Trade Show Glossary

The family of clear, color and translucent thermoplastic resins such as Plexiglass or Lucite (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Fees associated with advance orders, which typically include discounts when paid in advance (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
(Warehouse) Location set by show management to receive freight before the stat of the show. Freight is stored at this location and then shipped to the show at the appropriate time. (EXHIBITOR Media Group, 2019)
The overall appearance of your exhibit
Partition wall used to sub-divide meeting and/or exposition space (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Area between booths for audience traffic movement (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Carpeting installed in trade show aisles (EXHIBITOR Media Group, 2019)
Uncontrolled and unintentional illumination (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Movement of either light or mechanical action (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Reinforced molded plastic case, normally with foam cut-outs for transporting fragile materials (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An exhibit display ceiling or entryway that spans two points (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A union contract covering companies and unions that bargain on an area-wide basis (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
One who attends an exposition (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An enhanced image or environment as viewed on a screen or other display, produced by overlaying computer-generated images, sounds, or other data on a real-world environment (, 2019)
Panel arrangement at rear of booth area, typically made of cloth, plastic or other materials (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An exhibit that is back-to-back with another exhibit or against a building wall (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Backlit graphics contain rear illumination lighting that can create a high-impact visual image. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
A suspended decorative or communicative panel, usually a temporary cloth or paper structure (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Lightweight, inexpensive portable signs that have become synonymous with event marketing; Sizes vary, as well as shapes and quality; With banner stands, “you get what you pay for” so do your research and work with a company you trust. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Steel floor support piece for upright post (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
(B/L or BOL): 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 (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Non-crated freight shipped via van line covered with protective blankets or padding (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Area beyond usable section of blow-up or copy block that allows for trimming or wrapping when an image runs to one or more edges of a substrate or medium (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Photographic enlargement (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An arrangement with a company for use of facilities, goods or services (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Mounted to a length of metal with a clamp or mounting bracket on the other end; generally mounted on the top edge of a display to cast light down (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
An area made up of one or more standard units of exhibit space (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A number assigned by show management to identify an exhibitor’s floor space (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
The extent to which your brand is clearly visible to as many people as possible
Briefcase displays are small panel or pop-up table displays that breakdown into briefcase size packaging. Graphics are typically attached for easy transportation. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Finish primarily on aluminum or steel achieved by rubbing with wire brush or steel wool to achieve a matte quality (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
An overhead cover or scrim (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A counter or table from which a cable is connected to that guests can charge their electronics
An exhibit space with exposure on at least two sides; some shows charge premium prices for these booths (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An institutional exhibit telling the story of the company without intentionally marketing a specific product or service (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A working cabinet for display, demonstration or registration (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An exhibit created to be a unique solution to the specific requirements of the user (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Hundred weight; a measurement used for shipping exhibit properties; usually 100 pounds (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Report submitted by an exhibitor to a freight company or drayage contractor itemizing damage to shipped goods (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Time when a worker is unable to perform duties due to factors beyond his or her control (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A catalog of basic information about the show, including exhibitors, floor plan and schedule of events (also referred to as an on-site program or program) (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Exhibit construction specifications endorsed by major exhibit industry associations; also the specific set of rules that apply to an exposition (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A platform where freight is loaded onto and removed from vehicles or vessels (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Two-story structures that double one’s exhibiting space
Drayage can be a baffling (and often contentious) concept to trade show novices. Drayage is the term for the handling of exhibit materials from the dock at the show location to the exhibitor’s booth within the show hall. Trade show participants pay a fee, based on the weight and number of packages, to have their show materials received at the dock and moved to their show space (see material handling). (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Scaled drawings depicting front and side views of an exhibit (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
An exhibit space with aisles on three sides (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Face-to-face promotional experiences between customers and companies (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A package of information which contains all rules, regulations and forms relating to an exhibition, provided to exhibitors by show management; also called service kit (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Feet are any support that is designed to add stability or leveling to a display. These can be built-in or mount-on features (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Flexible graphics are graphics that are printed on or laminated to flexible plastic material and rolled up for packing. Lexan, Styrene and polyester are the most common materials. There are numerous options for creating these graphics that vary in quality, durability, and price. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
A map showing layout of exhibit spaces, lounges, concession areas, restrooms, electrical/plumbing, etc. (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Mounting of one material to another with no space in between them (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Minimum work period for which union labor must be paid (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Nickname for an equipment box most contractors and some exhibitors carry that contains tools and supplies needed for the routine set up of trade show displays (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
International term referring to the aisle (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Subtle glow around signage
A type of exhibit construction in which walls are made of a solid material rather than fabric (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A graphic banner placed above the display that announces your marketing message or company name (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Hybrid exhibits are more of a concept than a defined display system. The typical hybrid consists of aluminum extrusion, tension fabric graphics, and custom or modular components. Each manufacturer defines hybrid exhibits slightly differently and many refer to them as custom hybrid or modular hybrid displays. Hybrid exhibits are the fastest growing segment in the trade show exhibit industry.  (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
An exhibitor’s unauthorized use of floor space outside the leased booth area (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Inline displays face one or two aisles, depending where they are located on the show hall floor. Typical inline displays are 10’ x 10’ and 10’ x 20’. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
(I&D) is the term given to the labor required to setup, take down, and repack an exhibit. I&D rules and rates vary depending on the show hall and show management. (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A computer station, usually with a touch screen interface, that allows guests to interact with technology
Total amount of equipment available for a show (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Island displays are booth spaces surrounded by aisles on all four sides. The most common size is 20’ x 20’ but can be much larger. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
