Tents and Structures That Shaped a Return to Events
After primarily manufacturing and selling custom tents and structures to help the healthcare industry with testing during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 brought some hints of normalcy to our production facility in Traverse City, Michigan.
Yes, our team still manufactured plenty of medical tents — primarily for drive-thru vaccination sites — but we also helped…
- Bush’s Baked Beans create an incredible experiential marketing setup at the World Championship Chili Cookoff.
- Disney+ launch its “The Stories Continue” tour in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
- Soccer.com create a successful retail stand outside the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for a special Premier League Fan Fest event.
In other words, we helped welcome events back (with some pretty creative tents!), and it felt REALLY good. We’re hopeful more of the same continues in 2022.
What separates TentCraft from other options on the market is our built-to-order business model. Your custom tent — even a basic 10x10 mightyTENT — doesn’t exist today. And that’s by design. Instead of importing frames that could sit on warehouse shelves for months at a time, we manufacture the frame in-house as orders come in, allowing our customers to customize their tent precisely to their needs.
That results in many American-made tents in all sorts of shapes and sizes. We recently compiled data from 2021 to show our most popular products and sizes, and how different industries rely on TentCraft for various applications.
Breaking Down TentCraft by The Numbers
Here are some top trends…
MONARCHTENT Is Our Top Pop-Up Canopy
We offer two different pop-up canopy models: MONARCHTENT, a heavy-duty, professional-grade model, and mightyTENT, a medium-duty pop-up canopy that brings American craftsmanship to a more affordable solution. More customers in 2021 purchased MONARCHTENT (54%) over mightyTENT (46%) — a nod to the need for heavy-duty solutions that can hold up in inclement weather.
10x10 Is Most Popular Size by Far for Pop-Up Tents
No surprise, here. Our most popular pop-up tent size was the 10x10, with 61% of all purchases going with that size. Don’t think that 10x10 is a boring size because it’s the most popular. Here are some unique 10x10 footprints that stand out in a crowd.
Our next most-purchased size was the 10x20 (12%), which is a popular size for high school team tents — especially for cross country and track and field teams. 10x15 (5%) is also a popular team tent size.
E-Series vs. X-Series Frame Tents
Driven by pandemic-related business and events that required semi-permanent structures, our lineup of frame tents took off in 2021. The E-Series was more popular than the X-Series in 2021, with 76% of frame tent sales going with that product. Both series are engineered with an aluminum framework to be a semi-permanent structure. The E-Series only comes in square sizes, like 20x20 and 15x15, while the X-series allows you to put together (and without tools!) rectangular-shaped tents.
Our FutureTrac system drove about 10% of our frame tent business in 2021. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency used a 30x30 and 30x45 FutureTrac Frame for an efficient vaccine drive-thru event at Dover International Speedway. Near our neck of the woods in Northern Michigan, Lake Ann Brewing Co. updated its old outdoor tent with a 30x40 FutureTrac that has been the perfect solution for live music year-round — even when it's 15 degrees outside and snowing!
Most Popular Frame Tent Sizes
Some TentCraft customers opted for 10x10 frame tents, but the most popular sizes in this category were significantly larger. The 20x30 canopy was the most popular frame tent size, especially for drive-thru vaccine clinics. Larger footprints, like the solution the Delaware National Guard used earlier this year, allow for multiple car lanes and a more efficient vaccine campaign.
Events Overtake Healthcare
In 2020, we (for the most part) only manufactured and sold tents for pandemic-related solutions — things like drive-thru testing centers outside of hospitals and employee screening gazebos outside workplaces. As vaccines were made available in 2021, business from our agency partners and big national brands started picking up, signaling a return to events. In fact, when the year ended, that event-related business accounted for 27% of business, compared to about 15% of healthcare business. Note: Some government agencies, which make up 15% of 2021 business, used their tents for pandemic-related solutions. Retail and hospitality business, which includes all of our brewery clients, also saw nice upticks, accounting for 17% of business.
Aluminum Usage In Our Tents
We used 370,510 lbs of aluminum across all of our tents and structures in 2021. That’s equivalent to about 75 Ford F-150 pickup trucks and 18X the total weight of the 2021 Detroit Lions roster. While that seems heavy, it would be WAY heavier if we used steel. Our tents wouldn’t be as durable either. Learn more about steel vs. aluminum differences when it comes to pop-up tents.
Ink Usage for Custom Printing
Our print team went through 2,745 liters of ink in 2021. Sticking with our Michigan theme, that’s equivalent to 7,731 12oz cans of Vernors. It’s also enough ink to cover 2.7 million square feet of printed material.
Cheers to a New Year with TentCraft
We’re hopeful that events will continue to grow in 2022. Get your year off to a good start by talking with one of our custom tent experts who can help you develop a solution for your business. We can’t wait to help.