On the Road with Showlite Account Manager, Georgina Pettit

Posted on Sun 15th Dec 2019 at 8:19pm

When we’re delivering shows for our customers we dispatch a big team of people to put in the floorcoverings, shell scheme, electrics, lighting, and signage, and it’s my job to ensure that everything is installed in the right order, at the right time, and in the right place.

With the number of shows we work on around the country, there’s a lot of travelling involved and that can take its toll on a team, but with good planning and the right resources, we’re able to take traffic problems in our stride and deliver our trademark customer service to several shows a week no matter where they are located.

As an account manager, my role often means being at the venue at the moment the build starts and leaving when the show opens, and I’ve signed it all off. Picking a typical week this year, our team built three shows simultaneously in Telford, Manchester and Bolton, namely AQUA, PHEX and The National Apprenticeship Show.

No week is the same, but once I’ve finished one show, more often than not I’ve got time to go home, relax with the dog and a glass of wine, get a night’s sleep and then head back to Showlite HQ to get the next show ready for deployment.

In an ideal world, I’d have a teleporter, and I’d be able to walk from one show to another in a moment, but in the real world, I need to deputise team members to manage each simultaneous build. So while my colleagues were heading to Telford and Bolton, I embarked for Manchester and PHEX the night before the start of the build, and picked a conveniently located hotel within walking distance of the Manchester United Stadium, the venue for this event. It's not always possible to find suitable accommodation nearby, but after years of visiting venues with Showlite, I have a list of trusted favourites that are clean, well looked after, and not too far from the show floor.

For PHEX at Manchester, we arrived on-site as a team at 8 am, after coordinating our arrival time with the venue and the organiser, and immediately set to work marking out the show floor in preparation for the build. Then all the equipment was moved in and, as usual, the build went smoothly whilst I supervised, dealing with any delays or problems with the build sequence, and liaising with the organiser to ensure the build was progressing to their satisfaction. As the build went on, I continued checking that the right stands were going up and that they were correctly configured.

Once the build was complete I walked the show floor a couple of times with a detailed checklist to confirm everything was in good order and then we let the exhibitors in and opened our exhibitor helpdesk to assist with their stand related matters from problems to requests for additional equipment, power & furniture. As usual, we also answered a lot of general enquiries, helping out some first-time exhibitors with advice and directing people around the venue!

With the exhibitors in place and happy, I was able to sign off the show, and we could open the doors to the visitors.

Whilst all this was going on my colleagues were in Telford and Bolton doing the same thing. Telford was quite a challenge for the AQUA event, servicing the Aquarist and Aquarium industry. As you can imagine there were a lot of live fish on site, so we needed to ensure the electrics were installed in accordance with stringent safety regulations. With the exhibitions open for business, a few team members stay behind at each one to deal with any issues for the duration of the show, and I set off home.

As you can imagine, traffic plays a big part in my work, and I use the Waze app as my satnav because it’s an absolute gem when it comes to diverting me around heavy traffic, accidents or detours. More than once it has instructed me to leave the motorway and sent me on a diversion around the tailbacks and contraflows that will delay other drivers.

On the way home I stop once for a quick coffee and then again for something to eat. Like most people, I’m not a huge fan of service stations, but it’s important to break up a long journey with rest time to keep my concentration up.

Staying alert and hydrated can be difficult, coffee helps in the short term, but tiredness can kick in very suddenly when it wears off, so I ensure I have water and sundries in the car to keep myself in tiptop driving condition.

Once I'm home, there's time to relax in the evening before heading back into the office to prepare for the next show and draw up a new travel plan.


