Access Flooring for Temporary Events and Exhibitions

Trade show attendance is up! Learn how temporary access flooring can improve your booth design and technology for improved appeal, access, and foot traffic.

Access Flooring for Temporary Events and Exhibitions

Despite the mass migration to “virtual events” over recent years, demand for in-person events such as trade shows, temporary exhibitions, and pop-up events continues to grow. According to IBISWorld1, the Trade Show and Conference Industry reached $21.7 billion after posting a 24.7% revenue increase in 2023. 

These temporary in-person events can include art exhibitions, display galleries, pop-up events, conferences, and trade shows. Each of these events allows companies to interact directly with prospects and customers to exchange ideas and forge new relationships while staying atop industry trends and receiving immediate feedback from the attendees. Accommodating the hundreds to thousands of visitors requires creating an attractive, durable display or company booth that can be quickly set up, broken down, and easily transported to its next location if needed.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. No matter the temporary event, a clean, uncluttered presentation space is key to attracting visitors. Seeing behind the curtain is not always an advantage for visitors. Power cords and data cabling strewn about the space are unsightly and create tripping hazards. To avoid this and other potential pitfalls, today’s topic is to discuss the design process for temporary events like pop-ups, trade shows, exhibitions, or temporary business locations.

What Is The Circular Economy

Determine Your Display Needs

For pop-up events and exhibitions, the space can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand square feet, and is determined by the venue or property owner. In contrast, the typical US exhibitor trade show booth size is 10’ x 10’, and the booths are arranged to create uniform aisleways for foot traffic. With the size of the space finalized, the next step is determining the ideal setting for promoting the company’s products and services. 

What does the desired setup look like?
The options here can include: 

  • What are you displaying?
  • Will this include IT or AV like screens?
  • Will the setup include temporary boundary walls?  
  • A common entrance/exit point or separate points to control traffic flow.
  • Ramps for improved accessibility.
  • Furniture and equipment layout.
  • Colors, textures, and flooring options.

As you design your pop-up, exhibition, or trade show booth, remember that the components of the finished design must be easy to assemble, disassemble, and transport from one venue to the next. Modular products are easier to store and transport, and durable materials, like steel, last substantially longer than other materials, such as plastic. 

How will the space be used? 

Most displays start with a walk-through design where visitors can pick up pamphlets and information packets and go “hands-on” with a product. Some use interactive displays to present informational materials, such as videos or slideshows. Others rely on presenters to do live demonstrations and answer visitor questions. Still, others incorporate AR (Augmented Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to promote their products and services. 

The commonality between these options is the need for WIFI connectivity, Audio Visual services, and large to massive amounts of data. Data connection points, screen locations, and speaker systems must be identified and determined during the booth design phase.

What Is The Circular Economy

Facility Data and Power Connection Points

The next step is to determine how much power and data is needed to support the display, elements and components. This may vary depending on the nature of your event. Simple trade show booths and exhibitions will require much less than a fully interactive pop-up event using wireless connectivity, video, and AR technology to engage with visitors. Here are four questions to ask the property management agent or the event facility coordinator and staff.

Where are the access and connection points for data and power services?

Most event venues have an easily accessible connection point for each exhibitor space. Depending on the display or booth orientation, you may need longer cables to connect to these services.

Will you be connecting to temporary or permanent electrical services? 

Temporary services, such as batteries or generators, cannot produce the same output or handle the same number of connections as permanent electrical services. Batteries will require regular charging to power the space. Generators (located outdoors) may be powered by gasoline, diesel, or propane and require regular refueling to produce the power exhibitors need.

How do you get the necessary power and data without the exposed cabling?

Because many presenters and vendors struggle with the exposed temporary power cables, raised flooring systems are growing in popularity with exhibitions, pop-ups and trade show exhibitors. The low-profile raised flooring system creates a small air space above the existing floor to conceal all the data and power cabling. 

Are there any specific attachment requirements? 

