Display Rules, Regulations, and Guidelines

Booth Regulations

Linear Booth

Linear Booths, also called “in-line” booths, are generally arranged in a straight line and have neighboring exhibitors on their immediate right and left, leaving only one side exposed to the aisle.

Linear Booths are 10ft (3.05m) wide and 10ft (3.05m) deep, i.e. 10ft by 10ft (3.05m by 3.05m). A maximum back wall height limitation of 8ft (2.44m) is permitted for display material.

Use of Space
Regardless of the number of Linear Booths utilized, e.g. 10ft by 20ft (3.05m by 6.10m), 10ft by 30ft (3.05m by 9.14m), 10ft by 40ft (3.05m by12.19m), etc. display materials should be arranged in such a manner so as not to obstruct sight lines of neighboring exhibitors.

The maximum height of 8ft (2.44m) is permitted only in the rear half of the booth space, with a 4ft (1.22m) height restriction imposed on all materials in the remaining space forward to the aisle. Note: When three or more Linear Booths are used in combination as a single exhibit space, the 4ft (1.22m) height limitation is applied only to that portion of exhibit space which is within 10ft (3.05m) of an adjoining booth.


Perimeter Booth

A Perimeter Booth is a Linear Booth that backs to an outside wall of the exhibit facility rather than to another exhibit.

Dimensions and Use of Space
All guidelines for Linear Booths apply to Perimeter Booths.


Corner Booth

 A Corner Booth is a Linear Booth at the end of a series of in-line booths with exposure to intersecting aisles on two sides. All other guidelines for Linear Booths apply.

End-cap Booth

An End-cap Booth is exposed to aisles on three sides and composed to two booths.

End-cap Booths are generally ten feet (10’) deep by twenty feet (20’) wide. The maximum backwall height of eight feet (8’) is allowed only in the rear half of the booth space and within fie feet (5’) of the two side aisles with a four-foot (4’) height restriction imposed on all materials in the remaining space forward to the aisle.

Island Booth

An Island Booth is any size booth exposed to aisles on all four sides.

An Island Booth is 20ft by 20ft (6.10m by 6.10m) or larger, although it may be configured differently.

Use of Space
The entire cubic content of the space may be used up to the maximum allowable height of 20′, (6.10m), display and signage.  Excluding hanging signage.

Issues Common to All Booth Types

Canopies are not permitted.

Hanging Signs & Graphics
Hanging signs and graphics are not permitted.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
All exhibiting companies are required to be in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and are encouraged to be sensitive, and as reasonably accommodating as possible, to attendees with disabilities. Information regarding ADA compliance is available from the U.S. Department of Justice ADA Information Line: (800-514-0301) and from the following website: www.ada.gov/infoline.htm .

Structural Integrity
All exhibit displays should be designed and erected in a manner that will withstand normal contact or vibration caused by neighboring exhibitors, hall laborers, or installation/dismantling equipment such as fork lifts. Displays should also be able to withstand moderate wind effects that may occur in the exhibit hall when freight doors are open. Refer to local building codes that regulate temporary structures.

Exhibitors should ensure that any display fixtures such as tables, racks, or shelves are designed and installed properly to support the product or marketing materials to be displayed upon them.

Flammable and Toxic Materials
All materials used in display construction or decorating should be made of fire retardant materials and be certified as flame retardant. Samples should also be available for testing. Materials that cannot be treated to meet the requirements should not be used. A flame-proofing certificate should be available for inspection. Exhibitors should dispose of any waste products they generate during the exhibition in accordance with guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency and the facility.

Exhibitors must adhere to the following minimum guidelines when determining booth lighting:

  • No lighting, fixtures, lighting trusses, or overhead lighting are allowed outside the boundaries of the exhibit
  • Lighting should be directed to the inner confines of the booth Lighting should not project onto other exhibits or show aisles.
  • Lighting which is potentially harmful, such as lasers or ultraviolet lighting, should comply with facility rules and be approved in writing by exhibition
  • Lighting that spins, rotates, pulsates, and other specialized lighting effects should be in good taste and not interfere with neighboring exhibitors or otherwise detract from the general atmosphere of the event.

