Tent Sizes And Capacity. Guide For Buying Tents

Before buying, you should be aware of the different tent sizes and capacity. Tents have sizes that vary from 75-guest, 100-guest, and 150-guest capacity. You can also plan tables and chairs for a 12 x 12 ft tent and a 20 x 20 ft tent for your event. 

The tent sizes and capacity are also influenced by the kind of tent that you choose. This is why it’s important that you’re familiar with the types of tents to make sure that you’re getting the correct one. Each tent varies in size and capacity, and knowing their differences will help you decide what to buy.

Tent Sizes And Capacity. Guide For Buying Tents

Types Of Tents

The different types of tents are clearspan tents, frame tents, pole tents, canopy tents, sailcloth tents, and concession tents. The one with the largest size and capacity are the clearspan tents, while the concession tents are the smallest. However, you should also consider each characteristic of the tent to make the most of its size and capacity.  

Clearspan tents

Among the various kinds of tents, clearspan tents are the largest in size and capacity. Therefore, it’s common to use a clearspan tent for commercial use. If you need a tent that can provide a wide, unobstructed space, a clearspan tent has the capacity for it.

A clearspan tent is also called a structured tent. The reason behind this is because it is very sturdy and you can use it for a long duration. What makes a clearspan tent stable and low-maintenance is because it uses an aluminum frame and a tension sidewall system. 

This type of tent has no center pole and stake lines, but it can resist winds and other wear and tear from various weather conditions. Think of clearspan tents as the larger and more heavy-duty version of frame tents. You also don’t have to worry about its walls collapsing in an outdoor setting. 

A clearspan tent is perfect for you if you are doing a large-scale event with a lot of guests. Its size has the capacity to accommodate a lot of people, and it’s sturdy enough for long-term use. Because it has no tent pole, you’ll get a large and open space for various equipment as well. 

Frame tents

Another type of tent with a large size and capacity is the frame tent. It’s not as big as a clearspan tent, but it can still hold a very large group of guests. A-frame tent is what you have probably seen in a public event or gathering. 

Frame tents use aluminum to make its construction solid for large-capacity usage. However, it’s also typical to secure it with weights or stakes as reinforcement. And depending on your intended use, you can choose from cross cable frame tents and marquee frame tents. 

Cross cable frame tents

Cross cable frame tents have no center poles but have high peaks to withstand wind. You can also join them together to customize the tent capacity and size by arranging them into T-shape and L-shape orientation. At the same time, you can install across cable frame tent on surfaces such as decks, patios, pavement, and concrete because they don’t require staking onto grass or dirt. 

Marquee frame tents

Another type of frame tent is the marquee frame tent. It has gable ends, which makes it the common choice for covering building entrances and extensions. You can also extend it, so it’s typical to use it for walkways and footpaths. 

Overall, frame tents offer the same unobstructed space similar to a clearspan tent. This open space and large capacity inside makes them ideal for events where a lot of paraphernalia and heavy flow of crowd is inside. 

Pole tents

Pole tents are so-called because they use poles for additional support. This characteristic is somehow their drawback because the center poles, in particular, affect the space inside the tent. However, pole tents are still quite spacious and you can use them for various events. 

You can consider pole tents as the evolution of traditional event tents. Their design is breathable and airy, which also adds to their overall functionality and aesthetic. You can also appreciate their tall peaks, sidewall options, or use their pole skirts for adding decorations. 

Pole tents are sturdy enough and can withstand gusts outside. The center poles help for stability, although this very feature obstructs the line of sight in some points inside the tent. Unlike frame tents where you can install them on any surface, the staking in pole tents limits you to where you can have them. 

Sailcloth tents

Sailcloth tents are tents that also range from small sizes to large sizes. They can also have a large capacity that they are typically used in events like weddings. But at the same time, sailcloth tents have the most aesthetically pleasing design out of all the event tents. 

What makes sailcloth tents popular for weddings is because they look like the more elegant version of pole tents. They also have tall peaks, and their light and airy design add to their overall graceful look. From the name sailcloth itself, these tents are reminiscent of sails that wave.

Sailcloth tents do not only look airy and elegant. Their design also allows natural light to enter, while in the evening, they will glow. However, these tents are still constructed in such a way that they can protect you from rain and the elements. 

Canopy tents

Canopy tents are smaller versions of your frame tents. Because of their size, they are easy to collapse and carry around for various uses. Still, a canopy tent can provide you protection from the elements outside such as rain. 

Canopy tents are small in their size, which makes them lightweight and perfect for do-it-yourself installation. You don’t need help in setting them up or removing them since the process is quick and simple. However, their small size also means small capacity, so they can’t cater for crowded events. 

