How To Care For Your Instant Shelter

Okay, so you’ve made the plunge into flash, fine events equipment, and are waiting for your order to arrive. It’ll pay dividends for your hope of securing a larger footfall: rain, shine, and the perils of travel aren’t something to worry about, are they?

Well, like any investment, your treatment of the materials will go a long way to deciding how useful they are. Caring for your instant shelter doesn’t have to be a chore; actually, once you read through our maintenance tips, you’ll be dying to tweak and test the properties of your event setup…

Remove canopies when you’re on the road

A good portion of Surf & Turf’s instant shelters have fixable canopies to deploy. While they’re an optional extra, we find that a lot of our customers like having the added security and visual spark for their exhibitions, especially those outdoors.

Once you get the hang of it, it’ll only take a few minutes to attach the canopy to the head of the shelter model. We don’t recommend keeping it affixed 24/7 – if you’re hurtling around in a van, say, with the shelter in the back, the joints and framework will be knocked, stretched and rattled with the motion, reducing their effectiveness over time. Always take the canopy off when you’re packing up.

Dry the material before storage

No-one likes damp and mildew. Unsurprisingly, at some point, rain is going to seep across your shelter, covering those carefully emblazoned sidewalls in a layer of water, so thin you may not even register it until a nasty smell invades, and the fabric begins to crinkle.

Take the safe route when you’re dissembling the shelter by drying every inch you can. A couple of towels will do the trick, as well as a thorough airing of the flattened material. If you’re pressed for time, fold it away for a night, then air it out the next day. This could also be a prime opportunity to check for mud splats on the inner shelter; clean them with a soft scrubbing brush and soapy water before leaving it to dry.

Anchor the weaker spots in your frame

In an open field, or a bustling morning of market activity, there’s no telling how high the winds might creep up. A strong gale can knock your shelter for six if it isn’t properly stabilised: as in, tied to a weighty anchor of some sort, like sandbags or a buckle strap.

Even the biggest shelters in our range, like the Hexagonal Canopro Elite, require assistance to avoid being blown over. The weights should have a specialised fastener, made for the interior corners or feet of your shelter model. We stock pretty much everything you need in this respect – sandbags, double/single weight stacks, and heavy-duty kits that strengthen the connective elements of your purchase.

In fact, we cross the whole landscape of events maintenance: our accessories are perfect for keeping your shelter instantly brilliant, no matter the conditions or schedule you’re facing. It requires a bit of work on your part, though, so don’t forget to treat an events shelter like any other big, wow-inducing facet of your business i.e. with all the love in the world!

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3 Clever Ways To Use A-Boards

With all the hubbub surrounding your event, it’s possible to forget about the smaller, less forthright parts of your promotional gear. Yes, a shelter is the lynchpin to your setup, along with the banners grazing around and above it. Yet A-boards are just as effective if they’re used properly – we want you to expand your repertoire, no matter how subtle they may seem.

The thing is, you can pursue all sorts of creative routes with an A-board, including the three we’re about to run through. Buy a handful, and you’ll have a mini canvas for your quirkiest, most memorable branding…

1. Artistic freedom

When we draw attention to the arty possibilities of an A-board purchase, we aren’t joking: you can really can go to town on the visuals, since it’s not meant to be the headline facet of your event kit.

Take a product of yours, and play with the aesthetic presentation. You could employ a gorgeous pencil drawing of your food or drink, if you’re a culinary business, and scan it onto high-quality print material, implying artisan cooking. Text might be in a bolder, loopier form than your leaflets and roller banners; this approach to an A-board relies solely on the beautiful imagery you can conjure up.

2. A witty tagline

Take a trip down your local high street, and you’ll doubtlessly see a procession of A-boards outside shops, cafes and pubs with a sense of humour. A lot of them advertise two-for-one deals and the like, but the best are a quick shot of jokey adrenaline, playing with the name or concept of their parent brand.

Honestly, we couldn’t give you any examples specific enough to your sense of fun – the A-board world is open to whatever you can think of. Delve into pop-culture, well-known phrases, wordplay or a simple upending of cliché that gets people talking.

