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You say Booth, I say Stand!

September 24, 2014 |

U.S. exhibiting practices are often confusing to international companies seeking to exhibit there but there’s no need to call the whole thing off.

As a starter for ten, here are the most commonly used terms and what they mean in plain English…

Lego figurines holding British and American flagUnion Labor

Over 50% of the states in America have Union Labor jurisdiction (and there is no uniformity from state to state). Exhibition organisers work with the labor unions to determine labor rules for each individual show.

You will need to follow these guidelines when it comes to installing and dismantling your stand along with setting up flooring, lighting, sound and video equipment, other electronics, signage, special effects and more.

Drayage & Material Handling

On paper, these are often linked but mean different things. Drayage is the warehousing of your stand prior to the show and/or storage between shows.

Material handling is a fee charged for the movement of goods at the show (truck to booth) plus storage of empty cases during the show. Charges are generally based on the volumetric weight of the goods but can vary massively.

Exhibitor Housing

Need a hotel? Show organisers will often partner with local hotels to offer preferential rates for ‘show housing’ which can only be available and accessed through the official show website.

Show Decorator

The organiser will choose a show decorator to provide all the show services. All on-site ordering is available through the nominated show decorator, increasingly via an on-line portal. Make sure you make note of and adhere to advanced order deadline dates, after which prices for their products and services will increase. At the point of show, there will be several help desks available for any last minute queries and orders.

Target Move-in

Many shows work to a colour-coded floor plan that shows the date the exhibitor can move into their space. If goods are delivered directly to the show site you will need to adhere to this date or, if they are delivered to the show warehouse, enough time needs to be factored in to allow them to be subsequently moved to your space. Labour for the stand build should be tied into these move-in dates accordingly, so that once in situ it is ready to build.

If you’re exhibiting in the U.S. speak to our dedicated U.S. expert Heidi Freedman. Based in the UK, she can help you with your international requirements locally.

Your project is co-ordinated here but built in our Chicago facility to U.S. requirements, ensuring you don’t get caught out by confusing terms and practices!

Photo credit: “America is another name for opportunity ” Ralph Waldo Emerson by Betsy Weber on Flickr. CC2.0.


One Response to “You say Booth, I say Stand!”

  1. Mukesh Tiwari


    I work with an exhibition company in Mumbai,India as Country Head-Exhibitions.
    I found above information is vital because many people get confused and consider that participating in US exhibition is as simple as any exhibition in Europe.