For your stand at a trade show, you will no doubt need exhibition electrical services. You will probably want additional lighting, sockets to plug in TVs or laptops, and maybe even a fridge. All these require electricity to be run to your stand and for this, you need a specialist contractor.

Exhibitions have their own contractors on site, frequently in the UK, this is GES. You will need to order your requirements for your stand directly with them. But what requirements will you have? It really depends on what facilities you want your stand to have. Here we have a guide to help you understand what your requirements will be.

What we do

Here at Quadrant2Design, you can choose to hire a stand and we will build it for you, or hire or buy a stand and self-build.

On our free hire plan, we work out how many sockets you need, what wattage, where they need to be and where the mains box will be positioned (all the sockets come off of your mains box). This is put together in a plan which you can submit to the organisers and order the number of sockets specified.

If you choose to self-build, you will need to work out and supply a plan to the contractor yourself.

What you will need

Electrical sockets

There are different types of electrical sockets at an exhibition which are based on their wattage. What you need depends on what you want to run off the socket. Here is a quick guide:

Power: 500-watt socket (2amps max)

Requirement: Television (up to 42 ins), Laptops, Phone chargers, LED lighting.

Power: 1000 watt socket (4 amps max)

Requirement: Television (up to 60 ins). Halogen lighting (max 1000 watt), upright fridge/cooler.

Power: 2000 watt socket (8 amps max)

Requirement: Microwave, domestic coffee machine, vacuum cleaner.

Power: 3000-watt socket (13 amps max)

Requirement: Kettle, Iron, Oven.

A quick way to work out how many watts you need is to check how many amps your appliance uses then multiply that by 240. So, for instance, if a television uses 1.6 amps if you times that by 240 you get 384 watts so you need at least a 500-watt socket.


“Do I need to order lighting from the on-sight electrical contractor?”

No, we provide the LED lights you need for your stand. Our project managers will send you an electric plan for those lights. You then take the plan and arrange it through the organiser’s electrical contractor.

If you have booked a shell scheme package this often includes lighting. Check with the organiser if you are unsure about this. Our stands come with plenty of lights, which are generally lower wattage than shell scheme lighting, so you can cancel the shell scheme lighting which will reduce the number of sockets required.

You may find if you make arrangements with the on-site contractor early, you can benefit from an early bird discount. It’s worth asking about this. And, additionally, if you find you have extra requirements on the day that you haven’t booked, these may come with a surcharge.

Extension leads

“Can I use an extension lead?”

The answer is yes, and we will supply cable tidy for any leads that run across the floor. But keep in mind the following:

  • Only 1 extension lead should be used for each socket
  • The cumulative wattage of all items plugged into the extension lead should not exceed that of the socket
  • It must have a flexible cord of no more than 2 metres in length
  • Multi-way plugs (cubes) cannot be used

24-hour power

If you have a fridge or freezer that needs to be on 24 hours a day then you need to let the contractor know this so that they can supply it.

Testing charge

To comply with British safety standards you will need to have your appliances tested to adhere to regulations. This may invoke a testing charge from the contractor, contact them for more information about this.

Remember, it’s important that you are accurate about exactly what power you need. You won’t be popular if your appliances blow a fuse which takes out a whole block of stands! Contact us on 01202 723 500 if you would like to discuss your requirements further.