You usually see a canopy tent in flea markets and carnivals as tents with a basic design and flat-style roof without a high peak. And while canopy tents can protect you from light rain and sunlight, they can’t accommodate sidewalls for outdoor usage in case of heavy rain and wind. 

Concession tents

The smallest tent in terms of size and capacity is the concession tent. From the name itself, this tent is what you typically see in concession stands or in booths at educational and trade fairs. What’s great with concession tents is that you can customize them for your brand, and they are small enough for portability. 

Tent Sizes 

The tent sizes in the market vary from those for 75 guests, 100 guests, and 150 guests. These sizes give you an immediate idea of what tent should you get to accommodate your crowd with confidence. However, you should also be familiar with two other factors that will dictate what tent size you need alongside the expected number of guests. 

How to choose the right tent size?

For you to choose the right tent size, you should consider the expected number of guests, type of event, and floor space. All these three factors affect the size of your tent, and taking them into account will ensure that your tent can facilitate your needs without any drawbacks.

Your expected number of guests will give you the initial tent size to consider. Ask yourself, “does it have the capacity to accommodate all these people?” And then, you can check on the type of event to create a floor plan for the activities and equipment that will also be in the tent. 

Expected number of guests

Your expected number of guests is probably the most significant factor to take into consideration when choosing a tent size. If you’re planning on having less than 50 guests, then you don’t need to get something as big as a clearspan tent. You can opt for the sizes offered by pole tents or frame tents if the event won’t have a heavy and busy crowd inside. 

When calculating the expected number of guests, you should also consider their roles in the event. For example, if the event is a party, you can assume that there will be people walking around and serving. Therefore, the tent should provide adequate space both for the people who serve and attend. 

Type of event

The next factor that will affect your tent size is the type of event that you’ll conduct. Even if you achieve the right capacity for your number of guests, the event will still modify the tent size. This means that a tent size for 100 guests at a wedding will not be the same for 100 guests who are just attending a seminar. 

The type of event will modify your tent size because different events may have some activities that require more space. For example, you can allocate eight sq. ft. per person for a buffet, but three sq. ft. per person is enough in cocktail parties. The former requires a bigger tent compared to the latter because people use standing tables and not move around as much in cocktail parties. 

Floor space

After noting the expected number of guests and the type of event that you’ll do, you can plan for the floor space or layout next—having a layout planned beforehand will allow you to gauge the correct tent size to get. The floor space is somewhat related to the type of event, but it’s a more detailed look to the tent’s interior. 

The type of event may require space for various paraphernalia and activities. Therefore, the tent size may also adjust if you need space for catering, buffet, bands, dance floor, stage, or equipment. To make it easier, communicate with your organizer to know how much floor space these additions require. 

For example, a rectangular table will require ten sq. ft. per person, but a round table will require at least 12 sq. ft. You will also need additional space if the event has a table-side service to give the servers space. If you’re doing an auditorium-style seating for an affair with a focal point, you should also allocate an area of up to 6 sq. ft. per chair. 

Overall, careful planning will make it easier to get the perfect tent size. Communicate with the organizer about the sizes required of various items and activities. Once you have the numbers, compute how much area you’ll need to add as the floor space. 

Tent sizes for 75 guests

The tent sizes for 75 guests will vary depending on the arrangements you require for the event. You have to consider if you’re using a cocktail table, round table, banquet table, or an auditorium style seating to get the perfect tent size. If you are planning on having 75 guests, the sizes offered by either a clearspan tent or a frame tent should work. 

75 guests using cocktail tables

Using cocktail tables for 75 guests will require you to use a 20 x 20 ft tent. What’s the reason behind this tent size?

Since a standup cocktail table can accommodate four people, you can compute how many tables you’ll need for 75 guests. A 10 x 20 ft tent can have 16 cocktail tables. However, this tent size will still be small because 16 cocktail tables will only be enough for 64 people. 

You can get a 20 x 20 ft. tent because this size is enough for 30 cocktail tables or 120 people. And since you only have 75 guests, this tent will be comfortable for them. You can take out some cocktail tables and allocate the remaining space for other paraphernalia. 

75 guests using round tables

If you’re using round tables for 75 guests, the tent size you’ll need is also 20 x 20 ft. It’s similar to the size of 75 guests using cocktail tables, but you’re also considering other things.

Sometimes, the function would require a round table. If that’s the case, then the round tables will also dictate your tent size for 75 guests. Consider that a standard 5-foot round table can seat 8 people. 

You can use this as a guide to know how many round tables you’ll need for 75 guests. For example, a 10 x 20 tent will be too small for round tables. Opt for a 20 x 20 tent, which can accommodate 32 round tables.

