Trade Show Definitions

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Advanced Freight – Exhibitor’s booth equipment of any variety, that is shipped ahead of the event to a designated warehouse and brought to the exhibition hall and the exhibitors booth prior to the 1stday of exhibitor set up.

Advanced Pricing – Discounted rates for exhibitors ordering services in advance of an event. Normally ends one or two weeks prior to the event. 

Amp – A unit of measurement of electricity. Roughly calculated by taking the number of watts and dividing by 100. Most trade show power is sold in increments of 500 watts which is also 5 amps. 

Aisle – The name given for a space in a trade show or exhibition that separates booths from one another. They will normally be placed on an X and Y axis to allow for a smooth flow of traffic throughout the hall. Normally the aisles are a minimum of 10’ in width unless due to the density of traffic, fire marshal regulations demand a greater width.

Air Freight – Trade show merchandise that is sent to a trade show via commercial airline service as opposed to being trucked via ground service to an exhibit location. 

Aisle Carpet– The floor covering for aisles in a trade show or exhibition. Commonly all one color in an exhibition hall.

Aisle Signs– Directional signage that is suspended from overhead which identifies row numbers or designated sections within a trade show hall.

A/V– Short for “audio visual” which refers to either a contractor of such services which can be found in the exhibitor service kit that each exhibitor receives, or the specific audio visual components that an exhibitor has chosen for their particular booth.


Booth– An expression of either the physical floor space that is used by an exhibitor at a trade show or can also be used to describe the physical structure that an exhibitor purchases and brings and sets up at a show. Is synonymous with the words exhibit and display when referencing a physical structure.

Boneyard– The physical area when the show decorator/service contractor, stores their rental inventory at show site.

Booth I.D. Sign– A two-line identification sign printed on showcard provided by show management, that is hung by means of two S shaped wire hooks on the top center of the draped backwall of an inline exhibit booth. Provides booth identification if exhibitor doesn’t have other company or product identification of their own.

Booth Size– Refers to the physical size of a trade show booth which is normally expressed in square feet or in the case of inline exhibits, by the actual size in feet, i.e. 10’ x 10’, 10’ x 20’ etc.

Build and Burn– A term used to reflect not only the type of construction, but also the long- term usefulness of the booth itself. Primarily used in countries outside the United States where after the show is concluded, the hall is bulldozed, and all the contents are incinerated or placed in a landfill.


Carpenter – Describes a skilled union laborer on the trade show floor who is represented by an I & D contractor. Carpentes in the trade show industry, initially came from the cabinetmaker industry in the early 1980’s. People with these skills eventually banned together for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Carpet Tape – A type of fiber tape used in the tradeshow industry that is adhered to two surfaces simultaneously. Normally, one surface is taped to a concrete floor and then the other surface is pealed back to allow carpet to adhere to the top to prevent the edges of the carpet from becoming a tripping hazard during an event.

Carrier – A company that engages in the business of moving trade show material of any kind and in any manner from one place to another.

Cartage –The cost for transporting goods

Common Carrier – References a trucking company who moves freight for all industries across the country.

Consignee – Person or entity that receives a freight shipment

Construction Drawing – Printed drawings that show how a products was manufactured complete with measurements and exploded views

Contractor – Also referred to as a service contractor or decorator, which describes the company that coordinates on behalf of the show organizer, all the onsite set up and tear down of services for a trade show.

Crate List– An inventory of crates and all their contents for a particular booth being set up at a trade show.

Cross Aisle – Aisles that run perpendicular to the main aisles in a trade show

CTSM – Acronym for Certified Trade Show Marketer which is used heavily in the trade show and exhibit industry.

Custom Designs– Trade show exhibit designs that are created through a process of identifying needs and parameters, bringing together ideas to evaluate and select a design that meets the goals of the organization. 

