Start Your Install Off On The Right Foot

The first person to arrive on the trade show floor is vital to starting the event off on the right foot.  Ideally you want someone to arrive before your exhibit installation has begun – whether it be a supervisor from your exhibit house or one of your employees.  They have a chance to survey what has been completed thus far upon arrival and be proactive in ensuring quick, seamless execution going forward.  Share this with the on-site contact so they know what to focus on when stepping foot on the show floor.

Internet & Electrical

When you arrive, you will see your slab of concrete outlined and (hopefully) your electrical and Internet laid down.  The first thing you want to do is confirm the number and placement of drops in your space by comparing them to your electrical and Internet floor plan.  Before you put any flooring down, these drops need to be arranged properly.  Trying to make changes is quite laborious (and therefore expensive) if your flooring, or even worse – your exhibit, are already installed.  Remedying any errors in advance will save a lot of time later on.


It is also extremely important to confirm that all of your exhibit freight has delivered.  It may be in your space or along one of the aisles.  Count the pieces and compare it to your Bill of Lading (BOL).  If any or all is missing, you need to go directly to the freight desk.  Depending on when your installation team is scheduled to begin, you will want to ensure your freight is there so you aren’t paying the team to sit and wait for its arrival.

Ordered Services

If you have ordered any services, such as rigging for a hanging sign or electrical labor for monitors and lighting, it’s a great idea to go to the exhibitor services desk to confirm dates and times for the services.  Often many people request services at the same time, and they are unable to accommodate everyone’s requests.  By being on site, you have a chance to talk directly with someone who is making the schedule, which can give you a better chance of hitting the dates and times you are requesting.

There may also be additional services you have ordered that are to be delivered while you are at the show.  If you have spare time, it doesn’t hurt to check in on those orders such as catering and cleaning. Confirming those now will save you from dealing with them during the busy show.


Supervise the exhibit installation.  A supervisor is a great resource for an installation team by providing direction and quick answers, which will in turn keep the labor team on task and within the allotted (and budgeted for) hours. 


There will be items that will deliver throughout the days leading up to the show such as furniture rentals and lead retrieval machines.  Keeping track of what has delivered (and making sure they function properly) will give you a chance to track down anything that may not have delivered yet well in advance of the opening of the show.

Once the exhibit is up and looking great, you will label your crates with your company name and booth number, which will be picked up and stored until the end of the show.  At this point, you are show ready!  

Alison JamesEvent Marketer & Brand Enthusiast

Alison has been with Apple Rock for 12 years. She is not only an industry expert, but also an experienced brand ambassador for all her clients. When she is not working hard for her clients she is enjoying the thrills of parenthood, along with her husband, to their 12 month old son.