3. Two halves of one message

Considering the fact you can double up on an A-board purchase with ease, they might as well be maximised for a higher, more curious dose of engagement. If you have a few sentences outlining your USPs (Unique Selling Points), split and relate them over a two-pronged attack.

One half of your sentiment will complement the other, showing how your ideas and practices interlink. When you stand them at either side of your shelter, like a gateway to what’s ahead, delegates will be processing them as a single entity: in a flash, they have multiple associations to regard your venture with.

Surf & Turf’s events team is always looking for ways to jog your promotional imagination. Our A-boards are foldable, UV resistant and incredibly stable for all kinds of outdoor and indoor events. Take the baton we’ve passed you, and race with it to the finishing line of your exhibition design. There’s no excuse for a boring, predictable complement to the heftier pieces to your events puzzle!


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A Handy Guide To Printed Instant Shelters

At Surf & Turf, virtually anything is possible with our print services, geared to dressing your shelter in its best ever statement. Brands must have a concise, eye-popping aesthetic to unleash at their events; forgoing a professional print is going to make you seem drab, limited, and unconcerned with sending the right impression.

We therefore have three different kinds of printing methods on the table. Each has its own advantages, so we think it’s time you learn a bit more about them. Landing on a great design is going to send your footfall through the roof, after all…

Option One – Thermo Press Print

First off, let’s analyse the most cost-effective approach for small and medium-sized businesses, the Thermo Press Print.

We start with vinyl material, which we make to measure.  You might have guessed that heat (quite intense heat, we might add) is the lynchpin of this process, delivered by a pressing machine. It casts ink onto the vinyl, which is then applied to pre-stitched canopies.

A Thermo Press can produce high-class printing results in five days, while there’s no chance of a rough texture, or limitations on special effects you might be fond of. Subsequently, texts and graphics look amazing, ready for use less than a week after the order’s been given.

Option Two – Dye Sublimation Print

For a slightly more refined visual – we’re talking high definition imagery, there to stun any prospects from several feet away – go for Dye Sublimation, which acts like dry ice on your shelter fabric.

Again, heat is used, but the graphics are composed on a computer beforehand. Dye sublimation ink is very special, mainly because it converts from solid to gas without an intermediary liquid state. It is applied to shelter material prior to stitching, meaning you can play more creatively with the angles and shapes of your design.

Suited to one-off projects or small batches of shelter kit, Dye Sublimation Printing has the sharpest colour quality of our list, and grants your imagination total licence to express itself.

Option Three – Traditional Screen Print

Now for the last on our plethora of printing methods: the Traditional Screen Print, coveted by industries across the world.

Essentially, stencils are used to control where the ink spreads on the canopy, and a blade (or squeegee, sort of like a rubber brush) is grazed over the surface, filling in the gaps that’ll form the design.

There’s a fair amount of cost behind the initial set-up of this process: the tools aren’t cheap, and neither are the associated. Yet they’re marvellous at producing a huge run of print jobs. Further coats of ink will be applied until we’re happy with the quality of each individual shelter model.

Once you hit the right printing technique for your requirements, it’s only a matter of getting in touch with us, outlining your idea, and listening to our feedback. We can very swiftly deal with an exhibition team looking to use one or more printing strategies for their next event, so why not put us to the test?

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How To Reinvigorate Your Event Stand

To the long-serving events practitioners, we salute you! We bet there’s not a hint of weariness in your attitude to promotions, conferences, and simply getting your brand heard in any capacity. However, does your event stand itself share this fortitude? Or is it looking a bit… well, on the drab side?

After years of successful rounds on the promo circuit, it could be time to upgrade your shelter and events provisions, keeping them in line with your optimism. Don’t fall behind – try out some of these changes to boost that strategy…

Branded walls and canopies

Let’s start on a gentle note and assume your shelter frame is in ship-shape. It may be as strong as ever, able to stand over your table reliably, with the right dimensions for the indoor or outdoor space you’re slipping into. But the surrounding walls and overhead canopy could be incredibly stale by today’s design standards.

Rejig your shelter materials with a bright, bespoke print on the sides, back and top. Surf & Turf can apply almost any visuals to a canopy, turning the tip of your shelter into another showcase. Even our side panels can take on the printed iconography of your choice.