Custom Exhibit – An exhibit that is built to the specifically specifications of an exhibitor

Custom House Broker – Companies that specialize in making all the arrangements and handling all the paperwork and paying all the fees to import or export goods in and out of a country.

CWT – Used to express a measurement for 100 pounds of weight. i.e. For something that weighs 7000 lbs., the material handling costs that is expressed as $125/cwt means that you would divide 7,000 pounds by 100 then multiply by $125 to get the final cost.


Damage Report – A paper document which records the damage of someone’s product in shipping or movement in a warehouse or exhibit facility.

Dead Man – A term used in the trade show industry by people engaged in the installation of exhibits, to utilize a long pole or post as a means to prop up a structure temporarily in order to create support for the structure when the pole was removed

Declared Value – A term referencing replacement value for the purpose of insuring an item which is being shipped via a shipping company

Decorator – A common term in the early decades of the modern trade show industry for a service contractor as we more commonly know them, who would come into a large cavernous hall to “cover-up the visible structure in order to create a pleasant atmosphere for the viewing of exhibit material in a vendor’s booth.

Dim Weight – The length x width x height of a shipment divided by a factor to determine the volume of a shipment rather than the weight of a shipment. The factor for domestic shipments is 194 and for international shipments 166.  There are also different values for common carriers’ verses air cargo shipments.

Dismantle – Referring to the tear-down of a trade show exhibit at the conclusion of a trade show

Display Builder – Generally a company that manufacturers trade show displays

Dock – An unloading platform for a truck or common carrier that is normally about 42-48” in height depending on the customary bed height of the trailer or truck delivering to the facility. Some docks are built with an adjustable feature which can be moved to compensate for a small variance in height from the dock to the trailer floor.

Double Deck – A trade show exhibit for an island booth that has a second level which is accessible by a stairway.

Drayage – The fee for the moving of freight by the service contractor by hand, cart, forklift, or any other means necessary to take it from the loading dock of the exhibit facility to the exhibitor’s rented booth space. The fee charged for this service also includes moving the shipment back to the loading dock at the conclusion of the event prior to shipping

Drayage Calculator – A widget that is created to provide an exhibitor with an approximate charge by the service contractor for the material handling charge for a specific trade show when the exhibitor types in the straight and overtime weight charges with the differential in overtime charges

Drayage Form – A form provided by a service contractor for a specific trade show which advises an exhibitor of the charges for the material handling of their shipments to the show for both advance warehouse and direct to show site shipments, based on a variety of delivery factors

Dolly – A four wheeled frame made with two-inch wheels mounted on the four corners for the expressed purpose of moving loads of merchandise from place to place

DOT – An acronym for Department of Transportation; a department of the United States government

DBA – An acronym for the words “doing business as” which references other names that a known company may be using that not everyone might be aware of.

Duct Tape – An approximately 2” wide tape product which comes in silver and a host of other colors which is used widely in the trade show industry for a wide variety of uses. This all-purpose product was original used in the HVAC industry for you guessed it, taping metal ducts together.

Duplex Outlet – An electrical outlet with 2 grounded outlets

Dye Sublimation Graphics – A graphic process that prints a full color graphic like a copy machine would normally print on paper and then with the addition of heat, cure the graphic in a short amount of time and ready for handling and shipping.


 Easel – A tripod stand with long legs attached together at one end, which when opened up to a pre-determined width from one another, creates a stable footing in order to attach a flat sign or graphic for an appealing presentation

Electrical Contractor – A company hired by show managers for the purpose of servicing exhibitors in public or private venues, who have adapted their inventory to the needs of the facility and exhibitors being serviced

Elevations – Relates to a floor plan which shows the distance from the floor to vertical heights above the floor such as lighting or overhead beams 

Electrical Tape – A black tape that is used exclusively by electricians for the purpose of insulating wires so as not to come in direct contact with other live wires.

End Cap – The dead space on the end of a row between two inline backwalls which for esthetics sake, should be draped off in order to mask any unpleasant sites from passers-by.

