A Weight Off Your Mind: Ways To Strengthen Your Shelter

Wherever you set up an outdoor shelter, it’s crucial to keep the surrounding conditions in mind. Howling winds, tumbling detritus, and even pushing punters can all exert pressure on any quality shelter, leading to damage, or, in the worst-case scenario, complete collapse.

Fortunately, you can take a weight off your mind before your next exhibition by investing in some superb support systems. Listed here are some of the very best products for strengthening your shelter in even the most difficult environments.

Keep things tied down

If you’re propping up your instant shelter on a hard standing surface (like a car park or tarmac), you won’t enjoy the same sort of grip as you’d get on a field or grassy bank. When a wind rolls in, anchoring your shelter to the floor is a much more difficult task – and this is where stackable weights can prove so useful. These 12kg accessories come in pairs, clipping comfortably onto instant shelters to offer invaluable resistance against increased pressure.

For a more economical solution, deluxe sand bags are similarly effective. These affordable tubes simply need to be filled with gravel and then attached to the shelter with accompanying straps, offering superb value for money.

A strong connection

Running a bigger-style exhibition stand with two (or more) shelters involves connecting them together – and you’ll need some sort of guarantee that the link between won’t falter in the face of trying conditions. In this scenario, double weights are the answer. These products are specially designed with cut-outs on either side, combining multiple shelters and solidifying the connection point between them.

Strap into position

It’s great to ensure things down at the base of your shelter are safe and secure, but what about the top end? There’s nothing more distracting than your roof and side walls fluttering whilst you’re trying to do business and talk to interested parties, after all. A heavy duty anchor kit can ensure this never has to happen, strapping safely around the shelter frame to offer maximum support from top to bottom.

Patch up like a pro

If a sharp object comes into contact with the fabric of your instant shelter, there’s always the risk that the material could be left with tear marks. By carrying a repair kit with you wherever you set up shop, you’ll be able to patch up your shelter with aplomb in a moment’s notice.

Every repair kit comes with adhesive patches, repair tapes, tube of flexible repair adhesive, and a pair of disposable gloves – allowing you to make quick fixes with ease.

Don’t let testing conditions prevent you from effectively running your exhibition stands and promotion campaigns. Stock up on shelter security accessories from Surf & Turf today and keep the business coming in. If you have any questions, give us a call on 01925 819608 for more information, or email info@surfturf.co.uk.

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Keep Cool And Carry On: Popular Shelter Solutions For Summer

Shelter is essential for all seasons when you’re manning an event stall. British weather is predictably unpredictable after all, and has a habit of showering us with rain in summer and beaming baking rays of sunshine upon us in autumn. The point is: you need to be prepared all year round when you’re showcasing your brand. And the best way to do that is with a superb shelter solution.

Listed here are some of the very best shelter options for every kind of event, helping you stay cool and dry during the oh-so-indecisive UK summer climate, whatever temperatures might come your way.

Instant shelters with integrity

An instant shelter does what it says on the tin – offering sanctuary from sunshine or rain in swift, simple fashion. The fact that instant shelters can be set up so quickly is a big plus point, allowing you to get ready right away to welcome consumers. But another great thing about instant shelters is that they come in such a diverse range of shapes and sizes – which means you can find the right design for your desires and brand look.

At Surf & Turf we have all kinds of pop-up gazebos and mini marquees for every occasion, ranging from high-end structures like the Regal Instant Shelter, to budget solutions like the Superlite Instant Shelter. Most designs come with waterproof and temperature controlling features, with the Canopro and Robusta models proving particularly popular for summer events.

Powerful parasols

Parasols fly off the shelves during the hotter months as organisations look to keep their stalls, stands, and welcome desks safe from the sun. All the parasols at Surf & Turf are versatile and strong, boasting water and UV resistant properties that render them perfect for various outdoor events in contrasting conditions (base plates are also available for soft and hard surfaces alike). Our printing and branding services allow you to create the perfect parasol and offer maximum exposure for your brand.

