Nothing lasts forever, and if you stick around in this industry long enough you’ll see that this is especially true when it comes to exhibit venues. Most shows do stick around at certain venues for many years, but even show contracts expire, and when that happens there’s often a good chance your show venue will switch locations. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider when the time comes.
The first thing to keep in mind is your exhibit format. When floor plans get re-shuffled to work with a completely different floor space, it’s very difficult for the show organizers to guarantee all exhibits will retain their exact format. (By format, we mean whether your exhibit is an inline, endcap, corner, or island.) This is certainly the most CRITICAL thing to consider. The work required to switch an exhibit from one format to another can be quite challenging. For example, island formatted exhibits do not need to worry about fire code challenges that endcap exhibits need to worry about. An endcap exhibit can require anywhere from 9-18” of empty space at the back of the exhibit for this legal code to be followed. Island exhibits do not have this regulation, so an island exhibit converting to an endcap may need to shave off lots of space from what is already most likely a tight environment. As well, as an island your exhibit may be open on four sides. Switching to an endcap may require you to wall off this entire section. The reverse would be true for an endcap switching to an island. Either way, construction rebuilding could be a challenge!
The next thing to consider is height regulations. Many shows such as JCK already have very strict height guidelines. When booth spaces are moved, you may find your new exhibit space not aligning with your existing height. As well, many convention centers, such as The Sands, have physical limitations in certain areas that prohibit exhibits from being certain heights. The reverse of this is also important to consider. If your current exhibit space only allows for 8’ in height, but you find yourself moving to a 12’ height limit section, you may want to consider raising your exhibit up so that your exhibit is not lost in the crowd.
As well, your new position within the context of traffic flow is critical to consider. You may have favored a certain corner of your exhibit for the purposes of a reception area, or a lounge space because of the traffic flow seen at that section. Or perhaps a critical showcase was chosen to be displayed at a “hot” corner. Graphics too, are always chosen to make the highest possible impact based on traffic flow. With a new convention center, all of these may be completely changed. What once was a high-traffic area of your exhibit may no longer be so important. This is another very critical thing to consider when it comes to moving venues.
So, what’s the best way to proceed? Well, one thing we would highly recommend is that conversations about this take place PRIOR to the last show that your current exhibit is in. For most shows, your exhibit is only set up ONCE a year completely. You’ll find this is the absolute BEST time to discuss the changes, as it allows for you to really examine all the details in person. As well, any surveys or dimensions can be taken right there on the show floor, reducing your costs for the same work in the future with your exhibit service provider.
Of course, we hope you’ll choose to work with us in that regard!
We hope this blog has been informative, and would love to speak with you regarding any new work or changes to existing exhibit properties at any upcoming shows! Drop us a line at 888-508-0890 x222 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.