may not pan out in the end. In our case, that idea involved beer and all of its delicious, full-bodied glory. You might be thinking, "What the heck does a tent company have to do with the world's greatest beverage?" Let me explain. Here in Michigan, beer festivals are a big deal, especially during the summertime. If it's a weekend, odds are there's a beer festival going down starring hundreds of breweries from around the state, itching to put their beer in the hands of festivalgoers. But a brewery can't just show up to a festival and expect immediate success. They need a plan. They need a presence. They need a way to attract, intrigue, and delight the thousands of beer fanatics passing through the festival scene. They need a kick-ass tent, is what I'm saying, and that's how our risky, off-the-wall idea came to be. We decided to help brewers overcome their beer festival challenges by giving one brewery a brand new, one-of-a-kind tent setup at this year's Summer Microbrew & Music Festival in Traverse City, MI. At TentCraft, we're the kings of custom, so we brought out the big guns to design, build, and execute a never-before-seen brewery tent transformation. Let's just say, HGTV might be calling us after they see what we did. Who'd We Help? Beard's Brewery from Petoskey, MI. Founded in 2012, Beard's is owned and operated by two passionate home-brewers, Ben Slocum and Peter Manthei, who have created more than 100 unique, Michigan-inspired beers. We chose to work with this particular brewery because they're a thriving, local business that needed some help in the event tent category. Plus, their beer is phenomenal, so we thought they deserved an equally phenomenal festival setup. What'd They Need? After dissecting specific beer festival pain-points with co-owner, Ben, we discovered that Beard's was missing just about everything when it came to a successful event presence, minus the good beer, of course. No tent. No pizazz. No head-turning display. In short, they needed it all, and we couldn't wait to show them how our capabilities could elevate their brand to festival greatness. So What Did You Do? We brought together every facet of the TentCraft family — from art to production to sales — to develop a full-blown experience tailored to Beard's unique brand personality. We didn't just give them a tent. We gave them a space designed specifically for the beer festival environment, fitted with countertops, prime signage and flags, and a new jockey box and custom-made pouring platform. Did I mention the countertops? In a sea of ordinary tents, Beard's was the only brewery that provided a place for festivalgoers to comfortably hangout and chat, just like they would at their favorite neighborhood bar. How'd They Like It? Like it? They loved it. They were thrilled, shocked, amazed, grateful — all good things. But words can only say so much. If you really want to know how they liked it, watch the video to find out. What products were used? 10x10 MONARCHTENT

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