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Rigged for Success

By Chris Schmidt


  • Understand the concept of rigging and how it can boost your exhibit presence
  • Ways to reduce costs and avoid hiccups on-site
  • Tips and helpful hints for effective booth signage

Exhibitors are always looking for the competitive edge to stand out on a crowded trade show floor.

Sometimes, the answer is as simple as looking up.

Suspended structures can be a big difference maker when it comes to your exhibit booth. Taking advantage of overhead real estate can provide more space to display branding, a key message, and draw interest and awareness across the show floor.

The key to success is understanding the process. Get familiar with rigging and all that hangs with it using these FAQs.

Q What is rigging?

Rigging is the overhead hanging or suspension of objects, often times as part of an exhibit booth.

Q Why should I consider rigging for my exhibit booth?

Rigging structures overhead can help draw more attention to your booth by adding visual interest above your space and providing more branding opportunities.

Q What can be rigged?

The most common items include hanging signs, walls, lighting, speakers… even LED screens. You can even suspend objects that highlight and identify your brand.

Q Who does the rigging?

Rigging is always handled by a skilled worker. Depending on the size and scope of the rigging project, there could be multiple workers (and sometimes union labor) involved.

Some exhibitors will shy away from rigging because they worry about the cost. But it’s important to remember that rigging costs are impacted by the time and number of workers needed to complete the job.

Get rigged with these high-quality tips

Whether it’s simple signage or a massive overhead structure, here are some helpful hints to reduce costs, avoid delays, and ensure a smooth and speedy rigging process.

  • Be strategic about what you want to be rigged. Some structures go up easier, some require more TLC to get into place and secured.
  • Go light! Heavier structures may need to be evaluated by a certified rigger. If the rigger determines the structure exceeds the published capacity for the venue, it might be necessary to bring in an engineer, too.
  • The rules vary city to city, so be sure you know the venue’s specific rigging regulations. This can include things like who can do the rigging, when it can happen, height limits, and more. Be sure to check the exhibitor kit or find an exhibitor services representative with any questions.
  • Take advantage of early bird discounts – don’t wait until you are on the show floor to arrange your rigging. Do it ahead of time to save some bucks.
  • Know your signage. Provide detailed instructions and facts (dimension, weight, attachment locations on the item to be hung) about your structure so there are no delays or hiccups.
  • Ideally, arrange rigging before booth build. Be proactive with the schedule and follow up with show services to ensure everything is on time and on track.
  • Be on-site and available during the rigging. You want to make sure your vision is executed in the way you imagined.

If you are working with an exhibitor-appointed contractor, be sure to submit your EAC form and a copy of their certificate of insurance. This important step ensures that your EAC will be allowed to help!

Encourage your EAC to work with the general contractor to coordinate rigging and electric to create a seamless plan. Your EAC should also connect with the electric, rigging, and freight supervisors to ensure a speedy process. This can help get the trucks with your materials in and out of marshaling without hiccups.

Want to learn more about rigging and other ways to make your exhibit stand out?
Our experts can help.
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