The majority of trade shows that American businesses attend will be on U.S. soil, but there are also significant benefits to exhibiting in the United Kingdom. With the second-largest population in Europe and the sixth-largest economy in the world, the U.K. is a global business hub and an important bridge between the U.S. and Europe. While the events industry in the U.K. has many similarities to that of the U.S., the terminology used can vary significantly. Below is a glossary of common industry terms and how they differ between the U.S. and the U.K. “Trade show” (U.S.) Versus “Exhibition” (U.K.) The immediately obvious distinction between U.S. and U.K. events terminology: “Trade shows” or “trade fairs” are most commonly referred to as “exhibitions” in the U.K. “Booth” (U.S.) Versus “Stand” (U.K.) In the U.K., the word “stand” or “exhibition stand” is used to describe a trade show booth. The words “booth” and “stand” are largely synonymous, with terms like “corner booth” or “peninsular booth” being replaced with “corner stand” and “peninsular stand.” You may occasionally hear U.K. exhibition professionals use the word “booth,” but this will almost always be in specific reference to a shell scheme. “Pipe and Drape” (U.S.) Versus “Shell Scheme” (U.K.) The “shell scheme” is the U.K. equivalent of the “pipe and drape” booth system but with some significant differences. It’s used in the same way, to separate businesses exhibiting side-by-side, but unlike pipe and drape, shell schemes are constructed of solid walls held together by an aluminum modular framework. They come in a variety of configurations and sizes, typically between six to 24 square meters with 2.4m-high walls and a fascia that usually includes the stand number and brand name, or a custom-branded banner. Because the walls are solid, graphics can be attached directly to the structure, making shell schemes more customizable than pipe and drape. “Bare Booth” (U.S.) Versus “Space Only” (U.K.) The alternative to shell schemes, the U.K. equivalent of “bare booth” is referred to as “space-only” and is, as the name suggests, an allocated space in the exhibition venue where exhibitors build their stand. “Kiosk” (U.S.) Versus “Counter” or “Plinth” (U.K.) A “kiosk,” the freestanding structure for products, promo materials and demonstrations, is referred to as either a “counter” or “plinth” in the U.K. The two words are often used synonymously, but “counter” generally refers to a surface that is used like a desktop, with ongoing activity, while a “plinth” is used for product, literature or decorative display and will be left alone other than to replenish these materials. “Exhibit House” (U.S.) Versus “Exhibition Stand Contractor” (U.K.) Companies who design and build exhibition stands, known as “exhibit houses,” “display builders” or “trade show booth builders” in America, are referred to as “exhibition stand contractors” in the U.K. The U.K. exhibition industry does not have the same union labor regulations as the U.S., meaning exhibitors can hire whomever they want to install their stand. This means that the company that designs and manufactures the stand will usually be the one to install it unless exhibitors choose to build it themselves. “Show Decorator” or “General Service Contractor” (U.S.) Versus “Onsite Contractors” (U.K.) While exhibition stand contractors will generally be responsible for stand installation, U.K. venues also have their own onsite contractors responsible for on-site services like electrics, rigging, running water, waste collection and disposal, internet access and, in some cases, carpet and furniture. These industry professionals, known as “show decorators” or “general service contractors” in the U.S., are referred to as “onsite contractors” in the U.K. Other Important Differences As well as the differences in trade show terminology, there are some other significant differences between the U.S. and the U.K. to keep in mind. Electrics: The voltage and frequency of electricity in the U.K. are different to the U.S. While the standard voltage in America is 120v at a frequency of 60Hz, in the U.K., it is 230v at a frequency of 50Hz. This is important because devices designed for the wrong voltage present a significant risk of fire or even explosion. Measurements: U.K. measurements are quoted in meters and centimeters, rather than feet and inches. One meter is approximately 3.3 feet. No “drayage”: Some venues will charge for storing your surplus materials during the show, but any handling of your stand materials will be done by yourself or your contractor and isn’t something you’ll be charged for. Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE, listen to our latest podcast HERE and engage with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!
Jun 08, 2023
People News: Orange County Convention Center, Visit Salt Lake, RX and More Make Promotions, Appoint Leaders
May 30, 2023
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Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space. Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.