Why ELITeXPO Asks You for the Event’s Exhibitor Kit

One of the biggest differences between using a “fill in the webform” carrier to ship your exhibit and using an experienced tradeshow logistics provider like ELITeXPO, is that we verify the details to make sure that your exhibit materials arrive to each event on-time and without issue.

To be as detailed as we are, we need to have as much information about not only your shipment, but about the event itself. Therefore, we need to look at the information that is in the Exhibitor Kit/Manual that is provided to each exhibitor by Show Management or the hosting Association. In the past, these kits/manuals were easily accessible via the event’s website or the General Contractor’s website. Lately, they have been secured on these sites and access is only available via the exhibitor’s username and password. This means that your ELITeXPO representative may now ask you to send them the exhibitor kit/manual or provide them with the login information to view it for themselves.

What details are we looking for?

  • Addresses – Advanced Receiving Warehouse & Show Venue
  • Hall / Room Details – Which hall or room is the event in? Will our driver have to go inside to a ballroom or is there a dock?
  • Dates/Times – Advanced Receiving dates/times, Shipment Move-In & Move-Out dates/times, Freight Carrier Check-In /dates/times, Event dates/times, Force dates/times.
  • Is the Move-In or Move-Out Targeted? If so, what date/time applies for your booth number and/or size?
  • Additional Shipping Instructions – Special requirements. Is freight pickup and delivery allowed directly at the venue itself or are all deliveries and/or recoveries being handled at the Advanced Warehouse?
  • EAC Form – If ELITeXPO is doing the exhibit Installation and/or Dismantle

What else will we ask you for?

  • On-Site Exhibitor Contact Information
  • Hotel Shows – Do you have contact information for whom you have been speaking with at the hotel?

What are things an exhibitor might not think to look for in an Exhibitor Kit/Manual?

  • General Contractor’s Labor Costs – Completing and Submitting the Labor Payment Form
  • Other forms that must be completed and submitted before the show. – Electrical Requirements, Audio/Visual, Furniture, Floral, etc.
  • Exhibitor Self-Install – Is the client able to setup/takedown the display themselves, including electric, and/or any other “labor” required. There are new safety and security protocols in place due to Covid-19. Some venues now require all labor to be performed by OSHA certified laborers. Additional insurance riders may also be required.
  • Covid Safety Procedures – Booth distancing requirements, cleaning requirements, etc.
  • What Comes With the Booth Space?  Table, chair, wastebasket are often provided to each exhibitor.
  • Exhibit Display Restrictions – Height restrictions, how far forward in an inline booth space the display components can be placed. Side wall restrictions. Can a wall be against an aisle if the booth is an island? Lighting safety requirements.
  • Early Deadlines for Ordering Show Services – This allows for discounts and assuring your required AV & labor are available.
  • General Contractor’s Drayage Costs / Material Handling at Show Site (They are NOT the same as shipping. See the explanation below.) – Completing and Submitting their Drayage Payment Form

What IS Drayage?

Think of this as Hotel Butler Service you cannot avoid. You may be physically able to bring your own bags to your room, but because of the union rules at most convention facilities, both you or your carrier are not allowed to touch your freight on the show floor. Whether your items ship to the advanced warehouse or the show floor, you will have to pay for drayage to have your shipment moved to your booth space and back to the dock at the end of the show.

The fees for drayage are often much the same whether you ship to the advanced warehouse or direct to show. The benefit of shipping to the advanced warehouse is it can save on shipping costs by avoiding show site related surcharges, and it puts your shipment in the booth space early, so it’s waiting for you vs you waiting for your shipment to be received and brought to you.

Show Kit Services – ELITeXPO does offer Show Kit Completion Services. We can fill out your order forms and coordinate all services for you. Our fees for this service vary based on exhibit size and requirements. Contact ELITeXPO for more information at 800.543.5484 or info@elitexpo.com.

Recap of the Together Again Expo

From: Rich Ryczek

ELITeXPO Account Executive

So…I attended the Together Again Expo in Orlando, FL on Fri 7/24 at the Orange County Convention Center.

What a RUSH !!!  Felt So good being back on Show Floor even if not doing what I usually do.  I was there as an Attendee.

4700 guests were registered with 3600 organizations represented.  Show floor was buzzing.

Event was a vision by Mark Yuska from Alliance Nationwide Expo with the help of many partners.  Spoke to him on show floor, said there will be more events like this very soon. Discussing one at the end of Summer and another early Fall in different Cities but most likely at smaller venues, i.e. hotel ballrooms.

Hope the Associations and Event Managers out there took note of this event to see that an event CAN run safely and successfully !!!

Event was well thought out and very organized. Had my temperature taken before I entered OCCC by a Florida Medic.  Temperature spot checks were done on show floor. Registration was fast and seamless. Floor aisles were a bit wider than usually.  Exhibitor booth spaces were the same 10×10 right next to each other with quite a few larger spaces occupied. Aisles were labeled “one way”.  They had separate Entry and Exit points from show floor.  Seating for Speakers on Show Floor were spaced 6’ apart.  Depth of seating was increased.  Had several large screens around seating area.  Hand sanitizers were everywhere.  Cleaning Service personal were staged on show floor wiping down regularly touched areas.  Even had a bathroom attendant in each to wipe down.  Everyone had masks on and was very conscious for each other’s safety.  A lot of elbow bumping.  Some hugs visible but most hello’s were non-contact.

