Event rigging - the basics.
The world of rigging can be complex and fraught with confusing terms - leaving you as an event organiser in a challenging position. Below, we explain some of the key terms and what to look out for, helping you make more informed decisions. This is a non-exhaustive list and is only intended to get you started! If you are interested in learning more about rigging, there are a variety of courses available online and in-person.
Often when booking an exhibition stand or space in an event venue, you will be asked about booking rigging points. Most simply put, a rigging point is a single position in the ceiling from which you can hang or ‘rig’ equipment. Generally they will be used in pairs or groups. Some venues have rigging points in set positions, however most large scale exhibition halls will allow you to choose exactly where you’d like your points in the roof.
A hoist attaches to a rigging point and allows you to raise or lower your rigging. These can be manually operated or motorised. The motorised version is often just abbreviated to be called a ‘motor’. They are categorised by their maximum load limit (500kg, 1T, etc). Motors will require three-phase power so can increase the cost of your stand, however on larger stands are usually essential to achieving the finished design.
Truss is a latticework of aluminium tubing, used to create a variety of rigging designs and structures. It is available in a vast array of lengths, cross-sections, connection types, and accessories to create myriad shapes and configurations. The most simple configuration is a simple ‘span’ - a length of truss suspended between two rigging points. However most exhibition stands will make use of ‘grids’ or more complex arrangements overhead. Truss can be used to hang lights, speakers, banners, video screens, and other items.
Ground-support rigging is any rigging that does not require the use of rigging points. This can be a cost effective way of suspending lighting or branding overhead, as it does not require the additional cost of points and hoists. Ground-support rigging usually consists of a truss structure supported by ‘legs’ which reach the ground. Although cost-effective, there are limited design possibilities and sometimes a ground support structure is not ideal for the aesthetic required.
All of the above are interchangeable names for equipment that is designed to get a person higher in order to access rigging equipment or equipment that has been ‘flown’ at height. MEWP stands for Mobile Elevated Work Platform, and usually refers to a scissor lift or boom lift. Plant is a colloquial term for a MEWP. Access equipment is a wider term that can also include ladders and scaffold towers.
The rigging plot is a drawing or set of drawings which have usually been produced in a computer program. They show the rigging team exactly how to install the rigging and can include information such as measurements, weights, and relative positions of equipment.
PYTCH are experts in exhibition rigging and rigging for corporate events. If you need rigging services at Excel, the NEC, CBS Arena, ICC Wales, or another large-scale venue, then please get in touch and we can discuss your requirements.