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16-19 March 2024, The NEC, Birmingham, UK

Space Only Information

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This section of the manual is for all space only exhibitors and their contractors. It covers stand design rules and requirements, permitted construction materials, construction regulations and electrical regulations. It should be read in conjunction with the eGuide which is the benchmark guidance for all UK events. Download the eGuide here.  It should also be read in conjunction with the Health & Safety section which includes information on COVID-19 responsibilities.

Please ensure all your stand designers, contractors and anyone tendering for your stand design and build are issued with this information. Please direct them to for an email copy if required.

Contractor Appointment

You are advised to ensure that you employ a competent contractor to build your stand and satisfy yourself that they hold all the relevant safety qualifications, documentations and insurances and that they can build and dismantle your stand safely within the times allocated.

If you require assistance in finding a suitable contractor, please email our official space only contractor, Solutions 2, at or visit for a list of approved contractors.  


Stand Plan Submission Requirements

All space only exhibitors are required to submit detailed scale drawings of their stand to ensure they comply with applicable regulations. Plans should be emailed to by Friday 22 July. Information should include:

  1. Stand Design Inspection Form – Download the form here
  2. Plan view of stand, showing external stand and internal dimensions, positions of all stand build, construction, entrance and exit locations and width, AV, walling, columns within your stand, platforms and major exhibits. Plans should clearly show the orientation within the hall
  3. Elevation views, with clearly marked heights of all stand build (and rigged items if applicable)
  4. Details of the materials used to construct the stand, if not shown on your plans or referred to in your safety paperwork
  5. Full contractor contact details
  6. Risk assessment, including COVID 19 arrangements - click here for guidance and here for the template
  7. Method statement - click here for guidance and here for the template
  8. Construction Phase Plan - click here for guidance and here for the template

Work may not be carried out on-site until your plans and supporting documents have been checked and you have been issued with a Drawing Inspection Notice.  

Stand builds will also be monitored on-site. Any exhibitor building stands which differ to their submitted plans may incur on-site construction delays while build is suspended pending accurate information.

Additional Requirements – Complex Structures

If you are building a complex structure, please also submit a set of structural calculations and construction drawings proving the structural stability of the stand, details of all steel work and floor loadings and written confirmation from an independent competent structural engineer that the design is safe for its purpose. Maelstrom will forward your plans and calculations to the show’s structural engineer, Campbell Reith, who will check your information and invoice you directly at a cost of £210-£270 per single storey complex stand and £290-£330 per double decker stand.

The definition of a complex structure is any form of construction of any height which may require input from a structural engineer and examples include:

  • Stands over 4m in height in any part

  • Multi storey stands

  • Stands with steps / platforms over 600 mm.

  • All stages / platforms of any height used by the public (not stand platforms)

  • Sound / lighting towers

  • Any form of construction, regardless of its height, deemed complex and requiring structural calculations

  • Rigged structures not designed or manufactured to be hung. Examples include bespoke metal structures, cube banners, all timber and bespoke elements and all suspended stand-fittings

Stand Design & Layout Requirements


  • Ceilings, except those above the topmost storey of stands, must be of solid construction
  • All closed rooms with ceilings must include suitable emergency lighting
  • Fabric ceilings must be water permeable
  • Smoke detections should be considered


  • Where columns fall wholly or partially within the area of allocated space, they should be encased by the exhibitor on all four sides to a minimum height of 2.5 m and a maximum height of 6m
  • The casing must be self-supporting and may not be fastened to the column


  • Exhibitors must advise the Organisers of any demonstrations they are carrying out on their stand via submission of the Health & Safety Declaration and ensure that demonstrations do not constitute a fire or safety hazard
  • A Risk Assessment must be carried out for all demonstrations. Click here for guidance and here for the template
  • Control measures must be put in place to ensure that a) demonstrations do not present a fire or safety hazard, b) they are arranged so as not to cause a nuisance, c) the activity is contained within the stand space and does not protrude into the gangways and d) space for an audience is allowed within the stand area - viewing from the gangways is not permitted
  • All working machinery must have appropriate guarding, controls must be out of the public reach and the machinery may only be used by trained operatives.  A sign must be prominently displayed to avoid people becoming accidentally injured. Working machinery should only be demonstrated to interested parties where necessary and not used as an attraction to the stand. Moving parts of machinery and other working equipment must be efficiently guarded to protect both the public and the operator. All running machinery and other working equipment must be setback from the stand edge, so as not to cause a hazard to staff and to accommodate visitors. Please refer to the ESSA e-Guide for regulations relating to demonstrations and working machinery. Download the e-guide here
  • Use of tensator barriers or other approved barriers may be required to create a suitable queuing area

