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New 2018 Rules on Exhibition Stand Structure Inspections

posted on: Tuesday 15 May 2018

In January 2018, a new rule came into practise regarding what kind of structure is defined as ‘complex’, and we want to ensure our clients know what they need to do in order to avoid being caught unprepared on exhibition day and potentially stopped from exhibiting.

A ‘complex structure’ is defined as a construction of any height which may require input from a structural engineer.

Examples of this would be:

  • Multi-storey stands
  • Any part of a stand or exhibit which exceeds 4m in height
  • Suspended items e.g. lighting rigs, graphic banners, custom made banners
  • Sound/lighting towers
  • Temporary tiered seating
  • Platforms and stages over 0.6m in height and all platforms and stages for public use

All complex structures require structural calculations to take place for the complex elements – this will usually be included in your stand quotation provided by MJ Exhibitions Ltd and will be submitted by our team with the rest of the RAMS to the organisers.

Previously, regular exhibition stands with hanging banners did not necessarily fall into the category of a complex structure, however, from January any stand that has banners hanging is now considered as complex. This means that the structural calculations for the complex elements need to take place as soon as you confirm your order with the stand builder.

If these structural calculations have not taken place in the preparation and manufacturing process, health and safety regulators can stop installation of your stand on site. Due to very tight deadlines for stand to be installed, any interruptions during the installation can cause major delays, stress for both the installers and the client as well as incur additional charges, e.g. for leaving site late.

To meet these new regulations for exhibition stands, we work closely with structural engineers, who are usually on-site during the build to avoid any issues arising during the actual build. As these same engineers are the ones that then inspect the stand for the requirements, we can be sure that we are doing what they need to see in the final exhibition space.

The process of preparing the structural calculations for each complex stand is a requirement that allows your stand to be built fully on the day - if we do not have these calculations, health and safety at the show will not let us continue.
Although there should be a mention of having the structural calculations for your stand in your exhibitor’s manual, it usually is not clear and can be confusing. This is a complicated issue that many of the exhibition sales representatives are not aware of.

Here, at MJ Exhibitions, we need to complete structural calculations for every complex stand, even if your sales representative from the event organiser is not aware of this obligation. It is better to be safe and able to have your whole stand fully built than be stopped by regulators at the show leaving you with half a stand.

If you have any questions about these new changes or how they will affect you and your stand, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d be happy to help.

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