Under the carpet

Posted on Fri 12th Jul 2019 at 12:33pm

We caught up with Showlite’s Head of Flooring, Jeremy Abraham to find out how we’ve got it all covered…

What is it about Showlite's approach to carpets and floor coverings that makes it different?

Within exhibition companies, it’s increasingly rare to find a department solely dedicated to floor coverings.  Between myself and my colleague Paul Chapman, we have over 25 years of experience providing floor coverings within the industry. With our extensive knowledge we provide quality advice to organisers and exhibitors and offer creative solutions to meet their requirements. Being a smaller company, we are also on hand to assist our account managers and sales team with floor covering enquiries however big or small.  Although Showlite continues to grow, we’ve worked hard to ensure our personal and friendly service is maintained. 

How do you get the floor coverings right for every client?

We start by listening and then offering ideas to help meet our clients’ vision for the show. To prevent shortfalls on site, I always like to look at the showplan as if it were a puzzle. I want to know exactly what’s required for every sqm of floor space. If there are unsold areas, or missing information, all possibilities must be planned for. Once the ‘puzzle’ is complete, we’ll look at the constraints we may face on-site and then work out the best possible solutions. For trickier installations, our clients rely on our experience to advise them on what’s required for the lay to work. We've achieved some fantastic results in some very testing environments, but you just can’t turn up to site in the hope that everything goes your way. Even our simplest shows require thorough logistical planning to ensure the carpet is manufactured and delivered on-time and in the correct amounts and widths.  If we do identify potential issues prior to going to site we'll work with floor managers, venue staff and the relevant contractors to ensure a process is put in place to overcome those issues.

How can you help us save money on carpets and floor coverings?

We're fortunate to have great suppliers and contractors that have been with us every step of our journey so far. If our client has a tight budget our suppliers will work with us to help find ways to keep the costs down. We can offer simple ideas like using a more robust carpet colour to prevent the need for a polythene cover on the carpet. If the build allows it, we can reduce costs by fitting a 1 colour blanket lay across the show which produces less waste and requires less labour to install. We have a range of products to meet most budgets. Carpet is such a cost-effective way of adding value to a show. With a little creativity such as using separate bold colours in aisles or stands to signify separate zones, or adding borders to features or carpet cut-ins in entrances, we can really add the wow factor to a show without breaking the bank.

What is the goal of a successful floor covering installation?

Happy faces! I love it when you see the client walk into the hall on the opening morning of a show with the aisles freshly carpeted and you see a big smile on their face! For myself and the team, there's a great sense of satisfaction after all the hard work put in by so many to deliver a well carpeted show in such a small space of time.

What are the most common problems encountered when installing carpets and floor coverings?

As with most services it comes down to the quality of information gained prior to site. There are always things that are out of your control but making sure we ask the right questions to the right people massively lowers the risk of on-site issues.

Reduced builds and back to back shows have thrown up challenges for everyone in the industry and I'm always amazed how we continue to overcome these obstacles. The days where we could deliver the carpet the day before a build and then get a good head start on the lay are now rare. Venues and organisers do their best to help us, but occasionally we find ourselves unloading an artic using a forklift with a 4m boom while doing our best to keep other contractors at a safe distance. Similarly on a tight pull-out we’ll need to wait for areas to be cleared before we can pull the carpet and load it onto the recycling lorry.  When you are working against the clock, this can be challenging.

How do you know you're doing it right?

Feedback from clients really helps, but sometimes it can actually be the lack of contact that tells me everything is going to plan. When I first started working in floorcoverings with a show going in, my phone would start ringing an hour before the build right through to an hour after show opening with various queries and issues to be resolved. Over the years, with thorough preparation, producing good site files and having quality fitters that I trust to lay our carpet as required, those phone calls have reduced dramatically!

To find out how Showlite can help you with your floor covering requirements contact us at www.showlite.co.uk

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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