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Space Only Stand Regulations & Information

Space Only means no walls, no carpet, and no electricity, just a marked-out area on the floor.    

All Space Only exhibitors are responsible for their own stand design and construction, and for ensuring that they, or their contractor, has received a written ‘Permission to Build’ before arriving onsite.   

All work must be carried out in conformity with the Rules and Regulations of the venue and the Local Authority. The e-Guide provides guidance on achieving common regulative standards for events.  We recommend that exhibitors use a Member of the Event Suppliers & Services Association (ESSA) to build their stands, which will provide the security of knowing their contactor is backed by the association's Code of Conduct, Quality Charter, and Bond

Make sure your contractor checks the location and orientation of your stand in relation to an up-to-date floorplan, and that they build within the given parameters. The thickness of walls must be calculated inside the outer dimensions of the stand. The Organisers will not be liable for any costs incurred to rectify mistakes or make adjustments onsite. Below are some considerations when planning your stand.  

  • How many walls will be required?  An exhibitor’s Contract to Exhibit will indicate ‘one,’ ‘two,’ ‘three’ or ‘four’ open sides.  Three open sides indicate the need for one back wall, two open sides indicate the need for two walls etc.

  • Space Only exhibitors may not make use of walls provided by neighbouring stands that are built from the Organisers shell scheme.

  • What are the other requirements or issues that need to be taken into consideration, e.g., store area, reception desk, and kitchen or sink requirements, disposal of waste from sampling etc.

  • If services such as water and waste are being used, exhibitors should consider the use of a platform to avoid unsightly pipes and connections (which could also cause a trip hazard) from the service ducts.

  • What floor covering should you have?  If you have a kitchen area, carpet is not a suitable floor covering – the floor here should be washable.  

  • How much lighting do you need?  Use spotlights to highlight particular products or graphics. 

  • You may supply your own electrical fittings, provided that all pre-wiring is carried out before you arrive onsite. Whoever has done the wiring then needs to sign a certificate to the effect that the work has been done by qualified personnel and in accordance with all rules and regulations governing electrical installations. This certificate needs to be handed to the electrical contractor before power to the stand is made live. 

  • When appointing a contractor, exhibitors should obtain guarantees that the stand will be finished and all litter and stand construction materials removed from the exhibition halls by 1800hrs on Monday 14 October.  After this time should be interior dressing only.  

When creating stand plan proposals, please ensure that you take the exhibition timetable into consideration and ensure that stands can be built and taken down in the given timeframe. 


CDM (Construction Design Management) 2015

You will need to ensure that the build of your stand at the event is carried out safely.  The CDM Regulations provide a framework to help you ensure that your stand is constructed safely and fulfil your legal obligations. 

As organisers we carry out a number of activities as part of our own responsibilities some of which will help you fulfil your obligations. Please contact  if you need any further help or information. 

Organisers Support:

  • We ensure that all Space Only Contractors provide us with a Construction Phase Plans, consisting of Risk Assessments, Method Statements, Stand Plans and Welfare Arrangements.  We employ Scot-Baker to provide help and support to Space Only Contractors with CDM queries - – who can provide templates to assist in the completion of these documents. 
  • We ensure suitable welfare facilities are available including toilets, seating, access to drinking water and food outlets. 
  • We provide Health and Safety Site Rules to all contractors and exhibitors prior to coming onsite and onsite at entrances to the hall.  There is no access to the hall during Build-up and Breakdown without having received the Site Rules & Locations Plan and passes are issued only on this basis.

Exhibitor Responsibilities
Under CDM you are defined as The Client with regards to the build of your stand.  Below is a list or your responsibilities, we have highlighted those that can be delegated to the Principal Designer and / or the Principal Contractor: 

  • Make arrangements for managing your project i.e., building your stand.  You do need to ensure that someone is named as responsible for ensuring all the required roles are fulfilled.  
  • Appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor.  These roles are often the same company or person and can be an external company or someone you appoint within your company.  
  • Ensure construction work is carried out safely and that welfare requirements are complied with. This would be delegated to your Principal Designer/Contractor. 
  • Ensure that a Construction Phase plan is drawn up and a Health & Safety file is prepared.  This would be delegated to your Principal Designer/Contractor who will do this as part of their obligations under this and other Health and Safety legislation. 

