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Aquila Shelters supplied & built the marquees to hold the 2010 Newcastle City Christmas Market. Providing 22 tensile structures for over 70 local traders at the base of the landmark Earl Grey Monument and Eldon Square shopping centre it was a striking festive occasion for the 80,000 visitors attending the event.
In the days before the event the region experienced some of the heaviest snowfall in years however by guaranteeing the snow loading capacity of their tensile structures MUTA accredited Aquila was able to assure the Council of their decision to not postpone the market. The Aquila structure has a design wind speed of 28 metres per second and a snow load of 30 kg per square metres so in the elevated location of Newcastle city centre these performance characteristics were essential.
In providing a modular based structure Aquila is able to create a back-to-back walk through outdoor market environment with the use of dividing walls to create separate trading areas within each marquee. Securing the structures with the use of concealed heavy ballast ensures there is no permanent impact without the need for drilling or surface removal. To ensure maximum visual impact Aquila is able to provide its full range of individual module sizes to adapt to trading stall needs whilst adapting to built environment, in this case subway entrances, monument steps, street furniture and lighting.
As experienced suppliers to the events industry Aquila understands the importance of the generating an excellent visitor experience and this year provided the council with a method of measuring it. In each structure visitors were asked to take part in a mobile technology based customer survey that collected and presented visitor results in real-time. The questions were used to measure the extent to which visitors enjoyed the event (100% satisfied), the choice of traders (92% satisfaction), whether the event was good for the City (100% satisfaction), whether the event lasted long enough (69% agreed) and the average number of visits made to the event (3 visits). The information was used to provide feedback to traders and council to improve future events.
In January 2011 Aquila launched their new website and is pleased to be featuring a video of the Newcastle event. Aquila hopes that new visitors to the website will enjoy watching their shelters in an outdoor event environment with testimonials from customers and traders. Aquila feels the event video provides an excellent advertisement for the City and hopes to work with the council and others to promote similar events in the future.
As an event & show organiser you need to ensure that safety, comfort, visuals and accessibility are guaranteed. Less controllable factors such as the weather and visitor experience will also have a big impact on the success of the event. Whether you're a large event organiser managing multiple event suppliers & vendors or a small group or individual planning a ‘pop-up´ or special occasion the countdown to your event requires experienced planning & decision making.
The events industry is awash with management companies, organisers, and shelter companies with different levels of experience however the Made-up & Performance Textiles Association (MUTA) only works with accredited members in the best practice for the safe use and operation of marquee and temporary structures. We recognise the duty that marquee contractors have to ensure that members of the public can have complete confidence in the safety of the products and services supplied.
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