World Skills

Type of event and stats

  • Education and skills based exhibition
  • 372 crew
  • 5 Days
  • 17856 man hours

Event overview

World Class, specialists in the delivery of safe, secure and successful global events, called upon Showforce to assist with the de-rig for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.

Held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 15th – 18th October the event is a global hub of skills excellence and widely regarded as the greatest international vocational skills competition. 2017 was its 44th outing and welcomed an impressive 1300 competitors, 10,000 international visitors and 100,000 visitors from the UAE. It was the first time that the event had been held in the MENA region attracting a new audience. The event utilised 105,000 square metres of exhibition space and included permanent and temporary structures at ADNEC.

Overview/brief of Showforce’s involvement

With just four days to clear the venue before the next event was due to build, dismantling and removing all the stands where the 51 competitions had been held was a mammoth undertaking. This included the packing away and palletising equipment on exhibition stands, along with the removal of shell scheme, flooring, AV equipment, furniture, graphics, rigging and electrics along with the equipment and items displayed on the exhibition stands.

To complete this huge de-rig in the allotted time, 360 crew members and 12 international crew chiefs were required. World Class appointed Showforce five days out which meant that the company had to mobilise and deploy large numbers of crew. The administration and logistics involved with a project of this size, in that time scale are extensive. However, Showforce’s experienced internal operations team, led by Chris Martelly, global operations director, were able to manage it effectively, whilst also dealing with the company’s usual clients, at a busy time of year.

To meet the incredibly tight deadline, given the scale of the task in hand, World Class split the venue into six manageable zones and appointed crew managers with teams of crew to work alongside its own project managers, around the clock.


The skills on display included everything from bricklaying and bakery to electrical installations and web design and development ensuring that there was an eclectic mix of products and equipment that required packing away. In total, the Showforce team removed and pack away more than 8000 line items and over 1 million individual pieces.

John Adkins, technical director of WorldSkills 2017 and managing director of World Class said: “Make no mistake the de-rig for World Skills Abu Dhabi 2017 was a mammoth undertaking! The scale of the event, size of the venue and large quantities of kit, equipment and exhibits and the timeframe we working to meant that nothing less than a precise and efficient plan would ensure a successful outcome. The way that Showforce switched on all of its departments to mobilise the numbers of crew involved, with fairly short notice when they were busy with other projects, was really impressive.”

Showforce provided 12 international crew managers and 360 local crew, who were split into day and night shifts, working 8am – 8pm and 8pm – 8am, working across the six zones. This equated to 4464 man hours per day and a staggering 17856 man hours over entire job.