Event Services– A group of specialized services that culminate in a successful presentation at an event to include but not limited to planning, logistics, on-site supervision, labor, ordering of all equipment and services utilized on site.

Exclusive Contractor – Any contractor working at a trade show which has been given the sole right from show management as the only vendor in his trade to solicit business from exhibitors and work on the show floor

Exhibit Directory – A book produced by the show management for a trade show or event which lists in directory form the names and booth numbers of each exhibitor. It may also provide addresses and pertinent supplier information as well

Exhibit Hall – The physical venue where a trade show will convene.

Exhibit Appointed Contractor – Any supplier of trade show services which the exhibitor has contracted with directly and show management is allowing to serve their client on the show floor as opposed to in advance of the event in another location.

Exhibit Kit – A page by page collection of products and services being offered to exhibitors attending a trade show by show management. It is sent out in advance of a show for exhibitors to select from, including those service items that they wish exclusive contractors to provide.

Exhibit Manager – Someone whom the show management selects to manage the affairs of the exhibit hall and exhibitors both before and during the trade show

Exhibition Rules – Rules that show management creates and then publicizes before a trade show for the orderly and efficient operation of the show


Floorplan– A computer aided document which shows the plan view of the trade show exhibit hall complete with booth numbers, aisles, and designated building entrances and exits

FOB – An acronym for an old shipping term which meant “fee on board” which would indicate at which city/location you much begin paying for the shipping charges

Floor Manager– A person designated by the show organizer to orchestrate the orderly move in of a trade show, answer any questions, and settle any disputes that an exhibitor might have. They also are responsible to make certain that all exhibit properties conform to the standards set out in the show “rules and regulations.”

Floor Order – An order for goods or services during the move-in of a trade show as well as the period of time after the advance order period which is normally 1-2 weeks before the show.

Foamcore – a semi flexible plastic product that comes in different thicknesses with a paper surface which is used to print graphics onto the surface for use in exhibit booths.

Forklift – a motorized piece of equipment that unloads freight at show site and delivers it to the exhibitor’s booth as well as assists in positioning heavy equipment in a booth.

Four Hour Call– references a rule in a labor contract that stipulates the minimum number of hours a laborer must be paid for when being assigned to work in an exhibitor’s booth.

Freight – exhibitor’s property which is being sent to a trade show whether it be crated, boxed, loose, pad wrapped, shrink-wrapped, palletized, or otherwise.

Freight Desk– Coordination location at a trade show site,  for the receiving and shipping of freight by the exhibitors. From this location,  the marshaling yard is also managed.  Normally located either directly inside or just outside of the main loading doors going into a trade show.

Freight Forwarder – A company that handles all the shipping and governmental paperwork to get shipments into and out of a country


General Contractor – The services contractor that show management hires to manage all the vendors that will work on site during the set up and tear down of the trade show

Graphic – An image that is produced in a variety of ways on a variety of sub straights, to visually communicate a thought or show an exact representation of a product. 


Hand Truck– A vertical metal frame with two wheels on the bottom and a metal tongue welded perpendicularly onto the frame between the wheels. When loaded with small boxes or other materials, allows one to move the load in an effortless manner without having to physically  lift the load

Hard Wire – Attaching electrical cords of a machine or electrical device, directly into the power source without the use of a plug in device. 

Hard-wall – Reference to a type of construction for a wall panel with wood or some other hard sub-straight verses fabric or photographic paper or plastic.

Header – A rectangular shaped signage panel positioned across the top of an exhibit.

Hold Harmless Agreement –An agreement between two people or companies to not hold each other financially or legally liable in a situation where they are both subject to,  or participating in an activity where a degree of financial liability is present. 


I & D – An acronym for Installation and Dismantle

ICC – An acronym for Interstate Commerce Commission

In-Line – References a line of 10’ or multiple exhibit booths that are back to back extending for a distance on the same plane. 