You might be thinking that this size is too big, considering 32 round tables means seating 256 people. However, remember that you are also putting some allowance, and you are just doing a rough estimate for 75 guests. 

75 guests using banquet tables

If your setting requires banquet tables, you will need a 20 x 20 tent. It’s similar to the size you’ll need for using round tables because a standard 8-foot banquet table can have eight people. Yes, 20 x 20 might seem too big for 75 guests, but you’re also considering the space for banquet tables and other activities that will take place. 

75 guests using an auditorium style seating

A 20 x 20 tent, on the other hand, will be too small for 75 guests in a ceremony or auditorium style arrangement. The best tent size for 75 guests in an auditorium style seating is 20 x 30 ft. This is bigger than the previous size if you’re using cocktail tables, round tables, and banquet tables. 

The difference with this arrangement is that a 20 x 20 ft tent can only accommodate 60 guests in a ceremony seating. You have to choose the next tent size of 20 x 30 ft that can comfortably house 90 guests. The allowance you left in the space will be useful for the stage and equipment, so it’s okay to compute for 90 guests. 

Tent sizes for 100 guests

If you’re having 100 guests, it’s safe to assume that you’ll need the sizes offered in clearspan and frame tents. You can consider a tent with the sizes of 20 x 50 ft, 30 x 40 ft, or 40 x 40 ft. These sizes vary because you are also adding the space required depending on the type of event that you’ll do.

20 x 50 ft tent for 100 guests

A 20 x 50 ft tent can accommodate 100 guests if you’re only seating them. This means that you’re not allocating space for having a buffet and bar, a dance floor, or an area for a DJ booth. 

30 x 40 ft tent for 100 guests

If your event has a buffet and bar, then you should choose a 30 x 40 ft tent. An area of 1,200 sq. ft. is enough for 100 guests, but it also has space for a buffet and bar. 

40 x 40 ft tent for 100 guests

An area of 1,600 sq. ft. would be able to accommodate 100 guests if you’re also considering having a dance floor and DJ booth. This size can give you a dance floor measuring 16 x 15 ft. 

100 guests in different style seatings

Overall, these tent sizes give you an idea of what you should get to accommodate 100 guests comfortably. However, make sure that you’re still considering the seating style in the event because this affects the size of the tent you’ll need. 

An area of 700 sq. ft. will be advisable for 100 guests in theater-style seating. But if you’re making a conference-style arrangement, then you should add 100 sq. ft. for a total of 800 sq. ft. This is the space offered by a 20 x 40 ft tent. 

For a formal dinner setting with 100 guests, a tent of 30 x 40 ft would be great. On the other hand, a 20 x 50 ft tent would be enough for a casual event setting.  

But what if you want a cocktail event setting? A 20 x 40 ft tent makes a great size for this arrangement. 

Tent sizes for 150 guests

If you’re having a large number of guests composed of at least 150 people, it’s ideal for getting a 20 x 50 ft tent. However, this tent size is only appropriate if you’ll have your guests in a ceremony style seating arrangement. Like with the previous tent sizes for 75 and 100 guests, the type of event and other paraphernalia inside will affect the tent’s size for your 150 guests. 

If you’ll have your 150 guests seated in their tables, an area of 1500 sq. ft. would be enough. However, if you’re adding a buffet line, then you should allocate 100 sq. ft. in addition to the space needed by 150 guests. Having a bar or space for a DJ would also mean adding 100 sq. ft. each to your intended space in the tent. 

150 guests in different style seatings

A-frame tent measuring 20 x 40 ft and 30 x 30 ft are both suitable for 150 guests in a standing cocktail setting. You are choosing which of the two will depend on the other activities and equipment that you’ll have in the event. 

For a buffet dinner set, a 30 x 40 ft frame tent can house 150 guests. This size also includes the space you’ll allocate for the other activities and amenities in a buffet dinner. On the other hand, you can get a 40 x 50 ft tent for a seated dinner arrangement because this tent size can comfortably house 166 guests.

What tent size should you get?

Regardless if you’re getting a tent for 75 guests, 100 guests, or 150 guests, one thing is common on how you will find the proper tent size. The type of event and the activities and paraphernalia you’ll have inside the tent will also significantly affect your tent size. Choosing from the various tent sizes and capacity can be overwhelming, but remembering these factors will surely land you the perfect tent. 

Tent Capacity

Knowing the tent size will give you a gist on its capacity. However, you should have a clear plan on what the area would look like to make sure your tent will accommodate your event without any pitfall. What dictates the tent sizes and capacity is the number you’ll get with the number of guests and their activities and arrangements for the event.

