glossary

a selection of commonly used terms for events and tradeshows

  • Advance warehouse - an off-site warehouse where exhibitor freight is stored until show set-up begins. Items are shipped to the advance warehouse a few weeks before the show date. A show contractor transports the freight from the advance warehouse to the show site. Advance warehousing is usually much less expensive than direct-to-show shipping, but requires advanced planning to meet the required delivery windows.
  • Banner stand - free-standing display hardware that is paired with retractable   graphics. The graphics are usually manufactured from fabric or vinyl.
  • Bone yard - an area used for storage of equipment and supplies (such as shipping cases) during a trade show or event. A bone yard may have its own dedicated space in the exhibit hall, or it may be located on an unused portion of the show floor.
  • Doghouse - an electrical distribution box that houses multiple outlets in one location.
  • Direct-print graphics - graphics that are printed on to a rigid or flexible/rollable material using a flatbed UV printer. Ink is sprayed directly onto the material, then cured with ultraviolet light. Direct-print graphics are very cost-effective, durable, and fade-resistant.
  • Direct-to-show shipping – a process where exhibitor freight is shipped directly to the show site for delivery at the booth space. Direct-to-show shipping is much riskier (and expensive) than advance warehousing since freight delivery may require specific dates/times.
  • Drayage - also known as material handling. Drayage is a term used to describe services performed by a contractor (usually hired by the event’s sponsor) and involves several steps: 1) transporting exhibit freight from advance warehouse to the show site dock, 2) transporting your exhibit freight from the receiving dock to your assigned booth space, 3) removal and storage of shipping crates/cases once exhibit installation is complete, 4) return of shipping crates at the conclusion of the show to the booth space, and 5) transporting exhibit freight back to the dock and on to your carrier’s vehicle for outbound shipment.
  • Dye-sublimated graphics - graphics that are printed onto fabric using a combination of a grand format printer and a heat press. Graphics are printed, then transferred to fabric while running through a 400°F heat press. Since the heat press is so hot, the liquid ink becomes a gas, and it’s sublimated into the fabric. Dye-sublimated graphics are very crisp and vibrant.
  • Flame-retardant - a term used to describe materials that have been coated or infused with a fire-resistant compound. Note: These materials are not fire-proof!
  • Gobo – a pre-cut or etched pattern (usually made from metal or glass) that’s designed to be fitted into a lighting instrument. Once the light fixture is turned on, the projected light takes on the form of that pre-cut pattern (for example, a company logo).
  • Height restriction - refers to the maximum allowed height for a trade show display inside of a booth space. Most 10′ x 10′ exhibits have a maximum 8 foot restriction. We strongly recommend that you review the exhibitor manual before purchasing your exhibit to ensure that you are within the height restriction.
  • Infringement - “an exhibitor’s unauthorized use of floor space outside the leased booth area” (as defined by EXHIBITOR Magazine). Any of your company’s booth representatives, including product demonstrators, must remain within the boundaries of your company’s exhibit space during the show. If any of your booth representatives block the aisles or restrict access to other exhibitors’ booths, you could be penalized by show management.
  • Island display - an exhibit with aisles on all four sides. Most island exhibit spaces  are at least 20′ x 20′ in size.
  • Jigging - protection located inside of exhibit shipping crates; specifically, the padding and sectional dividers that protect your display from damage during transit.
  • Las Vegas approved - a term used to refer to light fixtures which meet regulations imposed by the Las Vegas Convention Center and Visitors Authority (also known as the LVCVA). Read more on the LVCVA’s guidelines here.
  • Material handling - see drayage.
  • Peninsula display - similar to an island display, but with aisles on just three sides.
  • Pillowcase - describes a fabric graphic that’s sewn to look like a pillowcase. This type of graphic is designed to slip easily over a free-standing structure. A zipper is normally installed along the bottom edge of the graphic to keep it taut and ensure that it remains on the frame.
  • Pipe & Drape - a system provided by many show organizers to partition off booth spaces. Pipe & drape systems are comprised of a lightweight, tubular frame (usually aluminum) that’s covered with color fabric – giving it a curtain-like appearance. The frame consists of bases, upright posts, and a horizontal support. The drape fabric is spread lengthwise over the horizontal support. Drape fabrics and colors vary from show to show.
  • Pop-up display - a type of display frame that’s engineered to literally “pop up.” The design allows for easy assembly and pack down smaller than the larger, custom exhibits. Newer pop-ups are designed to allow the fabric graphics to remain on the frame during transit and storage periods.
  • Pre-show marketing - advertising directed at show attendees prior to the start of a marketing event. Pre-show marketing can include e-mail blasts, mailers, printed materials, and promotional products (t-shirts, mugs, etc.).
  • Qualifying - a process used to determine whether an individual has the authority and/or financial capability to buy a product or service that your company offers.
  • Raster art - artwork that’s comprised of pixels, rather than vectored shapes and lines. Unlike vectored art, if raster art is scaled up too much during printing, it will become pixelated or blurry.
  • Retractable banner stand - a banner stand with graphics that retract into its’ base unit, allowing for easy storage and shipping.
  • Show manual - also known as “exhibitor manual” includes show management’s  policies, procedures, deadlines and forms for their events. It’s very important to familiarize yourself with its’ content at least two months BEFORE your show date!
  • Tension fabric - a term used to describe fabric graphics that are designed to be stretched out over a frame. The frame hardware is usually manufactured from aluminum.
  • Vectored art - art that’s infinitely scalable without degradation of quality. Vectored art is created using shapes and lines, with programs such as Adobe Illustrator. Compare to raster art.