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Understanding the ABCs of Trade Show Installation

When you’re getting ready to hire a company to perform a trade show exhibit installation, you need to understand some common terms. Your hired contractors will likely use these terms throughout the installation process, so making yourself familiar with some of them means that you’ll be able to understand what they’re talking about.


Installation Term: Advance Rates

When you sign your company up for a trade show or other marketing event, you’ll have fees that need to be paid. Companies can save money by booking their exhibit space ahead of time and taking advantage of advance rates. Advance rate fees are usually discounted, which makes booking early a smart decision for businesses.

Installation Term: Advance Receiving

When all the exhibitors are trying to ship their displays to a venue at the same time, it can be quite chaotic. To help reduce or eliminate this chaos, try to have your trade show booth shipped a few days ahead of the event. The exhibit will be placed into an advance receiving location, where it stays until it’s time to move it to your specific booth space.

Installation Term: Backwall

The term backwall refers to the panels that are located at the rear of an exhibit. A backwall can be created out of a single pop up display or exhibitors can use a few banner stands to create a backwall. If your event contract states that you’ll have a backwall exhibit space, this means that your exhibit will be placed back to back with another exhibit or against a wall.

Installation Term: Boneyard

If you overhear someone saying that your empty crates are in the boneyard, don’t panic! This just means that they’re stashed somewhere safe and tucked out of the way with the other exhibitors’ crates.

Installation Term: Carpet Tape

If you’re using carpet in your exhibit, it’s vital that you find a way to keep it attached securely to the floor below. This is where carpet tape can help. Carpet tape is a strong, double-sided tape that’s designed to keep the edge down securely. This can help eliminate the chance of trips or falls caused by unsecured carpet edges.

Installation Term: CIF

If your shipping contract lists a price CIF, this simply means that the price includes cost, insurance, and freight. Basically, what you see is what you’ll pay. Having a price that includes everything means that you won’t have to worry about taking out extra insurance when it’s time to ship your exhibit.

If you’re a trade show newbie and have questions about any of the terms that your contractor or installation staff uses, don’t be afraid to ask them to explain just what they’re talking about. This can help ensure that your next installation goes off without a hitch and that you understand what’s going on every step of the way.

Creating Effective Tradeshow Promotions

Get crowds into your beautifully installed booth with this indispensable tool! Creating Effective Trade Show Promotions is a 76-page guide that takes you through the entire process of exhibiting, from setting goals to execution to measuring your results.

About the Author

Bob Watson has been helping clients in the New York region dominate trade show marketing events for over 30 years. As President of Skyline New York, a leading trade show marketing resource known for customized exhibit innovations, Bob helps his partners use distinctive modular components to create New York trade show displays and complementing banner stands that captivate and compel crowds while effectively broadening brand exposure and reach. For more information on trade show displays, trade show booths, and trade show exhibits in New York, please visit

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