Industry Terms

A walkway intended for audience movement through an exposition or exhibit.

Aisle Carpet

Carpeting installed in trade show aisles.


Those persons who visit an event that are not exhibiting or connected with the event itself.


A light source that illuminates translucent material from behind.

The panels at the rear of an exhibit.

Bill of Lading (B/L)

A document that establishes the terms between a shipper and a transportation company for the transport of goods between specified points for a specified charge. Also see Air Waybill, Inland Bill of Lading, Ocean Bill of Lading, Through Bill of Lading.


A storage area for empty crates and contractor materials.


An area made up of one or more standard units of exhibit space.

Booth Size
The dimensions of the floor space contracted by an exhibitor. Usually sold in 10′ x 10′ increments.
Custom Exhibit 
A display designed and built to meet the specific needs of an exhibitor.


Hundred weight. A measurement used for shipping exhibit properties. Usually 100 pounds.


An individual (skilled craftsperson) or company (a contractor) providing services for a trade show and/or its exhibitors.

DIM Weight
Length x width x height divided by 194 for domestic shipments, or divided by 166 for international shipments.

To take apart an exhibit. Also known as Take-down, Teardown.

Display Builder
A company which fabricates exhibits.

The movement of show materials from shipping dock to booth for show set up and back to dock for return shipment at end of show.

End Cap

An exhibit space with aisles on three sides.

Exhibit Designer/Producer

Company responsible for designing and constructing exhibit booths.

Exhibit Directory
A guide for exhibition attendees which lists exhibitors and exhibit locations.

Exhibit Hall
The area(s) within an exposition center where exhibits are located.

Exhibit Manager

Person in charge of a company’s exhibit program.

Exhibitor Appointed Contractor

A contractor hired by an exhibitor to perform trade show services independently of show management appointed contractors. Also called Independent Contractor, EAC.

Exhibitor Kit
A package of information which contains all rules, regulations, and forms relating to an exhibition, provided to exhibitors by show management. Also called Service Kit.

The construction of an exhibit.

Floor Plan

A map showing the size and locations of exhibit spaces.

Exhibit properties and other materials shipped for an exhibit.

Freight Desk

The area where inbound and outbound exhibit materials are handled at a trade show.

General Contractor

Show management appointed company providing services to a trade show and/or its exhibitors. Also called Official Contractor. Compare with Exhibitor Appointed Contractor.

A photo, copy panel, or artwork applied to an exhibit.


General term used for an exposition facility or the exhibit area within a facility.

Installation & Dismantle (of an exhibit). Also known as Set Up and Take-down.

Independent Contractor

A contractor hired by an exhibitor to perform trade show services independently of show management appointed contractors. Also called Exhibitor Appointed Contractor, EAC


An exhibit that is constructed in a continuous line along an aisle. Also called Linear Display.


The process of setting up exhibit properties according to specifications. Also called Assembly, Set Up.

Installation & Dismantle
The set up and take-down of exhibits. Also called I & D.

Island Exhibit
A display with aisles on four sides.

Less Than Truckload (LTL)
The rate charged for freight weighing less than the minimum weight for a truckload.

Light Box
An enclosure which contains lighting underneath a translucent facing material. Used to back-light signs or graphics applied to the face.

Marshaling Yard

A lot where trucks gather for orderly dispatch to show site.

Modular Exhibit
An exhibit constructed with interchangeable components designed to be set up in various arrangements and sizes.

The date specified by show management for beginning exhibit installation.

The date specified by show management for dismantling exhibits.


A designation for work performed outside the hours specified as normal working hours. Usually work performed on overtime is charged at a substantially higher rate.

Packing List
A document prepared by a shipper itemizing contents of shipment and including other information needed by the carrier.

Peninsula Display

An exhibit with aisles on three sides.

Perimeter Booth

A booth space on a outside wall.

Pipe & Drape
Tubing covered with draped fabric to make up the rails and backwall of a trade show.

Portable Exhibit

A lightweight display unit that can be moved without a forklift.


A carrier-assigned number used to designate a specific shipment.

Rear Illumination

A technique of using a light source to illuminate a translucent image from behind. Also called Back-lighting.

Rear Projection
A video technique in which images are projected on a screen positioned between the projector and the audience.

The process of repairing or reconditioning an exhibit to extend its life span.

Rental Booth

A complete booth package offered to exhibitors on a rental basis.

A skilled worker responsible for handling and assembly of machinery.

Right To Work State

A state where no person can be denied the right to work because of membership or non-membership in a labor union.

S.T. Labor

Straight Time Labor. Work performed during normal work hours at the standard rate. Compare with D.T. Labor, Overtime.

Service Desk

The location at which exhibitors order services from show management.

Service Kit
A packet of show-related information and order forms provided to exhibitors by show management. Also called Exhibitor Kit.

Set Up
The process of erecting an exhibit from its components. Also called Assembly, Installation.

Set-up Drawing

Drawings which give detailed instructions for the installation of an exhibit.

Shipping Case
A reusable container for transporting exhibit materials.

Shipping Crate
A wooden container for transporting exhibit materials, which may be designed for a single use or custom built for extended reuse.

Show Break

Time specified for the closing of an exhibition and beginning of dismantling.

Show Photographer

The show management appointed photographer for an exhibition.

Show Producer

An individual or company which manages trade shows, including leasing the exposition facility, hiring official contractors, and promoting the show.

Show Rules
The general rules and regulations governing a specific trade show.

Shrink Wrap
A process used to seal materials in transparent plastic.

Silk Screen
A method of creating graphics with a reusable stencil.

A low wooden frame used to support heavy objects or groups of materials for easier handling. Usually used as a platform for objects moved by forklift. Also called Pallet.


Decorative covering around tables and risers.

Special Handling

Applies to exhibit shipments requiring extra labor, equipment, or time for delivery to exhibit space.


An individual or company retained by a general contractor to provide services.


Table Top Display

An exhibit designed for use on the top of a table or similar surface.

Trade Show
An exposition related to a particular industry or group, and open only to the members of that group.

Traffic Flow

The movement of visitors through an exposition or exhibit.


Structural element hung above exhibit for the purpose of hanging lighting equipment to illuminate exhibit components.


An organization of workers formed with the purpose of protecting workers’ rights and increasing bargaining power with an employer on such issues as wages, hours, and benefits.


The trade name for a fabric closure with two components: hooks and loops. The two components adhere when pressed together and separate when pulled apart, allowing repeated use.

A clear plastic sheeting that is placed over exhibit carpeting after its laid in order to protect it until the show opens. Visqueen also allows exhibit components to slide on top of it during setup, allowing you to align various exhibit components by simply pushing them into position.