Doors and vision panels:

  • The required minimum effective clear width of a door is 800mm. Doors must be fitted with a vision panel with a zone of visibility spanning from 500mm to 1500mm above the floor
  • The exception to this is to small storerooms where a small panel may suffice
  • Doors must be recessed where they open to the public circulation areas – i.e. they must not open directly onto a gangway
  • Please ensure all door handles are located within the boundaries of the stand and not directly on the stand edge and in public aisles
  • Vision panels must not be covered by any means including frosting, graphics, blinds or removable elements

Equality / Disability considerations:

  • The Equality Act aims to ensure that everyone is treated equally and to the same standards and levels of service as each other, regardless of their ability / disability.  You have an obligation to consider this act and the former Disability Discrimination Act when designing your stand.
  • Refer to the disability section of the ESSA e-guide. Download the e-guide here

For further information and advice, please contact

Escape routes:

  • Alternative means of escape must be available from any point within a stand or structure leading to a place of safety. Escape routes should have a minimum, unobstructed height of 2.1m, other than within doorways, which should have a clear height of not less than 2.06m
  • The minimum permitted gangway width is 2m, except within stands of less than 100m2 where gangways must be no less than 1m wide
  • There should be no obstruction that could impede the free flow of people using the escape route
  • All floors should be even and have a firm, smooth and slip-resistant finish. Trip hazards should be avoided
  • The maximum travel distance from any part of a stand to a gangway shall not exceed 50m. Where there is only 1 means of escape from the stand, this must be reduced to 20m  In either case, the maximum travel distance should be reduced by 25% where alcohol is being served

Exit signs:

  • Exit signs must be a minimum height of 200mm and a minimum width of 400mm
  • They must be on a 24hr electrical supply and illuminated at all times
  • They must be positioned so they are conspicuous
  • Alternative means of escape and adequately maintained general and safety lighting, with maintained illuminated exit notices shall be provided for any enclosed area on a stand

Floor coverings / carpet:

  • All space only exhibitors must provide a suitable floor covering to their stand space; the use of the uncovered venue floor is not deemed suitable
  • All floor coverings must be adequately secured using approved tapes that are removed by the contractor during breakdown
  • All floor coverings must be maintained so that they do not cause a hazard

Floor loadings:

  • The NEC floor can usually withstand a loading of 20 tonnes per square metre (2 tonnes per square foot). Base plates should be designed to limit the compressive stress on the floor of the Building to 200KN per sq m unless the total load on a base plate is 50KN or less, in which case a minimum 300mm square plate must be used

Gangway obstruction:

  • No part of any stand or exhibit, including fascia, signs, lighting, corner posts, etc. shall project into or over the gangway or obscure any fire or exit signs and the Organisers reserve the right to remove any such item

Height limits and partition walls:

  • Free standing and solid partition walls must be constructed between your own & adjoining stands – you cannot utilise the backs of neighbouring space only or shell scheme stands. Walls are also required to the rear of perimeter sites as venue walls may not be utilised
  • Walls must be constructed to a minimum height of 2.5m and a maximum of 6m and run for the full length of the closed side
  • Where partitioning walls are constructed over 2.5 m in height, it is the responsibility of the exhibitor constructing the wall to dress the rear of the partition wall down to a height of 2.5 m in a plain neutral colour such as white. Logos and branding are NOT permitted on the rear of partition walls

Please note that receiving plans from neighbouring stands does not mean they have been checked for compatibility.