Fire regulations prohibit storing product, literature, empty packing containers, or packing materials behind back drapes or under draped tables.  Exhibitors may store a limited supply of literature or product appropriately within the booth area as long as these items do not impede access to utility services, create a safety problem, or look unsightly. The Fire Marshal and Show Management have final say.

As a matter of safety and courtesy to others, exhibitors should conduct sales presentations and product demonstrations in a manner which assures all exhibitor personnel and attendees are within the contracted exhibit space and not encroaching on the aisle or neighboring exhibits.  It is the responsibility of each exhibitor to arrange displays, product presentation, and demonstration areas to ensure compliance.

Special caution should be taken when demonstrating machinery or equipment that has moving parts, equipment with an open flame, or any product that is otherwise potentially dangerous. Exhibitors should establish a minimum setback of three feet (3’) and/or install hazard barriers as necessary to prevent accidental injury to spectators. Sound demonstrations should not exceed 85 decibels. Additionally, demonstrations should only be conducted by qualified personnel. After hours in-booth presentations are not permitted.

In general, exhibitors may use sound equipment in their booths as long as the noise level does not disrupt the activities of neighboring exhibitors. Speakers and other sound devices should be positioned to direct sound into the booth rather than into the aisle. Sound and noise should not exceed 85 decibels.

Exhibitors should be aware that music played in their booths, whether live or recorded, are subject to laws governing the use of copyrighted compositions. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are three authorized licensing organizations that collect copyright fees on behalf of composers and publishers of music.

Perishable Materials
Show management and/or contracted decorator will not be responsible for perishable items shipped to/from the meeting site.

Exhibitor Rules and Regulations

Being Prepared
Familiarizing yourself with the rules, requirements, policies, and procedures will not only make your exposition experience run more smoothly, it will also save you time and money.

Exhibitor Registration & Housing — Exhibitor information and registration forms will be made available online to all exhibitors. The decorator website will be made available by Classic Exposition Services, Inc., well in advance. Each exhibiting organization may have up to (3) complimentary basic meeting registrations for each booth purchased, which will allow entry to all scientific and poster sessions (special sessions requiring separate registration fees are not included). These badges cannot be used by attendees seeking AAFS member promotion or upgrade, or continuing education credit. To qualify for AAFS member promotion and continuing education credit, exhibitor must register as a meeting attendeeIn addition to the (3) basic registrations, your organization will receive (3) complimentary “Exhibit Hall Only” badges for additional sales personnel, local customers, or other guests. As an exhibitor, all representatives will be eligible for the convention rate for guest rooms established by the hotel properties contracted with AAFS.

Booth & Signs — Booth spaces are assigned on the basis of first-come, first-served. AAFS reserves the right to make final decisions concerning booth assignment and exhibit layout in the best interest of the overall exhibit and the annual meeting. Booths include a background drape eight feet high, three-foot-high side rails, and a 7” x 44” booth identification sign. Please refer to the Exhibitor Guidelines for details relating to booth size and exhibit display.

Exhibitor Services — Exhibitors may log into the decorator website and print complete shipping instructions as well as forms for ordering furniture, labor, carpeting, electricity, and other services. A service desk will be open during installation, the show time, and dismantling. All electrical work and wiring must be approved and installed in accordance with local regulations.

Liability — Exhibitor agrees to protect, save, and hold the AAFS, the Baltimore Convention Center, Classic Exposition Services, Inc., and all agents and employees thereof (hereinafter collectively called indemnities) forever harmless for any damages or charges imposed for violations of any law or ordinance, whether occasioned by the negligence of the exhibitor or those holding under the exhibitor. Further, the exhibitor shall, at all times, protect, indemnify, save, and hold harmless the indemnities against and from any and all losses, costs, damages, liability, or expenses (including attorney fees) arising from, or out of, or by reason of any accident or bodily injury or other occurrences to any person or persons, including the exhibitor, its agents, employees, or business invitees which arise from, or out of, or by reason of said exhibitor’s occupancy and use of the exhibition premises, the hotel, or any part thereof. Exhibitor shall be fully responsible to pay for any and all damages to property owned by the Baltimore Convention Center, or managers, which results from any act or omission of exhibitor. Exhibitor agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Baltimore Convention Center, its owners, managers, officers or directors, agents, employees, subsidiaries, and affiliates from any damages or charges resulting from exhibitor’s use of the property. Exhibitor’s liability shall include all losses, costs, damages, or expenses arising from, or out of, or by reason of any accident or bodily injury or other occurrences to any person or persons, including the exhibitor, its agents, employees, and business invitees which arise from or out of the exhibitor’s occupancy and use of the exhibition premises. The AAFS, by entering into the exhibitor contract, does not in any way imply endorsement of any product or service of any exhibitor.

