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Just like most people, when it comes to signing a contract or entering your online signature, you probably read only some of the terms covered in the contract. However, at a trade show, it can pay off significantly to read the fine print. If you are not a detail-oriented person, you may want to consider having someone else read the rules and summarize this information for you. In this article, we will go over trade show tips and strategies that may help you to better understand trade show contracts, rules and regulations.

There may be rules that are similar across venues. For example, rules about sizing of booths, audio levels and maintaining fire standards are expected at every trade show. However, these may be different depending on which trade show you are going to. In addition, there are lesser known regulations that also need to be followed. Reading the fine print of contracts can lead to a more successful experience at a trade show.


Renting or Purchasing an Exhibit Booth

Know if you will be renting an exhibit booth, purchasing one or bringing your own. If your company plans on or goes to multiple trade shows a year, it may make economic sense to either bring or purchase an exhibit booth. Whereas, if you go to only one or a couple of trade shows, renting a booth may reduce what needs to be brought to the show and the logistics of making sure the booth will work within the specifications of that trade show.


Will there be Union Workers?

Ask if there will be union workers at the trade show. The union will typically regulate what can be done by the exhibitors and what needs to be done by the union. Things like running power or setting-up furniture may be regulated by the trade show.


Running Equipment and Exhibit Checks

If you have any additional equipment or marketing that may violate the regulations of the exhibit space, consider getting pre-approval from trade show coordinators. There may be structural concerns that you did not consider, these concerns need to be addressed with the trade show to see if anything needs to be approved by an engineer or environmental and health safety officer.

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Know the Payment Times

Research the payment schedule. What needs to be paid up front? When does it need to be paid? Can you be refunded if you decide not to go to the trade show? Are there possible costs for damage of property or inadequate clean-up of the exhibit space? These are all factors that should be considered when making payment plans.


Learn about Insurance Options

Perhaps the most important part of the contract is the insurance at the trade show. You may have to use certain exhibit companies to stay covered under the insurance of the trade show. If you choose to use another exhibit company then damages may not be covered in the case of major events like a fire or more minor events like vandalism to the exhibit booth. You may have a complex exhibit with materials hanging or special lighting or features. Hiring an exhibit company who is licensed and approved by the trade show increases the odds that they are familiar with the policies of the trade show.


Know the Timeline of the Trade Show

There will be certain times when you are able to inspect the exhibit space, set-up the exhibit, learn about any possible changes to the trade show schedule, open and close the exhibit space and tear down at the end of the trade show. Make sure you know in advance when each of these processes can happen. This will allow you to create travel plans and schedules for all who are working at the trade show.


By following these trade show tips and staying focused on familiarizing yourself with the even the most minute details of a contract, you are sure to have a smooth and seamless trade show experience. Nimlok’s team of trade show specialists offer a comprehensive range of products and services to ensure your trade show experience goes off without a hitch. Our professionals can handle every detail of planning and executing the terms of your exhibit, allowing you to focus on the details that really matter!