“Size matters” is no joke when it applies to the height of your exhibit. Safety first is important to every exhibiting company and convention facilities. Trade show managements, professional/industry associations as well as venues across Europe are changing height restrictions, sometimes after the exhibitor service kit has been published. Exhibit managers and builders may not be advised of the change until they have submitted the exhibit designs for approval. In some cases the association is not aware of a venue height rule change when the exhibitor manual is published.
Some venues are making changes to height rules based on safety regulations. Are venues taking height restrictions too far? While drafts are created when multiple freight doors are open is it strong enough to be rates as a gale force wind? Considering the weight and dimensions of large exhibit structures it is unlikely that an exhibit hall crosswind could cause the structure to fall down. Smaller, lighter weight exhibits, are not subject to the same rules and yet these displays would be more likely damaged.
We work with an American company whose central tower structure has been part of their visual marketing for the past nine years at the same show in five different European countries. This year the venue required statical calculations because the height was 6-meters. This requirement cost several hundred Euro for a structure that has a proven track record of stability.
Your exhibit is a 3-dimensional element of your marketing plan and an integral part of your global branding. You and your exhibit builder need to be vigilant when exhibiting in Europe to keep up-to-date on height rules. Don’t forget to include money in the budget if special engineering certifications are required.