Being a novice exhibitor is not easy. As a matter of fact, it’s comparable to learning a new language. I remember planning my first exhibit at a tradeshow – it began with a large “Exhibitor Prospectus” being plopped down on my desk. Knowing nothing of tradeshows, or their secret language, it was almost like receiving instructions to put together a swing set; only getting the foreign language version by accident.
Fast forward a couple years, after having a few shows under my belt, I realize how nice it would have been to have had some sort of Glossary of Terms to reference in my journey. So, to help you in your journey to become “exhibitor extraordinaire,” I present to you just a few of the most common tradeshow terms and their definitions.
Advanced Warehouse/Advance Receiving – A location set by show management to ship exhibit freight for storage immediately before a show. Freight will then be shipped to the tradeshow venue at the appropriate time for exhibitor setup.
Bill of Lading – A document that must be filled out by the exhibitor at show close to establish how your material will be shipped back to your office. This form will list a physical description of all boxes to be shipped, where they will be shipped, how the shipping will be paid for, and what transportation carrier will transfer the items.
Decorator/Official Contractor – An individual or company providing services such as installation and dismantling of exhibits; or rentals such as furniture, carpet, or pipe and drape for a tradeshow and its exhibitors.
Direct Shipping – Shipment of exhibit freight directly to the tradeshow venue. This is usually only allowed the first day of setup and during a very narrow timeframe, depending on your situation a better alternative would be to ship to the advance warehouse (see Advance Warehouse/Advance Receiving).
I&D – The actual Installation and Dismantle of an exhibit, this can be done by an individual representing your company, by the show appointed decorator/service contractor, or by a contractor hired by an exhibitor.
These are just 4 of the 20 in my glossary. I won’t take up space with all of them here today, but if you would like a complete copy of the glossary, just send an email to email@example.com
— Jennifer Riggs