Every issue we answer a problem from the show floor. This month - last-minute hiccups

Q: "Organising our stand is a reasonably complex business and there can be last-minute changes when we're on site. In almost every case, there's little or no provision for those needs or help on offer to meet them - or there's so much red tape that the smallest problem escalates into a nightmare. It might be an additional delivery that's not allowed in or a form we've overlooked when completing the other 300 that are in the exhibitor manual. I don't understand why there are no obvious mechanisms in place to help."

Stephanie Bain, brand manager, Tate & Lyle

A: Go straight to the organiser's office where the operations team is based and your problem will either be solved on the spot or the appropriate service instructed on your behalf - with the relevant degree of urgency.

The organiser has the experience to work out the best course of action and can draw on the support of the floor managers that are on radio access during build-up and breakdown. It is important not to try to circumnavigate the system; instructions to official contractors should come through the organiser not least because they will be followed through.

There's very little that can't be sorted out; we can't influence your own contractors but can assist with problems they might encounter in the hall.

We never stop unscheduled deliveries reaching stands, but products may have to be walked in so that ongoing deliveries don't get disrupted. Whenever something has to be done the long way there's always a very good reason, usually connected to health and safety regulations. We're involved in up to ten events a year and always write to exhibitors in advance of the show with our on-site location and telephone number so that we can be found quickly and easily. As long as exhibitors come to us first, we can put wheels in motion to iron out any problem. Pretty much the only thing we can't control is the weather.

At risk of teaching Event readers to suck eggs, of the "300

forms in the manual, take the time to prioritise "essential", "maybe

and "irrelevant".

The "maybe

list could become useful as your participation evolves. A late form is better than one that is never submitted at all.


Send your question to Mike Fletcher, Editor, Event. Fax 020 8267 4442.

Email mike.fletcher@haynet.com. Each response will be sourced by the Association of Exhibition Organisers.

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