Fixing a hole

Veteran promo kits can suffer a lot of wear and tear, but holes and rips and unacceptable in a professional instant shelter. When the rain gets in, your clientele aren’t going to be happy; after all, they flock to your event stand for a measure of protection, hoping you’ll present them with something to stick around for.

Try our repair packages on for size if you’re in need of a patch up or better staking provisions, to restore an otherwise spick and span shelter back to peak condition.

Extra branding accessories

What’s the point of stopping at a mere shelter model? Events should be your personal playground, and every square patch of space is your chance for a ‘wow’ moment.

You can employ roller banners to announce your stand, or flags that flap in the wind, reaching above the sea of low-set competitors. Fresh PVC banners, too, will symbolise your commitment to an event or some kind of sponsored challenge, with the latest synthetic designs for support.

A total overhaul

Now, inevitably, we come to the Crisis Stage, the DEFCON 3 of your events scenario. Footfall could as its lowest ebb, and you’re wondering why: is it the boxy, uninspired shape of your shelter? Maybe it’s the sub-par printing, or the fact that it keeps blowing away in high winds? In any case, what you have as a whole just isn’t working.

Take heart in the clever events packages that are available. Start with a high-class Instant Shelter, and choose optional rain canopies and curtains that draw in either side. Lay some flooring down, preventing guests from getting wet feet. And give your logo a rethink, or at least its visual semblance on your roof, sides and table cover.

It’s never too late to address any issues that have dogged you for some time. The longer you sit on a problem, the more damage it’ll do to your reputation. Hence, don’t be afraid to check out our entire events collection – Surf & Turf is the perfect rehabilitator for your ailing promo gear!

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Pedal To The Metal: Preparing For Motorsport Season

Ahhhhh, the purr of an engine; the rabid fans waiting at the sides of a track, hungering for the cough of oil and gears… Motorsport season is almost here, launching a dervish of bikes, trucks and racing cars into the petrol-head calendar. You may be gearing up yourself for a spot at a relevant event, wondering how to make an impression.

Well, let’s kickstart your momentum with some handy advice for satisfying spectators and business prospects alike:

Announcing your vehicle’s brilliance

Since this is a niche area of interest, with its own considerations and showcase variables, your choice of Instant Shelter carries more weight than usual. Surf & Turf recently exhibited in person at the Autosport Show, Europe’s largest indoor motorsport event. We used the 6m Hexagonal Canapro Elite, and can vouch for the impact of its open-ended feel on the host of attendees who spoke to us.

Race teams might want to follow suit, as the 6m model has a tent-style canopy, with sides that are spacious enough for a vehicle to lie underneath. Promoting your sports car or drag racer has a visual base to grab and hold attention. What’s more, you can print your team branding on the canopy, accentuating it with flags and banners that reinforce how great you are.

Bringing your stand to life

However, we also suggest looking into our funkier shelter designs, which were displayed winningly at a 24-hour race series in Dubai this January. Inflatable shelters lend a more casual impression to your event stand, shielding anyone from wind or rain that might come into play.

Our Expo Domes, for instance, are a motorsport staple around the world. You’ll have them up and running in minutes, and the side walls are zipped tight against air infiltration. Branding, too, benefits from the circular, eye-level adornment you’ll decide on when the shelter is being finalised.

A home for your tools

Spare tires, wrenches, drills, nuts and bolts need somewhere to stay at the event, on a structure you can put faith in. Drivers in action must know that a repair can be performed with minimal fuss, that your events team is clued-up about where all the essential kit is being stored.

Let us therefore introduce you to Surf & Turf’s Grand Prix Workbench: a portable, foldable, multi-layered table for karting and racing competitions. It is coated in zinc, one of the strongest metals available, which also allows it to be fairly long without losing that core resistance to damage. We offer a special rack for packing tyres away, as well as reinforced manufacture on the bottom and middle shelves.

