As the exhibition and conference industry matures, rigging capabilities are commonplace in modern venues. In China, rigging facilities are present in many rising ground venues with several venues in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen offering these services to organisers.
Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Japan have led the way in developing “green exhibitions”, and rigging services are linked to this movement.
Why the slow uptake of rigging in China?
Rigging holds more importance than imagined. It raises the efficiency of onsite construction, reduces costs and increases the variety of events in a venue. For example, it adapts to different exhibition formats, sporting events and recreational shows. However, rigging is not widespread in the exhibition industry. First, using rigging services is costly and can be limited by budget restrictions. Second, industry professionals are not always aware of the different uses. Third, there is a lack of trained professionals making the gap between facility requirements and trained service professionals an issue.
A case to study for onsite rigging
As a mega-venue, Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center (Shenzhen World) has examined setbacks and developed solutions, becoming a case to study for venues in China.
Shenzhen World is home to a full set of advanced rigging systems, which respond to different exhibitor needs and boost the trend toward green booth construction. The venue is equipped with 16 exhibition halls, two multi-function halls (20,000㎡ each) and a mega-hall of 50,000㎡. The rigging system covers all event areas, including spaces for exhibition, conventions, and performances.
The flexible rigging system of Shenzhen World has horizontal and vertical gears, rigging rods and rigging nodes which respond to standard rigging needs, as well as lighting effects. The 9㎡ * 9㎡ grid can hold two tons of vertical load in addition to an extended capacity with a free node added to a cross point. Usually, conferences require a loading capacity of 250k for items such as speakers, projectors, large-scale lights and banners while sporting events need even more (e.g. NBA and large-scale concerts).
One highlight of Shenzhen World is the in-house rigging controlled by a state-of-the-art computer system. By activating a few buttons, the rigging points can be lifted or lowered for rapid installation and dismantling. In the event centre of Shenzhen World, two 50-ton systems (independent structures suspended under the roof of the stadium) are installed in the centre, for various and intricate stage construction, special lighting and audio effects, and a 360-degree live screen for soccer games or concerts.