Independent Contractor – A vendor hired by an exhibitor to work at show site, who is not sanctioned by the show management.

Infringement – The use of floor space outside of the space that has been purchased by an exhibitor.

Installation and Dismantle – Refers to the setting up and tearing down of exhibit properties at a trade show.

Installation Contractor – A company that specializes in the act of setting up and tearing down trade show booths at Trade Shows.

Island Booth – An exhibit booth that has aisles on all 4 sides


Jigging – Horizontal and vertical dividers inside a larger container used for the purpose of protecting the contents from movement and damage while being transported to events.

Junction Box – An electrical box that has multiple outlets into which items requiring electricity can be plugged into with an extension cord in order to receive power. Normally are configured in multiples of two outlets.

Johnson Bar – A long wood lever device, usually about 6-7’ long with a hook on one end with two wheels beneath it to allow the person operating the device to exert a tremendous amount for leverage under the object being lifted. Often used to lift objects in order to get fork lift bladed underneath the object or a 4-wheel Dollie.


Kit – Shortened version of the term ” service kit” or “exhibitor kit” whose function is to provide exhibitors attending a trade show with knowledge and the wherewithal to order/rent products and/or services needed to successfully exhibit in a trade show.


Labor Call – A list containing the exhibitor names and  number of laborers and times that are needed by an exhibitor, in the process of setting up or tearing down a booth at a trade show. This list is normally given to the labor contractor that an exhibitor is working with.

Labor Desk – A temporary desk that is set up during the move-in and move-out of a trade show that exhibitors come to in order to meet the crew that has been requested in the labor call for the set up or tear down of an exhibitor’s booth. This can be for both the service contractor’s labor or a non-official labor contractor.

Laborer– Can refer to a variety of people performing many different tasks on the show floor, but generally indicates someone who is not trained in a specific trade such as electricians, I & D Labor, fork lift drivers, riggers, etc.

Lamination – A protective covering (usually a plastic film) applied to the surface of a flat object to ward off the effects of water/humidity, dirt, or creasing in any manner, while still allowing the object that is laminated to be rolled up for shipping or storage.

Lead Tracking – An automated system provided by show management through a service vendor who rents badge scanning equipment to exhibitors who then can scan the badges of people who visit their booth. At the end of the show they receive a follow up report complete with demographics of everyone who visited their booth.

Letter of Credit – A letter issued by a bank to another bank (typically in a different country) to serve as a guarantee for payments made to a specified person under specified conditions.

Liability – In the trade show world, this world describes a condition whereby one party or another is exposed to some type of risk which would indicate some sort of monetary loss if not guarded or insured against. 

Lightbox– A flat box with a one or more faces of translucent glass, plastic or fabric and containing an electric light source, so as to provide an evenly lighted flat surface or even illumination, such as in tradeshow display.

Loading Dock– A platform connected to a building which allows for the loading and unloading of freight from truck to dock, or vice versa, at a height common to both.

Logo – A symbol or other design adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc.

Low Voltage – Low voltage is defined as 50 volts (V) or less and is less likely to inflict injury if a person comes in direct contact with it.


Manual – A word that refers to the exhibitor’s kit which show management produces which contains all the information that exhibitors need on products and services in order to display their products and services at a trade show. It would include items such as electrical, cleaning, freight movement, and rental furniture.

Marking the Floor – The task performed by the service contractor which consists of going into an empty trade show hall and marking out with chalk/tape, the boundaries of all aisles, booths, lounges, and feature areas in the hall. This will allow for accurate spacing once exhibitor flooring and aisle carpet is installed.

Marshaling Yard – A large open space normally close or adjacent to a convention hall, used for the orderly assembly of trucks and tracker trailers to line up in order of arrival time, before proceeding to be unload at the convention center. On the outbound of a show, all vehicles will wait in the yard until the person managing the marshalling yard, is advised that their shipment is ready for pickup and is send to a specific dock. Only shipments with proper credentialing of their shipment will be allowed to go to the loading dock.