In all likelihood, you’ll be itching to strap on that helmet, clean that bumper, and go for broke on a motorsport challenge over the hill. Whether you’re showing off your talent on the track, or flogging your motor merch to the public, we have the perfect stock of items to put you in the driver’s seat of your event planning. Call Surf & Turf today and let us know what you require.

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4 Design Tips For Banner Promotions

Often, at an exhibition, your stand is creaking with too much pressure. We don’t mean this in a literal sense, but in terms of its visuals – all eyes are on your shelter, or display table, when your branding should really be prolific in other forms, flavouring the event in every space you can claim.

Extras, like banner displays, exist to strengthen your reputation. Ignoring them is perilous when aiming for a high footfall. With this in mind, let’s explore four methods for designing your promotional banners, cementing your brand in just the right way:

1. A sentence that sums you up

Buying an Instant Shelter, and dressing it up to the nines, is a no-brainer for giving attendees a taste of what you’re offering. Some businesses, like culinary teams and market traders, actually will be offering a taste test for lucky passers-by.

A Shop Front Banner can present a line of text – perhaps a company motto – that surmises what makes you special. Ask for a lone sentence to be printed, sandwiched by your logo or a charming picture at either end.

2. Sky-high impact

For something grander, we suggest turning to a Sky Banner, which clamps around your shelter on any side you like. Deploy a front-facing banner with your company name right in the middle.

The surrounding material can be as sparse or colourful as you like, as long as the words are clearly visible. Stripes of tonal shading can run from bottom to top, or you can inflect some vibrancy at the corners of the material, arrowing towards the centre for an aesthetic nudge.

3. Rolling out your message

Here’s where things get more complex, as a Roller Banner has more to play with, being readable from a close standing distance. Either go for a large logo in the middle, or a photo that perfectly encapsulates your product/service in action.

The image can even be used as a background for text pieces, which need to have a slight measure of distance between them. Go for broke if you like – purchase three Roller Banners, and have each perform a function: one for the main branding, a second for hard information, and the last for high-res, photographed scenarios.

4. Playing with shapes

The more you can show how inventive, conceptual and artistic you are, the likelier people will stride over and ask for further details. Surf & Turf offers a Pop-Up Banner range that throws a lot more shapes into your events arsenal.

These include ovals, tent styles and three-sided arches. Rounder banner models mix up your words and imagery; for instance, a swirling collection of USPs, orbiting the force of your company slogan, implies that every part of your operation mixes together.

Take our advice – banners are a power to be reckoned with. As much as your Instant Shelter may be adorned in visual flourishes, there’s little point falling short on the rest of your exhibitor setup. Surf & Turf can print almost anything you have in mind on our diverse, breath-taking banner selection for indoor and outdoor events. Get in touch, and give us the mandate that’ll bring your business to life…

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Creating An Event Marketing Plan For 2017

The New Year tends to bring a rush of new energy, but we prefer to make it last, and we suspect you do too. To maximise the impact of your presence at events over the next 12 months, it’s a good idea to shake up your marketing strategy, just in time for 2017 to announce itself.

At Surf & Turf, we’re cracking the champagne open and drizzling it on your events plan, presenting a step-by-step course of action that’s sure to add sparkle to your event marketing:

1. Align your goals and budget

Money talks, as they say, and your budget is the starting point that will determine what you’ve got play with. Exhibiting at events demands a huge investment of time and resources; your goals must therefore be as clear as possible to make the price justified.

Are you readying a product launch? If so, you want an air of exclusivity with a few, select showcase events. Or you could be investing in interactive media, like display screens and tablet demonstrations of your software. These are expensive, so isolate what’ll have the most impact.

2. Organise your team

In a perfect world, you’ll have a broad representation of specialists to man the stand, but this might not be doable. After drawing up your dream team, check everyone’s schedules, and solidify a group communications channel so you can keep in touch before, during and after each event.

Add to your list as they give you feedback, and look into overnight accommodation, accessibility and how you’ll actually get your kit to the venues.

3. Order your shelter

For a professional impression on your delegates, we recommend investing in an Instant Shelter from our full events selection. Standing in a plain cubicle – one that’s exactly the same as all the rest around it – doesn’t bode well for an unforgettable visitor experience.

