Description: The term Space-only means that an Exhibitor has booked only floor space and is therefore responsible for arranging all physical requirements of his own stand, such as design, construction and provision of the floor surface. 

Space-only Exhibitors may appoint a stand contractor of their own choice.  We recommend that all contractors are aware of the Organisers Health & Safety policy. Exhibitors are responsible for ensuring that their contractors receive a copy of this Exhibitor Manual. Please forward details of the manual log in to your Contractor.

All designs, construction etc. must comply with the Organisers, Venue and Local Authority deadlines and rules and regulations. 


Documents required                                 

As Organisers, we need copies of your stand plans and several pieces of documentation. The documents are required to effect as safe and trouble-free build-up for your stand as possible. You will not be permitted to begin building your stand until you have supplied these documents listed below:

For Stands with a single storey and no complex elements:

  • 2 sets of stand plans for each stand (see ‘Your Plans’)
  • 2 Risk Assessments (one for the Build-up and Breakdown; and one for Show Open (see ‘How to Complete a Risk Assessment’))
  • Method Statement (see ‘How to Complete a Method Statement’)
  • Your company Health & Safety Policy
  • A copy of your Insurance Certificate showing your Public Liability cover
  • Form 1 Health & Safety Declaration (see ‘Forms’)
  • Form 2 Contractor Details / Stand Plans /Construction phase plan as part of the new CDM regulations (see ‘Forms’)


Please ensure that these documents are sent by 17th February 2017 preferably by email to:


Tel: +44 (0) 7956 225883

Or if by post to:

c/o Olivia Benton,


Genealogy Events Ltd, 

2nd Floor Tower House,

Fairfax Street,

Bristol BS1 3BN                                                  


Your Plans

All plans should be to a recognised scale not less than 1:50 and they should include an elevation showing all graphic details and construction heights. All drawings should show a plan indicating the approximate position of all exhibits and the boundary walls between adjoining stands.

Details required with submission are:

  • every floor section                 
  • staircases
  • elevations of the stand
  • materials to be used               
  • fire protection and flame proofing levels
  • structural calculations for any complex structure
  • catwalk/platform above the height of 600mm to which persons have access
  • viewing / service platforms or sound / lighting towers
  • temporary tiered seating
  • suspended items, i.e. lighting rigs

Please note that contravening the Local Authority rules and regulations by not submitting plans by the given deadline of February 17th 2017 will lead to the following being imposed on your stand:

  • Your stand will incur financial penalties
  • The local authorities could prohibit you from exhibiting at the Show
  • Your stand will face delays in obtaining approval




All Space-only Exhibitors must work within the following parameters:

  • Building Works, Suspended Fittings, and Fixings
  • Bolting, fixing or screwing to the hall floor is prohibited.

The suspension of stand fittings for Exhibition stands from the structure of the Hall roof or from the walls, columns or any other part of any building on the premises will not be permitted. The Organisers may permit suspension from the Hall roof of lighting fittings only (the work to be carried out by the NEC's appointed Rigging Service provider) provided that:

  • They form part of an overall scheme of decoration proposed by the Exhibitor
  • Application is made to the Organiser at least six weeks prior to the first day of the Licence Period
  • The proposed suspended units do not overstress the roof structure
  • Time is available at the beginning and end of the Licence Period for the Company’s staff to fix/remove the suspension wires, with free unobstructed access at floor level for hoist vehicles, cranes, etc., as may be required.

Carpet and Floor Covering

Gangways will be covered in cord carpet. Space-only stands are responsible for supplying carpet to their own stands as there is no carpet included. Space-only Exhibitors can order carpet from our recommended carpet contractor, The Freeman Company. Please contact them for further details.

Please be aware that you must provide removal of your carpet after the Show has ended. The cost for removal of carpet left in the Hall on Saturday night £600.00 per stand.


Ceilings/ Tops of Stands

Please ensure that the tops of all elements of your stand are finished tidily. Please put a ceiling over storage/ changing areas.


Construction and Dressing

The design of the stand must be such that it can be erected and dismantled within the time available.  Exhibitors will be charged for the extra cost of keeping the lights and security on if they need to work outside the hall open times as stated in the ‘Event Timetable’.

All work must be carried out in conformity with the Rules and Regulations of the Local Authority, the NEC Group and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It is the responsibility of the Exhibitor or their stand contractor to examine the allotted site, in order to avoid costly adjustments to stand structures from wrong measurements for which the Organisers cannot accept responsibility. The Organisers may at the expense of the Exhibitor, remove or alter anything forming part of any stand, if, in their opinion, it is desirable to do so in the interest of the exhibition.


Clients Own Lights

Please ensure that your lights are tested prior to bringing them to site, together with documentary proof as spot checks may be carried out on site. Spare lamps should be supplied as maintenance is not included with client’s own lights. Lighting connections must not exceed 1000w. Lamps and appliances with high surface temperatures should be guarded and used a minimum of 300mm away from combustible materials.

Please be aware you will need to order a plug socket for your own lights. Please see Form 10 or contact The Freeman Company on +44 (0) 2477 601 601 or e-mail



Where existing building structural columns fall wholly or partially within the area of allocated space, they may be encased by the Exhibitor on all sides to a height of 2.5 metres. The casing must be self-supporting and may not be fastened to the column. Only the face of the casings (not the column) that fall within the allocated space may be used for display of photographs or other pictorial matter.