Principal Designer Responsibilities
The Principal Designer is the person or company in control of the ‘design’ of your stand and they must: 

  • Ensure that planning, design, and pre-construction is carried out in compliance with the law. 
  • Ensure that risks are identified, eliminated, and controlled at the design stage. 
  • Ensure that pre-construction information is provided to contractors. 
  • Ensure a Construction Phase Plan is drawn up and a Health and Safety file is prepared. 

Principal Contractor Responsibilities
The Principal Contractor is the person or company in control of the ‘build’ of your stand.  If they employ a 3rd Party to deliver onsite this company would become the Contractor, whether one company or two they must: 

  • Plan, manage and monitor the construction phase (build-up & breakdown) and the way the construction work is carried out, ensuring it is safe to construct and remove within an event environment and that it has little or no impact on the neighbouring constructions or contractors. 
  • Ensure work is carried out without risks to Health & Safety. 
  • Draw up site rules for the stand area (these will often mirror the Event’s rules, but should not be limited to this), ensure suitable inductions and welfare facilities; provide information, instruction, and training. 
  • Restrict access to your site if required by the work being carried out at the time. 
  • Liaise onsite with Event Operations team. 

Stand Build Regulations

Proposed stand designs must be forwarded to Johanna Shirley by FRIDAY 16 AUGUST.  

As per the CDM Regulations above, please ensure a Construction Phase Plan is sent to Johanna Shirley. If you have a stand contractor, they will do this, and it should consist of:    

  1. Stand Plan  
  2. Method Statement  
  3. Risk Assessment  
  4. Contractor Health and Safety Declaration  
  5. Welfare Arrangement Form 
  6. Sustainability Details

Please use the Space Only Submission Form to submit these forms, do not email Johanna directly. Examples and templates can be found within the submission form.   

  • All Space Only stands are responsible for building all their walls and cannot make use of neighbouring stand walls whether they are Space Only or Shell Scheme stands. 
  • All work must be carried out in conformity with the Rules and Regulations of the industry accepted e-Guide and the UK (United Kingdom) Building Regulations including all BS Standards. Click here for the e-Guide.  
  • We recommend that exhibitors use a member of the Event Suppliers & Services Association (ESSA) to build their stands, which will provide the security of knowing their contactor is backed by the association's Code of Conduct, Quality Charter, and Bond.  If you would like to put your stand design and build out to tender visit ESSA - Submit your contract for Tender.
  • The maximum height for Space Only Stands is 4m. Some areas in the National Hall have a reduced height limit where 4m is not possible. Please contact Johanna Shirley if you are unsure of the height restriction in your area.   
  • All advertising and logos must be within specified height limits. 
  • The minimum height for Space Only Stands is 2.4m. 
  • The maximum height for Space Only Stands is 4m. Please note, some areas in the National Hall have a reduced height limit where 4m is not possible.  Please check the Height Restrictions section. 
  • Double Decker Stands are not allowed. 
  • On divided sites if your wall is above 2.4m you must decorate the back of your wall facing your neighbours stand, down to 2.4m.  these walls must be finished in a neutral colour only to the satisfaction of the Organisers.  
  • No advertising and logos will be allowed on the reverse side of dividing walls.  
  • Do not allow any off-site construction to begin until written approval has been received.  If written approval has not been received building will not be allowed to commence onsite and last-minute approvals could involve the exhibitor in delays and / or additional costs.   
  • Stands must be designed in a way as to not discriminate against disabled visitors.  
  • All work must be carried out using non-flammable materials.  
  • The design of the stand must be such that it can be erected and dismantled within the published time schedule (see Exhibition Timetable).   
  • 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.  
  • The stand floor area must be covered with a suitable floor covering e.g., Nonslip, easy clean surfaces in food preparation areas.  
  • Any presentation or demonstration likely to interest groups of 10 or more people must be located towards the centre of the stand and clearly shown on stand drawings.    
  • If any presentation or demonstration causes obstruction in the gangway and/or nuisance to any other exhibitor, we reserve the right to cancel the presentation or demonstration or restrict the frequency.  
  • Vehicles are not permitted without prior written approval from the Organisers.  
  • No fixings can be made to the hall floor, or any other part of the hall structure. Any damage to the floor or structure of the building will be charged to the exhibitor.  
  • Exhibitors are responsible for all actions of any contractor they employ to work for them. Any damage caused will be charged back to the employing exhibitor.   
  • Balloons are only permissible with written approval from the Organisers.   
  • All stand structures: signs, etc. must be confined within the area allotted and must not project into or over the gangways.    
  • All painting onsite must be carried out using water-based paints.  
  • Designs incorporating long runs of solid walling will not be approved.  At least 50% of each frontage must remain open or fitted with an approved transparent material.   
  • Solid walling over 5m in length on a designated open side must be set back at least 0.5m from the stand perimeter. Should you have specific requests, please contact the organisers.
  • Doors from offices, stores or meeting rooms must NOT open outwards on to a gangway. Vision panel windows must be fitted to all doors built into the interior of a stand.  
  • Drop wires are NOT permitted at Independent Hotel Show. This rule applies equally to any rigging in stand construction, banners, and lighting rigs.  
  • Exhibitors and their contractors should familiarise themselves with the Working at Height Regulations 2005, and amendment published in 2007.  
  • Exhibitors who have two stands either side of a gangway who wish to connect them in some way must contact the Organisers for permission and specification regulations before implementing any design work.  


