One of the most challenging parts of trade show booth setup is the electrical and internet connections and getting them mapped correctly to your booth. Apple Rock excels at the planning, implementation and supervision of electrical and internet connections. You may be the self managed type who wants to take it on yourself, read on for the details on exhibit and booth electicity and internet planning and install.
Exhibit electricity is an important detail that should be strategically planned to ensure your exhibit will function properly throughout the show. Typically, having your electrical outlets and internet cables run is the first thing that should happen when you arrive on-site. Occasionally, the electricians will run your power and internet before you arrive; however it maybe in your best interest to supervise the install, all you have to do is request it. It’s important to have all your electrical and internet cables run before the larger booth components arrive for install. Having the electricity installed before you put down the carpet or flooring is critical and often a mistake first-timers make. As an added benefit, it allows you to you neatly hide potential trip hazards neatly under the flooring.
Before planning the electrical layout, you must determine how much power you will need for each mechanical piece in your exhibit.
So, let’s talk about power in technical terms.
- Ampere, commonly referred to as amps, is the measure of electricity used.
- Voltage is the measure of the pressure, or force, of electricity.
- Wattage, or watts, is the amps multiplied by the volts. It measures the work that electricity does per second.
Exhibitor Magazine gave a great illustration about power, “Electricity flowing through a wire is like water flowing through a garden hose. The amount of water that can fit through the hose depends on the diameter of the hose (amps). The pressure of the water depends on how far open the faucet is (volts). The amount of work that can be done (watts) depends on both the amount and the pressure of the water (volts x amps = watts)."
There are some important details to keep in mind when planning for electricity.
- All U.S. venues require 3-prong grounded power cords.
- Electrical costs are determined by the number of specific locations that require power in your booth, known as drops. There is normally a 500 watt minimum.
- Only licensed electricians can set-up and take down electrical connections in your booth. Some venues and cities, especially located in union states, require you to have the electrician plug in all your items. You cannot touch them!
Planning is the key to a successful trade show event, so after you have carefully read the exhibitor service manual, fill out the electrical request form completely with all requirements noted and clearly marked on the grid.
Tips on how to strategically plan for your electrical and internet installation:
- Submit your electrical layout to the show decorators early! Hitting advance deadlines can save you money, sometimes up to 20% off. Ask your display partners to provide this for you.
- When submitting your electrical layout, make sure it is easy to read. Don’t make it overly complicated and note the booths that are to the left and right of yours. This gives the electricians perspective.
- Schedule the electrical and internet to be laid out before the labor crew is slated to arrive. This will ensure that you are not paying for the labor crew to stand around.
- Confirm that electrical and internet services are in place, if they are not determine when those services will be configured. Don’t hesitate to go to the service desk if they are not done on time.
- To save time and money during install, make sure you can pull the electrical cables through the designated holes in the carpet or flooring, before starting install.
Navigating electrical and internet services on the show floor can be tricky. Hiring a supervisor who is familiar with trade shows, your exhibit, and show decorators, like Apple Rock, is a great way to ensure that these services are taken care of in a timely manner, earning you the biggest bang for your buck. Plus it allows you to focus on what’s really on the show itself. Having a skilled team behind you can propel you into the qualified #leadschamp in your company.