Linking stands / bridging structures:

In certain cases, exhibitors with stands either side of a gangway may be given permission to link their stands by bridging across the gangway. This will be dependent upon the location of the stands within the hall and prior written authorisation from the Organisers will be required in advance. In all cases where permission is given, the regulations below must be adhered to. These regulations have been devised to prevent the building of large solid structures across the gangways which restrict the sightlines down the hall and restrict views of neighbouring stands. Regulations:

  • Stands may be linked by high level construction only - not by platform floors across the gangway.
  • All linking structures must be a minimum height of 3m from the hall floor and a maximum of 6m (with structures over 4m being subject to complex structure requirements)
  • All link supports must be set back from ALL gangways by a minimum of 1m – download the bridging specification here
  • Exhibitors may be permitted to lay their own carpet across the gangway between their stands but they will not be permitted to platform across the gangway. Requests should be sent to  The gangway must remain clearly defined as a gangway by such means as a contrasting floor colour or with aisle markers. All gangways between blocks must also be kept clear of all exhibits, furniture, stand dressing etc. at all times
  • Each stand will require its own electrical mains connection as the bridging of mains is NOT permitted. This also applies to any plumbing and drainage supplies required

Numbering of stands:

  • All space only exhibitors should display their company name and stand number prominently on their stand so that they can be viewed from each approaching gangway. This will assist visitors in locating their position within the hall and finding the stands they wish to visit.

Open fronts / walling on open sides:

  • Long, solid runs of walling walls along gangway edges are NOT permitted - at least one third of each open side MUST be left “open” and runs of walling in excess of 5m are not usually permitted. “Open” is defined as suitable space for public access onto the stand or large unobstructed vision panels into the stand  
  • For large stands runs in excess of 5m may be considered provided one third of each stand side is kept open and the gangway side of the wall is fully dressed with graphics, picture or prints. Email requests to with a draft copy of your plan

Platforms and stages:

  • The use of platforms should be avoided wherever possible, in order to provide level access to exhibits and services for everyone
  • Where the use of platforms is unavoidable, they should not exceed 170mm in height (one step) and ramped access should be provided for people with disabilities
  • The distance between supporting timbers of platforms constructed from battens (25mm thick minimum) and sheet materials (plywood or MDF, 18mm minimum) must not exceed 400mm from centre to centre
  • Platform corners must be splayed, rounded or angled and there must be a contrast in colour between the gangway and the platform to denote the change in level
  • Where a bevel edge is applied to the perimeter of a platform, it must be conspicuous
  • Platforms and stages over 0.6m in height and all platforms and stages for public use are deemed to be complex structures
  • A barrier should be provided on all except the performance edge of all stages and platforms over 170mm, at a minimum height of 1100mm
  • It is good practice for all stages to have at least 2 means of access / egress

Ramped and stepped access / handrails:

Ramped access:

  • Where approaches exist of 1:20 or steeper, a ramp should be provided
  • A ramp must be either readily apparent or the approach to it clearly sign-posted

The gradient of a ramp flight and its going between landings should be in accordance with the following table:

Going of a ramp* Maximum gradient Maximum rise
10m 1:20 500mm
5m 1:15 333mm
2m 1:12 166mm

*For goings between the above lengths, the gradient will be adjusted accordingly

  • Ramps must not be greater than 10m, or have a rise of more than 500mm
  • Ramps shall have a minimum, unobstructed width of 1.5m
  • The ramp surface must be slip resistant, especially when wet and of a colour that contrasts with that of the landings
  • A landing at least 1.2m long and clear of any door swings or other obstructions must be provided at the foot and head of the ramp
  • Immediate landings must be at least 1.5m long and clear of any door swings or other obstructions
  • Immediate landings at least 1800mm wide and 1800mm long must be provided as passing places when it is not possible for a wheelchair user to see from one end of the ramp to the other, of if the ramp has three flights or more
  • Handrails must be provided on both sides of the ramp which has a gradient steeper than 1:20. Where it is impractical to comply with this legal obligation, a risk assessment must be provided and approved by the Organiser
  • Where the change in level is greater than 300mm, a ramp should be provided instead of a single step
  • Where the change in level is 300mm or more, 2 or more clearly signposted steps should be provided in addition to the ramp
  • All landings should be level, subject to a maximum gradient of 1:60 along their length
  • A kerb at least 100mm high, which contrasts visually with the ramp or landing, must be provided on the open side of any ramp or landing, in addition to any guarding required

Stepped access:

