October has been a busy month in the exhibition calendar. With live shows just getting going again, it seems like many businesses are keen to get out there again in front of the public. Eighteen months of restrictions have left people keen to mix again so in-person events are now very much in demand again.
Exhibition stand contractors, Quadrant2Design, have been exceptionally busy this month, installing over 50 exhibition stands for different businesses at shows up and down the country. MD Alan Jenkins said, “I think it’s been one of our busiest months on record, it’s great that the industry is getting going again, it has been a quiet 18 months so we’re really pleased to be out there building stands again”.
At the height of the month, on 12-13 October, the company installed 15 stands across 9 exhibitions in just 2 days. These shows were:
1. Ocean Business 2021 in Southampton
2. Oris Forums 2021 in Essex
3. TIN London Market Claims 2021 in London
4. BAPCO 2021 in Coventry
5. Education Estates Show 2021 in Manchester
6. Aqua 2021 in Telford
7. Internet Retailing Expo 2021 in Birmingham
8. Care Show 2021 in Birmingham
9. Best Practice 2021 in Birmingham
How did the company manage to install so many stands across the country in just 2 days? Good planning is how.
During the pandemic, when all live events ceased, the business was forced to cut back to a skeleton staff in order to survive. Then as things started to open up again they had to recruit many new members of staff to deal with a sudden rush of orders. So it is all the more impressive that, with mostly new members of staff, they were able to meet all these orders.
They began recruiting again in the Spring, when there were signs of lockdown ending in June. That way they have had time to train and prepare staff for the busy time they expected to lie ahead. By the time the orders started coming in, the new staff were up to speed and able to handle them.
Preparation is key
Whenever the company receives an order for a stand, as well as the designing and manufacturing process, they assemble the full stand and train staff to do it. That way there are no surprises on the day of the actual build. The staff responsible know exactly what to do and are able to complete it quickly and efficiently. Then it’s on to the next one!
What would take untrained staff a day to set up, the trained Quadrant2Design team can do in a couple of hours. That way they can fit in more than one job in a day. The company has several teams of contractors, so they are able to fulfil multiple orders, even if they occur on the same day. The teams certainly had a couple of long days in October though, but they got all the orders completed in a professional manner.
Project management is important in the exhibition industry. Each staff member has their own role to fulfil and it is brought together by an efficient project manager. This individual is responsible for making sure everything happens when it should, and the team all know what they are doing. They are also the person in charge of liaising with the customer to ensure the end result is what they are expecting.
Logistics is another key area. The stands need to get to the venues across the country for the build days and if the company is dealing with 9 different exhibitions all setting up on the same day, this presents a challenge. But they have a fleet of vans, and if they need more they hire them.
Alan went on “I’m very pleased with the way in which the teams performed, a lot of them are new members of staff and they have settled in and got up to speed very quickly. The professional way in which they complete the jobs is why customers return to us year after year, they know we won’t let them down”.