Various Food Vendors were set up along the back wall of the OCCC with a couple Bar stations placed on show floor.

(I certainly missed paying $12 for 4 small pieces of chicken, 2 broccoli pieces, and 3 spoons of rice and $8 for a beer..…LOL).

A LOT of information was provided at this event.  The Panel discussions were quite interesting.  After all, it does take quite a bit of effort for all involved to put on an event.  Main thing being a venue must be accredited to allow a show to run.  Currently, only 5 venues at the moment have that ability (Orange County Convention Center,  Jacob Javits, San Diego CC are 3).

Walked the floor and did find a couple of interesting products being developed due the COVID19.   The Innovation of our Industry is amazing !!!

Mark at Alliance noted that future 10×10 spaces again will most likely be complimentary.  I’d be happy to man our booth at the next show.

Again, it was information overload.  If you have any questions/concerns, please ask.

Best part of this event based on my experience and opinion…

*** Honestly, I felt more SAFE on this show floor than going to a local Store, Restaurant, Bank, Gas Station, Bar, etc etc….. in my area !!!

I have the feeling it’s because our Industry is very professional, and we look out for each other.  The Tradeshow Industry is a large Family…and Family usually takes care of one another. This is certainly what I experienced from ALL involved in this show.   (The Association, General Contractor, Crews, Partners, Exhibitors, Attendees, Cleaning Crew, Security, Food Vendors, etc etc).

Take care and stay safe…


COVID-19 and Face to Face Marketing. Can they coexist and are we looking at a ‘new’ normal?

As I type the above headline, I am sure many wonder about the reality of this horrific virus that is so stealthy and one that thrives on social activity, coexisting with an industry that is based totally on social interaction. Now keeping in mind that I am a firm believer that for the next 8 weeks we should indeed be diligent in our social distancing efforts, there will be a time when we need to relax the practice, albeit slowly. At that point, I feel our industry will start to come out of this forced hibernation and we can breathe life back into what I have always believed to be the paramount platform for both b2b and b2c marketing. Let me say it right now… COVID-19 is not going to eliminate face to face marketing, be it tradeshows, be it events. While dormant now, it will be back… although with a slightly different landscape!

So, what does the future hold for us? How will both exhibitors and attendees re-acclimate to what will be the new normal for us? Here are some of my thoughts on what I feel we can expect to see, and what I think might help us get back to firing on all 8 cylinders.

1) Show Attendance – Let’s face it, we all want the show floor to be buzzing with traffic. Exhibitors go to meet both existing clients, new prospects and visit with industry peers. Now the reality is that beyond the designated aisles that are in place to control flow of people, it really is a free for all when it comes to traffic patterns and where people go and when they go.  Which leads me to some “what ifs”  that I think might help our cause:

  • What if we developed a registration system that determined the number of people that could attend each day? In other words, once you registered there would be a lotto system in place that designated you to one particular day that you could attend. For example; we have a four day show that runs Mon- Thurs, once you register you are allotted on specific day to attend. If that particular day does not work, you request a new day, much akin to having a timed-entry pass to get into Disney World. If needed, we can even drill down further and only allow am vs. pm attendance. This I feel will even out the days people attend, eliminate the crazy crowds on the 1st day and balance out the attendance on the last day where attendance is typically very light. Yes, this will be somewhat of an inconvenience to start, but let’s face it, we all need to adjust here. I personally think this could work in the short term. And if need be, we stay with this lotto system until we have a vaccine in place.
  • What if we limit the number of attendees from a particular company that can register? Just send the key buyers that are responsible for making the decision. And I would say that this applies to any size company. Again, another way to control the number of people.

2) Footprints– While many subscribe to the mantra “Go Big Or Go Home”, this too warrants some rethinking and reconfiguring.

  • What if we consider cutting the size of the footprints down on the show floor? What if we don’t allow footprints larger than an inline 10’ x 30’. Yes, I realize for some this will be a big adjustment and honestly as a booth provider I am not excited about saying goodbye to island footprints. But again, we really need do think out of the box and consider this new floor plan as a possible option for the short term. This will also cut down on staff needed which will help the cause in an effort to control crowd size.

3) Rentals- This could be the new norm for a while and one that isn’t driven by the usual considerations when choosing between rental or purchase.

  • What if this now becomes the preferred option? It falls in line with my comments above regarding the need to consider scaling down our footprints. In reality, many exhibitors don’t have a booth that might fit this new paradigm and therefore will need to look at new inline booths. While we don’t have a crystal ball that can tell us how long we will be living with social distancing and related crowd control, this too could be a short-term solution as we plan for Q3 and QW4 tradeshows in 2020.

While I realize that my “what ifs” are a bit out of the box, for some might seem a very far-fetched and an inconvenience, truth be told for now (and the foreseeable future) I only ask that we all need to be open minded.

Stay healthy and safe and I look forward to the day when we can once again all say “Have A Good Show”!


Chuck Michel

VP Tradeshow Services




Contact Info


  • 845 Commerce Dr. | South Elgin | IL USA
  • (800) 543-5484 or (847) 324-3800
  • info@elitexpo.com
  • David Mihalik, CEO