General Conduct of Exhibits — All materials and activities must be confined to the limits of the exhibit booth(s), and may not impede traffic or interfere with other exhibits. No exhibitor shall assign, sublet, or apportion the whole or any part of the space allotted. Any equipment or apparatus producing noise or odors found to be annoying to other exhibitors or guests is prohibited. All construction shall be substantial. No exhibit that violates any municipal or state law, rules or regulations, including safety codes, will be permitted. No combustible materials shall be used. Exhibitors are responsible for keeping their booths clean and orderly. AAFS reserves the right to refuse any applicant for exhibit space as well as to curtail exhibits or parts of exhibits which detract from the character of the meeting. In the event of such restriction or eviction, the AAFS is not liable for any refunds for rentals or other exhibition expenses.

Early Move-out — Exhibitor shall not initiate teardown or abandon exhibit prior to the official Show closing time on the final Show day. Violation of this paragraph will cause exhibitor to be subject to a $500 fine and possible exclusion from exhibiting at future shows. Exhibitor agrees that premature teardown distracts from the overall merit of the Show, creates a negative image of the company and the Show, and may possibly put attendees at risk due to the dismantle of exhibit materials in a public forum. Show management will monitor the Exhibit Hall in order to enforce this policy.

Payment Terms & Cancellations — A deposit of 50% per booth must accompany this application if received by December 1, 2018. The exhibitor will be invoiced for any balance due. All space must be paid in full by December 31, 2018. Applications received thereafter must be accompanied by full payment. Exhibitors wishing to cancel space on or before December 14, 2018, will be liable for 50% of the total exhibit space reserved. Cancellations received on or after December 15, 2018, forfeit the entire booth space rental cost. All cancellations must be submitted in writing.

Installation & Dismantling — Registration packets may be picked up beginning Sunday, February 17, at 1:00 p.m. at the AAFS Registration Desk.

Code of Ethics

AAFS wants your participation at AAFS Expositions to be successful. Listed below are tips on exhibitor etiquette for you to share with your booth personnel.

Exhibitors at any exhibition should conduct themselves professionally with honesty and integrity in their business practices.

  • Be respectful of other If you truly have business with another exhibiting company, be sure not to disrupt their business activities with their customers or prospects. It might be more convenient for you to set an appointment since you will be onsite for the duration of the event and the visitor may only be there for a few hours. Wandering into other booths disrupts those exhibitors who are with clients.
  • Be respectful of your Even worse than wandering into “friendly territory” is going into competitors’ booths to take information or to crowd out legitimate clients. Designate specific individuals within your company to obtain information from your competitors. Advise these people to be polite and respectful when in a competitor’s booth. They should introduce themselves and ask for a brief product demonstration.  The worst your competitors can say is “No.” You might be surprised at just how much they will share with you.  But remember, you should also be willing to give them a brief demonstration if they come into your booth. You can show how a system works without revealing proprietary information.

Your presence in your company’s booth is not only vital to serving your customers and potential customers, but it also sets an example for others.

You can carefully monitor conduct by asking yourself:

  • Is this legal?
  • How will it make me feel about myself, my organization, and my industry?

And, last but not least, constantly remind yourself and your staff of the most common ethical standard of all: In the conduct of our business we will treat others as we would want others to treat us.

By putting these tips into practice, you can help make the event a success, both for your company and for other exhibitors.