  • A level landing must be provided at the top and bottom of each flight
  • Each landing must have an unobstructed length of not less than 1200mm
  • Flights shall have a minimum, unobstructed width of 1.1m
  • Doors shall not swing across landings
  • Flights between landings shall contain no more than 12 risers where the treads are less than 350mm and no more than 18 risers where the treads are 350mm or greater
  • The tread and riser of each step must be consistent throughout a flight
  • The rise of each step must be between 150mm and 170mm
  • The tread of each step must be between 280mm and 425mm
  • Risers must not be open
  • The edge of each step must be made apparent by means of a permanent contrasting material 55mm wide on both the tread and the riser
  • The projections of a step nosing over a tread below should be avoided, but if necessary it must not exceed 25mm
  • A continuous handrail must be provided on each side of flights and landings
  • A single staircase shall not exceed 1.8m in width before a central handrail is introduced, although each channel shall have a minimum width of 1m
  • Spiral staircase are only permitted for exhibiting staff use and not for members of the public
  • Helical stairs are permitted where they comply with this guidance and their use is approved by the venue

Where the means of access to trailers, boats, caravans and other similar exhibits is manufactured as an integral part of the product, it may not comply with the above regulations. In such a case an appropriate risk assessment is required. As a minimum, they must comply with the following:

  • The headroom must be a minimum of 2m
  • The width may not be less than 450mm and must be at least equal to the width of the entrance to the exhibit
  • The risers must not exceed 170mm in height (open risers not permitted)
  • Each tread must be a minimum of 280mm in depth
  • The width of landings at top and bottom must be equal to the width of the steps
  • Handrails must be provided


  • Barriers must be provided to protect exposed edges of staircases, landings, balconies, galleries and other changes of level e.g. platforms >170mm (single step) and stages. They must comply with eGuide regulations and be capable of resisting forces set out in BS 6399 - see the eGuide for a pictorial reference

Balustrades (provide guarding to landings, balconies and platforms):

  • Balustrades must be a minimum height of 1.1m
  • All balustrades must be non-climbable i.e. with solid infills or vertical guard rails a maximum of 100mm apart

Handrails (provide guarding to all exposed edges of steps / stairs and ramps):

  • Handrails must be between a height of 900mm - 1000mm above the pitch line
  • Handrails must be continuous across the flight and are required on both sides of a staircase and centrally if >1.8m in width
  • All Handrails must be non-climbable i.e. with solid infills or vertical guard rails a maximum of 100mm apart
  • Handrails should extend at least 300mm beyond the top and bottom riser to prevent clothing being caught and contrast visually with the background against which they are seen
  • Surfaces must be slip resistant and terminate in a way that reduces the risk of clothing being caught. The profile should be either circular, with a diameter of between 40mm and 45mm, or oval, preferably with a width of 50mm
  • The clearance between a cranked support and the underside of the handrail shall be at least 50mm


Truss and hung structures are acceptable on the grounds below:

  • Standalone banners which are not integrated into the overall stand design may not be suspended above stands without prior arrangement with Future Publishing and are deemed a sponsorship opportunity with sponsorship fee
  • Canopies / suspended build and lighting rigs are permitted if they are an integral part of the overall stand design.  Full details must be shown on the submitted drawings
  • Floor to ceiling rigging is not permitted
  • Lighting rigs and suspended truss for the purpose of lighting shall be suspended at a height of 6-8m from the hall floor
  • Any rigged stand-fitting items will be suspended at a height no greater than 6m from the hall floor

Special effects:

If you intend to demonstrate any special effects, including lasers, smoke machines, strobe lighting, real flames, ultraviolet lights, high power scenic projectors, dry ice machines, firearms and pyrotechnics (including fire work displays you are required to inform the Organisers at least 35 days before the event via the Health & Safety Declaration.

The relevant requirements and regulations will be advised to you and you will be required to submit the following as a minimum:

  • A schedule of when the equipment is to be used
  • The length of time the effects are likely to remain at the event
  • A risk assessment and method statement covering the effects
  • Certificates of competency of operators and installers
  • Certificates of serviceability of equipment
  • A COSHH assessment and safety data sheets for any chemicals used to produce the effects
  • You are also required to display warning signs according to the type of effects to be used which must be placed in a position visible to visitors

For further information, contact

Double Decker Stands – Additional Considerations


  • There should be a minimum of two separate staircases leading from any floor above ground level.