Eye-catching inflatables

If you’re looking for an offbeat shelter with a breezy summer vibe, it’s worth perusing the eye-catching range of inflatables for your event setup. From Expo Domes to Impact Cubes to Awnings, you’ll be able to find a design that fits your brand in just the right way, blurring the line between approachability and professionalism.

Inflatables are best-suited for dryer occasions, but can comfortably withstand any lengthy bouts of rainfall that might descend without warning. If you’re promoting your organisation at night-time, the GYBE Inflatable Star Tent is a great choice, with an additional light column feature letting you brighten your stall with glowing LEDs to help you stand out from the competition.

All these terrific shelters and more are available right here at Surf & Turf. Take a look around our website to find the solution that’s right for you and your brand, or get in touch with the team for some shelter shopping guidance.

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How To Create A Stunning Stall At Your Local Market

Local markets are dominating Britain’s high streets once more, and they certainly haven’t lost any of their charm. People still venture from far and wide to visit bazaars with reputations, and when the crowds come a-calling, it’s up to you to make your stall as engaging as possible.

Wondering how to increase footfall at your stall? Here are a few suggestions on how to jazz up your stand and turn hundreds of heads at the next local market.

Show ‘em what you got

“Never judge a book by its cover” is a well-known and oft-true expression, but it’s never at the forefront of market visitors’ minds. If a stall looks pretty, they’ll take an interest. If a stand is rough around the edges, they’ll shuffle on without a second thought.

Rightly or wrongly, the overall success of a market stall hinges on its appearance. By decking out the sides with feather flags, displaying your brand name with shop front banners, and showing off your selection of products on a propped-up poster board, you can tickle the interest of passers-by without even opening your mouth.

Stay popular – whatever the weather

Bad weather is often to blame for bad business at local markets. This is why it’s worth considering items that can protect your stall in the event of rainy skies and blustery winds.

Bespoke instant shelters are perfect for keeping your stall warm and dry, with custom-made designs allowing you to tailor the dimensions to your desires. You can actively steer water away from your tent by getting your hands on some rain gutters, which are designed to attach to the Velcro inside the pelmet of Surf & Turf instant shelters.

Keep the queues moving

Enticing people to your stall is the first tricky task, but the second is making sure they’re happy to stay there. A lengthy, disorganised queue can be enough to deter somebody with the patience of a saint, so if you’re managing to lure in a decent crowd, keep the queue organised by using café barriers.

It’s also worth strategically placing a few visual aids like inflatable light tubes or promotional flags either side of the queuing line, as this gives customers something to look at whilst they’re waiting to be served.

Positioning a couple of exhibition tables alongside your stall can also ease congestion, especially if you’re serving food and drink. These tables can be used to stow cutlery, sauces, napkins, and condiments, which prevents customers from having to reach into your stall to grab what they need.

Turning your market stall into a work of art is simple and affordable with Surf & Turf. To revamp your presence, browse our website, or get in touch with the team today. Together, we can help you build the kind of market stand that people will remember.

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Why Charities Absolutely Need The Best Events Kit

“Love is all we need,” a famous Liverpudlian once sang, but he was only halfway to the truth. Charity work, being a genuine, altruistic force, can get by on goodwill up to a point. Yet when you’re rubbing shoulders with other stands at a big event, people won’t just flock to your great intentions…

In reality, you’re under the exact same pressure as a for-profit business, forced to make a visual statement for your charity’s appeal. Nothing quite lands the same punch as creative events gear – let’s show you why it’s necessary, and what you should invest in.

Showing what you stand for

You don’t have to be modest when you have a lot to say about certain issues. Sitting next to commercial stands should push your competitive streak. Buy an Instant Shelter, first of all, with a bespoke print on the sides and canopy to announce yourself. Our models are light enough to be deployed anywhere in minutes: perfect for a pop-up community event!

The graphics should present your logo, at the very least, and a motto that drives home the scope of your activities. Invest in a Sky Banner for maximum impact; this is where that tagline or motto can come into its own, rearing above the mass of identikit event stalls.

