Chapter 7:  Exhibits


Exhibits:         Contact potential vendor exhibitors, determine exhibit fees and hours, coordinate registration of vendor exhibitors and arrangements for their equipment and telecommunications needs.





Vendors pay to exhibit at MAALL. Anticipated revenue from vendor exhibit fees should be included in the meeting=s income budget, but expenses charged to MAALL (such as mailing costs and telecommunications for exhibits) must also be included in the expense budget.


The number of vendors is likely to vary by the size and location of the meeting. Meetings in rural areas are unlikely to attract many vendors.


The fees should be set high enough to cover all of MAALL=s costs, plus make a small profit.


Be sure you have complete information on telecommunications fees. For example, is the amounted quoted for Internet line for the entire meeting or per day?


Relationship to other vendor solicitations


Vendors may also be contacted by the President or designee about making donations of cash or merchandise (such as registration bags).


If vendors ask about this, refer them to the person handling the fund-raising.



Types of Exhibits


The following are the usual types of exhibits:


Staffed booth with Internet connection:

Vendor representative sits at booth; online demo capability available.

Vendor supplies all equipment, sets up and takes down booth.

MAALL arranges with hotel for table, chair(s), Internet connection or dial-up phone line.


Staffed booth without Internet connection:

Vendor representative sits at booth.

Vendor supplies all equipment, sets up and takes down booth.

MAALL arranges with hotel for table, chair(s).


Materials only exhibit:

Vendor mails materials.

MAALL arranges with hotel for table.

MAALL member sets up and takes down materials.

Materials only exhibit, complimentary:

MAALL might choose to allow free space for an exhibit from a professional organization, such as SLA, especially if it can be combined with something else and there is no additional charge by hotel.

Organization mails materials.

MAALL arranges with hotel for table.

MAALL member sets up and takes down materials.  



Location and Hours


Work with hotel staff and with other Local Arrangements Committee members (especially Food and Equipment and Meeting Room Chairs) to determine best location for exhibits.


If possible, exhibits should be located where members will pass by them frequently.


Some MAALL meetings have found it desirable to serve breaks in the room where the exhibits are located. The downside is it can get too crowded if the room isn=t big enough.


If possible, have the exhibits in an area that can be locked at night so vendors don=t have to take everything to their rooms.


Exhibit hours may depend on program and other activities that are taking place. Generally, have the exhibits open when most members will be around. Exhibits usually open on Thursday and close sometime Friday afternoon. There are normally not enough participants Saturday morning to justify having exhibits.



Contacting Vendors


Potential exhibitors should be contacted about 2 months before the meeting. They should be sent a letter, exhibit registration form, and hotel registration form.


Check with local representatives to find out name and address of best contact person at their company. (See sample list at end of chapter. Note that list includes some 2001 St. Louis local contacts which will be different.)


Also check with vendors exhibiting at AALL to find out the best contact persons.


Don=t forget local legal newspapers, bar associations, library schools, library professional organizations, etc.


Registration form should clearly state fees and exactly what equipment and telecommunications are and are not included.

Include a cancellation policy on the form indicating amount refundable and time limit.


Include a due date well before the meeting so you can make arrangements for equipment and telecommunications.


Supply Publications Chair with a list of exhibitors to put in the printed program.


Write again to vendors after you receive their registration to confirm and provide them additional information, such as hotel shipping address. Include a complete registration packet with that mailing so they will have information on program, local transportation, etc.



Equipment and Setup


All vendors will need a table; some may want two. Be sure to find out the size of the tables and include that in the information you send vendors.


All staffed exhibits will need one or more chairs. Some vendors may want easels or other equipment.


Be sure to check with hotel on what=s included in contract and what MAALL will have to pay for. Charge vendors for any additional costs, or advise them they should supply themselves.


Make it clear on exhibit forms that vendors must bring their own computers, as well as anything else not covered, and that they are responsible for set up and take down (except for unstaffed exhibits).


Find out about availability of telecommunications lines. If supply is limited, say so on the registration form and encourage early registration!



Vendor Participation in Meals and Events


The exhibit registration form should provide spaces for vendors to note meals and events they wish to attend, and for any meal choices, such as vegetarian/non-vegetarian. They should pay for these in addition to their exhibit fees.


A vendor representative may register for the entire conference. If so, he/she should fill out a regular registration form in addition to the exhibit form and pay both the exhibit fee and the conference registration fee. In that case, meals and events would be included in the registration fee.


If a vendor reserves space but does not sign up for any meals, it would be a good idea to follow-up with a reminder about meals. This could be included with the confirmation letter.

Vendors that make substantial contributions and are listed as event sponsors may ask for free tickets for the sponsored event. Confer with Local Arrangements Chair about the policy for this. If free tickets are authorized, have vendor complete meal purchase part of the form but mark it Acomplimentary.@ [NOTE: St. Louis allowed West and Lexis 2 free tickets to the meal events they sponsored.]


IMPORTANT: Be sure all vendor meal purchases are reported to Registration Chair so they will be properly counted in meal counts!



At the Meeting


Check with exhibitors to be sure they have the proper equipment, that they have located any materials shipped, etc. Work as needed with hotel staff or other Local Arrangements Committee members to resolve any problems.


Ask Local Arrangements Chair to make announcement(s) reminding members to visit the exhibits.


Find out from vendors what should be done with any materials that are leftover.



After the Meeting


Write to vendors thanking them for their participation and encouraging them to come back the next year!




MAALL 2001, St. Louis Facts


50 vendor letters were sent; paid response was 20%.


There were 12 exhibits. These included:

4 Staffed booths with Internet (T-1 line) connection, $200 each

 (BNA, West, Courtlink, Global Securities)


4 Staffed booths without Internet connection, $125 each

(Hein, Lexis, Verdict Reporter, Missouri Lawyers Weekly)


2 Unstaffed booths , $50 each

(CCH, Copyright Clearance Center)


2 Unstaffed complimentary

(SLA, AALLBused same table)




Exhibits Samples


           Vendor contact list, 2001 St. Louis             (WordPerfect)   (PDF)   (Word)
           Initial vendor contact letter, 2001 St. Louis  (WordPerfect)   (PDF)   (Word)
           Vendor registration form, 2001 St. Louis     (WordPerfect)   (PDF)   (Word)
           Follow-up letter, 2001 St. Louis                  (WordPerfect)   (PDF)   (Word)
           Thank-you letter, 2001 St. Louis                 (WordPerfect)   (PDF)   (Word) 



Return to the Table of Contents