Kane Simpson has been in the events industry for six years, joining AbraxysGlobal in 2012, and moving to Brand Manager in 2018. AbraxysGlobal oversees the construction of stands and exhibits at trade shows and is responsible for ensuring that all exhibitors adhere to relevant safety regulations published by the organisers for the entirety of an event.
Traditionally, the conference industry relies heavily on paper-based communication, with massive A1 plans mapping out stand locations, designs and the venue. In some shows this can represent up to 2,000 stands, resulting in a significant number of files required on site.
AbraxysGlobal manages a team of over 20 health & safety floor managers and event staff, who are located on-site for the duration of a show. During the set-up period they work with exhibitors and their contractors to ensure the stands are constructed according to plan, and that necessary health and safety requirements are observed. When the show has opened, they are on hand to support the smooth running of the event and manage the safety of the attendees.
With a paper based system, floor managers would consult their files on site to refer to site plans. Accidents and incidents that breached health & safety were reported and documented by completing handwritten templates in triplicate.
In recent years, AbraxysGlobal invested in shared online storage and a PDF reader solution in an attempt to improve collaboration and reduce their dependency on paper. This system relied on access to internet in the venues and resulted in some duplication of work and difficulty in sharing information easily across the team.
Due to the growth of their business, Kane was keen to find an alternative approach that would benefit their clients, the AbraxysGlobal onsite staff, improve team efficiency, and also reduce the company’s high dependency on paper. PlanGrid was recommended to him by some contractors, and he liked the sound of it.
AbraxysGlobal decided to trial PlanGrid at all shows from January 2018. They downloaded the solution and uploaded the stand plans, technical floorplans, and general event regulations, so the team had immediate access to all key data on their portable devices for the duration of the shows. This provided a great starting point to build on for their larger worldwide shows later in the year.
With PlanGrid it was easier for the team to respond quickly to a reported incident on the show floor. The stand numbers were tagged on the floor plan online, so the team could pinpoint the location and view all historical notes via their iPads, before they set out to investigate any issues. Intermittent internet connectivity was also not a problem, as PlanGrid works effectively offline, syncing automatically when the device is back online.
The company now uses PlanGrid at all their shows, in over 20 countries, and Kane is impressed at how easily he can monitor the events remotely in real-time. This has proved an essential management tool with events running in Australia, India, Korea, China, North America, Middle East, Africa, and Europe. It has removed the requirement to contact staff across a variety of time zones with quick questions, as he can easily check the project online, obtain photographic evidence and get access to all the information he requires.
AbraxysGlobal floor managers instantly enjoyed the benefits of having all the information they required in one place, when they needed it. The technology was easy for them to pick up, and Kane was happy to hear their positive reviews from the outset.
The floor managers complete their reports instantly in PlanGrid, attaching supporting photos, and sharing these communications with colleagues on site, the client, and the venue with all comments date stamped to satisfy health & safety requirements. The team is more productive on site and they enjoy the reduction in paper usage that PlanGrid has brought.
For Kane, the solution has added benefits to help him manage his global team. With PlanGrid, he can run charts, reports, and spreadsheets to track how each team member is performing, and deal with any delays or concerns with team members as they occur. Post-show reporting is also easier, quicker, and more detailed than before.
Data loss through accidental deleting has been further reduced. With PlanGrid, a user has to physically type the words “delete” to remove a sheet, plan, or relevant content from the account. Kane had previous experience of users inadvertently removing or deleting files from an online storage solution, which was a headache for him and the team.
PlanGrid fits well with the company’s business model to engage with local contractors for their shows, as they have the flexibility to manage the number of users on the solution. Furthermore, the effect of tighter GDPR requirements in the EU region dictates that Kane has to consider how data is shared by all users. When a show is completed, the licences can be revoked from temporary contractors to avoid any risk of misuse of data which could compromise the company.
AbraxysGlobal brought PlanGrid on board to reduce paper dependency, improve collaboration, and increase team productivity. Within six months it has delivered on all these criteria, and Kane is confident PlanGrid will continue to support the growth of their business moving forward.