Rules Every Exhibitor should Know


As an exhibitor, you may be required to attend numerous events. Though each event has their unique rules and regulations, you will notice that there are some rules that are the same no matter where or what the event is. If you don’t abide by these rules, you may be subject to costly fines or even be shut down. To prevent any issues, we have broken down some of the rules every exhibitor should know.

Federal Rules

Every exhibitor that operates in the United States must be aware of the federal requirements for their booths and structures. In 1990, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) stated that exhibitors must make accommodations for people with disabilities. Exhibitors must guarantee that every attendee has equal access to their exhibits. For instance, if your exhibit is raised, exhibitors must provide an access ramp for people with disabilities that may make it difficult for them to reach elevated exhibits. Also, if there are hearing-impaired attendees, the exhibit must provide a sign-language interpreter or they will not be in compliance with ADA regulations. This is one of the most important rules that every exhibitor should know, because if you’re not in compliance, you may see hefty fines. Under Title III, the Department of Justice may obtain civil penalties of up to $55,000 for the first violation and $110,000 for any subsequent violation.

Electrical Regulations

Your exhibit may require the use of extension cords, power strips, generators, or other electrical power sources. Be sure to verify the specifications of the venue where you will be exhibiting. Some power sources may not be allowed; or you may be required to rent certain items from the venue. Some government-subsidized venues prohibit cube tapes (connectors with three outlets) while other facilities like hotels and private event venues may not.

Music Rights

If you use any live or recorded music for your exhibit, you may be subject to music copyright laws. You may need to contact a licensing firm like BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. The fees to obtain the rights to certain music can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you use music without the proper authorization, you may be subject to fines and lawsuits that can get very expensive. If you would like to use good music without paying the fees, there are numerous online sources for royalty-free music. Also keep in mind that most venues have a music volume limit of up to 85 decibels.

Food and Beverage

You may decide to offer food at your exhibit. Food and beverage vendors are usually allowed to offer 1 ounce of food and 2 ounces of beverages to their guests. If you’re not a food business, you may be required to contact the venue’s exclusive caterer; even if you’re only providing branded bottles of water. They caterer may charge a “waiver fee” which will be equal to the profit they would have made by selling their food and drinks at equal value. Violation of these rules can result in a simple warning; or you may be asked to shut down your exhibit which can affect your reputation and your profit.

Insurance Certificates

A large number of shows will require you to obtain Exhibitor Insurance.  On your policy, you may be asked to name the show organizer, manager, the show itself, the facility, and the general services contractor (GSC). Prices of policies for Exhibitor Insurance may vary depending on the coverage you need. The insurance will protect you from any lawsuits, property damage, or bodily injury that may occur while attendees visit your booth.

SkyBlue Insurance is an authorized dealer representing some of the top Exhibitor Insurance providers in the nation. We can help you find affordable policies to ensure you don’t overpay for insurance. Our process is quick and easy and will reduce the amount of stress you’re already dealing with. Give our agents a call at 1-800-771-7758 if you have questions. Or you can get instant results by requesting a free Exhibitor Insurance quote.

These are the important rules that every exhibitor should know. Follow these rules and you will save yourself a lot of money and stress. If not, your business may take a huge hit to it’s finances and reputation.