For example, consider using the expected number of guests as your base. This will be the number that you’ll multiply with the areas or paraphernalia for your activity. The product you’ll get after this multiplication will help you find the tent size and the capacity that it can do. 

If your guests are standing in a standing cocktail setting, multiply your expected number of guests by six sq. ft. If they will be seated with tables, use 15 sq. ft. On the contrary, the guests multiplied by 8 sq. ft. will give you the area that you’ll need if the guests will only be seating in chairs. 

After you get the area, make sure to allocate 100 sq. ft. of space for other things such as a bar or a DJ booth. But what will be the exact arrangement of tables in a 12 x 12 ft tent and a 20 x20 ft tent? Having the sketches of the tables and chairs arrangement will show you the capacity of these two tent sizes exactly. 

Sketches and arrangements of tables and chairs for a 12 x 12 ft tent

If you’re using a 12 x 12 ft tent, you can do a cathedral seating arrangement or a sit-down dinner setting. A cathedral seating arrangement in a 12 x 12 ft tent can accommodate 24 guests. The sketch below is a basic cathedral seating for 24 guests in a 12 x 12 ft tent. 


Cathedral seating for 12 x 12 ft tent

As you can see, you can have four rows of 6 seats in a 12 x 12 ft tent. This space is comfortable for all guests, but you still have some area left for other inclusions. You can make other arrangements using this sketch as a guide as well. 

For example, you can modify this cathedral seating arrangement into two rows. This means that you’ll divide 24 guests in half, so 12 guests are on each side. Each row will have three seats, which results in 4 rows per side. 

But what if you want to use a 12 x 12 ft tent for a sit-down dinner arrangement?  A sit-down dinner arrangement in a 12 x 12 ft tent can accommodate 14 guests only. The guest list is fewer than a cathedral seating arrangement because you’ll be allocating space for a table. 

Sit-down seating arrangement for 12 x 12 ft tent

You have the option of using a single rectangular table. This way, each side will have seven guests. However, you can also modify this arrangement to give more space to the guests. 

Instead of having all seven guests per side, place a chair on each end of the table. This will give you six guests per side and one guest at each end of the table. You may also have two tables in a 12 x 12 ft tent, as long as you have no activity or equipment that will need some space in the event. 

Sketches and arrangements of tables and chairs for a 20 x 20 ft tent

If you’re using a 20 x 20 ft, you will have a bigger capacity for the tables and chairs. You can arrange your guests in a seated position, whether you’re using rectangular tables or circular tables. The number of your guests can vary from 32, 48, 52, and 54 people. 

If you use rectangular tables, the 20 x 20 ft tent can accommodate 48 to 54 guests. On the other hand, you can use four circular tables to house a total of 32 guests. You can use the sketches below for a 20 x 20 ft tent and then modify them accordingly:

Seated arrangement for 48 guests using rectangular tables in a 20 x 20 ft tent

You can arrange two rows of 3 tables that measure 6 ft each. Each table will seat eight guests for a total of 48 guests in the 20 x 20 ft tent. 

You can then use this sketch as a guide and rearrange the chairs and tables to your liking. You can even use 8-foot tables where the three seats ten guests and two seats 18 guests. 

If you have 52 guests, you can arrange the 6-foot tables in the 20 x 20 ft tent in another way. Connect three tables on each side to seat 18 guests per side. And then, use the middle area to put two tables with eight guests each. 

You can also use 8-foot tables to accommodate two more guests for a total of 54 people. Connect two tables that seat nine guests each to get 18 guests per row. Do this thrice, and the 20 x 20 ft tent can seat 54 people.  

Seated arrangement for 32 guests using circular tables in a 20 x 20 ft tent

If you have fewer guests, a 20 x 20 ft tent will be roomy for 32 people. You can use four pieces of 60-inch round tables that seat eight guests each. 


The different tent sizes and capacity can be overwhelming if you’re choosing a tent for your event. However, finding the proper tent size is straightforward and requires a simple understanding of the factors that affect it. These factors include the expected number of guests, type of event, and floor space. 

If it’s for 75 guests, you can use a 20 x 20 ft tent or a 20 x 30 ft tent. For 100 to 150 guests, 20 x 30 ft and 30 x 40 ft are both ideal tent sizes. The bottom line is that you also have to consider the seating arrangement and other furnishings because they will dictate how you’ll modify the space. 

Once you have a tent size in mind, the next thing to do is visualize a sketch of how you’ll arrange everything. You can either be using circular or rectangular tables for a 20 x 20 ft tent to house 32 to 54 people. For a smaller 12 x 12 ft tent, you can make a sit-down arrangement for 14 guests or cathedral seating for 24 people. 

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