Shipping Containers vs. Tents: What Makes the Best Event Space?


An increasingly important factor in the success of your branded events is the temporary “home” in which you choose to host them. Traditional pop-up event tents have been a go-to for years. But if you’re looking for an onsite execution that is easy to customize, transport, set-up, AND wows your customers – is a tent your best bet?

A few things to consider when looking at tents and containers include:


A tent is a tent; it can lack a flair and flexibility, and depending on the style of tent, it can create a claustrophobic feeling for your audience and event staff. If you’re new to shipping container event spaces you might think they would be cramped and confining, but those who have experienced event venues constructed from shipping containers know better. Our awning layout, which we designed with a gullwing structure (the awnings open and close from the roof, as you can see here), creates a feeling of openness. Your display is inviting from every angle. It is also possible to stack or configure various shipping containers to create multi-story experiences. There really is no limit to customization – or the impact that your event can have on your audience. Tents are always just tents. Containers can be anything.


While you don’t always know what you’re going to get with a tent in terms of quality, shippingcontainers are sturdy and are re-used from one project to the next, allowing clients to see exactly what they can expect at their own exhibit. Shipping containers are designed to withstand any type of weather and even rough ocean journeys; they can survive a music festival. Tents, on the other hand, can quickly start to show their age. And they don’t age gracefully.


Here’s event life with a tent: you set it up, you install and arrange everything inside, you take everything inside and pack it away, you tear down your tent, you warehouse your assets, then you pick them up and start over for your next event. Shipping containers are self-contained units that provide the event experience, storage, and security all in one package. Once the exhibit is set up, nightly tear down requires nothing other than putting all of the collateral inside and then using the container’s comprehensive locking system to keep all of it safe. And because containers are intermodal, transportation is simple.


What about cost? Consider the benefits listed above; each has a corresponding cost savings associated with it, whether this be fewer security requirements, reduced set-up crews, or less collateral needed to be added to the space to make it compelling. Additionally, because our containers were designed for shipping, it’s not a surprise that many of our clients choose to ship their accompanying collateral to the event in the containers themselves, saving on freight charges. When you start doing the math, not only are shipping containers the more exciting and unique option, but they also become a very cost-efficient experience.

Events marketing is vital for businesses. When you are facing an audience that has seen it all, done it all, tried it all, it is difficult to break through the noise and actually reach them. A customized, trendy, and inviting container event space helps you pull them inside for a closer look. And then keep them engaged.