What You Should Know about Trade Show Services
- The basics of Labor
- The basics of Electrical / Internet
- The basics of Audio / Visual Rental
- The basics of Housekeeping Services
- The basics of Exhibit Security Services
- The basics of Freight
Onsite trade show services include all services available at the show site. Contractors typically provide these services for show management.
Show management contracts with a union or non-union labor company to provide the show site installation and dismantle services (I&D). The designated labor company may also provide the decoration (pipe and drape, aisle carpet and registration counters). They are also responsible for ensuring the installation is completed on time and the facility is cleared after the event.
Using onsite labor is convenient but not mandatory. Exhibitors can contract with any labor company as long as the labor company complies with the local rules and regulations as well as the show policies and procedures. The onsite labor contractor has a service desk onsite, and their labor forms are conveniently included with the show forms. If you need more labor on the show floor, you can easily request it. Most exhibitors use the show labor since it is convenient.. Those that don’t use onsite labor generally have a working relationship with another labor company.
At a union regulated show site, the unions define what you can do during set-up and dismantle. Generally there is a ratio of a few laborers to one company representative. You are permitted to handle all your products. The labor crew is responsible for handling display components, power tools, and ladders. However, most crews are flexible if you demonstrate good faith.
Planning is very, very important. Remember to schedule time for flooring and electrical before you schedule a set-up crew to your booth. Likewise, plan for a delay in getting your crates delivered to your booth space at the conclusion of the show. There are lots of crates to be delivered, and it always takes time coordinate the deliveries.
The show contractor also provides electrical and Internet services. Only licensed electricians can set-up and dismantle electrical wiring and connections in your exhibit. It the most literal sense, this includes screwing in a light bulb, but most exhibitors take this to mean the wiring and circuitry. Electricians review the wire grounding and the breaker loads, and look for exposed or unsafe hacker wiring and connections. Electricity is the primary threat on the show floor. High power runs everywhere. Fires are a real danger when you consider all the wood, carpet, and plastic concentrated on an exhibit hall.