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Italian job for East Bergholt-based Events Under Canvas

PUBLISHED: 10:57 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:04 20 September 2017

Members of the Events Under Canvas team loading the container with the tipi and bell tents destined for a corporate event at the foot of Mount Etna.
Picture: Events Under Canvas

Members of the Events Under Canvas team loading the container with the tipi and bell tents destined for a corporate event at the foot of Mount Etna. Picture: Events Under Canvas

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Suffolk tent hire company Events Under Canvas has received one of is most unusual commissions − to set up camp for a corporate event at the foot of a volcano.

A tipi similar to the one being shipped by Events Under Canvas to Sicily for a corporate event at the foot of Mount Etna.
Picture: Events Under CanvasA tipi similar to the one being shipped by Events Under Canvas to Sicily for a corporate event at the foot of Mount Etna. Picture: Events Under Canvas

The East Bergholt firm, which won the One to Watch accolade at this year’s East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards, has been asked by a French consulting firm to ship and erect one of its giant tipis and 14 bell tents to the Italian island of Sicily, close to Mount Etna.

The kit has been packed into a container which is being shipped from the Port of Felixstowe to arrive in Sicily on October 6. It will then be taken to the campsite by truck, with five members of the Events Under Canvas team flying to the island to meet it.

“Once set up, the tipi will play host to an elaborate Sicilian barbecue and the 14 bell tents will be decked out for a night of all-out glamping for over 50 guests,” said a company spokeswomen.

“The following day the process begins in reverse. The crew will dismantle everything and reload the container for its return journey back to East Bergholt, where it is set to arrive around the November 12 – almost two months after it left. It’s certainly not an every day request.”

The One to Watch category of the 2017 EADT Business Awards sought to identify a business with outstanding potential for future growth, with the judges looking for drive, impact and vision.

Events Under Canvas was launched in 2013 by Jenna Ackerley after attending the wedding of a cousin who had hired a giant tipi for the reception, but had to use a contractor from the other side of London because no hire company the region was then offering them.

The business now has a stock of 14 tipis, 23 bell tents and a sailcloth tent for weddings, parties and festivals. It has taken bookings for around 180 events year – most of them now completed – which represents an increase of 30 compared with 2016.

Other than the first tents, its growth has been achieved through investing profits rather using external finance.

Turnover this year is expected to reach £650,000, with the company targeting annual revenue of £1m by 2020.

Before launching Events Under Canvas Jenna was a manager at Ipswich Hospital but she also previously ran a business in Europe recruiting seasonal holiday reps and nannies.

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