what size marquee
do i need to hire?

Find and hire the perfect marquee for your event

A guide to help you find and hire the right size marquee

When it comes to planning any successful outdoor event, you need to be confident that you are choosing a marquee with the appropriate capacity. Our wide range of marquees provide venues, for events large and small. From luxury weddings, high-end hospitality and corporate gatherings through to major festivals, trade shows and exhibitions.  So, what size marquee do you need…

Number of guests

To ensure the comfort and safety of your guests, it’s essential to hire a marquee with the right capacity. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key factors to consider to help you find and hire the correct marquee. 

The first consideration is the number of guests that will be attending. Before you start investigating marquee options, create a guest list. Include the confirmed attendees and an estimate of potential additional guests. This will help you avoid choosing a marquee that’s the wrong size.  Trade shows and exhibitions can be trickier to plan for as guest numbers will fluctuate during the day. You can monitor the overall number of people to ensure the safe venue capacity is not exceeded with a hand counter. Remember that your staff count towards capacity figures.

Hiring the right size marquee

Selecting the right marquee capacity involves careful planning. We will work with you to create a space that suits all your requirements.

To help you hire the right size marquee, this marquee capacity reference table will give you a good indication of the marquee size you need.  Please note that this is only a helpful guide and not a formal calculation.

If you are looking to hire a marquee that requires seating, for example, in rows of chairs, “theatre style” at a corporate event or round tables at a luxury wedding, these further calculations will guide you: 

  • For chairs (theatre): no. people x 0.7 m² = space required in m².
  • For trestle tables: no. people x 0.8 m² = space required in m².
  • For round tables: no. people x 1.2 m² = space required in m².
These are for reference purposes, each event will require a bespoke calculation which is included within our marquee hire quotation. As an example, to hire the correct marquee size, if you need space for 150 people standing, you need a marquee that is at least 112.5m² in size (150 people x 0.75 m² = 112.5m m²). 


Remember, extra space can be added by linking marquees together.  If you want to maximise internal floor space, consider hiring a smaller, stand-alone marquee for back-of-house catering or a conical marquee that can be used as a reception area and linking it to the primary marquee structure.  The images above are a simple layout, we can provide custom designs that are tailored to your space or event.  

Design and layout

The layout and design of the marquee can also affect its capacity. Different types of events require different space arrangements. A sit-down corporate dinner or hospitality event, for example, requires more space per person compared to a stand-up drinks reception or party. Consider the nature of your event and whether you need space for tables, chairs, a dance floor, a stage, a bar, or other features. Remember, each activity will impact the required marquee size. 

If you choose a clearspan marquee over a traditional marquee, you will benefit from additional space as a clearspan marquee has no internal structural elements like support poles or central columns that can limit the usable space.   Furniture, including chairs and tables take up more room than you think.  Round tables are only advised in marquees wider than 6m otherwise it is difficult for guests to walk past them. 

If you are including a buffet, food stations, or a bar, you’ll need to allocate additional space for circulation in and around these areas. Ensure that there’s enough room for guests to comfortably access and linger in these areas. 

How much space will I need around my marquee?

Our team are installation experts and have built marquees in the most challenging of places. We can install marquees on most ground surfaces and even accommodate slopes and banks into the design. Generally, you need around 1m to 2m surrounding the perimeter of your marquee to allow for installation, removal and access.

Weather considerations

While marquees provide shelter, you should consider the possibility of extreme weather conditions. If your event is during the hot summer months, you might need to allocate more space to accommodate cooling systems or air circulation.  Similarly, in colder months, you might need space for heaters. Again, we can help you with maximizing the available floor space. 

Safety regulations

All our marquees have maximum capacities.  Your dedicated Project Manager will be able to guide you through these to ensure you choose the correct marquee. Compliance with safety regulations is paramount. Our experienced team can also talk you through the emergency exit requirements and overall occupancy limits.   Further information on your duties and responsibilities as an event organiser can be found on the Government HSE event safety website.

About Field and Lawn

Field and Lawn are a national, Carbon Neutral marquee supplier with over 35 years’ experience in delivering exceptional marquees for a range of events. We can provide a marquee for any occasion and offer both long and short-term marquee hire. We have a range of resources to help you create the perfect event.  You might also be interested in the following articles:

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