Once you have your stand set up, with everything in place to guarantee your exhibition is going to be the best yet, you are then tasked with keeping everything safe. It sounds easy, but sometimes, in reality, this is not such a simple task. Exhibits and equipment are occasionally taken from exhibition stands, halls and meeting rooms when left unattended.
High value exhibits, audio visual kit, computer equipment and promotional giveaways are often targeted. How do we avoid the most common security problems faced on show-site and what deterrents can be set in place to avoid exhibits from being stolen on-site?
Working on-site we have learned how important it is to safeguard exhibits and fully believe you should not wait until you are at the show to plan your exhibit security, the key is to plan and prepare before the event.
1. Ensure your company has an adequate freight insurance policy covering the value of your exhibits from door to door and including the duration of the event.
2. Create a packing list or inventory of your freight. This will make it easier for you to account for everything on your stand and proves invaluable information when filing an insurance claim.
3. Before shipping to an event, think about how you will pack and label your valuables, re-packing and black shrink wrapping items over the original branded manufacturers packaging often helps disguise the value and contents on show-site.
4. Conceal valuables on your stand. Leave small, expensive items packed during setup to limit the amount of time they are exposed on display.
5. Using non-working models and products for display instead of working products can be a less expensive way of show-casing your merchandise.
6. If you do have to demonstrate working products or high value kit, check if the venue / organiser can offer secure accessible storage, to protect high value equipment from any potential risk.
7. If you have small, high value items, that are portable, you may want to take them back to your hotel, for safekeeping, at the end of each day.
8. Being aware of your surroundings whilst on-site is important. Many people will have access to the venue, before, during and after the event so it is important to be vigilant and report suspicious behaviour to security.
9. Many exhibition venues have security guards, detection systems and CCTV in place to monitor the overall safety and security of the event. Security options are available through the venue for large and heavy items already in position, having 24-hour security guards, cameras or webcams on your stand can be a useful deterrent.
Unfortunately, even with all these safeguards set in place, exhibits do sometimes still disappear. Limiting the appeal of your exhibits, storing valuables in locked secure areas and keeping an eye on your freight throughout the event, may prevent items from being taken and everything you shipped to the event should return home safe and sound.