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Space Only Stands

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 on-site. 

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 on-site. 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 indicates the need for one back wall, two open sides indicates 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 Sunday 4 September.  After this time should be interior dressing only. 

Please bear in mind that there will be no late working available.

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 Beth Duffield if you need any further help or information.

Organisers Support:

  • We ensure that all Space Only Contractors provide us with, Construction Phase Plans, consisting of Risk Assessments, Method Statements, Stand Plans and Welfare Arrangements. We employ Scott-Baker to provide help and support to Space Only Contractors with CDM queries -  They 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 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.

Exhibition Build Regulations  

Proposed stand designs must be forwarded to Johanna Shirley by Friday 22 July 2022.

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:  

  • Stand Plan 
  • Method Statement 
  • Risk Assessment 
  • Contractor Health and Safety Declaration
  • Welfare Arrangement 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 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 check the Height Restrictions section (pg25).
  • All advertising and logos must be within specified height limits.
  • The minimum height for Space Only Stands is 2.5m.
  • Double Decker Stands are not allowed.
  • On divided sites if your wall is above 2.5m you must decorate the back of your wall facing your neighbours stand, down to 2.5m.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. Non slip, 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.  
  • All stands must clearly show the stand number and exhibiting company name. 
  • 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 Speciality & Fine Food Fair. 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. 




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.

Height Restriction

National Hall Ground Floor ‘Open Well’: 

  • The minimum height for walls is 2.5m  
  • 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 the Organiser's or Johanna Shirley who can advise. 

National Hall Gallery Level: 

  • The maximum height for walls is 3.8m.
  • Gallery Rail - As your stand is parallel to the gallery rail, we request that your back wall is half height (maximum height of 1.1m high).In addition, 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 eg unavoidable delays due to circumstance outside the contractor’s control, the Venue will charge £3,684 +VAT per hour.  The Organisers will have to pass this cost to the exhibitor / contractor concerned. 

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 and the Organisers may remove any offending fittings or materials, or close down a stand if it does not comply with fire regulations.  You should draw these requirements to the attention of your contractors.

  • Decorative materials used for stand dressing must be flame proofed or purchased already treated

by use of the 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 without warning to be removed.
  • 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 and look at pages 116 - 118.

Permission To Build

A Construction Phase Plan as required by the CDM Regulations must be sent to Johanna Shirley ASAP, but definitely before the deadline date – Friday 22 July 2022. 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:  
    • 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)
    • Method Statement including materials to be used
    • 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. 
    • Contractor Health and Safety Declaration 
    • Welfare Arrangement Form 

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 £310.00 + 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.


For advice and a quotation please contact Expo Floors Ltd directly on

T : +44 (0)1922 721177

E : .

Alternatively complete and return the Platforms Order Form.

Ramps and Handrails

Please check the e- Guide from page 9 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 Wednesday 6 July 2022.  We will then liaise with them regarding any information required.  

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 2 SEPTEMBER 2022, orders received after this date may incur a 20% increase. 

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.




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