Quite often, we get asked numerous questions about engineer stamps. These inquiries range from “what exactly is an engineer stamp for trade show hanging signs” and “is having an engineer stamp for my trade show hanging banner a necessity?” In this article, we will attempt to shed some light on the topic of engineer stamps and hopefully provide more clarity on whether purchasing an engineer stamp is the right next move for you and your trade show exhibition career.
What is an Engineer Stamp?
First off, it is important to define what an “engineer stamp” actually is before we proceed in explaining the potential benefits of it. An engineer stamp is essentially a “stamp of approval” from a certified engineering company. They would come and inspect the sign for any potential flaws and such, and determine if the overall structural integrity of the hanging sign is feasible for its intended purpose.
Why could this be an important process? Since trade show hanging signs are suspended above your booth, it is crucial to know that they are definitely going to hold given how much walking traffic will be going on underneath the sign in the confines of your booth. In this way, ensuring that every aspect of the sign not only meets, but in some areas exceeds, the requirements for critical weight as well as strength can aid in preventing harmful accidents to occur. Having a this certification from a third party engineering company is just one more liability you do not have to stay awake at night pondering about. In addition, convention centers also have there own load-bearing limitations for their ceilings. Since there will most likely be a plethora of trade show hanging signs being displayed from the convention center’s ceiling, the people in charge of running the exhibition also need to do calculations of their own. They will need to figure out all of the signs’ weights that will be hanging as well as the distribution of these signs to make sure that all of the hanging signs will not be too much of a strain on the ceiling itself. Having an engineer stamp can make all of these aforementioned processes that much quicker and easier for everyone involved.
When is an Engineer Stamp for your Hanging Sign Not Needed?
For the majority of the time, an engineering stamp is not required for many traditional trade show hanging signs. Since standard sized hanging signs such as 10 feet, 20 feet, and even 30 feet are so common, they generally do not require a stamp. However, depending on the show you are planning to attend, this could definitely change. The decision of whether or not an engineer stamp is required boils down to the general contractor for the show. These contractors, like GES + Freeman, will be the ones to determine if documentation is ultimately needed for the trade show in question or not. Regardless, they do usually require a layout schematic as well as the dimensions and details about the weight of the hanging sign. Even if you decide not to get the engineer stamp, having these numbers on hand can save you a lot of time and energy in the long run, and can be one less thing you have to put on your trade show checklist.
When an Engineering Stamp May Be Needed
While the aforementioned standard sizes generally do not need the seal of an engineer stamp, trade show hanging signs that are outside the norm could very well require one. Custom signs can range from unique sizes and styles to the usage of materials not typically seen on your average trade show hanging sign. Let’s use a scenario to break it down:
You own Apollo Tires: a company that specializes in performance racing tires. You are looking to attend the next big automotive show like SEMA. To boost visibility even more than a trade show hanging sign already does, you want to add something a little bit special and unique. Your team gets together, and comes up with the idea to use the tires themselves within the hanging sign. Perhaps this goes so far as to have the trade show hanging sign be a race car with the tires helping to give a three-dimensional appearance to the sign itself. Since this hanging sign is using custom materials that will most likely make this signage heavier than most, chances are that you would have to go through the proper steps and get an engineer stamp from a professional engineering company to sign off on your creative hanging sign so the venue at which your next show is will be able to approve of using this trade show hanging sign within their space.
Another reason why a trade show hanging sign would need an engineer stamp would be for fire purposes. If by some freak accident a fire occured and the graphic material around the frame caught some flames, would the frame have the structural integrity to stay suspended? Or would the fire weaken the frame enough that could potentially fall down and cause more damage and harm? A certified engineering company can inspect your coveted trade show hanging sign and put that seal of approval on it so you as well as the exhibition center’s organizers do not have anything to fear.
Acquiring an engineer stamp for your trade show hanging sign could be another expense you might not be able to afford, but it could be vital at trade shows down the road. While not an absolute necessity, if you think you might want to get creative with your trade show hanging sign in terms of size, shape, and/or materials being used, the chances are high that you will have to get that engineer stamp before the sign can go up and successfully market your brand or company at your next trade show event.