What You Need to Know About Hanging Your Sign at Your Next Trade Show

It’s easy to see (no pun intended!) how a hanging sign can make you stand out and be recognized on the trade show floor. Around Labor Day we discussed union rules and mentioned the riggers union.  Rigging refers to any work that is done to hang a structure from the ceiling of the building.  As you can imagine, there is a lot of responsibility involved in this, so most often you are required to use the riggers’ union to ensure structures are assembled and hung properly and safely.

What do you need to do to arrange rigging?

First, the most important thing you need to do is to ship your hanging signs to the Advanced Warehouse. Even if the rest of your exhibit is not ready, plan to ship your sign(s) in advance.  Many shows will request this and even provide specific labels.  This will ensure that your signage will deliver to your space early/on time, and that is important because…

All your rigging needs to completed before your flooring goes down and the installation of your exhibit begins.   If you have ever been on the floor during set-up, it is a busy, crowded place!  Fork lifts are running in every direction with crates, pallets, and boxes along (and sometimes in) every aisle.  By hanging your sign as early as possible, you are giving the rigging team the room necessary to move their equipment around to hang your sign.  Just make sure you note exactly where the sign is hung (number of feet from each side), the height at the top of the sign, and the direction it should be oriented in. For example, if there are three logos state that one logo should face a specific spot/direction. Ask your display house to provide a detailed grid plan for rigging along with electrical and internet drops.  If you or your exhibit supervisor can be on site to oversee, that will help the team should they have any questions.

Realize that although you may specify a certain time for rigging, it doesn’t always mean that is when it will happen.  Most people request an 8:00am installation (first of the day), and the rigging team obviously cannot accommodate all the requests.  Also, hanging signs can take time depending on the various sizes, shapes, quantities, and complexities, so be patient.  Your best bet is to swing by the show desk as soon as you arrive on site to schedule and talk through when you can ideally expect the riggers to arrive.  And remember, they also need to take the sign down after the show; although this is much faster than rigging them initially! 

Whether this is your first rodeo or not, it is important for me to note that the riggers do not put together your sign(s), your labor team is in charge of this step. So make sure you schedule your team accordingly and have your sign(s) ready to go. The moment the riggers arrive in your space they will be ready and they may not wait around. 

Prior to the show, it is important to set up your hanging sign in advance of shipping it so as to thoroughly review the parts and pieces to ensure everything is there.  Should there be any missing parts or specific rigging hardware needed, the riggers’ union will provide it, but there will be a cost (and it tends to be more expensive on show site versus purchasing it in advance). Note that some shows, due to liability reasons, will require you to use their rigging hardware. Either way make sure you provide all the parts in pieces that may be needed. 

Rigging doesn’t need to be complicated.  Being prepared with the proper planning in advance of the show and following these suggestions will get your signs, and therefore your brand, up high and visible at your next show. 

Let the professional team at Apple Rock help you plan all your show services. We will ensure a seamless installation and take the pressure of you so you can focus on the bigger picture, and looking good to your boss! Plus right now, Apple Rock is offering the quickest turn and lower pricing on new skins for your hanging sign. Contact us today to take advantage!

Alison James, Event 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. 

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