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How does that trade show score? Here are sixteen questions to ask about your next show:
Exhibitor Rights Council -- formerly Trade Show Council Exhibitor Rights Council -- formerly Trade Show Council
Washington, DC
Thursday, March 7, 2019


(no particular order yet.  )

  1. Abrupt show closing – pushing people out of the hall.  If the stated show close is 5:00 PM it is logical that you don't let more people in, but we request that 15 minutes elapse, sure lights should flash a few times and announcements made, but it should not look the running of the bulls with the exhibit crews rolling carpet at 5:00.


  1. No refund on closing show.  ….and this includes "acts of god."  I was on a show floor at 9:00 AM on September 11, 2001.   That show was open about 10 minutes when the news reached us about the attack on New York's World Trade Center.  Do you show have a clause that reads the show management will be the sole determinate of any refund in the event of show cancellation, or is the policy fair and in the event of a show cancellation the monies paid to show management are to be refunded.  Only the monies paid to the show and not freight or booth costs.


  1. Suit-casing is the practice of non-exhibitors or sponsors soliciting sales or networking on the show floor.  Does your show have a pro-active stance with your staff on the floor to track this and stated phone number to call and report infringement.  Are there signs at hall entry that explain the practice is banned?


  1. Is the a seniority system for exhibitors to allow priority of longer term exhibitor to enter space draw prior to newer exhibitors?  Is the list public?  Sure different sectors the floor can have different rates and with levels of sponsorship exhibitors can jump to earlier space draw like the $50,000 plus sponsors pick before the $25,000 sponsors – but seniority is how they pick with-In class.  This means that if the longest term exhibitor buys the highest class he/she gets to choose space first.  …. And yes that should could offer only 30' X 30' islands in the front a double foot rate.


  1. Does the show manager want deposits or full payment in advance of booth location choice?   Or does that show manager sell booths from a floor plan so the exhibitor knows their location and who has already purchased in the area at time of selection.


  1. If an exhibitor is asked to move their selected booth location does the exhibitor have the right to refuse and receive a full refund of monies paid?   This is to encourage show management to always make great offers in the event an exhibitor doesn't like the new suggested place – show manager should bear some risk.


  1. These questions relate to use of employees of the exhibitor vrs. Temporary or contact employees of the exhibitor – that some shows define as having full time employ of exhibitor for the previous six months.


  1. Can they bring in exhibit materials for booths up to 10'x 20' with hand-power rolling like hand trucks.
  2. Can they assemble and erect their booth.


  1. What percent of the exhibit show hours are exclusive show hours where the show manager does not have competing programs?   Does the show manager have an aggressive "no out-boarding" policy to prevent related groups from having events to draw attendees away from show floor?
  2. Is the show manager proactive in helping exhibitors learn how to do better shows so they: 1) make a better show for all, and therefore with greater success "grow the show."  Does  the show management suggest tools like MyFairTool.com or others?    Some shows offer a 30 minute "how to do shows" educational event prior the show, and I know of one that offers a $100 discount on the exhibitor's next show if they attend.
  3. Does the show manager make available information on attendance and demographics including attendee job title information to prospective exhibitors?
  4. Does the show allow exhibitors in the main room block on the same terms as attendees ?
  5. Is drayage charged fairly?  Is drayage charged on total weight with a minimum?   For billing are separate shipments deemed to each have weight minimums.   That is will one shipment of 200 pound be billed that same as two shipments of 100 pound received on different times?  Is this a per day or per truck difference?  That is will the charge be different for two shipments off of separate trucks on the same day, or if the carrier splits a shipment of separate trucks on the same day?  Is there a small package rate that in separate from the general weight charge.
  6. In the event out bound weight is different than inbound, for instance if many brochures, samples or books are given away will the outbound drayage be based on actual weight?
  7. Can the exhibitor use their own contractors and not those specified by show management?
  8. Can show site or union rules be provided 30 days before show?
  9. Do the exhibitors have an ability to express their needs to show management with input from small and large exhibitors with: a) An exhibitor's committee, have an exhibitor's meeting befor or during the show with space provided as a courtesy by show management. C) A reprenstative on the governing body of the exposition?




The Trade Show Council was created by Mitchell P. Davis after 20 years of exhibiting for his Expert Referral business www.ExpertClick.com.

Our goal to help both exhibtors and show managers grow their business with mutual respect and standardization of the tems of practice -- we are working a document to be called The Trade Show Code.

Mitchell P. Davis, President,Broadcast Interview Source, Inc. 2500 Wisconsin Ave.,NW  Washington, DC 20007

Phone:  (202) 333-5000

Email:  Mitchell.Davis@ExpertClick.com

The Trade Show Council is not associated with: 1) Printing Association of Florida Trade Show Council, 2) NYC & Co’s Trade Show Council, 3) ABM's Trade Show Council, 4) the GOA Trade Show Council, or 5) Meetings, Incentives and Trade Show Council.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Mitchell Davis
Group: Trade Show Council
Dateline: Washington, DC United States
Direct Phone: 202-333-5000
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