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Everything you need to know about hiring from Allens

Below are answers to the questions we are most often asked. Think we’ve missed something important? Let us know and we’ll add it here.

  • Venue – Understand all the amenities (outhouses, sanitation facilities, pest control status, first aid), activities of your chosen venue and that it has the right capacity for the number of guests you are looking to invite and the type of event you want to stage.
  • Weather – Choose when you want to host your outdoor event. Whilst the UK weather is unpredictable all year round, there are certain times when rain or storms are far more likely. Have a contingency plan in case of inclement weather – are you going to need a marquee or pop up tents? And or Generators? Make sure you know what you need in order to keep your venue warm/cool, secure, and any equipment protected.  Consider the flooring you’ll need and whether you’ll want a dancefloor
  • Sound, lighting and technical equipment for the outdoors – Running things outside means that you need to think about where your power, sound and light is coming from – make sure you have an expert where electrics and wiring are involved.
  • Catering – The questions you need to ask yourself are: how are you going to cater to your guests? Will it be a BBQ, Buffet, Canapes or a formal sit down occasion (eg, afternoon tea or 3 course meal)? What cooking facilities are available or will you have to hire Kitchen Equipment.
  • Furniture Hire - Allens have a range of tables and chairs, lounge equipment or LED Bars and bar equipment ideal for inside a marquee, or Garden Furniture for events with or without cover.
  • Cutlery/China/Glassware/Linen Hire – Choose from our extensive range of glassware, china,cutlery and linen in a range of styles and colours to suit the theme of your event.
  • Incidentals– if your outdoor event that includes a marquee, then you may want to have a coat check area. So, don’t forget to hire a coat rail and hangers.
  • The Drinks Reception -This usually takes place immediately after the ceremony and typically lasts around an hour and a half while photographs are taken.  The classic choice of drink is usually champagne /champagne cocktail or a beer/soft drink.  Other classics would be a summer or a winter pimms/mulled wine for those frosty winter weddings.  Look through our extensive selection to find the right glassware for your chosen drink and wedding theme.  You might also want to check our selection of serving plates for canapes that are quite often served at this time.
  • The Wedding Breakfast– This is the classic 3 course celebratory meal enjoyed by the Bride and Groom and all their daytime guests normally served between 2pm and 5pm. For this you’ll need tables (most importantly – don’t forget the top table!), chairs, linen, china, cutlery and glassware, and possibly kitchen equipment
  • The Wedding Reception – this most commonly refers to the “party” element of the wedding day which kicks off at around 8pm when the Bride and Groom step onto the dancefloor for their first dance. The evening usually includes a bar , evening entertainment quite often a DJ or Band and a buffet.  If you are using a large single space for your wedding think about zoning areas. For example, trestle tables covered in beautiful linen in the buffet area, a lounge area with comfortable lounge furniture, and finally the dancefloor.

Types of event - Conferences and Seminars, trade shows, retreats/incentive programmes, Sporting Events, Appreciation events, Company Milestone Events, team building events, Product Launch events, board/strategy meetings/shareholder events, 

If you are holding a corporate event, big or small, you might need to hire the following:

  • Furniture – you may need several different types of furniture for a corporate event. For example, you may need chairs suitable for a theatre seating arrangement. The Samsonite foldaway chair is one of our best sellers for corporate events along with the Samsonite chair clip to hold rows of chairs together.  Of course formal dining tables and chairs could also be required, as well as lounge furniture for your guests to relax in during break out periods.  A popular item for trade shows are our LED bars which light up with different colour effects – great for attracting interest to a stall.
  • Tableware – What type of tableware you need depends on the type of food offering you are planning to have. For example, if you are having canapés you will want to hire canapé trays and possibly some tapas style crockery. If you are offering tea and coffee at your event then ensure you have plenty of teacups and coffee cans for your guests. See our China, Cutlery Glassware and Linen sections for our selection of tableware to suit the theme of your event

  • Incidentals – Ropes and Stantions, Coat Rails and hangers, Easels for table plans.


 Contact us to talk to our experienced staff about any items that may help you with your corporate events

  • Open a file – gather all your ideas into one place whether a physical place or online

  • Consider your budget – Research the typical costs eg, venue hire, catering and catering equipment hire, entertainment and of course drinks. The number of people you are expecting will be a key driver.  Once you’ve got rough estimates you can divide up your budget and look at what will be possible
  • Make a list of tasks - assign dates and responsibilities in order to keep on top of everything and ensure you’re organised for the day
  • Venue – look for a venue that will fit the number of invitees without leaving conspicuous space. Outdoor or indoor?  - Plan for every eventuality if you choose an outdoor location.  Make sure you have all the necessary permits or licenses.
  • Catering and equipment – knowing your budget will make this process simpler and your options clear. Will it be an all-day event that requires a sit-down meal, or an evening party that would benefit from some light refreshments, or something in-between?
  • Entertainment – Are you going to hire a DJ or musicians of some sort? Or another type of entertainment eg, a speaker or comedian. Often you may opt for 2 types of entertainment.  Ensuring that there are enough drinks will be half the battle.
  • Enjoy creating your event – creating a theme and making all of the above elements work together is key to staging a successful effect.

Once you know the answer to all of these questions you can then focus on the details regarding what you will need to hire to make your event a success. If you need some help and guidance on catering equipment hire don’t hesitate to contact us on 0843 289 5708 in London and 02380 652316 if you are organising an event on the South Coast.

You can enjoy many benefits as an Account Customer including: More specific delivery and collection timeslots, ability to amend orders up to three days in advance and special out of hours support.

Please contact us for an application form or contact our sales team on 01225 812059 to discuss if an account is right for you.

Yes. When you become an account customer with us, you can manage as many Accounts as required (For instance, if you manage multiple venues). Once you register online with your main account, please contact us to discuss linking your other accounts to one manageable online login.

The wishlist is a smart tool to keep tabs on items that you like. When you are logged in, view the item you are interested in and click the ‘Add to Wishlist’ button. You will notice a small heart icon appear underneath the quantity box, which tells you the item is currently in your wishlist. Your wishlist is located in your Account Dashboard. From the wishlist page you can add whichever items you want to hire to your basket as well as remove items you are no longer interested in from your wishlist.

Templates are very useful if you hire the same items for certain events. For instance, if you host a monthly dinner party using the same equipment, this tool is essential. Simply add your required items to your basket. Once you are happy with your selections, instead of checking out. Click on the ‘Add Items To Template’ button. You can either add these items to an existing template or create a new one. You will find your Templates in your Account Dashboard.

Most details can be updated online. When you are logged in click on your name at the top menu bar, and select ‘Account Details & preferences’. From here, you can update your name, number and company information. If you would like to change your email address, you will need to contact us to make this change. If you are an account customer, you will also need to contact us to update your billing address.

From your Account Dashboard you can see your three most recent orders, quotes and invoices. There is also a menu to access your: Account Details & Preferences, Order / Quote History, Order / Quote Amendments, Invoices, Templates and Wishlist.

From this page you can view all of your past and current quotes and orders in full. You can filter between pending quotes and orders, confirmed quotes, orders awaiting delivery, orders on hire and orders that are completed. From your order history, you can also submit amendments to contracts, providing they are within the lead time window.

Your invoice history contains detailed copies of all invoices issued to you. There are a number of different documents for you to view including: hire invoices, credit notes and loss/damage invoices. For your convenience, you can download your invoices in both pdf and excel formats.