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Space-only Stands

The Beauty Show

General Information

This section of the manual is for all space-only exhibitors and their contractors. It covers stand construction time periods, lift and door sizes, stand design rules and requirements, permitted construction materials, construction regulations and electrical regulations. It should be read in conjunction with the eGuide which is the benchmark guidance for all UK events. The e-guide can be downloaded at:

Contractor Appointment & Build Times

You are advised to ensure that you employ a competent contractor to build your stand and satisfy yourself that they hold all the relevant safety qualifications, documentations and insurances, and that they understand their CDM responsibilities.  If you require assistance in finding a suitable contractor, please email our official space only contractor, Solutions 2, on or visit for a listing of approved contractors.

You must also satisfy yourself that they can safely build and dismantle your stand within the times allocated - see Event Timetable

Stand Plan Submission Requirements

All space only exhibitors are required to submit detailed scale drawings of their stand to ensure they comply with applicable regulations. Plans should be emailed to by 31 July 2024. Information should include:

  • Stand Design Inspection Form
  • Plan view of stand, showing external stand and internal dimensions, positions of all stand build, construction, entrance and exit locations and width, AV, walling, columns within your stand, platforms and major exhibits. Plans should clearly show the orientation within the hall.
  • Elevation views, with clearly marked heights of all stand build.
  • Details of the materials used to construct the stand, if not shown on your plans or referred to in your safety paperwork.
  • Full contractor contact details.
  • Risk assessment
  • Method statement
  • Construction Phase Plan
  • Health & Safety Policy (of the stand contractor)
  • Copy of a third party liability insurance certificate showing £5m cover (of the stand contractor)

Plans will be automatically rejected if items 6-10 above are not included and work may not be carried out onsite until your plans and supporting documentation has been checked and you have been issued with a Permission to Build Notice.

Stand builds will also be monitored on-site.  Anyone building stands which differ to their submitted plans may incur on-site construction delays while build is suspended pending accurate information.

Complex Structures

Complex structures at this event are not permitted.  The definition of a complex structure is any form of construction of any height which may require input from a structural engineer and examples include:

  • Stands over 4m in height in any part.
  • Multi storey stands.
  • Stands with steps/platforms over 600 mm.
  • All stages/platforms of any height used by the public (not stand platforms).
  • Sound/lighting towers.
  • Any form of construction, regardless of its height, deemed complex and requiring structural calculations.
  • Rigged structures not designed or manufactured to be hung.  Examples include bespoke metal structures, cube banners, all timber and bespoke elements and all suspended standfittings.

Lift & Door Sizes

The lift and door sizes at the BDC are given below – please ensure all goods and materials brought into the venue are compatible with these sizes.  Please also ensure you read the delivery section of the manual for further information about the Loading Bay.


Lift Size

Door 1

Door 2

Door 3

Stairwell G

3.9m (l) x 1.9m (w) x 1.9m (h)

1.8m (w) x 2m (h)

1.8m (w) x 2m (h)

1.8m (w) x 2m (h)

Stairwell F

5.8m (l) x 2.5m (w) x 2.4m (h)

1.53m (w) x 1.9m (h)

1.37m (w) x 1.9m (h)

1.35m (w) x 1.9m (h)

Stand Design & Layout Requirements


  • All closed rooms with ceilings must include suitable emergency lighting.
  • Fabric ceilings must be water permeable.
  • Smoke detections should be considered.


  • Please consider any applicable COVID-19 guidance when designing your stand.


  • Exhibitors must advise the Organisers of any demonstrations they are carrying out on their stand via submission of the Health & Safety Declaration and ensure that demonstrations do not constitute a fire or safety hazard. The Organiser will then advise applicable regulations and requirements.

Doors & Vision Panels

  • The required minimum effective clear width of a door is 800mm. Doors must be fitted with a vision panel with a zone of visibility spanning from 500mm to 1500mm above the floor.
  • The exception to this is to small storerooms where a small panel may suffice.
  • Doors must be recessed where they open to the public circulation areas – i.e. they must not open directly onto a gangway.
  • Please ensure all door handles are located within the boundaries of the stand and not directly on the stand edge and in public aisles.
  • Vision panels must not be covered by any means including frosting, graphics, blinds or removable elements.

