As a first-time exhibitor, we want to make sure your exhibition experience is as successful as possible. Below are frequently used terms and a checklist you can use to help navigate the complicated process of arranging your exhibit space.
Frequently Used Terms
- Exhibitor Console: The Exhibitor Console* is your starting point for all important information. You can find everything you need to Exhibit here. See below for more information on what is included and how to log in.
- Exhibitor Services Kit: The Exhibitor Services Kit has many different names including ESK, Service Kit, Exhibitor Services Manual, ESM or Service Manual. Whenever any of these terms are used, it is in reference to your GES Exhibitor Services Kit. The ESK is where you can find rules and regulations, order booth furnishings, accessories, find shipping addresses, access important dates and deadlines and much more!
- Target Freight: The term target refers to shows that have a specific move-in schedule. This will also be referred to as Assigned Move-In, Target date for Freight, or Target Move-In. If a show is targeted each exhibitor is assigned a specific date and timeframe when their freight must arrive at the event. It is vital for exhibitors to know if the show is targeted, and what their target move-in date and times are as freight can be refused when off target adding to shipping expense and frustration. Target times can be found in the ESK under the Move-In, Move-Out and Target Floorplan tab.
- Exhibitor Appointed Contractor: An exhibitor appointed contractor (EAC) is a company other than the event general contractor or official service provider that requires access to a booth during installation and dismantling. The EAC may only provide services in the facility that are not designated by the facility as exclusive to a designated provider, or by the show organizer in a contract as an exclusive service for the general or official service provider or other 3rd party.
First-Time Exhibitor Checklist
Each exhibitor has access to an exhibitor console on the event website. Your console is a personalized tool you can use to access all of the information you will need to plan for the event.
The console will be fully active approximately 5 months pre-event and includes:
- Edit Booth Info – Manage the information that appears on your online listing so attendees know to visit you on the show floor
- My Account – Print a copy of your account statement, see when the next payment is due or make a payment through the website.
- Get Badges! – Register for badges and view your lead retrieval scans
- Exhibitor Services Kit (ESK) – View event information and place orders
- Exhibitor Forms – Submit your Booth Approval Form, Product Nomination Form, Technology Breakfast Reservation Form or request a booth move here. Booth Approval Forms are mandatory for all booths
- OnPeak – Book your hotel rooms and travel plans here
- Online Sponsorship Opportunities – Purchase sponsorships and upgrades for your booth to enhance booth and company visibility
- Show Specials – Will you be offering any specials at the show? Use this section to announce your show specials
- Manage Press Releases – Enter newsworthy information about your company, products and your presence at the show
- Gear Gallery – Upload pictures and enter descriptions of the products you will be showcasing on the exhibit floor
- Client Services – Contact client services with any questions you have
*The password for your console as well as a link to the console is listed on the invoice you received for your booth contract. If you have any issues accessing your console, contact your Client Services Specialist
It is important to read the entire Exhibitor Services Kit thoroughly. Below are the documents we recommend starting with.
- Welcome Letter
- Critical Dates Checklist
- Booth and Show Rules and Regulations
- Exhibitor Tips and Tricks
- How to Navigate the ESK
- How to Save Money
- Target Move-In Information
Know the important dates and deadlines -
Set calendar appointments for order discount deadline, booth approval form deadline and registration deadline to ensure you are saving money and have a smooth set up. All dates can be found in the Critical Dates Checklist in your Exhibitor Services Kit and on the homepage of your ESK under the Important Dates and Deadlines section.
Know who to contact -
We are here to assist you. Know who to contact when you need assistance.
- Account Managers: Contract your space, upgrade or add sponsorships, and make contact or account information changes. Account managers are determined by your company location. Click Here to find your sales manager.
- Client Services Specialists: When you have Questions about set-up, need help accessing your console, have questions about registering your booth staff or any time you are not sure who to ask!
- Accounting Services: Contact your accounting services representatives when you have questions on payment or would like to make a payment over the phone.
- GES Servicenter: Contact GES when having trouble placing orders through your ESK, have questions about GES billing and payments or are unsure which forms you need to fill out.
Train your booth staff –
The best way to maximize your success at any event is to have a fully trained and engaged booth staff. Attendees have expectations when they come to your booth. Below are some tips to get started:
- Be memorable & enthusiastic
- Courteous to your "guests"
- SMILE! Have a positive attitude. How often do potential customers make a special trip to see you?
- Carry and use breath freshener spray or small mints (Tic Tacs vs. large, bulky mints). Shy away from spicy or garlicky food and alcoholic beverages
- Avoid chewing gum, eating, and drinking while in your exhibit
- Keep your booth neat & tidy!
- While working the exhibit, don't sit in your booth or lean on the exhibit counters
- Don't spend time talking on your cell phone, with booth neighbors, or to your other booth staff
- Make eye contact; never ignore a prospect, even if you're with another prospect. (Give them a nod and "just a minute" sign). Include them into your conversation
- Greet attendees by name. If you can't pronounce it, ask!
- Shake hands; match the strength of the other person's handshake and only "pump" twice
- Target Move-In Information
Put together a trade show survival kit –
Include the kit in your freight or checked bag including:
- Copies of all orders and tracking number
- Small tool kit
- Staples, scissors and tape
- Pens and markers for labels
- First Aid kit
- Bottled Water
Plan for move-out –
Move-out is often one of the most confusing and overlooked parts of trade show management. Each facility, contractor, and show comes with their own unique move out challenges. Here are a few notes to get you started:
- Pre-arrange your outbound shipping with a carrier who is familiar with tradeshows.
- Plan Ahead! Contact your Client Services Specialist 6-8 weeks PRIOR to the event to discuss the move out process if you have any questions.
- After emptying crates, place empty labels on all sides of your crates and cases. Remember to remove old empty labels. Additionally, the empty labels are sometimes color-coded, so make sure you get the correct color and be sure your booth number is on each label. This will ensure no crates are lost or separated and will speed up move-out. Don’t forget to label your pallets if you need them back for return shipping. If they are not labeled, they will not be returned to your booth.
- Large shows take time for the crates, pallets and empty boxes to be returned to the booths for load-out packing. It can take 6 hours or more for empty crates to be returned to the booth; please plan your departing flights appropriately. Loose cartons and fiber cases will be returned first so you can start packing. Wooden crates and skids will be next. Material return is random, and holding your empty crates during set-up will not get your crates back to you any earlier. If you hold your empties, the Floor Manager will warn you at first and then have your empties removed.
Be sure to read through the Move-Out information located in your Exhibitor Services Kit for more tips on move-out.
Additional Tips -
- Keep the total square footage of your booth space in mind when you order decorating items. Do not order more than will comfortably fit in your booth and allow you to do business. Remember, you are only allowed to use the contracted booth space, not the aisles.
- If you have multiple exhibit locations, please complete a new and separate order for each location (booth, meeting room, etc.).
- Have a company credit card to pay all balances due on show site and for deposits on rental equipment.
- Work Zone - You should know that the show site and surrounding areas are active work zones. You need to be careful and keep an eye out for moving vehicles. Company agents and representatives are present at their own risk.