What is it about renting a Table and its’ costs at a Trade Show? There isn’t a great mystery behind this; as a General Service Contractor (GSC), Las Vegas Expo Complete Show Services wants to demystify this frequent question.

Simply put, it takes lot of work, manpower and equipment to get that 6’ Draped Table to your booth. As an Exposition Service provider, we want one of our most important assets (you the exhibitor), to be treated properly.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at the life of a 6’ Table and see how many hands touch it and the equipment it takes to get it from the warehouse to your booth on the Expo floor and then back to the warehouse.

There are a lot of moving parts that get your Table to you on time.

This is a coordinated effort that is happening behind the scenes for the General Services Contractor (GSC) using manpower, trucks, trailers, machinery & equipment…. and it’s all tracked by a flow of paperwork from the order being placed to the delivery.

Once your order is placed for the 6’Draped Table via online ordering, fax or snail mail, it’s then processed by an Exhibitor service representative.   The orders are then electronically tallied and compiled, reviewed by an account manager, who completes and confirms an accurate load list which is then sent to the warehouse. The warehouse staff receives the orders via a load list and makes appropriate adjustments and additions to this master load report.  The master report is a list of items and quantities of everything that must be loaded onto trailers to deliver the materials to the Convention facility for the show.

The process continues (as more of the Show contractor staff keeps the process flowing.   The equipment is pulled from the storage racks in our facility (including your 6’ Table) and loaded onto, the trucks with forklifts, dollies, and manual labor.  After all the equipment is loaded the truck is loaded all of the paperwork is once again reviewed by a Production Manager to assure quality control at show site.  They compare various reports to assure that every last item ordered and required for the event is on these trailers. The cost of the draped table is no longer a mystery when you start to examine how many staff and how many steps are taken already…..and the table still hasn’t reached the convention floor yet.

A quick recap….the exhibitor places the order, multiple Las Vegas Expo staff handle and work on your specific order and all of the total cumulative orders…..and after everything is checked and the doors to the tractor trailers are shut, the driver(s) are en-route to the show. Upon arrival to the venue loading docks it’s ready for the next set of hands and machines to unload the equipment.

Now stay with me on this one… your 6’ Table is then handled by yet another union worker forklift driver to start the off loading of the equipment.  The equipment then moves from the docks by raw manpower or forklifts to a staging area (aka contractors’ Bone yard).

Now here your 6’ Table sits until it’s ready to get decorated and delivered to your booth!   This is where it gets really interesting depending on what city this 6’ draped Table is being decorated with tabletop plastic and a skirt. Let’s say this Table is in Las Vegas where one union works all aspects of the show  (in some cities there can potentially be three different unions that have a hand in decorating/delivering your table). The CSR at service desk gives the most recent updated delivery lists (the report breaks down the equipment by individual booths and colors ordered) to the union workers who will get your 6’ Table in the works.  The process gets your table delivered to your assigned booth space undraped until the next union worker comes by to put the tabletop plastic on with a staple gun and then followed up by stapling the colored skirt that was ordered.

Wow….that’s a lot of manpower, equipment and paperwork to deliver your 6’ Table safely to your booth.  As you reflect on how fabulous the table looks just think of all the “TOUCHES” it took to get this table to your exhibit space.  NOW we still aren’t finished yet with our contractor production labor costs!

You’ve had a wonderful show and headed back to your hotel to pack and catch that 6:45pm flight that half of the show exhibitors claim to be on. While you’re on the move, there sits your 6’ Table waiting to be picked up! But not so fast, a union worker has to come by and pull off the skirt and the tabletop plastic and there rests the 6’ now UNDRAPED Table until another union worker comes by to pick it up and place it in its’ rack to start its journey back to the warehouse.

Once all the tables are picked up off the show floor and stacked in their carriers, it’s ready to get loaded on the truck to be sent back to the warehouse. The table rack is then transported by a union worker to the loading dock were another union worker operating a forklift will load it onto a trailer while another union worker is manifesting everything that goes onto the trailer. Once the trailer doors are closed, a licensed CDL “A” driver finally gets your 6’ Table on its’ journey back to the warehouse.

A few things still need to happen before your table gets loaded onto the truck; The skirt that was taken off the table is placed into a bin with all of the other skirts….. which will be transported back to the warehouse….. where a Complete Show Services worker will take the skirts that are returned from the show and proceed to manually pull all of the staples that are still in the skirt.  Next up, they will roll the skirt and place it in a table skirt storage crate for a forklift to put the equipment back into its assigned storage area in our warehouse.

So there you have it…. There is certainly more than meets the eye to get you table order to your display are. It is a complex, synchronized, orchestrated multi-step, multi –worker process that moves your rented table on its, circuitous journey from our warehouse to show floor and back to LVExpo.  A relatively simple order takes a lot of moving parts and staff to get to you on the show floor and that’s the answer to “why do I have to pay so much for a draped table for my booth”.

Do you have other questions about the behind the scenes machinations of conventions and expo services?  Give a call or send an email to Marco Parrotto, Director of Sales- National Accounts,, 702-248-6200.  We’ll take the mystery out of the exhibition equation.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.