However, in the following situation a single staircase is acceptable:

  • When no more than 60 people will occupy the level served by the staircase at any one time (public, performers and staff inclusive)
  • When no part of the floor of the upper storey of a stand is more than 20m away from a gangway. This must be reduced to 15m when alcohol is being served on the upper deck

Double decker stands - planning and design: 

When designing a double decker stand, the following considerations must be addressed:

  • Event timetable and show floorplan – you must ensure you can build and dismantle the structure safely within the Organiser's timetable and within the space allocated on the floorplan
  • Method Statement – a separate "Two Storey" method statement must be submitted along with the plans. Click here for guidance and here for the template
  • Stability – including at all stages of construction and dismantling, identifying at which point the structure can support itself, identifying the permanent elements that ensure stability, the sequence of construction and removal of any temporary parts, calculations indicating the relevant forces and load capability of the structure and the floor loading capacity of the venue
  • Construction and dismantling – including drawings must clearly identify the sequence of construction, a clear plan for dismantling the stand must be identified, the time available for construction and dismantling the stand must be taken into consideration and a safe system of work must be identified
  • Assessment of loads – a realistic assessment of loads and forces at each stage should be made in consideration of the erection sequence
  • Connections – including the design should consider the safest means of connecting components and, where appropriate, indicate the necessary provision of access equipment and the safe system of work and connections shall be simple and effective to reduce the time spent working at height
  • Materials handling – the design should take account of the safe handling, lifting, storage, stacking and transportation of the components relevant to their size, shape and weight

Construction Materials


All materials used in the construction of stands, features and displays, including signs and fascias, shall be:

  • Of a suitable nature and quality for the purposes and conditions of their intended use
  • Adequately prepared and fixed in order adequately to perform the functions for which they are designed
  • Non-combustible, inherently non-flammable or durably flameproof in accordance with BS476-Part 7
  • Water-based, where applicable, eg adhesive and paint
  • British Standards are the minimum acceptable standards for construction materials. Suitable samples of materials may be submitted to the venue for approval. Materials may be tested on site to ensure that they comply

Decorative materials:

  • Decorative materials use for stand dressing must be flame proofed or purchased already treated by use of the appropriate chemical
  • Untreated wallpaper or similar with thin surface finishes, not exceeding 1mm in thickness, may be accepted, provided they are firmly fixed
  • Artificial plants and flowers are combustible and give off toxic fumes and therefore may not be used for stand dressing. Silk-type flowers are acceptable, providing they are fireproof or have been treated and marked as such

Fabrics, drapes, curtains and hangings:

  • Drapes, curtains, hangings etc. must be inherently or durably fire-proofed, otherwise they may be treated with a proprietary flame retardant. Test certificates must be available for inspection for any materials intended to be used
  • Stands should not use drapes alone as a wall. Precautions must be taken to ensure that persons pushed against the draping cannot fall through. Suggested precautions are: a) hang drapes against a solid wall that stands at least 1.1m, b) if building with trilite, ensure extra cross bar bracing is installed as a barrier, c) As an added precaution ensure drapes are the correct size. There should be no excess draping on the hall floor and drapes should be tucked in and secured to the stand floor to ensure persons cannot kick up as they walk by
  • Fabrics used for interior stand decoration must be fixed taut and / or in tight pleats (not loosely draped) to a solid backing, security above floor level and not touching light fittings
  • Curtains on exit routes should hang 75mm clear of the floor, be parted in the centre and not conceal any exit signs

Floor coverings:

  • All floor coverings must be secured and maintained so that they do not cause a hazard. Fixing of floor coverings to the hall floor may only be carried out using approved tape. The venue will only approve exhibition tape which has a low tack bottom, high tack grab top and does not leave any residue or cause any damage to the floor when removed
  • Charges will be levied for the removal of any abandoned tape and any damages caused to the venue floor
  • Carpet may not be laid on top of other carpet
  • Nail fixings to the Latexfalt surface of the hall floor to secure margin boards, cable clips and similar items of stand fitting is permitted. These fittings must be carefully removed after use to prevent damage to the hall floor. Charges will be levied for the removal of any abandoned items


