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Wiring Tradeshows for Success

By Alyssa Frewin July 10, 2014 Tradeshow Tech

Wiring Tradeshows for Success

Every tradeshow is different, and some are going to have significantly greater needs when it comes to communications networks, broadband Internet access and audio-visual hook-ups. For example, consider the tech needs of the International Consumer Electronics Show, hosted every year in Las Vegas:

  • Upwards of 80 technicians working for a full month to wire the venue
  • Dedicated monitoring of Internet activity (to ensure continual uptime)
  • Installation of advanced broadcasting cables from press platforms
  • A staggering 600 miles worth of data cables

A tradeshow like the International CES is clearly going have enormous needs when it comes to data, bandwidth and telecommunications. However, even if your expo isn't bringing together the leading contenders from Silicon Valley, it's still safe to say that you're going to need massive amounts of infrastructure in this department.

Medium- to large-scale venues may offer much of the technical support required by a standard tradeshow. Even so, the organisation organising the event still bears the burden of ensuring that everything is up and running (correctly) before staff begin arriving at the booths.

The Show Must Go On
Of course, unforeseen problems occur. Sometimes there's absolutely nothing you can do to keep the event going. Back in 2012, Hurricane Sandy ravaged Florida and shut down two major aerospace and defence shows. Power outages ran rampant and flights were grounded. No amount of trouble shooting is going to help when your exhibition space lies in the path of a hurricane. Obviously, evacuation is the only option.

But tradeshow and exhibition planners still have to be prepared to deal with the worst -- at least when faced with a problem that can actually be solved. The event planners need to have contingency plans in place to deal with a range of potential problems. Emergencies are much more manageable when a plan is already in place, so don't be shy. Instead, take time to sit down with your team and work out -- down to the letter -- how you'll react to a variety of possible emergency situations. These contingencies should take in everything from power outages or crashed networks to an ill executive or missing component. Know how you and your team will handle every possible contingency.

Let's look at a quick example. Suppose you're hosting an exposition in Western Australia. The venue may offer a technical support team. Even so, it's still a good idea for your own team to have the contact info for a reliable electrician in Perth. Ideally, this should be a service provider with the qualifications to repair outages, find electrical faults, run cable and troubleshoot communications systems. You never know if you'll need them, but there's certainly no harm in knowing where they are and how to contact them.

Know Your Expo's Needs
It's critical that hosting organisation know precisely what the needs of this trade show are going to be. Depending on the on-site infrastructure, it may be necessary to run fibre optic cables or to set up advanced structured networks. These are high-tech considerations that will most likely require bringing an independent contractor on board.

Electricity is a basic commodity at trade shows across the world, but it's all too common that there simply aren't enough outlets to go around. Inconveniences like this can significantly sour the event in the minds of booth operators and attendees, alike. These days, electrical sockets are in higher demand than ever given the fact that virtually everyone at the show has two or three devices on them that they're going to need to charge at some point. Of course, that is in addition to the lights, computers, projectors and monitors that are already being used.

Communication between the venue and booth operators is essential. Those who are setting up for the show need to know exactly how many outlets are going to be available to them so that they can plan to bring additional power strips and extension cords, if necessary. Likewise, be clear on other hook-ups, as well. If, for example, monitors are included with each booth, will they also be equipped with cables? Laying out the fine details as early in the preparatory process as possible will go a long way toward ensuring a successful event.

About the Author:

alyssa-frewin Alyssa Frewin writes for TPE Services, a company that caters to the needs of those looking for a reliable electrician in Perth. They are up with the latest in both wireless and data cabling developments.

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