Taking time-out with your prospects

Stopping passers-by for a chat is infinitely easier if you have an inviting set-up that will encourage people to pause their day for a conversation. This can be achieved with an Impact Cube, which inflates to a boxy, PVC-based charity hub, should you wish it to.

Whenever anyone steps inside, it’ll feel like you and they are in close communion, ideal for convincing an attendee that what you’re doing is worth their time. Fix a run of LED Lighting inside to heighten the mood: your shelter will be especially vibrant when the sun goes down.

Making your sporting displays fun and practical

A lot of non-for-profit organisations engage with their audience through games, challenges and team sports. If this relates to you – and we heartily recommend it, by the way – then it’s worth purchasing some specialised events equipment, like an ad hoc section of Sports Flooring to keep everyone’s shoes dry and fleet-footed.

For running or cycling competitions, set an Inflatable Arch at either end of your race track. The flanks of the route can be laid with PVC Banners that repeat your message to the crowd, so no-one’s in any doubt of why this event is happening, and what the stakes are.

In a sense, you have a leg-up over your corporate competitors – all of your motives are purely selfless! As long as you can exude this quality, and sharpen the eye-grabbing nature of your charity stand, then those donations are yours for the taking… Contact Surf & Turf to learn about our work with charities across the UK, and how your next fundraiser might look.

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Is Your Roller Banner Being Ignored?

In the grand scheme of an event plan, roller banners are ‘up there’ with your best tools, supporting your stand with a voice of their own. Practically any venture can manipulate them for a sleek, concise brand message. That means roller banner design must be easy, right?

Actually, it’s a fine and unique art, which can be useless if approached the wrong way. You may suspect that your roller banners have lost their spark, or never really had it in the first place. To find out, read our decisive traits of a roller banner that isn’t working…

The text is tough to read

The whole point of these banners is to utilise their height, placement and immediacy. That last factor can be pinned partly on the colours you use – in a specific sense, the interrelation of words and their background.

A pale script, for instance, is going to fade into a backing that’s equally washed-out. Yellow lettering on white is the exact counter to a strong, arresting colour scheme. Aside from the fact that people won’t register your banner from a distance, they also aren’t entirely sure what those words are up close.

Your logo is relegated to the bottom

As any business owner can attest, logos are so, so crucial for grabbing a delegate and telling them what we’re all about. We throw plenty of sweat and tears at a logo design that really makes us satisfied… So, then, what’s the purpose in hiding it at the foot of your roller banner?

Remember: this sort of marketing material will be viewed at eye-level, eventually, when a person draws closer to it. By placing a logo at the bottom, you’ll bypass anyone who’s wandering by – those who (unfortunately) don’t have a clue what banner they’re looking at.

The contact details are tiny

Whatever event you’re prepping for, it’s safe to assume that you won’t speak to everyone. There’ll be tight, eager crowds pouring through the exhibition space, only stopping once every three or four stands. A bad roller banner assumes that conversation is the only method of gaining new business.

What do we mean by this exactly? Well, your business (we hope!) has a website or social media. Don’t be shy to grant them a premier spot on your banner; anyone who’s interested in you, but short of time, will note down your details for future contact.

It doesn’t put the customer first

Again, we’d like to go back to that word ‘immediacy’. Considering your textual messages – which, it must be said, don’t have the privilege of being convoluted – it’s vital to plant a seed of great rhetoric in them.

Poor roller banners don’t recognise our hunger to be spoken to, as an individual, out of the masses of an event crowd. This isn’t the time to promote ‘our’ benefits, the story of ‘my’ company. No, it should be swirling around imagined questions from the consumer, or a behaviour they’d like to emulate. If you do it well, your benefits will shine gracefully through on their own.

That about wraps it up for now – just like your roller banner, we daresay, after a long and productive showcase! Don’t forget to browse the Surf & Turf website for gorgeous, tailored banner prints, which are only a phone call away. With an eye for their attributes, you won’t put a foot wrong on the path to a great event…

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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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