Equality / Disability Considerations

  • The Equality Act aims to ensure that everyone is treated equally and to the same standards and levels of service as each other, regardless of their ability / disability. You have an obligation to consider this act and the former Disability Discrimination Act when designing your stand.
  • For further information, please refer to the disability section of the eguide.

Escape Routes

  • Alternative means of escape must be available from any point within a stand or structure leading to a place of safety.  routes should have a minimum, unobstructed height of 2.1m, other than within doorways, which should have a clear height of not less than 2.06m.
  • The minimum permitted gangway width is 2m, except within stands of less than 100m2 where gangways must be no less than 1m wide.
  • There should be no obstruction that could impede the free flow of people using the escape route.
  • All floors should be even and have a firm, smooth and slip-resistant finish. Trip hazards should be avoided.
  • The maximum travel distance from any part of a stand to a gangway shall not exceed 50m. Where there is only 1 means of escape from the stand, this must be reduced to 20m  In either case, the maximum travel distance should be reduced by 25% where alcohol is being served.

Exit Signs

  • Exit signs must be a minimum height of 200mm and a minimum width of 400mm.
  • They must be on a 24hr electrical supply and illuminated at all times.
  • They must be positioned so they are conspicuous.
  • Alternative means of escape and adequately maintained general and safety lighting, with maintained illuminated exit notices shall be provided for any enclosed area on a stand.

Floor Covering / Carpet

  • The venue is fully carpeted.
  • It is not permitted to cut or remove any venue carpet tiles.
  • When building stands, you must take adequate precaution to protect the venue carpet from damage.
  • If you wish to lay your own floorcovering, you will be required to lay a wooden floor / platform over the venue carpet.  This must be finished with metal / plastic edging.
  • Stand carpet may not be laid or fixed directly to the BDC carpet.

Floor Loads

Event Space

Lbs per sq ft

KN per sqm


104 lbs per sq ft

5KN per sqm


418 lbs per sq ft

20 KN per sqm

Conference Centre

104 lbs per sq ft

5 KN per sqm

Gangway Obstruction

  • No part of any stand or exhibit, including fascia, signs, lighting, corner posts, etc. shall project into or over the gangway or obscure any fire or exit signs and the Organisers reserve the right to remove any such item.

Height Limits & Partition Walls

  • Free standing and solid partition walls must be constructed between your own & adjoining stands – you cannot utilise the backs of neighbouring space only or shell scheme stands. Walls are also required to the rear of perimeter sites as venue walls may not be utilised.
  • Walls must be constructed to a minimum height of 2.5m and a maximum of 4m and run for the full length of the closed side.
  • Where partitioning walls are constructed over 2.5 m in height, it is the responsibility of the exhibitor constructing the wall to dress the rear of the partition wall down to a height of 2.5 m in a plain neutral colour such as white. Logos and branding are NOT permitted on the rear of partition walls.
  • For stands located on the perimeter of the Mezzanine level, the rear of the walls must be fully finished.
  • Please note that receiving plans from neighbouring stands does not mean they have been checked for compatibility.

Numbering of Stands

  • All space only exhibitors should display their company name and stand number prominently on their stand so that they can be viewed from each approaching gangway. This will assist visitors in locating their position within the hall and finding the stands they wish to visit.

Open Fronts / Walling on Open Sides

  • Long, solid runs of walling walls along gangway edges are NOT permitted - at least one third of each open side MUST be left “open”.  “Open” is defined as suitable space for public access onto the stand or large unobstructed vision panels into the stand.

Platforms & Stages

  • The use of platforms should be avoided wherever possible, in order to provide level access to exhibits and services for everyone.
  • Where the use of platforms is unavoidable, they should not exceed 170mm in height (one step) and ramped access should be provided for people with disabilities.
  • The distance between supporting timbers of platforms constructed from battens (25mm thick minimum) and sheet materials (plywood or MDF, 18mm minimum) must not exceed 400mm from centre to centre.
  • Platform corners must be splayed, rounded or angled and there must be a contrast in colour between the gangway and the platform to denote the change in level.
  • Where a bevel edge is applied to the perimeter of a platform, it must be conspicuous.
  • Platforms and stages 0.6m in height and over are deemed to be complex structures and are therefore not allowed.
  • A barrier should be provided on all except the performance edge of all stages and platforms over 170mm, at a minimum height of 1100mm.
  • It is good practice for all stages to have at least 2 means of access / egress.

