Events business survives through clever diversification

Tarren etsy_ladder[2]

When the legendary Cheltenham Literary Festival, which this year is running as an almost virtual event, announced that it was going online thanks to Covid-19, the news rocked more than a few of the festival’s regular suppliers. One of them was Gloucester event production company Tarren, but the company’s founder was quick to adapt his business.

Tarren Production Founder, Chris Tarren, said: “Our 2020 order book was full to brimming in January, with work confirmed for Cheltenham Literature Festival, Valley Fest and Superdry but by March, one by one, each client cancelled or postponed their events. So, as a company we looked at the skills and resources we had and decided to expand on our already successful event furniture hire business, Event Furniture by Tarren”

Tarren Picnic Table“We created prototypes of a new picnic bench design and also put into mass production our popular rustic Cotswolds outdoor furniture range, whilst creating a children’s outdoor play range with a sandbox and mud kitchen. All designed and handcrafted by our skilled team from our HQ in Bentham near Cheltenham.”

The business tapped into a new consumer audience using the power of it’s multiple social media platforms, alongside Facebook Marketplace and Etsy. The progress in late spring was steady and the workshop of two people was able to cope with the orders.

But by mid summer, demand was so high that everyone working in the company was contributing to the production effort. The standout product was first the picnic bench, with sales surging when the restrictions around hospitality venues eased and then later the rustic ladder, available in two sizes for both retail merchandising or home decoration.

For the winter months and the annual festive season, Tarren has already looked at ways to innovate further with new product lines planned for Christmas.

2020 may have seemed like a total right off but the business has been sustained by the efforts of the whole team, pivoting from it’s core work of high-end event creation and production across the UK and Europe, to furniture making and sales both in the UK and abroad… far a field in fact as Hong Kong.

While the events industry has been decimated by the covid restrictions still in place across the country, Tarren has joined hundreds of other events companies in championing the live events sector as part of the #WeMakeEvents global campaign.

It has also partnered, collaborated and skill shared in an effort to sustain as many suppliers and industry professionals for 2021 and beyond. The company says the fight isn’t over and while furniture design is feeding Tarren’s creative needs, every single member of the team is hoping and dreaming of next years live events and especially a much longed for summer of festivals!