Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a first-time exhibitor or an exhibit manager newly assigned to plan your company’s participation in the ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibits? If your answer is “yes”, than this information is for you!

If you are an experienced exhibit manager, and an ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibits veteran, you may still want to review the following information to ensure you are getting the most out of your exhibit experience at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

General FAQs and a Glossary of trade show terms can be found under the "Exhibitor Resource Center" from the ALA exhibitor home page, http://exhibitors.ala.org/. Below are some FAQs for the upcoming Midwinter Meeting Exhibits Conference.

If you have any information or need further information, please contact Hall-Erickson at 800/752-6312 or 630/434-7779 (International), ala@heiexpo.com.

Table of Contents

Who to Call for Help

1. What are the show colors?
2. How do I get badges and make hotel reservations for my exhibit staff?
3. How can I invite guests to visit my booth?
4. When can I set up my exhibit? When must it be completed?
5. Do I need to use Union personnel to install my exhibit fixtures in the Convention Center?
6. Can I Distribute My Literature in the Registration Area, Show Entrance, or in the Aisles?
7. Where should I ship my exhibit materials: in advance to the warehouse, or direct to the Convention Center?
8. Can I carry my exhibit materials to the Convention Center myself?
9. What is the show schedule?
10. Does the show offer a lead follow-up system for exhibitors?
11.  When can I begin dismantling my booth? When must I be completed?
12. Is my exhibit material safe once I turn in my bill of lading?
13. Can I reserve my 2017 exhibit space before leaving this year’s show?
14. Can I reserve my housing for future conferences before leaving this year’s show?
In Conclusion

1. What are the show colors?

Standard Exhibit Booths
Backwall Drape: Blue/White/White/Blue
Sidewall Drape: Blue
Aisle Carpet Color: Blue Jay

Small Press
Backwall Drape: Teal
Aisle Carpet Color: Blue Jay
Booth Carpet Color: Pepper
1 - 6' Teal Skirted Table

2. How do I get badges and make hotel reservations for my exhibit staff?

Exhibitor Registration is open. Exhibitors will receive login credentials for Exhibitor Registration directly from CompuSystems. If you have any questions or problems accessing this site, please call 708/486-0706 for Customer Service. NOTE: Exhibitor badges are for exhibit personnel and cannot be ordered for customers or guests.

Housing is open. Visit this page for Exhibitor Housing.

3. How can I invite guests to my booth?

Through the exhibitor registration site, exhibitors will be able to log into their dashboard and choose the "Invite a Customer" icon. Exhibitors can send out invites through this tool. You will have the option to invite a single person or upload a file of customers and send multiple invitations at once. We have also provided a link back to your invitation should you wish to post it on your company’s website. Invitee fills this out and will be registered as an Exhibitor Guest at $0 rate.

4. When can I set up my exhibit? When must it be completed?

The installation period for this year’s Show will begin at 8:00am on Wednesday, January 18. Exhibitors who ship their exhibit material to the advance receiving warehouse will find their materials already delivered to their booth space when they arrive on-site. Those shipping direct to the Convention Center should arrange to have their shipment delivered as early as possible on Wednesday, to provide them with as much installation time as possible.

Exhibitors should be reminded to send floor plans with electrical and internet/telephone drawn in if you want your ordered utility work done before you arrive or along with GES as the carpet is put down. GES will be installing carpet before the arrival of exhibitors to allow exhibitors as much time as possible for installation. Please keep this in mind when ordering your utilities and planning your installation.

The Exhibit Hall and Exhibitor Servicenter will be open for installation from each day 8:00am-4:30pm during the installation period. (Note: No exhibitor personnel will be readmitted to the exhibit floor after 4:30pm during the installation period). The installation of all exhibit fixtures and materials must be completed by 3:00pm on Friday, January 20, and all shipping crates, packing cases and cardboard boxes must be labeled for removal to storage in order to allow for the laying of aisle carpet and a final cleaning of the exhibit floor. Exhibitors are cautioned to make travel arrangements allowing sufficient time to complete their exhibit installation prior to 3:00pm. The exhibit hall will then open to exhibit personnel at 4:30pm on Friday, January 20 to allow for final booth cleaning or pre-show meetings before the 5:30pm Show opening.