Rigging & Venue Fixings

  • Rigging is not permitted at this event.
  • The fixing of items to venue walls, the balcony or other fitments is not permitted.

Special Effects

If you intend to demonstrate any special effects, including lasers, smoke machines, strobe lighting, real flames, ultraviolet lights, high power scenic projectors, dry ice machines, firearms and pyrotechnics (including fire work displays you are required to inform the Organisers via the Health & Safety Declaration at least 35 days before the event.  The Organisers will then contact you to discuss whether the planned activity will be permitted and relevant regulations and processes.


When designing your stand, we urge you to think about sustainability and to appoint contractors who takes sustainability seriously – ask about their sustainability policies, encourage them to use sustainable materials and energy-efficient equipment and discuss with them how they can help make your event experience more sustainable.

Vehicles as Exhibits

  • Vehicles as exhibits are not permitted inside the hall.

Construction Material


  • All materials used in the construction of stands, features and displays, including signs and fascias, shall be:
    • Non-combustible, inherently non-flammable or durably flameproof in accordance with BS476-Part 7.
    • Of a suitable nature and quality for the purposes and conditions of their intended use.
    • Adequately prepared and fixed in order adequately to perform the functions for which they are designed.
    • Water-based, where applicable, eg adhesive and paint.
  • British Standards are the minimum acceptable standards for construction materials. Suitable samples of materials may be submitted to the venue for approval. Materials may be tested on site to ensure that they comply.

Decorative Materials

  • Decorative materials use for stand dressing must be flame proofed or purchased already treated by use of the appropriate chemical.
  • Untreated wallpaper or similar with thin surface finishes, not exceeding 1mm in thickness, may be accepted, provided they are firmly fixed.
  • Artificial plants and flowers are combustible and give off toxic fumes and therefore may not be used for stand dressing. Silk-type flowers are acceptable, providing they are fireproof or have been treated and marked as such.

Fabrics, Drapes, Curtains & Hangings

  • Drapes, curtains, hangings etc. must be inherently or durably fire-proofed.  Otherwise they may be treated with a proprietary flame retardant. Test certificates must be available for inspection for any materials intended to be used.
  • Stands should not use drapes alone as a wall. Precautions must be taken to ensure that persons pushed against the draping cannot fall through. Suggested precautions are: a) hang drapes against a solid wall that stands at least 1.1m, b) if building with trilite, ensure extra cross bar bracing is installed as a barrier, c) as an added precaution, ensure drapes are the correct size. There should also be no excess draping on the hall floor and drapes should be tucked in and secured to the stand floor to ensure persons cannot kick up as they walk by.
  • Fabrics used for interior stand decoration must be fixed taut and / or in tight pleats (not loosely draped) to a solid backing, security above floor level and not touching light fittings. 
  • Curtains on exit routes should hang 75mm clear of the floor, be parted in the centre and not conceal any exit signs.

Floor Coverings

  • All floor coverings must be secured and maintained so that they do not cause a hazard.  
  • The venue is fully carpeted.  You may not lay your own floor covering on top of the existing venue carpet.  Please refer to the Floor Covering and Platform sections of the Stand Design section of this manual for further information.
  • Charges will be levied for the removal of any abandoned tape, ply etc. and any damages caused to the existing venue carpet.


  • All glazing used in the construction of stands must consist of safety glass (laminated or tempered), a minimum of 6mm thick. Areas of glazing within 80mm of floor level and over 0.5m2, where the smaller dimension of the pane is greater than 250mm, must conform to the thicknesses shown below (in order to comply with the “Code of practice for safety related to human impact”)


Maximum Pane Size Dimensions

Nominal Thickness


1100mm x 1100mm


2250mm x 2250mm
12mm 4500mm x 4500mm
15mm or thicker No limit
  • Any uninterrupted, large areas of clear glazing shall be indicated with warning stripes, dots, logos etc.
  • Overhead glazing shall be or wired or laminated glass, or be otherwise adequately protected from shattering.

