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Tradeshow terminology you need to know before attending your next tradeshow event.

Whether it is your first trade show or  you are a seasoned event manager, it is important to know these terms prior to attending your next function.

Advance Order: An order for services sent to the service contractor prior to the installation date. Fees

associated with advance orders typically include discounts when paid in advance

Advance Receiving: Location set by show management to receive freight before the start of show.

Freight is stored at this location and then shipped to the show at the appropriate time

Bill of Lading (B/L): A document that establishes the terms between a shipper and a transportation

company for the transport of goods between specified points for a specified charge

Common Carrier: A transportation company moving people or goods. For exhibit freight, the carrier

usually accepts only crated materials and consolidates the properties of several customers into one

shipment bound for the same destination

CWT: Hundred weight. A measurement used for shipping exhibit properties. Usually 100 pounds

Damage Report: A report submitted by an exhibitor to a freight company or drayage contractor

itemizing damage to shipped goods

Dolly: A low, wheeled frame with a platform used for carrying heavy or cumbersome objects

Drayage: The movement of show materials from shipping dock to booth for show set up and back to

dock for return shipment at end of show

Est. Wt.: Estimated Weight

Exclusive Contractor: A contractor appointed by show management as the sole provider of specified


Exhibitor Appointed Contractor: A contractor hired by an exhibitor to perform trade show services

independently of show management appointed contractors. Also called Independent Contractor, EAC


Finished: No unpainted or raw surfaces or edges on a delivered exhibit

Fire Retardant: Term used to describe a finish which coats materials with a fire-resistant (not fire

proof) cover

Floor Manager: An individual representing show management who is responsible for the exhibition area

Floor Port: A utility box recessed in the floor containing electrical, telephone, or plumbing connections

Freight: Exhibit properties and other materials shipped for an exhibit

Freight Desk: The area where inbound and outbound exhibit materials are handled at a trade show

Hand Truck: Small hand-propelled vehicle used for transporting small loads

Hard Wire: Any electrical connection other than receptacle to receptacle

Hardwall: A type of exhibit construction in which walls are made of a solid material, rather than fabric

Infringement: An exhibitor's unauthorized use of floor space outside the leased booth area

In-line: An exhibit that is constructed in a continuous line along an aisle

Island Exhibit: A display with aisles on four sides

Labor Form: The form used by exhibitors to order labor

Lead Tracking: A manual or automated system used to conduct follow-up activities for sales prospects

resulting from a trade show

Loading Dock: An area within an exposition facility where freight is received and shipped

Marshaling Yard: A lot where trucks gather for orderly dispatch to show site

Meter: The most common width for a backwall panel. (1 Meter = 39.37 inches)

Move-in: The date specified by show management for beginning exhibit installation.

Move-out: The date specified by show management for dismantling exhibits.

Official Contractor: Show management appointed company providing services to a trade show and/or

its exhibitors. Also called Official Contractor

On-site Order: Floor order placed at a show site. Costs for on-site orders are higher than orders placed

30 days prior to the event

Overtime: A designation for work performed outside the hours specified as normal working hours.

Usually work performed on overtime is charged at a higher rate

Peninsula Display: An exhibit with aisles on three sides

Perimeter Booth: A booth space on a outside wall

Privately Owned Vehicles (POV): Exhibitors’ privately owned vehicles (POVs) or small rental trucks (UHaul, etc.)

Pipe & Drape: Tubing covered with draped fabric to make up the rails and backwall of a trade show

Quad Box: Four electrical outlets in one box

Straight Time Labor: Work performed during normal work hours at the standard rate

Service Desk: The location at which exhibitors order services from the show decorator and other

official suppliers

Show Decorator: A company or individual responsible for providing draping, carpeting, and signage

services for the trade show and its exhibitors

Side Rail: A low divider wall, usually pipe and drape, used to divide one exhibit space from another

Three Wire: Electrical cable with a continuous ground wire in addition to a positive and a negative wire

Visqueen: A clear plastic sheeting that is placed over exhibit carpeting after its laid in order to protect

it until the show opens. Visqueen also allows exhibit components to slide on top of it during setup,

allowing you to align various exhibit components by simply pushing them into position.

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