Index Group Ltd
T:  +44 (0)800 085 9885

Index are responsible for and will carry out all electrical work on stands within the exhibition halls. 
Please click here for the electrical order form.

Independent Hotel Show does not operate 24-hour power. If you require 24-hour power for your stand then this should be ordered directly with Index.

If you have any questions about the exact electrical requirements for your stand, please contact the electrical contractor using the details above who will be happy to advise you.   

If machinery or working equipment is to be operated, please inform the electrical contractor, including the electrical requirements and ratings; this applies particularly where high fluctuating currents are involved. Electrical supplies (three- and single-phase) will be assessed on the information provided.  The contractor will then be responsible for ordering the required mains from the venue.  The installation of these supplies will be subject to a connection charge. 

The standard supplies of electrical current available are: 
Single-phase alternating at 240 volts, 50 Hz 
Three-phase alternating at 415 volts, 50Hz 

Basic guidelines For Socket Sizes and Usage 

Listed below are examples of "typical" loadings for items plugged in to socket outlets: 

500-watt sockets:  computers, TV’s, video’s, spotlights to 500W, refrigerators  
1000 watt sockets:  domestic filter coffee machines, lighting up to 1000W 
2000 watt sockets:  kettles**, machinery up to 2000W 
3000 watt sockets:  hired coffee machines, machinery 2000W to 3000W 

Note ** kettles and refrigeration / freezer requirements vary between 200 and 2000 watts.  Please check with the supplier or check the reference tag or plate on the machine.

Deadline Date  

Orders must be received by Friday 13th September so that the necessary mains can be ordered from the venue in sufficient time for them to be laid in the hall before general construction commences. Orders received after the deadline will incur a 20% surcharge. 

NB: Exhibitors who contract into the show after Friday 13th September will be exempt from the surcharge if orders are made prior to arriving onsite. 

Enquiry Desk 

During the build-up period, an enquiry desk will be located at the entrance to the Hall, outside the Organiser’s Office, to assist exhibitors with any electrical queries or problems. The desk will be manned from 0800-1800 hours daily. 

Supply Timetable 

Electricity will be energised to stands as quickly as possible during the build-up period, subject to satisfactory inspection and testing of installations. Occasionally delays may occur because adjoining stands are not complete and ready for inspection. 

Independent Hotel Show does not operate 24-hour power. If you require 24-hour power for your stand then this should be ordered directly with Index. All stand electrics will be switched off 15 minutes after the show closes each day.

Any exhibitor needing electricity for the running down of machinery or refrigeration equipment etc when the exhibition closes at 1700hrs on Wednesday 16 October must inform the Organisers’ Office of their requirements no later than 1700hrs the day before, Tuesday 15 October, for this to organised in time.

Temporary Power 

If you require a temporary power supply during the build-up period, you should order this direct with Index

Electrical Testing 

Every circuit installed on an exhibition stand must be tested before it is finally energised. Costs for this are shown separately on the electrical order form.  

For further information on how this impacts your stand, please contact Index



BETTER STANDSplaceholder


What is Better Stands?  

