Everyday Questions in the Trade Show Industry
Q: What is an EAC (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor)?
A: An Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC) is any company other than one of the designated official contractors that an exhibitor wants to employ inside the exhibit hall before, during, or after the show. You must have your EAC approved by submitting the EAC Authorization Form to show management in advance so they can be added to the security list.
Q: Are the Official Service (Show) Contractor and the union the same thing?
A: No. The Official Service Contractor is required to go through the local union hall to hire laborers for exhibitions. Local unions have contracts with the show venues.
Q: What are Show Services?
A: Added onsite charges are unavoidable, whether you rent your exhibit from an outside contractor, the show contractor, or even bring your own booth to the show. These are services that must be contracted from and paid to the Official Service (Show) Contractor and include: electrical, electrical labor, drayage or material handling, rigging of hanging signs, truss, or exhibit walls, overhead lighting, plumbing, internet services, carpet cleaning and vacuuming, and in most cases beverage and food services. There is no way around these services and the union labor that is required.
Q: What is Drayage (Material Handling)?
A: The handling of freight and product from the door to the floor is not included in either your booth space purchase or your display rental quote and is the exhibitor’s responsibility.
Dates and Times
Q: What is a Target Date?
A: Show management sets a target date for delivery of freight for your exhibit, based on the hall and the area of the show floor where your booth space is located. A target date is not the date and time that your freight will appear on the show floor. Your freight arrival is “meant” to coincide with the target date and time, but the show allows itself a lot of leeway.
Q: Is there a Guaranteed Set‐up time?
A: The initial set‐up plan for your exhibit is based on the freight arriving in a timely manner on the show floor. However, if the show management plans to set up all of Hall C first, because that hall has the earliest target times, and then that hall’s freight gets waylaid, installation moves to the booth spaces that have received their freight. Obviously, it makes good sense to work on installing the exhibits that are already there, rather than waiting for the first hall to be ready. Installation then moves as quickly as possible to the original set‐up plan. In that way, everyone gets their exhibits set up in a timely manner.
Pricing, Billing, Asset Management
Q: What is Estimated Pricing?
A: Estimates are approximations and the way to present a sales order with the lowest bottom line is to underestimate labor hours and I&D times as to straight time, overtime, and double time, and create the illusion of lower pricing. Post show bills will follow.
Q: What is Fixed Price Billing?
A: A sales order/ proposal that is written as a final invoice. One single calculated assessment and invoice for the entire exhibit project from design, fabrication, and union installation and dismantle (I&D) and round-trip freight. Within the invoice will be all graphics printed in‐house including any dye sublimation fabric that is produced and sewn; all project flooring, furnishings, appliances, and audio-visual equipment will also be included. Sales tax will be applied based on geographical installation or purchase pickup. Show contracted services can also be included with a service charge upon request.
Q: What is Asset Management?
A: For clients that own their exhibit there is a systematic process that analyzes the need for repairs from major to minor of exhibit assets after returning from a show. All of the responsibilities of show damages including small damages, design changes, trade show floor accidents such as forklift punctures are the client responsibility. Exhibits will be set up in the warehouse after an Asset Management agreement is signed and refurbishment pricing and pictures will follow.
Q: Why are there so many Deadlines?
A: Without firm show deadlines a show could not open on time. In the exhibit business deadlines are set first by the show management as representatives of the show association. To meet the show deadlines and to keep client budgets in line these deadlines must be met. There is no excuse for excess money spent on penalties and late fees. In turn to accommodate all of our client projects and fulfill outside material orders Absolute Exhibits must set deadlines as well.