A typical condition of space rental agreements is that no drilling or mechanical fastening to the existing structure is allowed. The booth components (walls, boundary markers, and raised flooring system) must be self-supporting and interconnected for added strength and rigidity.

Track Distribution System: The heart of the track distribution system is a 50A feed module wired from the electrical panel to the power track. The track is located in the floor available to provide power to wall receptacles, wired furniture, and equipment such as floor boxes, printers, copiers, tech panels, etc. The number of 50A tracks is determined by the power requirements of the area served. The spacing of the tracks is designed to provide accessibility anywhere in the area so it will meet the initial floor plan design as well as accommodate any future changes and space reallocation without the need to run wiring back to the electrical panel.

Track is also available as a 20A branch circuit system.

Components of the Track Distribution system:

Feed Modules provide the source of power. 50A three phase or 50A dual circuit connections preassembled with MC cable whips. The cable whips are assembled in lengths required to reach the panel. Isolated Ground and Energy Control circuits can be accommodated.

Temporary Access Flooring Systems

Access flooring systems eliminate the exposed extension cords, power strips, and cable clutter typically associated with temporary events and pop ups. Besides detracting from the space design, exposed cables create tripping hazards and limit visitor accessibility. When choosing a temporary raised access flooring system for an art exhibition, special event, trade show booth, or venue, Gridd has the options you need today and for the future.

Adaptability – Gridd (available in 1.6”-2.75” profile heights) works with virtually any size or type of building or space with a level flooring finish. 

Flexibility – Gridd is easily maintained, upgraded, or wholly reconfigured as the technology needs change for the exhibition, pop-up, or trade show booth, providing a higher ROI for exhibitors.

Modular design – makes the system easy to install, disassemble, and transport from one event to the next.

Integrated power option – with Gridd Power, the power cabling runs can also move to the underfoot air space. The power is distributed through bus bars for increased efficiency and lower costs (30% less copper than traditional wiring techniques). Only a properly trained and licensed electrician or electrical contractor should perform any electrical work.

What Is The Circular Economy

Event Flooring Options

Choosing the best flooring option depends on, for example, the size of your booth and answers to the following questions.

  • What are the specific cleaning recommendations? Sweeping, mopping, shampooing, or vacuuming require different cleaning equipment and energy levels.
  • Will the booth see constant or intermittent usage?
  • Will food and drinks be allowed in the booth or pop-up area? 
  • How will the flooring material be transported? Car or truck? Rolls vs. bins/crates?
  • How easy is the flooring to install/remove? Simple installations take less time for set-up and tear-down activities.
  • How comfortable is the flooring material? Your staff and most visitors may be on their feet for hours, so comfort is an important consideration when choosing your temporary flooring materials.

The most common trade show and pop-up flooring options include:

Linoleum and Vinyl Flooring – these materials are available in widths ranging from 6’-12’ wide. These products can be made to look like wood, stone, or slate and come in a wide variety of colors to match any booth design and company color scheme. 

Rubber, Vinyl, Plastic Tiles – are available in 9”x 9”, 12” x 12”, 18” x 18”, and 12” x 24” sizes. The vinyl and plastic options feature a peel-and-stick adhesive or require a mastic glue for a proper installation. Rubber tiles are typically thicker and can be installed without the use of adhesives.

Please note that these products require using a releasable adhesive for temporary or limited events to facilitate disassembly and transport.

Carpet Tiles – the most common sizes include 18” x 18” or 24” x 24”, but several other sizes are available from different manufacturers. These tiles feature a densified rubber base for increased stability and comfort while eliminating the need for releasable glue due to the temporary installation.

The Flooring Solution for Temporary Events and Exhibitions

The Gridd® Raised Flooring System meets the demands of today’s events while addressing future technology and flexibility concerns. With the data and power cabling hidden, yet easily accessible for changes and upgrades, presenters now have a durable access flooring solution that will accommodate an infinite number of designs, spaces, sizes, and configurations. Contact a Freeaxez Advisor to learn more about access flooring solutions for temporary events, exhibitions, and trade shows.

What Is The Circular Economy
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