After you’ve landed on a model you like, it’s time to consider printing options. Surf & Turf has seen some incredible visual marketing material these last couple of decades. Our bespoke printing services can dress your shelter’s side walls, canopy and table cover in any branding you give us.

4. Factor in any extras

Successful teams don’t rely solely on the basics to get their job done. Outdoor exhibitions, and those that have stiff competition, might necessitate a wider arsenal of tools and materials.

To really draw people over to your stand, consider extras like promotional banners, flooring and inflatables. Our accessories are well worth any spare capital you might have, helping you reap the rewards on event day.

Now that you’ve been given a push in the right direction, we bet your mind’s already whirring with possibilities! Pulling together your event marketing plan? Our experts are on hand to help. For more insights into how to turn heads at events, call 01925 819608 or email We’d be more than happy to help.

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Choosing An Inflatable For Your Business

Success at an event relies on picking the right tools for your trade. Some businesses absorb certain marketing props easier than others; the world is a diverse place, and we’re committed to bringing the exact base camp for your brand personality to be realised.

Inflatables are an absolute lynchpin of your event equipment. But which ones hit the magic mark for your organisation, and what do they represent? Follow us as we blow up the features and benefits of our inflatable collection:

Tech-happy impact cubes

Getting delegates to crowd around a screen, or try their hand at anything virtual, is tough when there’s a lot to divert their attention. For a focused reference point, set up an Impact Cube, which boxes your visitors into the demonstration you’re so passionate about.

Velcro grips the structure together, the walls of which are made from PVC for dependable stability in varying conditions. The floor cover is finished in the same material, so soggy ground won’t be any trouble. The Impact Cube gives an air of exclusivity to all sorts of demos – people have to step inside to see what all the fuss is about.

Domes for widespread protection

Two situations spring to mind for an Expo Dome: party-style gatherings, where you’re creating a V.I.P area, and sign-up desks that require attendees to be clustered near each other. That’s because a rounded dome style offers thorough protection from biting winds and rain, letting a chill-out spot gather steam in peace.

The Spider Dome Pro is exactly what we’re talking about in this case, inflating in less than three minutes. Removable panels can be taken down or erected when you want an alternately open/closed feel, and there’s a safety release valve to keep the air pressure from mounting too high.

Stunning arches that mark your influence

Sports, motor-based and athletic promotions are well served by a set of Inflatable Arches, laying the template for a race to kick off and finish up in style. Biking championships will gain an element of professionalism when the start/end points are towering above your spectators; the same goes for soapbox derbies, competitive running and family events.

They also lead the way for anyone stumbling over your brand on the day, acting like a guiding light to the stand itself. There’s enough space on these models to have your own logo, and that of your sponsors, on the entirety of the lengthy frame. It’s pretty impossible not to have a name emblazoned in your brain when it’s rearing up above an otherwise prosaic field.

Now that you’ve gotten a taste of the air these inflatables give off, it’s time to select what’ll pump your event up like nothing else. Surf & Turf can draw on decades of events marketing experience to shape the face of your organisation. Contact us to get a whole lot of amazing inflatable picks that will do your setup justice, or check out our whole collection here




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Is Your Instant Shelter Ready For Retirement?

The well-versed events professional knows a thing or two about grabbing the eyes of passers-by, and guiding their attention to an artful setup. But your exhibition gear might be flagging with overuse or changes to your event marketing strategy. It may indeed be time for something new, perking up your capabilities for gathering a head of steam.

If freshness is the name of your game, Surf & Turf have identified some glaring signs that an overhaul is on the cards. Here are the crucial hints leading to a revitalised events kit…

Troublesome leaks

Try as it might, the shelter you currently use cannot deal with heavy rain and wind, sprinkling delegates with the dregs of a downpour when you least want to turn them away. Outdoor exhibitions require a specialised, fool-proof material base for a crowd to remain warm and looked-after while they see what you’re offering.

A product like the Canapro Elite Instant Shelter is the nadir of a protective, waterproof enclosure. Its extendable rain canopy keeps the lip of your stand safe from drips, and the joints themselves are safeguarded against rust and degradation. No matter how much events kudos you have, it can all slip away with an ill-timed storm cloud – don’t let such things put a dampener on your day.

