James Anderson, commercial director Arena Structures, says the future looks bright, but challenging for temporary structures…

How much do costs come into the equation?

The market is highly competitive when focusing on structures in isolation. Where we differ is the ability to offer a broader range of products and services. Arena make money on our ancillaries, the fact we can bring so much more to the table than just temporary structures. Such as scaffolding, seating, furniture, interiors, tableware, refrigeration, crowd control. It’s a difficult business to make profit so we leverage our vertical integrated model which means added value along the chain of products and services – we aren’t so reliant on structures as other companies.  We will reap the rewards by offering a single supply source for a number of services, this is what our customers want.  Peace of mind that Arena have everything covered.  They are in safe hands.

Is Brexit going to impact you?

We think it will impact Arena. As many of the UK structure companies will find, we import and hire additional equipment and indeed labour from Europe. Therefore we may feel the impact of rise in import duties and tariffs and reduction in labour supply. We are lucky that The Arena Standard attracts people to our business, our investment in learning and development means we attract and retain high quality staff so we do not envisage this will be a concern.

What does the future of temporary structures look like ?

Trends are very much driven by architectural design.  Currently we are moving away from a more traditional A frame structure towards a more cuboid look and feel, trends evolve as the architectural design progress evolves. Arena recognise as well that the look of the structure is key, clients want a tent that doesn’t look like a tent, the focus on the interiors as a point of differentiation is paramount. Arena have an awesome Interior Design team working on behalf of our customers to ensure we are delivering live event environments that are beyond the ordinary.

Will you be launching any new products and services?

Over the last few months we have purchased a number of new companies adding value to our vertically integrated offering. Events solutions an events barrier and crowd control business, ice house which is a temporary refrigeration company and Bash Bars, a temporary bar solution for live events.  We believe that adding value to our supply chain by offering new products influences the customer decision making process. They want to work with companies who are easy to do business with and give them peace of mind that their business is being taken care of.  This is much more convenient with one partner supplying multiple offerings than a multitude of suppliers to deal with. This is a real USP for Arena.

What advice would you give to event organisers?

Plan early would be our advice, do not believe that a temporary structure is something to be purchased off the shelf last minute. Rather than sending a quote request and expecting an immediate turnaround we would advise that you allow time for the quote to be personalised and well thought through and ultimately delivered back in line with your needs and expectations.  Ball park figures don’t work in this industry, we pride ourselves on crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s and offering ground breaking innovative ideas and solutions. Allow the time for this.

Not all marquees are the same, they are bespoke. Not all consider structural capability and health and safety in the same we way do. It’s difficult to compare like for like on this basis, you cannot put a price on the Arena Standard, which delivers arguably the best people in the industry, our site teams are NEBOSH qualified as standard. Every job comes with a quality kitemark, detailed drawings are presented and all things are considered. A second hand ford Mondeo will do the same job as a new BMW but they are inherently different products, this also applies to the temporary structure market.