A special-purpose crate with hardware to secure exhibit properties in place to prevent shifting during shipment (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A small freestanding structure, open to one or more sides, used within an exhibit for the display of printed or electronic information (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Contracted workers who perform show services (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Hard, flat or flexible material that is scratch and fade-resistant; used in trade show booths for a structural appearance
A reading stand with a slanted top; a lectern that stands on the floor is a podium (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Light-emitting diode; an energy-saving directional light source that emits its light in a specific direction; available in a wide range of colors
Enclosure with lighting and translucent face of plastic or glass (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An exhibit that is constructed in a continuous line along an aisle; also called inline Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
An area within an exposition facility where freight is received and shipped (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
The sequential, organized staging of freight carriers waiting at the show freight yard for freight to be unloaded or loaded (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Lot where trucks gather for orderly dispatch to show site (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Services that include delivery of exhibit materials, removal of empty crates, returning crates and delivering materials back to the dock (also known as drayage) (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Modular exhibits consist of independent components that can be used in a number of configurations. This term is currently overused as a marketing buzzword assigned to any exhibit or exhibit system where assembly is required. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Date specified by show management for beginning exhibit installation (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Date specified by show management for dismantling exhibits (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Combining two or more types of audio/visual support in a presentation (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Touchscreen or interactive table that allows for electronic demonstration or collaboration
Work performed on overtime (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A reference to the exhibit location (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Document prepared by a shipper itemizing contents of shipment and including other information needed by the carrier (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Panels describe an exhibit component that is flat, curved, short or tall. It can be a window, door, shelving, light box, or video panel. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
A booth with aisles on three sides (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
The outermost limits of one's exhibiting space
Tubing covered with draped fabric to make up the rails and back wall of a trade show Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Demonstration area, usually higher than the surrounding floor (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Pop up displays are hinged metal frames that expand to form a curve or straight. The metal frame supports channel bars which, in turn, support fabric or graphic panels. Pop ups vary in quality, ease-of-setup, and price. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Portable displays describe any booth that can be transported by a person without requiring a dolly, pallet jack, or forklift. Historically, portable has been synonymous with any packaging that meets UPS guidelines. Most portable booths were engineered to pack in cases that were within UPS guidelines. Currently portable refers to the size of the components, as portable systems often include display elements that require larger molded tub cases or even wood crates. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Collateral or branded giveaways used to promote a brand
Any preliminary reproduction provided by processor for approval prior to the finished product (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A low wall used to divide exhibits (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Lettering cut out of any material and applied or mounted to a surface or background for a dimensional effect (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A technique of using a light source to illuminate a translucent image from behind; also called backlighting (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Desk structure used at trade shows to greet event attendees, introduce the company and control traffic flow
Light fixture that is installed in a hole in the ceiling, illuminating items below
The process of repairing or reconditioning an exhibit to extend its life
The process of obtaining information from an event’s participants, including name, company affiliation and address, plus any other information that is requested by show management (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Side panels or walls joined perpendicular to the back wall (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Return-on-investment; measurement of benefit an exhibiting company receives from participation in an exhibition; defined by a monetary value (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A durable storage container that keeps seafood fresh and safe through temperature control
A display which uses the shipping case as an integral part of the exhibit (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
The process of erecting an exhibit from its components; also called assembly, installation (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Drawings which give detailed instructions for the installation of an exhibit (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A reusable container for transporting exhibit materials (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A wooden container for transporting exhibit materials, which may be designed for a single use or custom built for extended reuse (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Company or individual responsible for providing draping, carpeting and signage services for the trade show and its exhibitors (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Glazed or framed enclosure for display of objects (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
The cost per square foot of an exhibit area (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Applies to exhibit shipments requiring extra labor, equipment or time for delivery to exhibit space (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A lamp that provides a defined circle of light (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Straight time labor; work performed during normal work hours at the standard rate (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
European term for booth (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A branded backdrop with a logo or image repeated in multiple places
The Steward is the title given to the lead position of the union labor manager. This is the show floor boss who manages the labor and ensures that exhibitors follow show regulations. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Trade show or event displays that are small enough to fit on top of a table
Diminished or reduced in thickness toward one end (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
A date set by show management for the arrival of freight at a trade show; usually shipments received before or after this date are assessed a penalty charge (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
Shipping charges for various types of cargo (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
The dismantling of an exhibit; also called take-down (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Tension fabric displays use tension fabric graphics. [...] These graphics use a dye sublimation process and attached to a metal frame with hook and loop, zippers, or a spline insert. Tension fabric graphics have become increasingly popular because they are lightweight, durable, and can be printed in large sections. (Classic Exhibits, 2019)
Lighting that can be positioned anywhere along a track and aimed to highlight certain aspects of a display
An exposition held for members of a common or related industry; not open to the general public (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
The movement of visitors through an exposition or exhibit (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Structural element hung above exhibit for the purpose of hanging lighting equipment to illuminate exhibit components (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
A complete product or service that is ready for immediate use (, 2019)
Display in which an exhibitor simply “turns the key” upon arrival at show and opens the booth; installation, dismantle, material handling and other exhibit management services are taken care of (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An organization of workers formed for mutual benefit and for the purpose of dealing collectively with their employer in wages, hours, working conditions and other employment matters (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association, 2019)
An overhead banner typically used as a light baffle (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Trade name for a fabric closure with two components: hooks and loops; the two components adhere when pressed together and separate when pulled apart, allowing repeated use (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
Computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment (, 2019)
Receipt issued by a warehouse for goods received for storage (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)
The booth two hours before the show opens (Exhibitor Media Group, 2019)