Square Footage Required
Look at the prior history of your group before committing to exhibit space. Rule of thumb: 200 square feet is needed per booth, to include adequate aisle space. Generally an exhibit size is 10’X10’. On a smaller scale, 8’X8’ can accommodate a 6 ft. table with plenty of space.
The exhibits need to be in close proximity of the convention meetings. Ease of entrance is needed for delegates. Determine if exhibitors shipping large items need elevators, loading docks, overhead doors, etc.
What is the facility rental fee and set-up cost on each booth? (Usually, this cost is passed on to the exhibitors.)
A good floor plan with detailed dimensions will ensure correct placement of exhibitors. Make certain exhibit hall personnel have a copy of the “master plan”, in case you are unavailable for questions.
Most exhibit facilities have the necessary equipment, power, decorating capabilities and signage necessary to manage their exhibit space.
Utilities - Limitations
Exhibit facilities should be equipped with adequate power to accommodate everything up to industrial exhibitions. Determine the number of electrical outlets needed to provide adequate coverage for exhibitors.
Check to see if liability insurance is required of you prior to signing contracts with a prospective meeting facility.
Some exhibitors will need to have items shipped prior to their arrival. Determine if the facility will accept these items, cost of storage and the correct shipping address. Also, ask that storage costs be billed directly to the exhibitor.
These should coincide and cooperate with the convention itself. Never should the two compete. Times that exhibitors are open should be conducive to meeting break times, perhaps putting coffee and soft drinks in the exhibit area to promote their use. Likewise, your open exhibit schedule should be strict and adhered to by the exhibitors so as to ensure good attendance of the meetings.
Are the exhibits open to the public or are they open to the convention populous only? Some exhibits charge for their admission, while a name badge is required for others. Likewise, classification of name badges from staff to press to exhibitor to delegate is often useful in determining who is who.
Depending on the location of your exhibits, security is a necessity.
It's a good idea to have an exhibitor registration form separate from the registration for delegates. This should include the contractual agreement for exhibiting, along with rules, regulations, and expectations of the convention. Most exhibitors will want to participate in meal and social functions, so include those costs in registration. If you are having name badges made for exhibitors, include a place for individual names of everyone working the exhibit.