  • All glazing used in the construction of stands must consist of safety glass (laminated or tempered), a minimum of 6mm thick.  Areas of glazing within 80mm of floor level and over 0.5m2, where the smaller dimension of the pane is greater than 250mm, must conform to the thicknesses shown below (in order to comply with the “Code of practice for safety related to human impact”)
Nominal thickness Maximum pane size dimensions
8mm 1100mm x 1100mm
10mm 2250mm x 2250mm
12mm 4500mm x 4500mm
15mm or thicker No limits
  • Any uninterrupted, large areas of clear glazing shall be indicated with warning stripes, dots, logos etc
  • Overhead glazing shall be or wired or laminated glass, or be otherwise adequately protected from shattering

Night sheets:

  • Night sheets must be made of inherently non-flammable material or of material satisfactorily treated in order to render it non-flammable
  • They shall be stored rolled up and firmly secured and not cause any obstruction while not in use


  • Only water-based paint may be used on site. If paint spraying equipment is to be used, the method must be approved by the venue and not cause a nuisance to others. Protective measures shall be taken to ensure that no paint is spilt or sprayed on to the fabric of the building


  • All plastic, including plastic plants, trees etc. must conform to BS 476- Part 7, Class 1. Polycarbonate materials, such as Lexan and Makrolon are acceptable


  • Timber under 25mm thick must be impregnated to Class 1 standard.  Treated materials should have “BS476-Part 7, Class 1” marked on them
  • Boards, plyboards, plywood, chipboard etc must be treated if under 18mm thick. The exception to this is MDF which is acceptable for use due to its density. MDF may not be machined on site, as its dust is hazardous to health


  • Upholstered seating must be non-combustible and marked with the appropriate standard

Waste & Dilapidations


During the build-up and breakdown periods, the venue cleaners will remove normal waste from the gangways.  The definition of normal waste is packaging and small items such as those that would fit into a standard black bin bag.  You and your contractor are responsible for removing all other waste, including:

  • Carpet – except scraps
  • Carpet tape
  • Crates and pallets
  • Building waste, such as bricks, sand and stand-fitting materials
  • Metal work
  • Heavy / large items that need to be removed by mechanical means
  • Hazardous waste – eg paints, solvents, chemicals, clinical waste aerosols, oils or cooking oils
  • Strip lights (fluorescent tubes and light bulbs)
  • Material produced by working demonstrations of exhibits
  • Excess literature

Charges will apply for the removal of any such items left abandoned in the hall.

Quotes for skips can be obtained from the NEC Cleaning Dept. on +44 (0)844 3388 338 or you can download the order form here


You are not permitted to fix to any part of the fabric of the building or bolt to the NEC floor without permission from the NEC. Charges will apply for all damages, including knocks to walls and pillars, paint spillages and removal of abandoned carpet tape.

Space only exhibitors / contractors are requested to report to the Organiser's Office before leaving site during breakdown so that a Floor Manager can check that the stand space is clear of all waste and free of damages.

Electrical Regulations & Considerations


BS 7671 is the code of practice which is widely recognised and accepted in the UK. However, most UK venues have agreed to accept a modified guidance as a minimum standard for electrical installation and all space only exhibitors and their contractors are required to comply with this guidance. Download the e-Guide here

The Electricity at Work Regulations describe the requirement that all systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger and that no person shall be engaged in any electrical work activity where technical knowledge or experience is necessary to prevent danger or injury unless he possess such knowledge or experience.

Electrical testing:

It is the responsibility of the persons undertaking the electrical installations to ensure that the specifications for installation laid out in the e-Guide have been complied with and that they have either (if suitably qualified) undertaken appropriate inspection and testing themselves to verify compliance or have arranged for the event’s official electrical contractor (C.E.S.) to do so.

Where C.E.S. are requested to carry out the stand’s electrical installation, a charge of £15 will be made.

