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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.

Mi Casa Es Su Casa

Andrew Straley /// 11/02/2018

From Sales to Project Management. From Art to Print. Then off to our color, cutting and sewing savants. And don’t forget our metal fabricators. The voyage inside TentCraft for every tailored tent goes a lonnnnnnng way! The journey each of our custom products take captures the true American craftsmanship spirit, never loses sight of quality and in a blink of an eye leaves our shipping deck and arrives ready to rock at your event. Watch our president Matt Bulloch bellow as he follows the life of a typical pop-up tent project from start to finish in our Michigan facility.

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Quality. A single word and empty promise for some, but to TentCraft it defines the very air we breathe. In 2017, we set the lofty goal to bring all manufacturing of of our pop-up tent models in-house. We even source all of the materials from other American facilities. Why? Because American craftsmanship, ingenuity and quality simply can’t be replicated in overseas facilities. Check out a few highlights of the reasons we moved from the overseas produced MasterTent to US made MONARCHTENT in 2018. We did a soft launch of the new MONARCHTENT System product line in June 2018. As of today, we ship 100% American made MONARCHTENT’s as our premium tent line. If you haven’t been able to see this tent in action, familiarize yourself here. The MONARCHTENT will have your brand looking its absolute best in the field. Entirely designed, fabricated and engineered in the USA — the MONARCHTENT System differentiates itself from ALL other options by using the most durable/vibrant print methods, the highest quality fabrics, the thickest anodized-aluminum frame and the most robust warranty in the industry. See why the MONARCHTENT has taken its rightful spot on the throne as the king of pop-up tents. If you’re ready to say goodbye to unreliable and cheap overseas alternatives, start your quote here and allow us to make the pain and frustration of shoddy tents a thing of the past for your brand! Want to learn more? Check out the details here.

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A New Addition to Our Inflatable Tent Category

Andrew Straley /// 11/02/2018

At times a traditional pop-up frame tent isn’t the ideal event solution. Perhaps space is limited, or the weight of a frame makes logistics difficult and expensive. Or maybe you just want something different, dammit. Well, TentCraft has a solution for those scenarios and more with our inflatable tent lines. In late 2018 we introduced a new light-weight inflatable tent called the Nitrox AIRFRAME. This tent abandons metal ridged frames while maintaining the agility necessary for rapid deployment by a single person. The Nitrox AIRFRAME made a big splash at the 2018 NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) conference and piqued the interest of athletic departments across the nation with its head-turning design. Spend a little time learning more about this unique tent here or start your quote and have one of our experienced event professionals assist you.

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MONARCHTENT beats grizzly bear into submission.

Joey DiFranco /// 08/22/2017

So no, we didn’t actually subject a real bear to the risky endeavor of fighting a MONARCHTENT but we did write that headline to prove a point. If you’re looking for a tough tent, they don’t come any tougher than the MONARCHTENT. Besides the fact you can literally hang from the scissor pieces of the canopy, the MONARCHTENT has plenty of tricks up its sleeve: HEAVY DUTY FRAME: The MONARCHTENT frame is 2 inches in diameter and made of anodized aluminum—the second hardest substance known to man. The octagonal profile of tent leg results in greater balance and durability. If it’s good enough for freakin’ jetliners, you know you’re covered…(see what we did there?) SAFE FINGERS AND PROTECTED TENT LEGS: Nothing brings out your inner-Hulk faster than a pinched finger. Ouch! Thankfully, with the help of our little red button release, your fingers will be pinch-free and painless. The telescopic legs are plastic-protected, creating less friction and a scratch-free surface. With TentCraft, your brand is represented the way it should be - polished and professional. LIFETIME WARRANTY: With our lifetime warranty, we protect you against defects in material or workmanship. If your tent canopy ever fails due to a manufacturer's error, we'll repair or replace it - free of charge. THE FACTS: Bottom-line is the MONARCHTENT is the toughest pop-up tent system on the planet and we’d place bets on that grizzly only lasting one round before a TTKO (Total Tent Knock Out).