Mobile Exhibit – Refers to a class of exhibits that can be taken from location to location without being disassembled as in a traveling road show where it might be on wheels or such as a motor home or inside a large trailer being moved by a tractor of some kind.

Modular Exhibit – An exhibit that can be disassembled in sections and very likely is composed of a variety of materials such as wood, plastic, fabric, metal, or glass.

Move-In – References the time on any show calendar when exhibitors can begin the process of moving their exhibits to the exhibit venue and beginning the set-up process.

Move-Out – References the time on any show calendar when exhibitors can begin tearing down their exhibits and moving them out of the exhibit area.

Meter– A unit of measurement that equals 39.37 inches


Net Square Footage – The total amount of rentable space in an exhibition hall as compared to the square footage of the entire building or exhibit hall.


Official Contractor – A company that show management hires to be the exclusive provider of products and services at a trade show and to choose vendors of other products that the official contractor doesn’t carry, in order to provide the exhibitors with all their possible needs at the event being organized.

On-Site – Refers to being physically present at the appointed venue for an event.

On-Site Order – Denotes an order for services that has been placed at the official site of the event as opposed to placing an order in advance from another location.

OT Labor – Designates a period of time of the day when an additional charge will be levied on an exhibitor should services be needed. Normally this would be after 4:30 PM, Saturday & Sundays and Holidays.

Overtime – Refers to a time period after the normal work day where a premium will be charged for services needed during that time period. 


Per Diem (PD) – An amount of money that is agreed to in advance whereby a vendor will be reimbursed for expenses on a per day basis.

Packing List – A piece of paper that accompanies a product being shipped which details all the items that have been purchases/shipped, so the receiver can do a check off to insure that all the products that were ordered, were received.

Pad Wrapped – Items that are shipped that don’t have their own packaging and are instead wrapped in padded blankets to guarantee their safety in shipping.

Padded Van Shipment – Products that are being shipped by a moving company whereby each product is individually wrapped in a padded blanket and secured inside a moving van. (trailer)

Pallet – A portable platform for handling, storing, or moving materials or machinery that has the ability to be easily be picked up by a fork lift of pallet jack.   

Panel System – A series of like sized panels which can be either square or rectangular in shape, that have a stacking and connecting system build in on both the vertical or horizontal plane, on which photos or visual items can be displayed at an event where items are on display.

Particle Board – Material made in rigid sheets or panels from compressed wood chips and resin, often coated or veneered, and used in furniture, buildings, etc., where a stronger material is not required.

Peg Board – A board having a regular pattern of small holes for pegs, used chiefly for games or the display of information or products.

Peninsula Display or Booth – A trade show booth that sits on the end of a row of inline booths and has an aisle on 3 sides.

Perimeter Booth or Exhibit – A trade show booth that is located on the perimeter wall of an exhibit hall at a trade show.

Pipe and Drape – The material that is customarily used at a trade show to separate exhibitors in inline booths which consists of an 8’ tall backwall and 3’ tall side rails extending from the backwall on each side to the front aisle.

Podium – A fabricated structure, normally about 38-42” tall and 2’ square which is used to display products on top of at trade shows and selling events. The height is meant to get the product or whatever is being displayed closer to the viewers eye.

Portable Exhibit or Display – A prefabricated piece of equipment with a surface that has the ability to communicate a message to people who view it with photos or words and also  have the ability to be reduced in size in order to easily carry out or ship.

Power Strip – An electrical device that is configured to be plugged into an electrical outlet at one end (male) and at the opposite end, (female) has multiple plug in ports in order to supply power to a number of other electrical devices at one time.

Prefab – Something that has been constructed in advance and is ready to use as soon as it is put into place.

Press Kit – A packet of information related to a company and/or product that is distributed to the media related to an event or product announcement.

Press Release – A written article about a company or product that is meant to be given to the media to advise the public of something of interest.