Night Sheets

  • Night sheets must be made of inherently non-flammable material or of material satisfactorily treated in order to render them non-flammable.
  • They shall be stored rolled up and firmly secured and not cause any obstruction while not in use.


  • Only water-based paint may be used on site. If paint spraying equipment is to be used, the method must be approved by the venue and not cause a nuisance to others. Protective measures shall be taken to ensure that no paint is spilt or sprayed on to the fabric of the building.


  • All plastic, including plastic plants, trees etc, must conform to BS 476- Part 7, Class 1. Polycarbonate materials, such as Lexan and Makrolon are acceptable.


  • Timber under 25mm thick must be impregnated to Class 1 standard. Treated materials should have “BS476-Part 7, Class 1” marked on them.
  • Boards, plyboards, plywood, chipboard etc must be treated if under 18mm thick. The exception to this is MDF which is acceptable for use due to its density. MDF may not be machined on site, as its dust is hazardous to health.


  • Upholstered seating must be non-combustible and marked with the appropriate standard.

Waste & Dilapidations

During the build-up and breakdown periods, the venue cleaners will remove “normal” waste from the gangways. The definition of normal waste is packaging and small items such as those that would fit into a standard black bin bag. You and your contractor are responsible for removing all other waste, including:

  • Carpet – except scraps
  • Carpet tape
  • Crates and pallets
  • Building waste, such as bricks, sand and stand-fitting materials
  • Metal work
  • Heavy / large items that need to be removed by mechanical means
  • Hazardous waste – eg paints, solvents, chemicals, clinical waste aerosols, oils or cooking oils
  • Strip lights (fluorescent tubes and light bulbs)
  • Material produced by working demonstrations of exhibits
  • Excess literature
  • Charges will apply for the removal of any such items left abandoned in the hall.


  • You are not permitted to fix to any part of the fabric of the building or bolt to the BDC floor.  Charges will apply for all damages, including knocks to walls and pillars, paint spillages and removal of abandoned carpet tape.
  • Space only exhibitors / contractors are requested to report to the Organisers Office before leaving site during breakdown so that a Floor Manager can check your stand space is clear of all waste and free of damages.


Electrical Regulation


  • BS 7671 is the code of practice which is widely recognised and accepted in the UK. However, most UK venues have agreed to accept a modified guidance as a minimum standard for electrical installation and all space only exhibitors and their contractors are required to comply with this guidance. Visit the e-guide for full details at
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations describe the requirement that all systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger and that no person shall be engaged in any electrical work activity where technical knowledge or experience is necessary to prevent danger or injury unless he possesses such knowledge or experience.

Electrical Testing

  • All electrical wiring and equipment not supplied by the BDC is tested to ensure conformity with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.  Any items failing the test will NOT be connected to the BDC supply.

BDC Rules

  • It is not permitted to hang, suspend or attach any item to the overhead catenary wires under any circumstances.
  • Exhibitors and contractors who bring portable electrical appliances on-site should ensure that they have been regularly tested (Portable Appliance Tested) and bear a recent PAT test pass certificate.
  • Signs involving the use of neon or similar gases are permitted with fireman switches
  • Written Electro flashing signs of low intensity are permitted, provided the Venue approves specifications for their use in advance – contact to discuss.


  • It is the responsibility of the persons undertaking the electrical installations to ensure that the specifications for installation laid out in the eGuide have been complied with and that they have either (if suitably qualified) undertaken appropriate inspection and testing themselves to verify compliance or have arranged for the event’s official electrical contractor to do so.
  • When the BDC are requested to install a direct main, only after the following criteria has been met will mains be installed and the associated charges applied.
    • Copies of the relevant qualifications of any personnel responsible for the completion of the installation must be provided.
    • The person carrying out testing must be qualified to the required standard.
    • All qualifications, insurance and general details must be provided to the BDC.
  • Following the completion of the installation by the allocated contractor the following must also be adhered to before energisation of the supply may be facilitated:
  • The installation must meet the standards required by the regulations, however should the installation not meet these requirements, the BDC are authorised to postpone energisation until they are met satisfactorily.
  • If for any reason the electricians responsible for the installation cannot carry out the required Test & Inspection, the BDC may carry out this service on their behalf and the contractor will be charged for the cost.