An expanded team

If you’ve been attending events for a number of years, and have directed more resources into them, then it’s safe to say that your team has probably grown. More hands on deck can mean a dynamic experience for anyone interested in you, as there are wider opinions and personalities to delve into.

Yet you may be struggling with the size of your shelter, which is leaving the group and equipment somewhat cramped. Have a breeze through Surf & Turf’s varying shelter models, ranging from a modest 2 x 3 metres to those with a total surface area of 32 metres. There’s no scope of events excellence that we can’t provide for.

Dull colours and design

Maybe your branding has taken a leap forward of late. Gears could be turning behind the scenes of your business, incorporating a visual scheme that’s injecting new life into your promotions. In any case, a makeover could be due for your signs, flags and shelter, all of which we pull off in inimitable fashion.

Surf & Turf have always taken a tailored approach to our clients’ exhibition materials, with bespoke printing and branding solutions. From tailored inflatables to the finicky concerns of banners and PVC additions, we deliver bold, enrapturing designs that we guarantee you’ll be pleased with.

All it takes is a consultation with one of our events experts. Don’t let wisdom turn into complacency – although you may have hit some awesome notes before, shaking things up is sure to win over new fans, and top up your footfall. Contact us for remedies to an events plan that needs some extra juice in its veins…

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An Exhibitor’s Checklist For Indoor Events

Getting everything ready for your indoor display, whether as part of a trade show or industry conference, demands a clear mind. There’s no use in making snap decisions for your promo setup; it should cohere as one intelligent strategy, and a checklist goes some distance to making that second nature.

Seeing as you may waver over what this means, Surf & Turf is here to break down some essential steps of your visual decision-making. By taking such pointers into account, you’ll be ripe and ready for every exhibition you’re faced with:

Step 1 – Sky banners for a mighty impression

For starters, room might be tight, but a sky banner can restore your demi-god events persona in an indoor floorplan. They fit on top of an Instant Shelter model, acting as a hanging emblem of your business, and will rear mightily tall a slew of similar exhibitions.

We suggest removing the four walls from your shelter, but leaving the roof on so the sky banner can work its magic. Its printed aesthetics are totally customisable, harnessing the latest UV printing technology.

Step 2 – Concise A1 poster boards

Next, consider what effect a poster board might have – they’re fantastic aids for surmising your message in a couple of high-res photos, with a few bullet points dotted below.

Since they’re easy to pack up and store, bring them out if you’re experiencing a slight fall in delegate numbers. They look firm and inviting when they’re right at your side, teasing people with facets of your brand that you’d be more than happy to discuss at length. Since they’re double-sided, you can place them on corners to maximise their visibility.

Step 3 – A Roller banner greeting


Delegates shouldn’t just stumble upon you out of nowhere. It’s much better to create a sense of excitement, of an encroaching genius quality that your exhibition is well-placed to talk about. Roller banners are the king of the soft sell, introducing people to your brand like a valet welcoming his guests.

If you manage to stand them up by a doorway or hall area, you’ll catch a lot of attendees milling through the building, getting your name out there before they’ve even caught a glimpse of your stand. Alternatively, two roller banners can form an entourage closer to home base, pointing at a 45° angle towards the centre of your table.

Step 4 – Printed table covers

Finally, the pièce de résistance should be right where your events team can take advantage of it. Your table design has to make a striking impact on whoever’s walking by. For any business, a simple, plain table cover won’t do – you want to seem like a dynamic professional, not a volunteer manning a bake sale.

Announce your brand right away with a printed cover, decked in bright yet tasteful graphics. Surf & Turf designs tailored covers in stretch polyester; just tell us what you’re thinking of, and we’ll apply your branding to the material, in pin-sharp detail.

For now, you’ll be able to get by with these visual brushstrokes on the portrait of your exhibition strategy. There are several more facets to take on board, though, and we’d be delighted to show you what they are. As your checklist grows, we’ll be there with you, urging your stand on to fantastic levels of interest. Call us today and pick our brains on the best indoor promotions, whenever you’re at a loss for the shape it could take…

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