Guide for exhibition stand builders
Exhibition stand design and build is a long and laborious process that has so many different phases. The most important person for executing and supervising all those different tasks is the Project Manager, who controls the work in terms of stand design and coordinate the various phases of production. The complex working process should be carried out in accordance with precise schedules and budgets. In addition, in the exhibition stand design and build process is taken by many agents and professionals of the construction area collaborating between them. In this post we are going to make a small review of the indispensable phases to be successful exhibition stand builders.
Step 1: The briefing
The first step in the exhibition stand design and build is briefing, a document that summarizes all the needs of the client, the economic requirements for exhibition stand builders, the basic information to start working with the exhibition stand design and other details. In this point of the process we can find two different possibilities:
Option 1: Our client sends the briefing which includes all the necessary information to start planning: the location plan, the construction regulations and an indicative budget in order to be able to create the stand design and the project for its execution.
Option 2: The client sends his own design to the exhibition stand builders. In this case we only have to control the technical and constructive plans, the budget and the production and assembly of the fair stands.
Step 2: The Design
If you create your own exhibition stand design you must provide the designer with all the precise information. The more information you give them, the more accurate it may be in terms of the client’s needs and expectations. The documentation that we will give to the designers or exhibition stand builders will be: the briefing, location plans of the fair stand, the constructive regulations, any kind of branding manual of the company, logos, graphic files, photographs of previous booths, etc.
The first version of the exhibition stand design it can be sent directly to the client (if it meets all the requirements) but sometimes several changes can be made before sending any design to the client. Between the first design and the final one it is possible to go through several versions or design options, either because the client requests change or because the exhibition stand builders themselves wants to improve it.
Step 3: The budget
From the exhibition stand design and build plans we can start quoting the project more specifically through all the information we already have including renders, technical drawings, location plans, dates of assembly and disassembly, place of celebration of the fair or event, last finishes and other details of the assembly processes, materials, logistics information, etc.
To create the quotation the good exhibition stand builders should consider all the costs that will lead to the several services involved in the exhibition stand design and build such as carpentry, painting, carpet, electricity, signage, audiovisual, furniture, gardening, metalwork, methacrylate, upholstery, etc. In addition to all this there are some concepts that we can’t forget such as the material we’ll have to buy, logistics and transportation costs that we will have to make for the exhibition stand design and build, and the necessary trips one will have to make if the project involves transfers to other cities or countries.
Once we reach this point of the project we can start thinking on the materials that we will need and set the dates of production, assembly and disassembly. Once the client has approved the project the budget will be fixed by the exhibition stand builders.
Step 4: The constructive plans
In the technical phase, once the stand design is approved, we will use AutoCAD for fixing the stand design. It is very important that the designer considers every precise detail as the thickness of the walls and the appropriate materials that will be used in the structure, to work with it properly. We will create two different design plans, one for the plant and another one for the elevations.
These two plans must include all the details about the materials and other constructive details as the precise measurements. Depending on the nature of the project, the plans will be made in Spanish, English or using both languages.
Step 5: Plan for exhibition stand suppliers
The constructive plans must be reviewed and sent to the different professionals so that they can start to carry out the production process. Do not forget that the exhibition stand design and build process has very diverse phases that can be delayed in time and that it is essential to comply with the timings.
The plans se send must include a general plan with the distribution of the essential elements for building the fair stands, the elevations, the supplies, the plant and the different kinds of pavement, the carpentry, metalworking and roofing works, painting plans, electrical drawings, lighting and audiovisual plans, lettering, etc. We must know that each project for exhibition stand design and build has its specificity. All the details must be included before starting the production to ensure that there are no unexpected events.
Step 6: Plans of supplies for the construction of stands in fairs
Both exhibition stand design and build are meant to be sent and be approved by the organization of the fair, congress or event. This step can be done directly by the client or by the Project Manager.
This also happens with the fair supplies – we must confirm in advanced with our client who will be in charge requesting and activating the following supplies: assembly fee, box and electric power, water and drains, compressed air, rigging points, internet, etc.
When we talk about elements suspended from the truss, the architect must assume the project. In some cases it assumes that it can be requested and paid directly to the organizer of the congress, but before starting with the assembly of the fair stand it is indeed to specify this information.
As professional exhibition stand builders we are going to list some elements that can’t be forgotten in terms of rigging, that are the hanging points on the ceiling of the pavilion of the fair that will allow the construction of stands and some of its elements.
Truss structure (for lighting or signage elements)
Hanging elements of carpentry or banners to offer more visibility
Supporting points for the exhibition stand structure (e.g. bridges, roofs)
In this case it is the fair organization itself that offers this service exclusively, except in some very specific cases, for this reason you should always attach a rigging plan with the project documentation.
The possibility of including rigging points in the space hired by the exhibitor must be previously confirmed with the organization. In some projects of exhibition stand design and build we will require an additional service of pre-rigging to be able to hang elements with support to the roof of the pavilion. In those cases we must know that all the extras will have additional costs.
Step 7: Supervise production
Whenever there is the possibility of going to the studio and supervising the work in progress phase of exhibition stand design and build it’s better to go there and check the production. The aim of this kind of visits is that the Project Manager can control the smooth production and the work rhythms and other elements as measurements, colors, materials, last finishes, etc. If it becomes impossible for the Project Manager to go and visit the studio, the exhibition stand builders will send samples of the materials and photos of the production, to be able to supervise the process of exhibition stand build from another place.
Let’s check the essential elements a good exhibition stand builder can’t miss:
- Rigging points, truss, hanging elements of carpentry, lighting or other elements that affect the surroundings of exhibition stand design and build;
- Facilities under the platform: electrical cables, AV cables, internet, water and drains, air conditioning, customer cables, metal bases to support walls or any structural or decorative element of the client;
- Floors of the fair stand: carpet directly on the floor or raised platform;
- Walls and elements of carpentry and painting;
- Electrical installation;
- Woodworking furniture;
- Audiovisual equipment;
- Rental furniture;
Once all these elements are supervised and controlled, one can proceed to the assembly of the exhibition stand. In Mac Group Stands & Events we have over 20 years of experience in the construction of stands in Barcelona and around the world and as professional exhibition stand builders we want to provide all the experience and knowledge we have to carry out any successful project!
If you are thinking about exhibition stand design and build and you need more information do not hesitate to contact us, at Mac Group Stands we will be happy to help you with your project!
Mac Group Stands & Exhibitions
París, 209 Principal 2ª – 08008 Barcelona (SPAIN)
T.: +34 934 194 879