5. Do I need to use Union personnel to install my exhibit fixtures at the Convention Center?

Not in all cases. GA is a "right-to-work" state. Exhibitors have the option of utilizing the Official Service Contractor, who provides quality union labor from the Stagehands Union, qualified display houses or personnel from their own companies to install and dismantle displays. Please refer to the Exhibit Installation & Dismantling Labor Order Form for further information. All cleaning is properly the jurisdiction of the Official Service Contractor operating in the building. Display houses or full time employees from the I & D companies, may not clean exhibit booths.
All rigging and sign hanging must be performed by the Official Service Contractor. Please be sure to submit the required notification/authorization forms, found in the GES exhibitor manual.
 
Review the detailed Show Site Work Rules.
 
Should you need labor for the installation and dismantle of your booth, the official service contractor, Global Experience Specialists (GES) will have skilled labor personnel available for hire.
 

6. Can I Distribute My Literature in the Registration Area, Show Entrance, or in the Aisles?
No. All sales activities (literature/invitation distribution) must be contained within your rented booth space. Besides the obvious traffic congestion this practice would create, it violates a basic tenet of exposition management - "To design and manage an exhibit floor that ensures each exhibitor an equal opportunity to market their product or service.” Therefore, we cannot allow exhibitors to distribute material in any area of the Convention Center other than their rented booth space.

There are many advertising & promotional opportunities for exhibitors to gain additional visibility.

7. Where should I ship my exhibit materials-in advance to the warehouse, or direct to the Convention Center?

Making the right transportation decisions for your exhibit materials will not only save you time and money, but also a lot of aggravation. Exhibit transportation can be fairly complex. Review each transportation option in terms of cost, time frame, and type of shipment, and choose the one that best fits your situation.

When possible, ship in advance to the warehouse. Our Official Contractor will receive materials and provide up to 30 days storage before delivering them to the Convention Center. Although the advance receiving rates are approximately 25% more than the direct shipping rates due to the additional handling, shipping your materials in advance is a good investment for the following reasons:

  • You can verify receipt of your materials in Atlanta well in advance of the exposition, without worrying about lost or misdirected shipments.
  • You won’t have to deal with stand-by charges from your motor freight carrier while your direct shipment waits in line to be unloaded at the convention center.
  • You can be assured that your materials will be in your booth space when you, or your set-up crew, arrive to begin the installation process. Review the Material Handling information.

8. Can I carry my exhibit materials to the Convention Center myself? 

Yes. An exhibitor may "hand carry" material one time through the door, provided they do not use material handling equipment to assist them. When exhibitors choose to "hand carry" material, they may not be permitted access to the loading dock / freight door areas. If your materials are large enough to require a hand truck or "dolly", you must ship them in advance to the GES warehouse.

9. What Is the Show Schedule?

Exhibits Set-Up
Wednesday, January 18  8:00am - 4:30pm
Thursday, January 19 8:00am - 4:30pm
Friday, January 20 8:00am - 3:00pm
Exhibit Hours
Friday, January 20* 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Saturday, January 21 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday, January 22 9:00am - 5:00pm
Monday, January 23** 9:00am - 2:00pm
Tear Down
Monday, January 23 2:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, January 24 8:00am - 12:00pm

* Friday, January 20, 5:30pm - 7:00pm: The Exhibits Opening Reception sponsored by ALA and ERT will be held throughout the Exhibits Hall. Attendees are invited to enjoy free hors d'œuvres as they visit the ALA exhibitors. This is a great way start your conference experience in Atlanta.

** Monday, January 23: Exhibits Closing Events -  ALA would appreciate if any end of show promotions, book giveaways, etc. are deferred until Monday’s Closing.  ALA will promote whatever the exhibitors have planned in Cognotes on Monday. Let ALA know what you have planned for Monday by emailing Alee Navarro at anavarro@ala.org by Thursday, December 17. 

Note: Exhibitors are cautioned when making return travel arrangements to allow sufficient time following the closing of the Show at 2:00pm. All booths must be dismantled and packed by 12 noon, Tuesday, January 24. No exhibitor shall have the right prior to 2:00pm on Monday, January 23 to pack or remove any articles or exhibit. Exhibitors who dismantle early will forfeit accrued seniority toward assignment in the next two ALA exhibitions.