Better Stands is a programme aiming to ensure that all core elements of exhibitor stands are reusable. Help us to reduce the environmental impact of Independent Hotel Show by committing to the Better Stands programme framework and show that your company values being part of sustainable and socially responsible events.  

Did you know that one medium sized disposable stand produces around four tonnes of waste, which is almost 10x the average person’s household waste per yeari. Designed to be used only once, they have a significant impact on the environment, in addition to increasing health and safety risks onsite.   

What’s in it for me?  

  • A better quality, more attractive & sustainable stand  
  • Opportunity to promote the sustainable credentials of your brand  
  • Smoother, more efficient build up and breakdown periods  
  • Lower work hours and reduced construction costs  
  • Reduce or eradicate your waste bill  

What do I need to do?  

To make your commitment to Better Stands and contribute to a more sustainable event:  

  • Familiarise yourself with the Better Stands framework found below.  
  • Share these guidelines with your contractor before they begin designing your stand (if you are a self-build, you will be asked to submit the 10-point checklist within your stand plan submission).  
  • Ensure the stand reaches at least a bronze level, meaning the stand structure and walls, platform or raised flooring, furniture, equipment, and lighting are all reused.  
  • Ensure that the submitted stand design clearly communicates how your contractor will meet the Better Stands guidelines.  

How will we help?  

  • Once you have submitted your framework, our stand plan approver will send back information on what you can do reach the Bronze, Silver or Gold Better Stands rating.  
  • If you tell us all elements of your stand are completely reusable, congratulations! You have already reached the Better Stands Gold standard. Our Better Stands representatives will be onsite during build up and breakdown to check this.   
  • You will receive an email post show with a detailed report and your Better Stands rating.


If you require any further information or guidance on the Better Stands programme, please contact  

Display / Modular Stands  

If you do not plan to construct a stand but utilise a “pop up” structure as a backdrop, all stand regulations still apply to your stand.  You are required to submit a Stand Plan, Risk Assessment and Method Statement and any additional CDM Regulation Information found under Health & Safety. 


No carpet is provided for Space Only sites.  Appropriate floor covering e.g., carpet, non-slip, easily cleanable floor covering in food preparation areas.  Whoever is responsible for laying the carpet down to the hall floor must ensure that an acceptable carpet tape is used and that all carpet and carpet tape is removed from the hall along with all other stand fitting material at the end of the exhibition.  Failure to do so will result in a dilapidation charge of £25.00 per linear metre.  

If a large number of services (water & waste, gas, electrics, etc.) are required, the Organisers recommend the use of a platform. Please contact Expo-Floors Ltd direct for a quotation.  

Goods Lifts Sizes

If you are located on the National Gallery, please take note of the goods lift sizes below. For Olympia National Hall – see lifts N7, N8 and N9:

goods lifts

Height Restriction   

National Hall Ground Floor under ‘Open Well’: 

  • The minimum height for walls is 2.4m   
  • The maximum height for walls is 4m  

National Hall Ground Floor under the Gallery:  

  • The maximum height for walls on space only stands will vary depending on the exact location under the gallery, please contact Johanna Shirley who can advise. 

National Hall Gallery Level:

  • The maximum height for walls on Space Only stands on the gallery is 3.2m. There is scope in a number of locations to build higher, this will vary depending on the exact location, please contact Johanna Shirley who can advise.  
  • Gallery Rail - If your stand is parallel to the gallery rail, please ensure your stand is laid out so no products can be dropped from the gallery edge to the floor below.

Please contact Johanna Shirley if you would like to check the height limit for your stand.  

Late Working  

Work outside the timetabled hours will not be allowed. In emergency situations e.g., unavoidable delays due to circumstance outside the contractor’s control, late working may be permitted subject to the organiser’s obtaining the necessary venue staffing and H&S cover. There is a minimum charge of £380 + VAT per hour per stand (up to 8sqm) which the organisers will have to pass on to the exhibitor/ contractor concerned. Please contact to enquire on the possibility of late working.

Depending on when any late working is requested, we cannot guarantee that a sufficient amount of required support, from the venue, Health & Safety Officer etc can be provided.  We therefore require all exhibitors and contractors to ensure that space only stands are designed to be completed in the time available.

Materials for Stand Fitting & Decoration  

There are strict regulations governing the materials used in the construction and decoration of stands and in the demonstration of products. 