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In talking with our customers, we realize the world of buying a tent can get incredibly complicated very quickly. Talking to multiple potential vendors, receiving a wide range of quotes, being unsure how to make a decision, are all par for the course. We want to help make your custom tent buying experience better and more transparent. The tents you order represent your brand to your customers and you should be able to make an informed decision on purchasing while having an enjoyable experience. Here are three questions you should ask and potential tent vendor (TentCraft included) that will help save you from poor quality, long lead times and ultimately a disappointing experience. #3 – What materials do you use to create your tent? As a potential customer is very important to know the difference between steel vs. aluminum, powder coating vs. anodized, etc.. Did I lose you? No worries, let’s just talk about the best (aka what you should be looking for). Anodized Aluminum is the best frame solution – if this material is good enough for the military and aerospace, it’s the best possible solution for your frame. It’s a perfect blend of lightweight/tough AND it’ll never rust. Pro-tip: If you choose to buy a colored or black frame, make sure it’s anodized not powder coated, you wouldn’t want that coloring to flake off. 500 D Polyester for strength and vibrancy – This material truly makes your colors pop. We’ve tried thinner... we've tried thicker and 500 D Poly is the best balance of strength and quality. UV printing means color match and fade-free – Don’t get us wrong, we love dye-sub for printing flags and table covers, it’s just not the best material for making tent canopies. It can fade over time in the sun and can be more difficult to keep taught to avoid saggy canopies. #2 – What’s the process for designing my tent? If a tent company sends you a blank Photoshop template and moves on to the next customer, we can guarantee you’ll have a pretty terrible buying experience. You know what should happen? You should get to work with real artists who understand 3-D design. Designing a tent to be viewed from eye-level takes some skill, even if you have a design team on staff, it’s important to work with a vendor that employs actual artists who spend their time designing for this purpose and consulting to help create the best tent possible. #1 – How fast will I receive my tent? We all know custom products take time but if a vendor manufactures and prints your tents in their own facilities, it shouldn’t take very long. We aim for a 3-5 day production time and we are able to achieve this simply by printing and creating most of our products right here on-site. If a vendor farms out your tent to another company or prints on another continent, how can they possibly be 100% focused on delivering a quality product for you? There are certainly more questions you should ask, but we feel these three will help uncover a lot of misdirection and misconception in the custom tent industry. If you’d like to ask us these questions in person connect with us here and fire away. We're confident we can find a custom solution for all your event needs.