10. Does the show offer a lead follow-up system for exhibitors?

The American Library Association provides exhibitors with state-of-the-art registration technology for quick, easy, and reliable collection of trade show leads. CompySystems is offering exhibitors its system for the collection of vital buyer registration data. Review order forms, or login to your dashboard

Call CompuSystems at 866.600.LEAD with any questions you may have. 

Collecting the data is only the first step in an effective lead follow-up system. Exhibitors are encouraged to have a post-show program in place before they leave for the Show so that leads can be acted upon immediately following (or even during) the exposition. Be sure to fill literature and sample requests within two weeks. The University of Massachusetts Center for Marketing Communications found that over 40% of prospective buyers received the requested material only after they had made a buying decision. Almost 20% never received anything. Don’t waste this sales opportunity. With the proper follow-up plan, you can generate enough leads to keep a sales team busy with qualified prospects for months.

11. When can I begin dismantling my booth? When must I be completed?

The show will officially close at 2:00pm on Monday, January 23, 2017. Dismantling of exhibits should NOT begin prior to this time. Respect your fellow exhibitor as he or she may still be conducting business.

Important Notice: ALL EXHIBITS ARE TO BE OCCUPIED AND IN OPERATION UNTIL THE OFFICIAL CLOSING HOUR OF THE SHOW. ANY COMPANY DISMANTLING AN EXHIBIT PRIOR TO 2:00 PM ON MONDAY WILL FORFEIT ACCRUED SENIORITY TOWARD ASSIGNMENT IN THE NEXT TWO ALA EXHIBITIONS.

Booth Dismantle Schedule: All packing of booths should be completed by 12:00pm, Tuesday, January 24. Carriers must check in by 10:00am on Tuesday, January 24

Dismantle Schedule:
Monday, January 23   2:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, January 24 8:00am - 12:00pm

12. Is my exhibit material safe once I turn in my outbound bill of lading?

No! Turning in your outbound bill of lading does not transfer care, custody, and control of your exhibit materials to the Official Contractor. It simply notifies them that your shipment is ready for loading out and provides any directions you may have on the use of a specific carrier. We strongly recommend that you pack all sensitive products immediately following the close of the exposition on Monday and remove them from the Convention Center, or place them in the locked storage area until they are picked up for return shipment. Simply indicate on your outbound material handling order form the description and number of pieces you have checked into the locked storage area and attach the claim check. The Official Contractor will pick up your materials from there when your entire shipment is ready for loading out. Remember, the Official Contractor cannot assume responsibility for any material left unattended in your booth during the dismantling process. Stay with your materials until picked up.

13. Can I reserve my 2018 exhibit space before leaving this year’s show?

Yes! The 2018 Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits will be held February 9 - 13 (Exhibit Dates February 9 - 12) at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO. Exhibitors are encouraged to complete a contract before leaving this year’s Show to ensure their position in the initial space assignment procedure. You may reserve a specific amount of exhibit space and configuration, but not a specific booth location. Since space assignments are made on a strict seniority/receipt of application basis, specific booths will not be confirmed until May following the initial space assignment procedure.

Additionally, if you haven't already reserved your booth space for the 2017 Annual Conference, being held June 22 – 27 (Exhibit Dates June 22 –26) at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, you can do so in Atlanta, or visit http://exhibitors.ala.org for information on the Annual Convention.

Please stop by the Exhibits Office on–site and speak with the HEI Exhibits Management Team regarding your participation in future ALA Shows.

14. Can I reserve my housing for future conferences before leaving this year’s show?

No. ALA opens housing on September 7 for Midwinter and in mid-January for Annual. Note: Only exhibitors who have their contracts and deposits in at the time housing opens can take advantage of submitting their housing requests early.

In Conclusion

We hope you have found this information helpful in preparing an exhibit program for the ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibits. If there are important areas we did not cover, or specific questions you would like to see addressed in greater detail, let us know. Your input is vital in helping us to produce an event that is efficient, productive, and profitable.

Thank you for your participation and support.

Hall-Erickson, Inc.
ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibits Management
ala@heiexpo.com