Anyone familiar with trade shows will recognise this iconic building in an instant.  When built in 1885, it was the largest building in the UK with the Grand Hall topping some 208,000 sq ft of space.  It took just 12 weeks to put the roof on - and most of the building is roof!  To put that size into perspective, the O2 Arena is currently the largest building in the UK, boasting a whopping 1,126,270 sq ft.  Again, mostly roof.  I wonder how long it took to put that one on. 

One feels an enormous sense of pride looking up at this Victorian structure and comtemplating the Herculean effort expended by our forefathers at the peak of the Industrial Revolution to get this monster built.  It has stood the test of time and is as magnificent inside as it is out.  Two years after Olympia first opened her doors, the Earls Court Exhibition Centre appeared on the scene in 1887 but has since been crushed by the mighty hands (i.e. deep pockets) of developers.  It wasn’t nearly as pretty though.

So it took 12 weeks to construct the roof in 1885, not bad going on all accounts.  It took us 3 days to erect the latest show stand for Pulse 2016 (a PB for such a large stand).  Ok so we didn’t have a roof but there was plenty to get finished by Sunday to create a world of wonder and intrigue, littered with our latest finds from around the world.

Inside the Grand Hall at London Olympia

Slap bang in the middle of the hall, we stood head and shoulders above the competition (literally).  The Gods were kind to us and mercifully DIDN'T bless us with sunshine during the show.  Last year, the sun poured in through the roof, creating the world’s biggest greenhouse, which isn’t ideal during a trade show I can tell you!