Frequently Asked Questions

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

If you are an experienced exhibit manager, and an ALA Annual Conference 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 Annual Conference & Exhibition.

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 exhibit booth 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 2018 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 exhibit booth show colors?

Main aisles

  • Black and white backwall drape
  • Black siderail

Pavilions

  • Teal and white backwall drape
  • Teal siderail

Small press exhibits

  • Solid red backdrape and siderail
  • Red table skirt
  • Pepper carpet for booths

All aisle carpet is Blue Jay.

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

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

 

Housing Poachers Reminder:

Some exhibitors may be contacted by outside vendors regarding housing for the 2017 Annual Conference. Please be aware that these companies claim to provide housing and registration services for the ALA Annual Conference, but are not affiliated with ALA in any way. DON'T BE MISLED!! Housing for ALA's Annual Conference is handled exclusively by onPeak. 

Please be sure to make your reservations through onPeak, ALA's only official housing partner. While other hotel resellers may contact you offering housing for your trip, they are not endorsed by or affiliated with the show and entering into financial agreements with non-endorsed companies can have costly consequences.

3. How can I invite guests to my booth?

Invite your best customers and prospects to attend the 2017 ALA Annual Conference Exhibits for Free! Trade show studies demonstrate that attendees are more likely to attend an event when personally invited by an exhibiting company.

As an exhibitor, you can log into your dashboard and under "Booth Promotion", choose the "Invite a Customer" icon, and invite your customers to the show with a complimentary Preferred Buyers Pass. 

Just follow a few simple steps and you can send your customer an e-mail directly with a link that allows them to register using the Preferred Buyers Pass. They will need to enter the Promotional Code when they register for the event in order to receive a complimentary Exhibit Hall Only registration badge.

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, June 21. 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 5:00pm on Friday, June 23, 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 5:00pm.

5. Do I need to use union personnel to install my exhibit fixtures at the convention center?

Not in all cases. Exhibitors are encouraged to review the Show Site Work Rules found in the Exhibitor Manual

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. Exhibitors who want to use the services of a company other than the official contractor for the installation and dismantle of their display must review and complete the Agreement between GES and EAC and return to GES for approval. Please be sure to submit the required notification/authorization forms, found in the Exhibitor Manual.

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 Chicago 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. Material handling order forms can be found in the Exhibitor Manual.

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, June 21 8:00am - 4:30pm
Thursday, June 22 8:00am - 4:30pm
Friday, June 23 8:00am - 5:00pm
Exhibit Hours
Friday, June 23* 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Saturday, June 24 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday, June 25 9:00am - 5:00pm
Monday, June 26** 9:00am - 2:00pm
Tear Down
Monday, June 26 2:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, June 27 8:00am - 12:00 noon

 

* Friday, June 23, 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 Chicago.

** Monday, June 26:
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

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, June 27. No exhibitor shall have the right prior to 2:00pm on Monday, June 26 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 the order forms can be found in the Exhibitor Manual.

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, June 26, 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, June 27. Carriers must check in by 10:00am on Tuesday, June 27.

Dismantle Schedule:
Monday, June 26   2:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, June 27 8:00am - 12:00 noon

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 and the 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition will be held June 21 - 26 (Exhibit Dates June 22 - 25, 2018) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. Exhibitors are encouraged to complete a contract before leaving this year’s Show to ensure their position in the initial space assignment procedure. For the Annual Conference and Exhibition, you may reserve a specific amount of exhibit space and configuration, but not a specific booth location. 

You can also visit http://exhibitors.ala.org for information on upcoming events.

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 October 2 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 Annual Conference. 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 Exhibits Management
ala@heiexpo.com