Thursday, November 01, 2007

Show setup

Halloween last night was unusual – we had kids at the door! Let me explain, well, we live in an area with bigger lots, no sidewalks and no streetlights. The houses are farther apart than in most neighborhoods, and it is rather scary to walk down the dark streets with just dirt alongside. So most people tend to take their kids a few blocks away to one of the more dense developments, making it quicker for kids to hit multiple doors. We expected the trips plus one from across the street, and they did show up just before dark. We then had four other groups of kids that we didn’t recognize (well, the four across and two down on the corner are the only kids that live around here) for a total of almost twenty costumed trick or treaters. Wow! That’s more than we have had the last three years combined.

It’s all excitement at our house – E and her mom are due out today! Airport pickup at 9:43am, so they should all be there when I get home tonight!

But today is the first day of November. This is NaBloPoMo, which means a post a day for the month of November. I have been doing pretty well during my weekdays: well, it is slow at work when I come in at 7, so I do take some time. Weekends will be a challenge, especially this one with E down. And then I have an exciting field trip in the middle – a two day class in St. Louis, Mo. We’ll see if that laptop they got for me to take along works on the supposed hotel high speed internet access. It’s not really St. Louis, it’s O’Farrel. Any of you guys out in that area? Only there for a few days, but from what I hear that’s enough time to see everything that is worth seeing (like the Arch and the arch and oh yea, there’s the arch).

So to start off the month, since I talk about working at a convention center, let’s go through some of the things that I see when a show is set up. Things get started a few days ahead of opening when the decorating company marks the floors (indicating where the booths, walkways and other items are located) and the carpet starts coming in. You can see the lines of tape used to mark the layout.

Then the trucks start showing up, filled with all the items that vendors will put in their booths. A big show can take several hundred truckloads.

Every booth needs chairs.

And tables

After the carpet is down other crews put up piping and drape curtains around the booths. Every show is a different color scheme, the design companies must really have huge warehouses to hold all of this stuff.

Then pallets are unloaded from the trucks and scattered around to the booths where they will be used.

After the design company is finished with their setup and pallet distribution, which usually takes three to four days, the exhibitors are allowed in to set up their booths. Some of the booths are simple, nothing more than a few tables, others can be as elaborate as desired, or money permits. During some of the big shows, like the flooring one, big companies even build small houses in the upstairs hall.

Out front in the lobby they set up places where exhibitors and attendees go to pick up their entrance badges.

And down in the back all of the food carts and service trolleys await.

As far as what the show looked like, I think I have some pictures of that somewhere. Up to this point they all look about the same though. It’s what goes into the booths that differ from show to show.

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