Generators play an essential role in many marquee events. As vital as lighting, heaters and portable toilets, these electricity hubs work to ensure you can entertain your guests easily. Choosing the right generator can be a tricky decision – especially if this is the first time you’ve planned such an event. To help with this, our team at South West Marquees have created the Generator Tool – an online form that calculates the total power consumption required and a correlating price for the best power set-up. However, you may be wondering whether you actually require a generator at all? Let’s take a look at the types of events that this applies to.

Generators for Every Event

You will need a generator for any event that does not have access to mains electricity. Generators are also needed when the amount of electricity required exceeds that available from a fixed building outlet. They provide the power needed to run:

  • Marquee Lighting.
  • Marquee Heating.
  • Toilets.
  • Catering Equipment.
  • Sound Equipment.
  • Additional Presentation Equipment.

If you don’t have enough or consistent electricity, your event will encounter disruptions. The music won’t play when it’s needed. Presenters won’t be able to use microphones or sound equipment. Lighting may not work, making an area unsafe. Continual electricity is a non-negotiable when it comes to hosting an event.

Pros and Cons of a Generator

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why generators are favoured or avoided to help you decide on the right option for you.


  • Portable – Generators are entirely mobile power sources. They can be used in any location, no matter how remote.
  • Range of Options – At South West Marquees, we have generators from 25Kva through to 70Kva. We also have access to larger-than-standard fuel tanks and extended fuel cells. This means you have access to the right generator to fit your event – no matter how large.
  • Not Reliable On-Grid Power – You aren’t at the whim of existing access points when it comes to both location and marquee layout.
  • No Need for Extension Leads – Reduces the risk of tripping or other related hazards. This also keeps your event area tidy and allows your theme to take centre stage.


  • Noisy – Traditionally generators produce a considerable amount of noise that can interrupt an event. However modern units, like the ones we have, are super silent. We also ensure they are placed at a distance from the marquee to ensure they don’t hinder the atmosphere you worked hard to create.
  • Environmental Impact – Most generators run on diesel engines which can be damaging to the environment when used in excess. Looking to the future, South West Marquees are driven to moving into hybrid generators which have a considerably smaller carbon footprint.

What Type of Events Needs a Generator?

So, do you really need a generator? Let’s take a look at some of the events we’ve worked on in the past and the reasons why a generator was the ideal choice.


When you choose to host a marquee wedding, you choose freedom. You have the option to choose the most beautiful locations and surroundings, taking advantage of the fact you’re not restricted to a fixed building. In order to celebrate in the most remote locations, generators are vital. You need them to make sure that every moment, from the first dance through to the wedding breakfast, runs as smoothly as possible.

Corporate Hospitality Events

When you’re passing on a specific message to your employees or thanking your teams for everything they’ve done, you need ample electricity. Think presentations, light shows and speakers – all of these things require constant power to reduce disruptions. Maintaining constant attention is one of the best ways to ensure communication is absorbed by a group. So, you’ll want to ensure that the microphones are working smoothly, speakers can amplify your voice and the catering staff have fully-working equipment to keep everyone refreshed.


Music, music, music – arguably the most important part of any festival. In order to power these long-running, remote and high-electricity events, generators are essential. Larger-than-standard fuel tanks and extended fuel cells are designed for this exact type of event. Those that need to run longer than normal – perhaps into the night or for numerous days.

Sporting Events

In sporting events, you need to make sure everyone can appreciate the players in action. Think large screens, commentators and even digital leaders boards. All of these things require adequate power – otherwise, the overall experience is hindered. You also need to make sure the catering staff have access to equipment including fridges, freezers, cookers and more to keep everyone refreshed throughout.


And finally, parties. For any celebration, a constant electricity supply means your guests will be able to appreciate every minute of your event.

How to Choose the Right Sized Generator?

So, you’ve established that you need the additional power that a generator can supply. But how do you go about choosing the right one for your needs? The main considerations are:

  • Generator size.
  • Event running time.
  • No. of appliances that need to run.

We have developed our South West Marquee Generator Tool to help decipher the right power solution for you. It takes into account the number of appliances you need to be powered and their total power requirements in KW. This information tells us the maximum amount of electricity that is likely to be required and whether this is consistent – do you need these devices to run continually?

Additionally, we consider running time to calculate the right amount of fuel for your generator. Longer events will require larger fuel tanks and/or extended fuel cells to ensure you don’t run out of juice. Not only will this cause disruptions, but allowing a generator to run dry can cause significant damage. Each generator is best suited to a specific average running time. For example, a 25Kva generator has an average run time of 12 hours while a 70Kva with an extended tank generator can run for approximately 50 hours.

Visit the link here to access our Generator Tool. If you need any further help in finding the right generator for your event, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.