Booking exhibition stand space can be daunting if you’ve never done it before, with terms like shell scheme, space only and rigging its almost a foreign language. Fortunately we’ve compiled this helpful guide to choosing and booking exhibition stand space to set you off in the right direction.
1. View or Download the Exhibitors Manual
Most events and exhibitions will have the exhibitor manual available to view or download from the event website. This will have all the essential information including deadline dates, key contacts, booking forms, health and safety information, event timetable and hall regulations. The exhibitor manual should also contain the exhibition floor plan, from this you should be able to identify the hall entrance and exits, main aisles, industry groupings or refreshment areas that will help to guarantee heavy footfall.
2. Shell Scheme or Space Only?
When looking at the floor plan you will notice areas designated for exhibition stand space only and other areas for shell scheme. Space only is to build your own exhibition stand, usually modular or custom stands occupy these spaces (for more information on modular and custom exhibition stands read our blog post modular vs custom) whereas shell scheme are prebuilt booths that can be hired from the exhibition venue which can be very cost effective.
3. Aisle, Corner or Island?
Each type of location has its own benefits. Corners benefit from capturing footfall from two aisles. Islands can capture up to four depending on the hall layout. Aisles are cost effective and easier to plan with only one point of entry. If you are backing onto or adjoining another space only exhibition stand make sure the backs of your neighbours display boards aren’t visible by matching them in height.
4. Booking Services – Power, Lighting and Plumbing etc
Power: Depending on the chosen type of exhibition stand build you will need to book power, from single phase to 3 phase supplies. Shell scheme will typically only require domestic 3 pin sockets, its better to slightly over estimate rather than have problems with power tripping out once the exhibition has started. Larger and more complex stands will need careful planning and possibly schematic drawings so you have correct power supply to the right areas of your stand.
Plumbing: Larger exhibition stands may have kitchen areas that require water and waster supplies. Again you will may have a few options including multiple supplies and options for water heaters, coolers and double sinks etc.
Lighting: Exhibition shell schemes may benefit from hiring lighting to illuminate your printed displays and exhibits. For spotlights look at placing one low voltage spotlight every 1.5 metres. Larger stands will more than likely have lighting designed into the exhibition stand.
Carpet: Space only exhibition stands will require carpet or vinyl to be either hired from the venue or supplied by the stand builder. Shell scheme will usually be carpeted as part of the shell scheme hire.
Rigging: If you have aerial banners you will need to organise rigging with the exhibition venue to hang from the venue ceiling. Simple banners are straight forward and can sometimes be sent in advance to the rigging department. More complex banners such as box or shaped banners will need to be erected on site by the stand builder. Be aware that box and shaped banners usually fall into the complex structure category because they are above 4 metres in height and may require technichal drawings and structural calculations to be presented before they can be rigged.
5. Health and Safety
Most venues will ask for a valid copy of your public liability insurance covering the dates of the show. Complete risk assessments and method statements that look at hazards, risks and control methods you have in place for your exhibition stand including build/installation, general activities and open period.
Due to recent changes in legislation the events industry will be bound by the construction, design and management regulations for the first time. This means event organisers and venues are tightening up on health and safety with additional documentation to be completed by exhibitors.
6. Managed Booking Service
If you want to remove the stress and hassle of booking exhibition stand space, services and health and safety risk assessments you you could opt for a managed booking service where everything is done for you, some exhibition stand builders also offer this service. For more information visit the management and logistics page on our website.
With all booking documents its advisable to get them in early as demand maybe high and early bird discounts are sometimes offered.
If you need help booking exhibition stand space or exhibition stands please call 01536 265823