Custom Exhibits & Rentals – Understanding your Proposal/Contract

Your company has decided to participate in a Trade Show; Terrific idea!  Trades shows & B2B conventions are an excellent and effective experiential marketing platform.  It is the premier way to directly reach your target audience to demonstrate new products or get your brand recognized as the industry leader and expert in your field.

There may be many terms and steps that are unfamiliar to you in the purchase of a custom built display or exhibit rental process. Las Vegas Expo – Complete Show Services wants to share some tips on what to look for in your proposal or contract from an exhibit display house that is constructing your exhibit booth.

First, READ IT; Read the proposal, read it again and make notes so you can ask specific questions.  And know that it is okay to ask questions.  A lot of details go into the exhibit process.  It can be somewhat confusing or overwhelming, so asking questions is a vital component of the design and fabrication process.

Here is a listing of some key items to be aware of:

Are you renting or purchasing your exhibit booth?

You may consider purchasing your booth versus renting if you plan to attend many shows in the future, however, renting offers flexibility in design and allows you to change up your booth size and design per each events specific needs.

Detailed description of your exhibit booth

The detailed description of your booth is important.  Call out measurements, construction details, itemized material and accessories lists and a 3D rendering of your booth should be a mandatory requirement of any request for proposal.  Every detail about the structure, flooring, lighting, audio visual components and all other exhibit components must be included in the proposal for you to make a fact based cost analysis.  Without a rendering and line item lists of all materials and accessories of the final booth design, you have nothing concrete to refer to in case of errors or omissions.

Understand estimated Labor

When it comes to installation labor and dismantle labor, estimated hours are given in a proposal.  This is an item that has to be estimated based on the design, the size, the special features…..many factors will impact the time to install and dismantle so estimates are needed.  If you do not understand why the hours seem high or low, do not be afraid to ask.  The hourly labor rates should be clearly posted in the contract.

Materials Handling Services (drayage)

MHS, aka drayage,  is a cost that is usually over and above the price of the exhibit display cost and is a separate transaction between you, the exhibitor, and the shows’ official General Services Contractor.  Be sure to confirm with your designer or sales representative if Material Handling Services are included in the total project pricing, estimated within the contract and who is paying for this service (you or the Display builder)

Electrical Services and Electrical Labor

Electrical Services, the installation of electrical wiring for audio/visual components, lighting, signage, and product display & demonstrations, is another item that is a budget line item cost over and above the price of the exhibit display fabrication pricing. This is another separate transaction between you, the exhibitor, and the show’s official exclusive temporary power/electrical supplier.  It is essential to confirm with your Exhibit display house if Electrical Services are estimated within the contract. Cable management protocols combined with the proper placement of the power grid you require are one of the cornerstones of staying on budget and on schedule during installation.   Failure to address these requirements in advance will result in extremely costly delays and increased electrical labor charges from the electrical contractor.  It can waterfall into delays and excess labor hours,  running up your bill when these items are neglected in preproduction planning and design.

Your exhibit display company may offer a service as part of the contract which offers this and Materials Handling items to be taken care of and paid for, up front,  for a convenience fee added to final electrical or MHS invoice.   If this is offered, we suggest taking advantage, as the headaches and effort you save to have your supplier manage this portion of the process is well worth the fee.

Furniture Rental

Your exhibit environment might include tables and chairs, specialty furniture (sofas/club chairs/loveseats etc), accessories, accent pieces or possible lamps or a refrigerator.   Let your design team know your needs and functionality.  Be certain that your proposal includes furnishings and that these additional line item costs are part of the total price of the build out.


Your agreement should clarify whether graphics costs are included in the contract.  Are the graphics being supplied? Are the Electronic art files being sent to designer for printing?  If so, what file format is required? Does your contract include graphics installation?

Installation target dates and deadlines

Pay attention to move in target dates and exhibit design approval deadlines.  If missed, these can have penalties which can add up quickly.  Your designer and Project Managers are responsible for meeting deadlines once you are under contract, so make sure they are heeding and in sync with these deadline dates.

Payment terms

The terms of payment should be clearly defined.  Look for additional wire fees, transaction fees, surcharges  or penalties for late payments.


Pay special attention that the contract provides confirmation that your exhibit company is completely and fully insured and that it is in compliance with the Show regulations!  If something happens to your booth resulting in an injury to a person, you do not want to take the financial hit because your exhibit company did not have all the proper insurance coverage on a constructed booth with preventable design and fabrication flaws.

Keep in mind that your chosen exhibit design company should offer a transparent process, have a reputation of integrity, and offer you a great value with fair pricing! If any of these integral parts of the equation are missing in your vendors approach to doing business, contact Las Vegas Expo – Complete Show Services; we would be thrilled to answer any questions.  We would be exhilarated to show you how stellar service is done right when we design and create the perfect exhibit environment for your company.  Contact us today! 702-248-6200

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