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Why you should always site visit a exhibition venue


Having just completed 2 exhibits at a woefully inadequate venue I can speak from experience when i say that site visits are invaluable.

Its one thing to build in an established exhibition venue such as the Cape Town Convention Centre, but when you are in a remote venue that is not designed for exhibits you take a huge risk when you trust second-hand information. Especially when you have spent a large budget on that exhibit. Too many stand builders out there are not doing the basic checks prior to building.

Organisers tend to work in general terms. When they say the ceiling is 3ms they speak generally. They do not mention there may be a bulkhead that is only 2.8ms around the room. When they say your space is 3ms wide…they may just mean 2.9ms.  These kind of generalisation do not sit well in an industry where exhibits are designed and manufactured to the millimeter.

Do a detailed site visit. If you are unsure of where your space is or what it constitutes, insist the organisers clarify it exactly. Use a tape measure and measure the length, width and height of the space allocated. In addition source you nearest power point. Its no good arriving with a 3m extension when you need a 20m one. Also, check your configuration. Did the organisers forget about a pillar that is dead centre of your stand space, do you have a wall on one side that wasnt indicated…be sure that you know exactly what you are getting is as promised.

For a recent show we site visited 3 times as the floorplan forwarded was clearly produced in msword and was no-where near to scale. The drama that ensued onsite by just about all exhibitors towards the organisers (most of whom had paid substantial sums to be there) was heated and highly unpleasant. We luckily avoided this by having done our homework in depth. We also arrived earlier than anyone else to ensure we had clear access to our stands and could build our stands as designed.

Dont leave it to chance…you can never be certain of what you are getting based on what someone else says.

Happy exhibiting


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