Our Services

“The onsite team is always happy to co-operate with the inevitable last minute changes.”
Natasha Messer, Events Operations Manager, Prospects Events
“Showlite deliver exceptionally high levels of personal service. I know that I can rely on them to deliver throughout all aspects of the pre-planning, build and onsite work”
Mark Mayo, Director, Motorcycle Expo
“I have no hesitation in recommending Showlite as a professional and reliable supplier of contractor services. They are totally trustworthy and in touch with the latest regulations and requirements”
Mirabelle Chatterjee, Head of Operations, Nineteen Events
“We had the pleasure of having Showlite as part of our event team. The staff took the time, care and attention required to make sure that our exhibitors and us as organisers felt valued and looked after”
Diane Sheppard, Event Operations Manager, Quartz Business Media
“Over 1,200 exhibitors, almost 4 miles of aisle carpet plus enough shell scheme to cover two football pitches and it was the easiest get in we have ever had. Quite exceptional”
Andrew Reed, Managing Director, William Reed Business Media
“Showlite worked diligently with great speed to complete the build in the allocated time. We look forward to working with them at our next show”
Karen Harris, Operations Manager, Idex Media
“Showlite have worked hand in hand with us, investing in design, stock and materials developing an innovative product for our customers”
Bill Hammond, Managing Director, 3rd Street Group
“It has been a pleasure to work with Showlite who provided a seamless delivery both presite and onsite.”
Paul Clarke, Organiser, Installer Live
“My sincerest thanks go out to all Showlite staff who played an invaluable part in what seemed the impossible task. It goes without saying that I would not hesitate in recommending their services to others.”
Phil Valentine, Managing Director, ETES, Southern Manufacturing & Electronics
“I can honestly say one of the smoothest builds I have ever experienced on an event in over 17 years”
Nicola Greenaway, Managing Director, Nineteen Events
“We have a longstanding relationship with Showlite. They demonstrate a real professionalism and dedication and I look forward to working with the team again!”
Hannah Webb, Head of Operations, Hemming Group
“A massive thank you for helping us make this year’s Hearth & Home Exhibition a success. ”
Claire Cox, Hearth & Home, Fireplace Marketing Company
“Thanks to everyone at Showlite for a job very well done at The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair! The event went beyond expectation and there were hardly any glitches at all.”
Ingrid Nilson, Director, The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited
“I really appreciated the positive attitude of your team and the willingness to support unexpected problem situations onsite. It has been a great pleasure working with you both!”
Joy-Fleur Brettschneider, Marketing & Operations Director, Solar Media Limited
“Thank you so much for all your support on PATS this year. Showlite were absolutely brilliant. ”
Jo Scotting, Head of Operations, Impact Exhibitions
“We always know we’re in a safe pair of hands with Showlite. They deliver professional results with attention to detail and focus on service.”
Jo Foreman, Operations Manager, Brintex
“I would recommend Showlite completely from the level of personal service, quality of work and positive work attitude to keep on going until the job is done.”
Emma Barratt, Managing Director, Broadway Events
“Thank you for all your help and support for the NFE show. We had a lot of last minute changes, and Showlite were very accommodating and professional.”
Angela Long, Sales and Marketing Executive, Wesley Media
“Many thanks to Showlite. Everything went really smoothly and the show looked absolutely fantastic.”
Mandie Lavin, CEO, NAFD
“Phex has never looked as good and the build-up and breakdown went really smoothly. Thanks to everyone. I look forward to be working with you again in the future.”
Julie Pollet, Operations Manager, Brintex
“Showlite are the ultimate in prior planning and preparation. We never have any problem and if we do have an issue we resolve it there and then. We love working with Showlite.”
Andrew Reed, MD, William Reed Events & Exhibitions
“Big thank you to Showlite … once again it was a pleasure working with you all again and look forward to 2018!”
Sam Hunt, NMBS Events Manager
“Many thanks for the brilliant job you did on this year’s UKIVA which was a great success. The team pulled out all the stops to make sure everything was ready in time and ran smoothly throughout the day.”
Christine Valdes, Event Organiser, UKIVA, PPMA Group
“We would like to thank you and the team for an excellent build and all your help in the move to Mall Galleries after 25 years. ”
Gay Hutson, Founder and organiser, 20/21 British Art Fair
“The event looked great and the help and advice from Showlite throughout was invaluable. ”
Toby Merigan, Founder, European Sport Fishing Show
“Thank you for being a magnificent partner to Highways UK. Love the Showlite can do attitude and the smiles and personality that come with it.”
Andrew Dowding, Managing Director, Essential Infrastructure Events
“We have had excellent feedback from exhibitors and visitors and this is testament to the excellent partnership we have with Showlite.”
Justine Devereux, Operations & Project Manager, Xmark Media Ltd
“It was great to have Jenni onsite as it really makes a difference having her help to co-ordinate all aspects of the project.”
Joel Swarc, Associate Director, Promotor Events Ltd
“I would like to highlight the outstanding performance of Ross Isolda during the build up of the recent Foodex show at the NEC. I would like to thank him - and the boys on the tools also, for making the whole process as smooth as it was considering the challenge. ”
Phil Birch, Team leader, NEC mains services, NEC

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