October 07 2020 0Comment
unswitched UK plug socket

Power to the people (who have seen the light).

Exhibiting doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are plenty of clever and effective ways to reduce costs and save time. You can ditch the brochures and paperwork in favour of imaginative digital alternatives, you can commission reusable graphics that will save money with every deployment, and you can use new digital marketing methods to build a stream of relevant, interested visitors.

And some will also tell you that you can save money by powering your stand ‘off-grid’, rather than paying for an electrical connection with safety assured 240V sockets. It’s true that many first time exhibitors will look at the costs of electrics on their bill, and wonder if, with a few battery-powered LED lights and posh laptops, they could do without ordering sockets for their exhibition stand?

It’s a good question. The truth is that, yes, a small exhibitor probably could get away with this, without significantly compromising their exhibition impact.

But, exhibiting is not about ‘getting away with’ anything. Precisely the opposite.

Exhibiting is about making positive impressions. Skimping on basics like effective and creative lighting makes only one impression – that you are skimping.

If your batteries are drooping by the afternoon, then there will be little you can do as your stand goes dark and your phone, laptop and tablet give up the ghost. That’s not a fate I would wish on any exhibitor.

There are, of course, immense portable power packs available, offering up to 1000 watts of power from a couple of 240V sockets mounted on something like an armoured suitcase. They take 8 hours to recharge, weigh two stone, and cost upwards of a thousand pounds. But they do deliver mains power in a box and are popular with construction crews and contractors when there is no mains power available.

If you dig into the specifications of a typical unit, you’ll discover it probably packs a whopping 80-100Ah of electric charge, which equates to about 12-1500 Watt-Hours. So if you’re charging, for example, 3 laptops, running a couple of screens and powering some LED lighting and lighting effects, you’re likely to be drawing about 3-500 watts.

This means that, under that load, your huge power pack will last a mere 2-3 hours before giving up on you.

You could buy more power packs, and lug them all back to the hotel for charging every night, but it’s all starting to look like an expensive and cumbersome solution.

If you find yourself exhibiting in a field, up a mountain, or in a yurt, maybe choose the battery pack option, otherwise stick to unmetered, reliable mains power.

LED lighting has truly come of age. Thanks to the low heat, low voltage and high light output characteristics, LED lighting offers infinite creative lighting possibilities and makes much lower demands for power sockets on exhibition stands.

LED Lighting allows you to light your stand creatively and flexibly, whilst the reliability of mains electricity keeps you bright and switched on until the exhibition hall doors close in the evening.