Pro Forma Invoice – An invoice that is sent to the recipient of a product to make the buyer aware of the specifics of the transaction including shipping charges.

Pro Number – The number assigned by a common carrier to identify a specific shipment. This number will be printed on the Bill of Lading.


 Quad Box – An electrical box supplied with incoming electricity, which has 4 plug-ins in order to supply electricity to 4 devices simultaneously. 


Raceway – A fabricated channel that is used to create a pathway for electrical or video wiring inside a display structure. 

Rail – As in “side rail” of a pole and drape booth which is the 8-10’ pole that fabric is attached to that extends from the vertical ends of the backwall 3’ off the ground, at a 90-degree angle, to the front corners of the booth space.

Rear Illumination – To cast light on the surface of a non-opaque image from the back side.

Rear Projection – The projection of a picture onto the back of a translucent screen for viewing or for use as a background in filming or in display structures.

Refurbish – To decorate or renovate any type of structure or exhibit

Relay – An electrical device, typically incorporating an electromagnet, which is activated by a current or signal in one circuit to open or close another circuit.

Release Forms – A written statement normally provided by a show manager which when given to an exhibitor, allows them to remove property from the exhibit hall.

Renderings – Computer aided custom designed images of what proposed exhibits might look once manufacturing is completed and set up at show site. 

Rental Booth – A complete booth package that when rented, can be modified or used as is to advertise a company’s product or surface.

Return Panels – Panels that are connected to either end of a backwall sitting on a 180 degree plane, that extend off the backwall in varying directions normally from 45-90 degrees.

Rheostat – An electrical device that allows one to reduce the current to a light fixture or bulb, thus dimming or brightening the source of the light itself. .

Rigger – One of the tradesmen on a trade show floor whose specialty is the offloading and staging of large pieces of heavy equipment.

Right-To-Work State – a state that has laws on the books that does not exclude non union workers from being able to work on a union job site. 

Riser – A riser is a small step that is normally made from wood or thick cardboard, that when assembled and placed on a flat table, elevates the item being displayed in one or more incremental steps.


Service Kit – A page by page collection of products and services being offered to exhibitors attending a trade show by show management. It is sent out in advance of a show for exhibitors to select from, including those service items that they wish exclusive contractors to provide.

Show Decorator – Also known as the show contractor who is hired by the show producer or owner to provide services to the exhibitors. 

Show Manager – A person who is hired by an association or company to oversee the arrangements for hosting a trade show.

Show Office – An office inside or adjacent to an exhibition hall where the owners or management of a trade show will congregate to manage a trade show from ingress to egress. 

Show Photographer – A vendor that the management of a trade show will hire and include their service form for in the service kit, relating to an upcoming trade show.

Show Rules – Set of all-encompassing regulations that exhibitors must abide by when exhibiting in a trade show.

Shrink Wrap – A stretchy plastic wrapping film that is used in the shipping industry to secure items being shipped together or on top of other items from moving or falling from on top of other items when in the process of being shipped.

Side Rails – 3 foot high dividers which extend from the backwall to the aisle,  that are constructed with an aluminum pole strung with 3, 3’ x 48” pieces of fabric having loops on both the top and bottom, which when strung and the aluminum pole is attached to the vertical poles, separate one exhibitor from another.

Skid – Also referred to as a pallet, which is a portable platform for handling, storing, or moving materials or machinery that has the ability to be easily be picked up by a fork lift of pallet jack.   

Skirting– Pleated fabric that is sewn at the top onto a 2” wide nylon strip which allows a show laborer to attach the skirting with a staple guy,  onto a table’s edge to provide a draped effect and mask anything under the table. 

Space – Refers to the square footage that an exhibitor purchases to display his or her product for a for a trade show which is often called someone’s booth space.

Special Handling– An additional charge levied by a vendor to cover the extra cost of doing business due to the time of day that work is being performed during, or additional size or weight.

