Set Up and Storage on the Trade Show Floor

You’ve designed your display, picked out your trade show schedule and shipped you modular pop up pieces to your first Trade Show. Now what?

Now you will face the hurdle of set up and storage, and again, you may find yourself in a territory rife with foreign sounding terms. To help smooth your debut on the Trade Show floor you may need to know a few of the words you may be thrown.  It always helps to not have a blank look on your face when someone says “You heading to the Boneyard?  I’ll walk with you.”


This is the time period (dates and times) specified by show management for delivering your exhibit  to the exposition facility and setting it up before the show begins.


The dates and times specified by show management for dismantling exhibits and removing removing your equipment from the floor after a trade show.

Target Date

Trade shows large enough to require a staggered schedule for set up (for example, the show managers may decide those in the the center-most aisle set up ten days before show while those on west wall set up nine days before, and so on and so-forth) will assign you a “Target Date” for set up. This is basically a method of controlling traffic by assigning different dates and times for delivery of freight and equipment to the show site depending on the location or their booth in the exhibit hall. If you get a Target Date, stick to it or risk being charged a penalty for being off target

Access Storage or Accessible Storage

While on the floor, you may find yourself in need of access to certain items which you simply don’t have room for in your booth (extra promotional give-aways, brochures, product, etc.) For such items, many exhibition halls offer access storage. Fees will vary, but the rul usually is you’ll be charged  for labor each time someone is required to retrieve your item/s from the access storage and deliver it to your booth. Exhibitors cannot retrieve any materials from an access storage space, only exhibition hall employees are allowed to do that.

Lock Up or Secured Accessible Storage

This is a storage area where you can lock up valuables at the end of each day and get them back out each morning. This could be a trailer on the dock, or a locked cage you can rent, but before trusting your expensive A.V and computer equipment to this storage, check to see how many of the cages have the same key, and if anyone will be guarding the locked cages. Cages made of metal mesh make valuables easy to spot, and visibility may prove too tempting to an immoral soul with a good pair of metal snips or a bolt cutter.

Empty Storage or Boneyard

Once your display has been set up, you are going to need someplace to store those empty molded cases in which they travel. Label your empty cases and crates with Empty Freight labels, which you can find at the service desk. Record your booth number on the labels in heavy black marker, and place one to two labels on each piece. If you wait until your installation is complete and take and label all your empty cases at one point, it will make them easier to retrieve and deliver to your booth when it comes time to pack up and go home.

I & D

I & D is an acronym for Installation and Dismantle of the display. It is also known as set-up/assembly and tear-down/take-down.

Leave a Reply