Despite the challenges of working in an old San Francisco building that was used during WWII and by all appearances had not been repaired or worked on since, the team at Xibeo was able to execute one of the biggest event projects we have ever undertaken.
Our client, Kenwood Experiences, asked us to assist them in adding several components to the Accelerate 2017 event by Pure Storage, held June 12-14, 2017.
The conference was Pure Storage’s way of reaching out to customers directly with their own event and trade show featuring companies that help support their product and service.
Xibeo was asked to assist with providing 25 modular meeting rooms, all registration desks, and 23 different trade show booths of three different sizes – 10×10, 20×20 and 25×25.
We also provided sponsors setup, demo kiosks, a wide range of furniture, including 2300 folding chairs and graphics for all of the Expo booths as well as 10,000 square feet of carpeting for the entire event.
The event took place in Pier 70, an historic shipyard in San Francisco, along the bay. It was used during WWII, by over 18,000 people, to build ships. Asphalt was used for a floor throughout the building.
The event build out began a week before the event took place, with an army of people to set up the rigging and a small handful of forklift crews. Like ants, they descended on the old landmark and began setting up the worker tents, getting generators in place, and off-loading equipment to begin the week long set up.
Over the course of the remaining week, riggers set up truss into the rafters of the warehouse for lighting, and the 50 yard long video screens. Long curtains were installed in the back of the warehouse to define work space for the Audio / visual team and all of their electronics. A team of electricians ran thousands of feet of cord all through the warehouse for the various locations where video demonstrations would be held and for the stage.
We also had to get all carpeting and booth material to the show site on Thursday to be prepared for a Friday install. Once installed, Xibeo had a team of nearly 20 on hand to install all of the modular meeting rooms and the 23 different expo booths. By Sunday afternoon all was done and ready for the show that Monday.
Because this wasn’t a typical trade show, held in a convention center with all the modern conveniences like bathrooms, level floors or electricity, there were many challenges we had to overcome. The biggest challenge came from the venue itself.
Since the floors were not even anywhere (think of the floor as simply a parking lot inside an old abandoned warehouse), the expo booths were not level. To compensate, we had to shim up a few walls, and bolt the support feet through the carpet and pad into the asphalt floor. In some cases the floor sloped so bad the freestanding video walls we provided were off by 2” from one side to the other.
Because the venue was a historic building, the owners could not make repairs to it and the site showed. At least 40% of the windows were broken or missing which made setting up in foggy San Francisco an even bigger challenge.
Thursday there was a light rain that left puddles in two locations inside. This prevented installation of power and the booths that were planned to occupy that space.
Fortunately, the day of booth set up, the sun was out, but it took a day to completely dry out the areas we needed to set up in.
Client change orders on the day of set up were another challenge we had during this event. With any show, there are changes that occur because of booth location, or last minute add-ons a client wants to make. This event was no different.
On Thursday of the install, the client realized they forgot to order 2400 sq ft of carpet. We know first hand the challenges when planning an event of this magnitude, and we were able to come through for this. We were able to track down the carpeting, and arrange for a morning delivery to prevent the schedule being pushed back.
In another instance, a last minute change after we built the meeting rooms was made to add more meeting rooms to another part of the event. Fortunately, we had the extra pieces needed and we could accommodate.
Did you know that it takes 10 people almost an entire day to set up 2300 folding chairs?
Despite the challenges, the setup didn’t take much longer than expected to complete. Considering the venue and the controlled chaos that was going on in different parts of the location, we are quite proud of the fact that the event was a great success.
The report back from the client was glowing and all in attendance had a blast, staying until late into the night on the last night of the event. What took a week to set up, took just one day to completely remove everything from the warehouse.
If you are in need of an experienced team to help you make your next event spectacular, please contact us today!