How the tree marquee story unfolded

In the middle of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the magnificent Tree Marquee that housed the main activities for the Future of Work Festival and Awards ceremony began to take shape.

tree marquee outside
awards supplement fc
This article is taken from the 2022 Relocate and Think Global People Awards supplement.
Watch the highlights of our 2022 Relocate Global Awards hereClick on the cover to access the digital edition or on the links below to read all of the articles on our website.Watch the highlights of our Keynote Panel Discussion from the Future of Work Festival here
When we heard there was a new alternative to the usual frame marquee for outdoor events, we knew this was perfect for the festival feel we wanted to create. We already have a fabulous location on a hill with wonderful views all around, statuesque trees, plenty of greenery, fields and a large pond.

It all fell into place with the help of Fred Holmsted, the owner of Holmsted Events, and his team. Their new Tree Marquee is the first to be used in the South East; the Future of Work Festival their first corporate event where it would be on show.

The crew and their compact vehicles rolled into our grounds at Spray Hill Farm on 4 June. Rob, the designer and founder of the Tree Marquee company, was with the team as this was only the second time they had put it up. He explained it was also only the second one they had built.

It is made from Douglas Fir sourced locally to the company’s base near Shaftsbury. Rob and his team, including Steve from a local forge, who did the steel work, were excited to be with us. Rob, who has had a career ranging from farm management to working offshore and renovating old buildings, explained this Tree Marquee had been on the design bench for about six months.

“We designed all of it on SketchUp and then took all the components and had them laser cut. Basically, everything was made from templates, which is quite exciting. I like doing lots of different things, but the timber framing is my real passion.”  

After two days, the team finally left on a rather wet Sunday evening. The Tree Marquee was up, sitting amidst the Kent countryside and ancient trees, including a giant oak and yew tree which have watched centuries of history unfold. They were now all part of a fleeting new chapter as international delegates were about to assemble to ponder a whole raft of modern-day revolutions and their impact on business and economies around the world.

How the events world pulls together and has innovated with this unique, quality approach in the heart of Kent is a story in itself of entrepreneurial and changing times.
food at festival


We had so many wonderful comments about the food and service. It was really important to reflect Kent as the Garden of England with its glorious heritage as a food producer and now as a modern gourmet centre with marvellous local produce.

As one international guest commented, “the food seemed to flow to you just as you were ready for the next bite”. It was beautifully presented and adorned with edible flowers that promised a taste of summer. The staff exuded enjoyment, passion and care and were part of the experience in true hospitality style, which resonated with our guests.

Home Gurr’own specialise in rustic, rural weddings and corporate occasions in Kent and East Sussex. It was the perfect choice for the Future of Work Festival. Almost all the ingredients for our menu were either sourced from the surrounding Kent and East Sussex countryside or grown on its smallholding. This means you get a menu that is unique, fresh and local, says Head Chef and owner Nicci Gurr, who previously worked for Albert Roux of Roux Fine Dining.

We also served English wine, beer, cider and juice from Kent and neighbouring counties.
As it was the fifteenth anniversary of the Awards, we must mention the cake and the exquisite miniature delights, which were designed and crafted by respected pastry chef, Chris Underwood at the recently opened Artisserie, a fine English patisserie in Tenterden High Street.

Speaking to Fred Holmsted when the Tree Marquee was finally taken down and everything had gone we all agreed it had been a fabulous success. “We were delighted when the team at Relocate Magazine asked us to provide our stunning new Tree Marquee for their flagship event, the Future of Work Festival. It provided the perfect backdrop for a day of networking and idea-sharing,” said Fred.

The 2022 Relocate and Think Global People Awards Supplement - Out Now

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