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When I first started working at TentCraft over a year ago, I didn't think my new employer could get any cooler. We played Ping-Pong on our breaks, sculpted with Playdoh during creative brainstorms, and cracked cold ones on Friday afternoons. Some time later, we started TentCraft Outdoor, an internal program that gives employees the chance to rent paddleboards, kayaks, and snowshoes free of charge their northern Michigan excursions, because health, wellness, and the great outdoors are three of our favorite things. It seemed as though I had found my match. And in an office that embraces "fun and a little weirdness", I was certain I had discovered the company with the best culture in all of Traverse City. It couldn't get any better than this. But then it did. TentCraft recently adopted a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Employee Wellness Program, which is an initiative that supports local farms by giving businesses and their employees the opportunity to buy fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables directly from the farmer. Interested community members or organizations sign up for a share of a participating farm's harvest and, prior to the growing season, make a payment to support their assigned farm and preserve their share for the summer months. We're partnering with local food marketing agency, Taste the Local Difference (TLD), who will facilitate our CSA program. TLD's mission is to "help food businesses and the communities they serve benefit from the economic value of local food, while ensuring that fresh, healthy, local food is available to everyone." It's a mission that runs near and dear to our TentCraft heart, and we're thrilled about the opportunity to support our agricultural economy while filling our dinner plates with wholesome, farm-fresh veggies. Photos courtesy of Loma Farm Part of TLD's promise involves pairing participating businesses with one carefully selected local farm. Based on our company size, employee interest, and employee feedback surveys, TLD paired us with Loma Farm, a 13-acre farm just eight miles outside of Traverse City. They produce flowers and "extra fancy vegetables", and they host specialty events and happy hour soirees for its members. If there's such a thing as farm soul mates, Loma Farm is definitely ours. Beginning in early June, Loma Farm will deliver shares (boxes) of 7-10 vegetables hand-selected from over 30 distinct crop varieties for TentCraft employees to take home to their families. Loma Farm is offering two different sizing options, one for a two-person family at $17.50/share and another for a four-person family at $25.00/share. Shares will be delivered to our office every week until late October. The icing on the cake? Loma Farm owner, Nic, writes a weekly newsletter featuring recipes, culinary discussions, and farm updates that will accompany every share. So when obscure veggies like sorrel and Romanesco broccoli show up in our boxes, farmer Nic will provide some tips on how to cook or sautuee or roast or do whatever it is you're supposed to do with sorrel and Romanesco broccoli. Photo courtesy of Loma Farm When you live in a region surrounded by rolling farms and rich soil, and work in a community that embraces agricultural and economic growth, participating in a CSA Employee Wellness Program makes a ton of sense. And it's another small reminder that working for a company that values their employee's health and supports their local community is something to be proud of. Hats off to you, TLD, for paving the path to a more sustainable future. TentCraft is happy to be a part of this revolutionary movement. Bring on the farm fresh veggies!

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Identifying the right pop-up tent for your business isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world, especially if you're looking for something custom. One glance at the pop-up tent industry and you'll find that the options are endless. What frame type should you choose? What kind of printing process do you prefer? How do you want your tent configured? One wall? Two walls? Three walls and a door? What size tent do you need? I could go on, but I think you get the point. Tents are overwhelming, and there's a dizzying amount of questions to consider when determining which one suits you best. Thankfully, we feel your pain, and we've figured out a way to make your tent-buying process as easy as possible without sacrificing your time, money, or sanity. Here's how: We give you a personal assistant. While their official title is "Sales Representative", we should really call them your personal assistant because, let's be real, they do way more than sell tents. When you submit an inquiry about our products, one of our reps contacts you within 20 minutes to learn about your custom project. They're not interested in your budget or shoving a quote down your throat; they're interested in soaking up as much information about your business goals and determining how our outdoor marketing solutions can solve your most challenging problems. As an expert in the field, your personal assistant gives you unbiased advice about purchasing a pop-up tent. They walk you through the printing process and help you decide which frame type will satisfy your goals. They send good luck wishes when your event date rolls around. And they remember the name of your dog. In other words, they're your top resource, your in-the-field marketing expert, and your friend, and they just so happen to sell you a tent along the way. We give you a personal designer. As if choosing the right type of tent wasn't challenging enough, throw in color schemes, measurements, and logo designs and you've got yourself one heck of a cluster. Enter your personal tent designer. They're the Picassos of the event-marketing world, true artists and masters of their craft. Give them your napkin sketch design and they'll work their magic to bring your idea to life, creating a detailed mockup designed specifically for a 3-D structure. They're wizards, is what they are, and they make it easy for your brand to stand out in the crowd. Whether they're sketching your dream tent or recreating your logo for optimum printing quality, our art team takes care of the nitty-gritty design details so you don't have to. We give you a personal manager. So you've got a personal assistant to guide you through the process. You've got a personal designer to sketch a tent worth bragging about. But who's going to take care of the dirty work? Who's going to handle fabrication accuracy, the production process, and shipping logistics? Hint: it's your personal project manager. They're the puppet masters, the gurus of organization, and they're here to make sure your project runs as smoothly as possible. Long story short, we give you an extension of your team, an army of brand advocates who want nothing more than to see your marketing project succeed. We're here to answer your questions, exceed your expectations, and make your tent-buying process fast, easy, and 100% enjoyable.

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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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