Once every five years, organizations within the Seventh-day Adventist Church showcase their ministry for the world. When 70,000+ fellow believers gather in San Antonio in July 2015, the exhibit hall is one of the prime locations they will choose to visit. Providing a safe environment at your exhibit should be a part of the overall design.
Let’s Start at the Very BeginningThe first item on your booth design checklist is to read through the Exhibitor Kit and to understand any design requirements that you must meet. What restrictions might affect the booth’s design? For example, if you are considering a two-story booth for your exhibit, does it comply with the requirements of the exhibit hall? All platform areas should be certified for the expected maximum occupant load. Would these requirements cause a change in plans?
Research all construction materials. Are your material choices non-combustible, fireproof and conform to all Federal, State and local codes and rules? All electrical wiring and equipment used within your exhibit must also meet industry safety standards. Having a fire extinguisher in large exhibit booth is another smart safety practice.
Lighting is another area that must be carefully planned. Halogen lights provide lots of light, but they can overheat. If a visitor to your booth accidently touches a halogen bulb, they could burn themselves. Consider using LED lighting where possible to minimize this hazard. If extra lighting components are being used, how do you plan to supply the necessary power? Extension cords or power strips require extra caution. They must not overload the capacity of the electrical circuit. All cords should be properly covered or taped down using gaffer tape to prevent potential trip and fall hazards within your exhibit.
What is the traffic-flow pattern for your booth? Can visitors move about easily? If an incident were to occur, could they exit quickly to safety?
As an exhibitor, you may be required to provide proof of minimum limits of general liability coverage from your insurance provider. A minimum $1 million coverage limit is often required. Denominational organizations insured through Adventist Risk Management Inc. can contact their Account Executive for assistance with insurance needs.
Hitting the RoadIf the planned booth meets the specifications, it’s time to send supplies to their final destination. You’ll need to choose a means of transportation–either renting a truck and driving it or choosing a shipping company. Whatever your choice, insurance coverage should be sufficient to cover any losses.
When shipping goods, be savvy in how they are packed and labeled. Use plenty of packing materials to avoid breakage. Don’t list the contents of crates on shipping labels. Number the crates and keep a separate written list. A crate labeled DVD player and 27” computer monitor draws more attention than one labeled Box #23.
Driving long distances in a large truck is different than driving in a passenger car. The driver must be aware of the truck’s height and length. Bridges, overpasses and overhangs at loading docks may not allow easy passage. Also, remember large trucks take longer to stop and allowance must be made for wide turns.
Take rest breaks during the trip to stay alert. Before you begin the trip, map out overnight stops and locate hotels that have truck parking.
It’s Show Time!Booth set-up requires vigilance and good safety practices. Never stand on a chair when reaching for something located at a higher level. Always use a ladder appropriate for the height. Properly install all wiring and extension cords. When installed under carpets in high traffic areas, wiring can fray and become a potential fire hazard. Make sure good safety practices are followed during both set-up and teardown.
How will you monitor the security of electronic items such as computers, monitors, recorders, etc.? Don’t forget to include a plan for keeping give-away items secure during the times when the booth is open and after hours. How will personal items such as purses, suit coats, and other items be stored while personnel are providing coverage in the booth? Never consider an exhibit hall to be completely secured, even if security guards are on duty. Remember, you are responsible for your items.
Planning ahead for exhibit booth safety takes time and consideration of specific needs. Every minute spent to ensure the security and safety of visitors and personnel will help ensure an accident-free event.
Visit the Adventist Risk Management Inc. booth during GC Session 2015! Come for giveaways and practical information on how to prevent unnecessary risk to your organization. ARM cares because our ministry is to protect your ministry!