Where C.E.S. are requested to install a direct main, only after the following criteria has been met will mains be installed and the associated charges applied:

  • Copies of the relevant qualifications of any personnel responsible for the completion of the installation must be provided
  • The person carrying out testing must be qualified to the required standard
  • All qualifications, insurance and general details must be provided to C.E.S. where upon a £150.00 administration fee plus a £300 test and inspection charge per main will be levied

Following the completion of the installation by the allocated contractor the following must also be adhered to before energisation of the supply may be facilitated:

  • The installation must meet the standards required by the regulations, however should the installation not meet these requirements TC.E.S. are authorised to postpone energisation until they are met satisfactorily
  • If for any reason the electricians responsible for the installation cannot carry out the required Test & Inspection, C.E.S. may carry out this service on their behalf and the contractor will be charged for the cost

Basic electrical considerations:

  • All electrical equipment and exhibits must be guarded to prevent accidental contact with live terminals
  • All Connections and Terminal are to be enclosed in a suitable box / enclosure
  • Light fittings must not be balanced on top of the ceiling grid without being secured
  • Light fittings must not be secured with sticky tape/string etc. – clips/insulated wire/heavy duty electrical ties must be used
  • Light fitting flex must not be draped across the ceiling grid or left hanging in coils. A maximum length of 2m of flex for point to point is allowed
  • Light fittings attached to metal displays must be earth bonded
  • Spotlights/floodlights/halogen lamps, etc. must be guarded / enclosed so as to prevent risk of injury to persons
  • Lighting circuits must not exceed 1,000 watts
  • Lighting circuits must not be looped or connected to power circuits
  • Only one multiplug lead of trailing socket type may be connected to each installed socket outlet, with a maximum trail of 2m. The trailing lead / multiplug will be rated at a maximum of 500w and can only be used in conjunction with a 500w socket outlet
  • Only one cable to be connected to plug top and all cables kept to a maximum of 2 metres
  • Multiplug adapters may not be used to feed other multiplug adapters
  • Joints in cables where necessary shall be in insulated screwed connectors and be totally enclosed in insulated enclosures – i.e. all connectors must be protected by plastic boxes
  • Flexible cable must not be used for stand wiring
  • All electrical wiring below 2.8m (on partition walls or at floor level) must be protected in PVC or metal tube
  • All electrical wiring under floors must be protected by heavy gauge PVC or metal tube
  • All sockets must be 13 amp metal switch sockets
  • Main switches and distribution must be metal clad
  • Switch gear must be fused or circuit breaker on the phase conductors and solid neutral. All switch gear must come complete with either a double pole or triple pole RCD Rated @ 30ma
  • All transformers shall be fused on primary and secondary side
  • All equipment and exhibits must be guarded as to prevent risk or injury to persons
  • All neon signs below 2.5 metres must be enclosed in a metal case with suitable transparent front and controlled by an approved “Fireman’s Emergency Switch”

Power Advice for Simple Orders

Exhibition power supplies vary from household supplies.  Below is a quick guide to help you order the correct supplies and avoid problems during the event - such as tripped supplies.

500W Sockets - Rated at 2 Amp and can supply:

  • One computer (or 2 laptops)
  • A small domestic fridge
  • Four mobile phone chargers
  • Table lamp
  • Television & video
  • Or any combination of the above using a single 4-way extension (maximum length 2m) subject to a total load of 500W

1KW Sockets – Rated at 4 Amp and can supply:

  • Small domestic coffee machine (750W – 1KW)
  • Small domestic steamer (900W – 1KW)
  • Small microwave cooker (750W – 1KW)
  • Vacuum cleaner (800W – 1KW)

2KW & 3 KW Sockets – Rated at 10 Amp & 13 AMP and can supply:

  • Jug Kettle (2KW – 3KW)
  • Catering coffee machine (1 5KW – 3KW)
  • Industrial Cleaners (1 2KW – 3KW)

Useful notes:

  • The list indicates individual items that can be used with each socket, with the exception of the 500W socket above
  • All sockets are supplied on a daytime power only basis unless a 24hr continuous supply is ordered
  • Actual power requirements will vary dependent upon the individual equipment used. All electrical equipment has a Rating Plate that shows its power consumption in Watts or Kilowatts.  You should check before you order your power
  • If you are ordering a socket to supply your own lighting arrangement, the maximum power rating of any single lighting circuit is 1000W (1KW) – so if you had 3KW of lighting on your stand, you would need to order 3 x 1KW sockets for this requirement
  • Under the current regulations it is not permissible to order a socket and use it to supply a consumer unit if you are carrying out the installation of your own electrical wiring and equipment. In these circumstances you would need to order an electrical mains supply


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