As a 24-year supplier of flooring to the trade show and event industry, we’ve been asked several times over the years if we provide installation for our flooring. Our answer has always been the same: we feel that the same labor company that installs your tradeshow exhibit should install your flooring.
I’ve had the privilege of being onsite watching thousands of people classified as “general trade show labor” install our flooring over the years, and the skill set and dedication to quality I’ve seen has been amazing. From calculating the radius needed for last minute onsite changes to drawing on their many years of experience working alongside and learning from seasoned flooring professionals, I know that the labor companies in our industry still have abundant flooring talent in every city.
Prior to the install of your trade show flooring, especially with larger exhibits, your labor company city manager has had a few phone calls with the exhibit house on-site lead, account manager, project manager or account executive, which would include discussing the rigging, utility and electrical needs. That same city manager is also receiving updated floor plans and electrical layouts and will make sure all of the drops are correct prior to the flooring being installed by their crew.
Another advantage of having your labor company install your flooring is that the lead person from the exhibit house is normally onsite at that time, along with the “last minute changes” from their client, which as we all know can happen as recently as the last few hours.
There are two basic responses from the booth installation labor crew when it comes to another company installing the booth flooring, which are “Why aren’t we installing the flooring?” and “I’m glad the flooring is down, I hate installing flooring”. To address the first response, when the labor company doesn’t install the flooring, it’s not just the lost labor hours that elicit the statement of “why aren’t we installing the flooring.” Your booth installation crew truly wants the entire project to be successful, and many of them know the issues involved when they have to pull up flooring because a drop has been missed or a last-minute change was missed by another company, and let’s not forget the baseplates that we see in so many exhibits.
If there are a lot of columns or machinery in the booth that require a special set of cutting and seaming skills, just make sure your labor provider is aware of this need so they have at least one or two people on their crew to handle that aspect of the install.
We all know that many larger booths have areas that are “sleepers” due to AV, electrical, rigging and other issues that take a little longer to finish. Another advantage of using your booth install crew to install the flooring is if they can start building the booth on the finished areas while they’re waiting for the delays to be resolved in other parts of the exhibit.
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