Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hanging a sign

They look so great and graceful (well, mostly) hanging in the air over the show floor. But somebody had to get hanging signs up there. Usually, it's up to you to get the job done.

Hanging your completed sign has a few steps:
  • Put in the order for the riggers well in advance of the show.
  • Assemble the sign.
  • Spot the location above the booth where the sign is to hang.
  • Attach the aircraft cables
  • Hoist the sign.
  • Make sure it is turned the way you want it.

Obviously, this is all done in cooperation with your rigging contractor. By putting the order in well in advance, you take advantage of any discounts. When you arrive at the show, check in at the service desk and, if you can predict it, let them know when you'll be ready for the riggers to come.

A typical rigging team is made up of two or three men: one on the ground and two in the basket (either on a forklift or a gooseneck crane, depending on the height of the sign.

Most promoters either have the sign at 20 or 24 feet to the top of the sign.

In most halls (like here in Chicago), the riggers open and assemble the sign. In some non-union environments, you or your I&D team can assemble the sign and wait for the riggers.

Spotting the location above the booth. Do this with the lead rigger. At NACS, they had the coolest laser device. We found the center of the booth and pointed the laser from that spot to the ceiling. This confirmed the location (a particular beam) where the sign will be hung from.

Part of assembly is to attach the cables. These aircraft-rated cables and attachments are usually specified by the hall or the city, so follow the lead of the riggers.

The cables are rated by size and the weight they can bear. The cables provided by the sign maker usually work, but in some cities (LA comes to mind), sometimes a heavier-rated cable has to be substituted.

There are several attach points (either 3 or 4 points on the top of the sign) from which the sign hangs. The number and location help the sign hang straight.

Make sure, as they are hoisting it, be sure the logo faces the correct direction (in this case the front of the hall). This signpost will help draw attendees and targeted visitors to your booth at the show.

Lesson learned: Again, plan and come prepared and your task will come off on time, within budget and look the part you've asked it to play.


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