Please note that some columns contain services and therefore require 24 hour access. Please contact your Commercial Manager should you have a column on your stand.



Exhibitors must notify the Organisers, upon booking of your stand, the name of any stand contractors and sub-contractors (please see Form 2). In placing contracts for the construction of stands, Exhibitors should insist that the selected contractor or sub-contractor fulfils the following requirements:

  • They agree to the Rules and Regulations of the Show including those of the Local Authority.
  • They will use in the construction, erection and decoration of the stand only those materials acceptable to these Regulations.
  • They must guarantee that the stand will be finished and all litter removed before 2100 hrs on Wednesday 5th April and that they will dismantle and remove the stand together with all rubbish before 23.30 hrs on Saturday 8th April or such other times as the Organisers decides at the close of the Exhibition.
  • If an electrical contractor, they should be familiar with and comply with the Regulations for Stand Electrical Installations. See the section on Electrical Installations below.

Absolutely no construction work or stand fitting will be allowed during the Open Hours of the Exhibition.



It is a requirement of NEC Health & Safety regulations that all doors must have a vision panel of clear glazing, giving a zone of visibility from 900mm-1150mm above floor level.


Entrances onto Stands

On an island Space-only site, there should be a minimum of two entrances, opposite one another.


Floor Loadings

Floor loadings vary considerably throughout NEC; therefore any unusual loadings should be checked with the Organiser. Any stands containing steelworks or frameworks structures are required to have adequate base plates to ensure they do not damage duct cover.


Height Limit

The maximum height limit for the event is 4m. Please note the height limit is measured from the floor and not from any platforms on your stand. You may not build above 4m without the express permission of the Organisers. Please advise if you wish to build a double decker stand upon booking.

We would strongly recommend a site survey by stand contractors to check stand build heights in their specific areas. Please contact the Operations Team for further advice.

Please note the minimum height limit for any structure / archway for visitors to pass under is 2.4m.


Mains Boards

Space-only stands must indicate where they would like their distribution board installed.



Wherever possible all painting should be done off site. All painting on-site must be carried out using water-based paints. (Please note that any paint damage to the Hall will be the responsibility of the contractor and charged for).



Platforms are not essential. Where incorporated they should not exceed 100mm.  Please note that corners of platforms must be “rounded off” and smooth or splayed or otherwise protected so as to ensure clear passage. Platforms exceeding 38mm must provide a ramp to enable access to the stand by people with disabilities.


Shared Walling

Space-only stands may not use the back of a shell scheme stand. If a wall is marked on the plan between two Exhibitors by a solid line, Space-only Exhibitors must construct a wall of at least 2.5m and are responsible for cladding and decorating both sides of their stand wall above a height of 2.5m. The tops of stands must be finished tidily where they are visible from the balcony or stairs.  Exhibitors on Space-only stands must NOT use the back of other stand walls without the consent of the Exhibitor concerned. However, the joint construction of a dividing wall between Space-only stands is both acceptable and encouraged by the Organisers.


Timber used in stand construction and displays

Timber under 25mm thick used in stand construction and displays must be impregnated to Class 1 Standard. Boards, plywood, chipboard, etc., must be treated in the same way if they are less than 18mm thick. Timber over 25mm thick need not be treated. Treated boards must have the BS 476 Class 1 marked on them.

Please note that your stand will also be inspected and assessed after construction to ensure it has been built according to the plans and structural calculations provided. 

All designs, construction etc., must comply with the Organisers, Venue and Local Authority deadlines and rules and regulations.


Wall Lengths

Please note that strict rules apply at the Show with regard to stand designs, with particular reference to long runs of solid walling. No walls facing an aisle may be built over 3m long: solid walls of 3m must be followed by a minimum 2m open space to provide clear sight-lines into your stand.

Only one third total length of your gangway perimeter wall may be enclosed with solid walls. These rules have been designed in the best interest of all Exhibitors and must be strictly adhered to in all stand designs. If you have any queries please call the Operations Team 

No building across the gangways is permitted without written authority from the Organiser, and will be subject to approval by a structural engineer and the Local Authority.

If you need further information please contact the Nadine on the Operations Team on +44 (0) 7956 225883 or email



The following types of stands are considered to be complex stands and may only be constructed with the exceptional permission of the Organiser. Please contact the Operations Team email for further information.


Complex Space-only stands are defined as:

  1. Stands over 4m in height
  2. Stands incorporating stairs or staircases
  3. Any stand with a stage over half a metre above the floor level to which people have access
  4. Stands incorporating viewing / service platforms
  5. Stands using suspended items, e.g. Lighting rigs
  6. Stands incorporating raised walkways
  7. Stands incorporating large ramps
  8. Stands incorporating sound/lighting towers
  9. Stands incorporating temporary or tiered seating
  10. Stands using any rigging, including light trusses and banners

It is a requirement of the NEC that all Exhibitors constructing a stand of a complex nature, or stands in excess of 100m², are now required to submit plans, structural calculations, risk assessment and method statement to an independent structural engineer. The structural engineer will then complete a certificate of structural integrity for the design and then if that design is approved, will inspect the stand on site during build, and if the structural engineer is satisfied then a certificate of structural integrity will be issued. For this there will be an overall charge of £385.00 + VAT and is arranged via the Organisers.

Any complex structures without accompanying paperwork will be refused permission to build at Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE NEC 2017.