Sunday, November 04, 2012

What do you get from a show organiser?

Les asks: I hope to exhibit  next year and am interested in knowing what is involved. Are tables provided for example? Table coverings? Or does one bring everything oneself.

A lot depends on the sort of display you are taking. Normally this is arranged when you complete the invitation to exhibit sent by the organisers. Facilities very from show to show but here's a rough guide:

Layouts will be provided with sufficient space for the stand and a power point. I normally request a couple of chairs. Others will also want a table for rolling stock.

The assumption is that your display is self-supporting. If it isn't then you can ask for tables but will have to accept what you get. Some tables have a rim around the edge which is a problem if you assume they will be flat. Even tables of the same height aren't always a given so packing materials will be required. Tables are often hired in and so the show will want to keep the numbers to a minimum. If you need them, ask for just the ones you need and don't expect that there will be spares available when you get there.

Lights are important, you can't ask to move because the area of the hall you are in is dark. Bring your own, it's part of building a layout for show, or look like an amateur I'm afraid.

You'll certainly need to take an extension lead and probably and RCD. Curtains are also your own problem. Basically, be as self-contained as you can possibly be. Exhibition organisers have better things to do than sort out stuff that layouts should have brought with them - including sufficient operators to run the thing for the duration of the show. Don't rely on "borrowing" someone from the club, or that the person you get if you do won't be sent to you because everyone else wants them out of the way.

Demonstrations: Tables and chairs will be supplied and normally tablecloths. Check if power is provided as shows that have to pay for every socket might try to avoid doing this if you don't need electric. This sounds silly but when each socket costs the organisers £45 then they will try to keep costs down.

Exhibition managers are very busy people. If you want to be invited back to a show, cause them the least trouble possible. Of course things go wrong, but I've seen plenty of people who turn up and expect the harrased man trying to pull the show together baby them through. Don't be that person and you'll have a good weekend.

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