On a recent project I had to take a very large, very open floor plate and sub-divide it into several offices and meeting spaces. Given that the schedule called for us to complete the spaces shortly after we acquired use of the venue, the task was a bit daunting. Wood framers can erect a wall extremely quickly and if you don't mind seeing the joints between the sheets of gypsum board (drywall) or MDF (medium density fibre board), you could construct temporary spaces quite easily. The added bonus is that during teardown, all or most of the materials can be recycled or re-used. One of the problems is that when crunched for time, waiting for the paint to dry (literally) may not be an option.
Another solution to consider is a wall system similar to what you can find in many office buildings that have cubicles and matching private offices. These systems are designed such that they can be installed very quickly, they can include hidden channels to run electrical cords and best of all have an immediate professional, finished look. If you're not creating back-of-house spaces, this can be an important consideration.
A few questions immediately come to mind so my assignment for this week is to seek answers to the following: Can a wall system be rented/purchased at a comparable price to building a wood stud wall from scratch – I suspect not. How do the two wall types differ in terms of acoustic properties? How do you facilitate air flow from one room to another if the factory wall needs to go right to the underside of the ceiling to keep sound in? Is it possible to request panels with air vents? Lastly, my question to a vendor would be about service options during the event. If a panel is damaged, what would be the response time to repair or replace it?
If you distribute wall systems that could be appropriate for use in an event setting, please contact me and/or send me a sample and specifications that I can review.