Glossary of Terms


Advance Order: An order for show services sent to the service contractor prior to the event. Usually carries a discounted price (compare Floor Order or On-site Order).

After Hours Pass: Pass necessary for exhibitors to obtain from AAFS if they plan to work after established hours for the set-up and dismantle period.

Audio Visual (A/V) Technician: An on-site person who works with projecting images on screens and positioning microphones and other equipment on sets and stages; creating and editing sound effects, adjusting lights; and supplying audio visual properties equipment.

Bill of Lading: Document or form listing goods to be shipped.

Carpenter: Skilled craftsman used in the installation and dismantle of displays and exhibits.

Certificate of Insurance: Form received from insurance company showing proof and monetary value of insurance.

Common Carrier: Transportation company which handles crated or cased goods and consolidates freight of more than one customer into one shipment.

Consignee: Person to whom goods are shipped.

Contracted Decorator’s Website: Manual containing general information, labor/service order forms, rules and regulations, and other information pertaining to exhibitor participation in a particular exposition.

Contractor: One who contracts to supply labor, services or materials. (See also Exclusive, Official, and Independent Contractor)

CWT: Abbreviation for “hundred weight.” Unit of measure used in the U.S. to determine drayage charges.

Decorated Space: A space on the exposition floor where the rate includes the space (see raw space) and also includes booth furnishings such as table, chairs, electrical connection, and a name sign.

Decorator: (1) The official service contractor for an exhibition (See General Service Contractor), (2) The skilled craftsperson that provides installation/dismantle and booth/hall dressing services for an exposition and/or its exhibitors.

Dismantle: Take down and removal of exhibits.

Dispatcher: Person responsible for scheduling and routing freight.

Drayage: Transfer of freight to and from the point of arrival (dock) to exhibit space (booth) and back. Typically is charged by weight. Each exposition is different in its weight/rate structure.

Drayage Contractor: The company who is responsible for handling the transfer of materials from and back to the dock. Always is an exclusive or official contractor.

D/T (Double Time) Labor: Work performed on overtime charged at twice the published union rate. Also see O/T (Overtime) Labor and S/T (Straight Time) Labor.

Electrician: Highly skilled craftsperson who handles installation of all electrical services to a booth or area which required electrical power. Always is an Exclusive/Official Contractor.

Exclusive Contractor: Contractor appointed by show management or building management as the sole agent to provide services for an agreed upon compensation.

Exhibitor Appointed Contractor: (1) A contractor hired by an exhibitor to perform services independent of contractors appointed by exposition management (also called an Independent Services Contractor); (2) Any individual or company hired to perform event services on a contract basis.

Exhibitor Liaison Committee: Formed from various exhibiting companies and members of the AAFS, this committee volunteers their time and expertise to advise AAFS on issues concerning expositions. The committee assists in the establishment and monitoring of AAFS exhibiting guidelines.

Exhibit Hall: Area(s) within a facility where exhibits are located.

Exhibit Coordinator: Person in charge of an individual exhibit.

Exposition Manager: Organizer (AAFS) totally responsible for exposition.

Fire Marshall: City official who ensures that the exposition (and all exhibits) complies with city and county fire codes.

First-Come, First-Served: Requests of customers or clients are attended to in the order that they arrived, without other biases or preferences.

Floor Manager: Person retained by Show management to supervise the installation, dismantling, and operation of the exhibit area.

Floor Order: Order for labor, services, or materials placed onsite at the Service Desk. Usually a premium price is charged over an Advanced Order.

Forklift: Vehicle with a power-operated pronged platform for lifting and carrying loads (also called Tow-Motor or Lift Truck).

Freight Free Aisles: Aisles designated as “Freight Free” must be kept clear of all materials at all times. The aisles are used by the general contractor to deliver and pick up freight throughout the exhibit hall.

General Contractor: Company that AAFS selects for providing decorating, drayage, and labor services. See Decorator.

Hard Card: (1) Work order for labor or services, (2) Drayage contractor’s record of materials received or shipped.

I & D: Installation and dismantle of an exhibit (set-up/build up and dismantle).

Independent Service Contractor: See Exhibitor Appointed Contractor.

In-Line or Linear Exhibit: One or more standard booth units that are in a straight line.

Loading Dock: Area of the facility where freight is received and shipped.

Move-in: Date that is specified for the beginning of exhibit installation.

Move-out: Date that is specified for dismantling of exhibits.

Official Contractor: Selected by AAFS to provide a specific service (A/V, drayage, catering, etc.). An Official Contractor is not necessarily an Exclusive Contractor. These companies and the services they provide change from event to event. Refer to your contracted decorator’s website for more clarification.

On-site Order: See Floor Order.

O/T (Overtime) Labor: Work performed on overtime that is billed at either time-and-one-half or twice the published union labor rates. Also see D/T (Double Time) Labor and S/T (Straight Time) Labor.

Padded Van Shipment: Freight that is shipped via van lines, often consisting of large pieces, crated or uncrated, such as furniture or other fragile exhibit materials. Also see Van Lines Shipment.

Pipe and Drape: Tubing with drapes that separate exhibit booths. This is more common with U.S. Expositions.

Plumbers, Pipe Fitters, and Steamfitters: A tradesperson who is responsible for all plumbing (liquid or gas) installation. Usually is an Exclusive Contractor.

Raw Space: Typically the base price for exhibiting. This is floor space only on the exhibition — no booth furnishing or walls. May include a draped back wall, half height sidewalls (also known as Pipe and Drape), and carpet. Refer to your contracted decorator’s website for more clarification.

Rigger: A skilled person used in the handling and assembly or machinery, steel construction, and heavy materials. Usually is an Exclusive Contractor.

Service Desk: Location to order or reconfirm functions provided by the Official Service Contractor.

Set-up: The function of erecting the displays.

Shipper: Company or individual to whom exhibit materials are consigned for transportation.

Show Management: See Exposition Manager.

Skirting: Decorative covering around tables or risers.

Special Handling: Applies to material shipments requiring extra labor, equipment, or time in delivery to exhibit space.

S/T (Straight-Time) Labor: Labor performed on Straight-Time rates as specified in the contracted decorator’s website. Also see D/T (Double Time) Labor and O/T (Overtime) Labor.

Stand: European term for booth.

Subcontractor: Company retained by the General Contractor to provide services.

Table-top Display: An exhibit, smaller than the standard 10 ft x 10 ft booth, typically designed for display of literature.

Terminal: Freight handling or dock area.

Union: Organization of workers formed for mutual protection and safety, and for the purpose of dealing collectively with their employer on wages, hours, working conditions, and other matters pertaining to their employment.

Union Steward: On-site union official elected by his co-workers to oversee this particular union’s work in the facility. Stewards are responsible for resolving disputes that may occur over union jurisdiction (also called Shop Steward).

Van Lines Shipment: Shipment of exhibit properties via van lines, often consisting of large pieces, crated or uncrated, such as furniture or other fragile exhibit materials. Usually means an Air Ride suspension system.

Velcro: Special “tape” used to mount objects to display. It has two components — loop and fabric. The two components adhere to one another, but may be separated, allowing graphics and other materials to be moved.

Work Time: Paid time that begins as soon as workers are turned over to the exhibitor. Stops when the exhibitor releases them.