ST Labor – This is in reference to straight time labor which is performed during day time hours as opposed to labor being performed during what is designated as overtime hours of the day. Normally that would be before 8am and after 4:30 pm.

Staging Area – A predetermined area inside or adjacent to an exhibit hall where one of the vendors will congregate their equipment or products awaiting the sale or rental to exhibitors.

Stanchion – A 3 foot tall metal pole connected to a heavy metal base. When connected to one another by plastic chain or rope, in a series, provides an organized way of creating a barrier to channel the traffic flow. This creates an orderly traffic flow in an area when crowd control is necessary.

Sub-Contractor– A business that is affiliated with exhibitors at trade shows but because they aren’t the show’s main service contractor, will often get permission to enter and work for specific exhibitors on the show floor by the general contractor.

SWAG – Branded giveaways that exhibitors purchase for handing out from their booths at trade shows.

Silicone Edge Graphics– A fabric graphic that has a silicone rubber gasket sewn into the perimeter of the graphic, which is then applied onto


Table Top – A display product that is built exclusively for use on the top of a table at a trade show.

Talent – A person who is hired to work in a booth at a trade show in a capacity such as a presenter, demonstrator, greeter or performer.               

Target Date – A date that is often referenced for trade shows that designates a window of time when an exhibitor has to move their freight into the show or a time when an exhibitor “must” begin setting up their booth.

Tariffs – A tax on goods being imported into a country by the country where the products are being shipped to.

Tear Down – The act of dismantling a trade show booth following a show.

Telescoping Pipe – A horizontal aluminum pipe which can extend from 8’ to 10’ and by utilizing a push button locking system in order to extend backwall or side rail draping from 8 to 10’ or vice versa.

Terminal – A shipping companies hub for sorting and shipping freight.

Three Wire – Refers to an electrical cord that has a third wire which is a ground wire.

Time and Materials – Work that is being performed and billed for at an hourly rate plus the cost of the materials that are needed to complete the job.

Trade Fair – The overseas term for what we refer to as a trade show.

Trade Show Services– A group of specialized services that culminate in a successful presentation at a trade show. They include, but are not limited to planning, logistics, on-site supervision, labor, ordering of all equipment and services utilized on site.

Traffic Flow – The direction that people attending a trade show will flow through the hall.

Truss – Generally a metal structure that spans or is hung in order to hang items such as lighting that shines down on an exhibit space.

Twist Lock – A type of connection with electrical cables where the ends being connected must be brought together and then twisted in order to be securely connected together and not be subject to coming apart by incidental contact.


UL Products UL Listing means that Underwriters Laboratory has tested representative samples of a product and determined that the product meets specific, defined requirements. These requirements are often based on UL’s published and nationally recognized Standards for Safety.

Union – The merger of people together who have a common occupation or goal, in an effort to negotiate together with management for better compensation, and fringe benefits or working conditions for workers at a trade show.

Union Steward – In a convention center where the labor therein is covered by a formal union contract, a union steward polices the hall to make sure that all labor working on the show floor is in compliance with the union contract.


Valance – A length of decorative drapery attached to a canopy or frame of a structure in order to screen the structure or the space beneath it.

VAT – Short for Value Added Tax is a tax on the amount by which the value of an article has been increased at each stage of its production or distribution.

Velcro – A connecting material developed during the early phase of the U.S. space program which can be adhered to most any surface so when the hook surface is connected to the loop surface, you have a connecting action which when pulled on, easily releases the connection.

Visqueen – A sheeted thin plastic material that is often used at trade shows to cover flooring during the move-in phase of the show. After move in has been completed, it is removed  shortly before the show opens.


Waybill – The paperwork from a shipment that describes items that are being shipped.

Waste Removal – The removal of what is left behind after tear down at a trade show.

Work Rules – The work regulations that trade unions publish which stipulate what a worker or laborer can and can’t do on the job site.

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