Basic Electrical Considerations

  • All electrical equipment and exhibits must be guarded to prevent accidental contact with live terminals.
  • All Connections and Terminal are to be enclosed in a suitable box / enclosure.
  • Light fittings must not be balanced on top of the ceiling grid without being secured.
  • Light fittings must not be secured with sticky tape/string etc. – clips/insulated wire/heavy duty electrical ties must be used.
  • Light fitting flex must not be draped across the ceiling grid or left hanging in coils. A maximum length of 2m of flex for point to point is allowed.
  • Light fittings attached to metal displays must be earth bonded.
  • Spotlights/floodlights/halogen lamps, etc. must be guarded / enclosed so as to prevent risk of injury to persons.
  • Lighting circuits must not exceed 1,000 watts.
  • Lighting circuits must not be looped or connected to power circuits.
  • Only one multiplug lead of trailing socket type may be connected to each installed socket outlet, with a maximum trail of 2m. The trailing lead / multiplug will be rated at a maximum of 500w and can only be used in conjunction with a 500w socket outlet.
  • Only one cable to be connected to plug top and all cables kept to a maximum of 2 metres.
  • Multiplug adapters may not be used to feed other multiplug adapters.
  • Joints in cables where necessary shall be in insulated screwed connectors and be totally enclosed in insulated enclosures – i.e. all connectors must be protected by plastic boxes.
  • Flexible cable must not be used for stand wiring.
  • All electrical wiring below 2.8m (on partition walls or at floor level) must be protected in PVC or metal tube.
  • All electrical wiring under floors must be protected by heavy gauge PVC or metal tube.
  • All sockets must be 13 amp metal switch sockets.
  • Main switches and distribution must be metal clad.
  • Switch gear must be fused or circuit breaker on the phase conductors and solid neutral. All switch gear must come complete with either a double pole or triple pole RCD Rated @ 30ma.
  • All transformers shall be fused on primary and secondary side.
  • All equipment and exhibits must be guarded as to prevent risk or injury to persons.
  • All neon signs below 2.5 metres must be enclosed in a metal case with suitable transparent front and controlled by an approved “Fireman’s Emergency Switch”.

Power Advice (for simple orders)

Exhibition power supplies vary from household supplies. Below is a quick guide to help you order the correct supplies and avoid problems during the event - such as tripped supplies. 

500W Sockets - Rated at 2 Amp and can supply:

  • One computer (or 2 laptops)
  • A small domestic fridge
  • Four mobile phone chargers
  • Table lamp
  • Television & video
  • Or any combination of the above using a single 4-way extension (maximum length 2m) subject to a total load of 500W

1KW Sockets – Rated at 4 Amp and can supply:

  • Small domestic coffee machine (750W – 1KW)
  • Small domestic steamer (900W – 1KW)
  • Small microwave cooker (750W – 1KW)
  • Vacuum cleaner (800W – 1KW)

2KW & 3 KW Sockets – Rated at 10 Amp & 13 AMP and can supply:

  • Jug Kettle (2KW – 3KW)
  • Catering coffee machine (1 5KW – 3KW)
  • Industrial Cleaners (1 2KW – 3KW)

Further information:

  • The list indicates individual items that can be used with each socket, with the exception of the 500W socket above.
  • All sockets are supplied on a daytime power only basis unless a 24hr continuous supply is ordered.
  • Actual power requirements will vary dependent upon the individual equipment used. All electrical equipment has a Rating Plate that shows its power consumption in Watts or Kilowatts. You should check before you order your power.
  • If you are ordering a socket to supply your own lighting arrangement, the maximum power rating of any single lighting circuit is 1000W (1KW) – so if you had 3KW of lighting on your stand, you would need to order 3 x 1KW sockets for this requirement.
  • Under the current regulations it is not permissible to order a socket and use it to supply a consumer unit if you are carrying out the installation of your own electrical wiring and equipment. In these circumstances you would need to order an electrical mains supply.

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