EN editor Nicola Macdonald catches up with Showlite’s electrical operations manager, Ross Isolda, who touches on the finer points of electrics.
What is it about Showlite’s approach that makes it different?
Exhibition electrics can be daunting for many exhibitors. Our long experience in dealing with the multitude of individual enquiries has taught us that a call centre approach just does not work. We believe in a personalised approach, with experienced qualified staff to guide the exhibitor through the process and our customers always appreciate the time we give them. Indeed, a little bit of guidance goes a long way.
How do you get electrics right for every client?
Events small or large have similar challenges and information is key. We gather information from venues, exhibitors, contractors and exhibition organisers. It’s a constantly changing situation, right up to the show opening. This allows us to advise our clients properly and by taking the time to listen to their requirements, allows us to give the correct information to our installation teams and the venue. It’s about delivering a safe, comfortable and stress free build up.
How can you help us save money on electrics?
We all know electrical costs can spiral out of control. Our contract managers can help exhibitors save money. On a basic level this could be as simple as an exhibitor who is unaware they already have an electrical package supplied ordering further electrics when in reality they don’t need them. This happens quite often, and our honesty is appreciated.
What is the goal of a successful electrics installation?
It’s our goal to ensure organiser and exhibitors have the smoothest, stress free experience with us, and get maximum return from their event participation. Key to this is understanding their power requirements for their installation. It’s all too easy to order the cheapest socket or main on the price list without actually understanding what is needed.
What’s the most common electrics problem you have to deal with?
Too many times we have seen an underpowered socket being abused by overloading. This causes many on-site issues, not just safety, that eat up valuable time and labour resources. The rules and regulations are there to protect our clients. A simple call to the client to identify their needs ensures that they and potentially others on their block of stands will enjoy a safe and correct installation without any loss of power through the show.
Why is it so complicated to just get our lights and power outlets working?
“It’s just spots and sockets” is a throwaway term I hear to describe electrics in the industry. This is far from the case. Different types of lighting and how best to light the stand, power distribution and the most cost effective method to achieve it, pre-fabbing gear prior to site installation, dealing with contractors from overseas with different electrical practice, on-site testing and inspection, training supervisory staff to 18th edition, health and safety training and applying grading status to each individual installer. A lot of time is invested in our staff and pre site operations – indeed, it’s a million miles away from “just spots and sockets”!
How do you know you’re doing it right?
“You’ve heard all this before, right?” Well, a simple way to measure the success of our approach is to visit one of our installations in the thick of a build-up. The lack of queues at our service desk will tell you all you need to know. Indeed, just this simple fact, gives our customers the trust and confidence to keep coming back to us time and time again.
Find out more about how Showlite can help power your event at www.showlite.co.uk.