All stands will be inspected during the build-up by the Health and Safety Officer and the Venue Fire Safety Officer. Any fittings or materials not meeting the fire regulations will need to be removed, or the stand will be closed down. You should draw attention to these requirements to any contractors working on your behalf.  

  • Decorative materials used for stand dressing must be flame proofed or purchased already treated with an appropriate chemical.  
  • Artificial flowers and plants are highly flammable and give off toxic fumes and must not be used for stand dressing.  
  • Gangways must be kept clear and free from exhibits, stand dressing, furniture etc at all times during the open period of the exhibition.  Offending items are liable to be removed without warning. 
  • No empty packing cases may be stored on, around or behind your stand, as this constitutes a fire hazard.  

For more information, please click here for the e-Guide.

Permission to Build 

A Construction Phase Plan as required by the CDM Regulations must be sent to Johanna Shirley, via the compulsory Space Only form found on this manual, as soon as possible, but definitely before the deadline date – FRIDAY 16 AUGUST. Please ensure your stand contractor (if you appoint one) complies with this deadline date, failure to do so could result in delays and / or additional costs. The design of the stands must be such that it can be safely erected and dismantled in the limited time available.  

CDM Regulations requirements are:   

  1. Stand Plan – these must include: 
    - A ground plan and elevation drawing  
    - All dimensions, which should be to a recognised scale (e.g., 1:20, 1:25, 1:50, 1:100) 
  2. Method Statement including materials to be used 
  3. Risk Assessment including a Fire Risk Assessment that covers precautionary measures to be undertaken during build-up if working within a hazardous environment such as welding, toxic or flammable substances, etc.  
  4. Contractor Health and Safety Declaration  
  5. Welfare Arrangement Form  
  6. Sustainability Details

If a stand is considered to be ‘Complex’ the Local Authority requires certification by an Independent Structural Engineer. There will be a charge for this inspection and certification of £340.00 + VAT. If you have any questions about what constitutes a ‘Complex’ stand, please contact Johanna Shirley.   
No construction will be permitted in the hall until permission to build has been issued. 

Structural Engineer Onsite Sign Offs
Campbell Reith structural engineer will be onsite on the last day of build-up to carry out checks on all Space Only stands to provide the organisers with sign off on the build. Should Campbell Reith deem the stand structure to be unsafe, stand builders will be obligated to make the necessary alterations prior to show open in order for the sign off to be issued and the stand to be occupied during the exhibition.


For advice and a quotation please contact: 
Expo Floors Ltd 
T: +44 (0)1922 721177   

Ramps and Handrails  

Please check the e-Guide pages 113 for Regulations relating to the use of ramps and handrails.

Stand Contractors   

Please complete the Contractor Nomination Form as soon as possible but by no later than FRIDAY 2 AUGUST. We will then liaise with them regarding any information required.    

Use An ESSA Member

As an exhibitor, you have a responsibility to appoint a competent exhibition contractor.  For the supply of products and services at this event, we strongly recommended that you use ESSA Members – ESSA is the Events Supplier and Services Association. All ESSA Members observe a strict Code of Conduct and Quality Charter, which covers service, ability, experience and business practice.  Full members are also covered under the ESSA Bond – you can find more information here.   

In addition, ESSA Accredited companies have attained an annual company-level H&S qualification for event suppliers and contractors. Independently audited, it provides demonstrable proof that a company is operating at the required level to meet industry standards. For those constructing stands, it assesses against stage one requirements of assessing competence under Construction Design & Management (CDM) 2015.  You can find more information here.

Accredited ESSA members also have an option to undertake a module in Sustainability enabling them to demonstrate to you that they are considerate of their impact to the environment in their working practices. 

All ESSA members will be able to provide you with an up to date certificate of membership and logo or you can find your ESSA company here or accredited members here.  

Should you need assistance on which stand builder to approach to build your stand, please click here for our Recommended Stand Builder list. 

Water & Waste   

Exhibitors requiring a water and/or waste supply on their stand should complete and return the Piped Services Order Form by Friday 27 September, orders received after this date may incur a 20% surcharge.   

If necessary, it is advisable to build a platform to cover unsightly pipes and connections, and to avoid potential trip hazards. To obtain a ‘Ducting Plan’ showing the location of the ducts on your stand, please contact Johanna Shirley.