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C3: Client Communications Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our "Frequently Asked Questions" page. Please choose from the following categories to have your questions answered. If you are unable to find the answers, please contact a BCS Customer Service Representative at (714) 522-8271.

Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC)
Petroleum Product Surcharge (PPS)
Payment for BCS Services
Ordering Electrical Services

Display Labor
Material Handling
Forklift Labor
Security and Insurance

Furniture and Accessories
Booth Carpet and Cleaning
Signs and Graphics
Plants and Foliage

Computers and Audio Visual Equipment
Telecommunications and Internet Services

 Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC)(top)
Q: What is an (EAC) and what does it refer too?

A: Any company other than the designated show contractor providing a service to an exhibitor. Which can refer to an I & D house, photographer, florist or any other type of outside contractor other than Blaine Convention Services.

 Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC)(top)
Q: Why do you have a Petroleum Product Surcharge (PPS)?

A: As you would expect, the impact on the trade show industry has been staggering. Processed petroleum is commonly used in trade show materials such as carpeting, plastics, visqueen, propane and diesel fuel. Understandably, the costs of these petroleum-based products have risen dramatically, which Blaine Convention Services has no control over.

Blaine Convention Services has resisted passing these increased expenses on to our customers in hopes that our nation’s petroleum cost would be stabilized.. Unfortunately, the fuel problem sees no indication of abatement. Rather, fuel costs continue to change and our business is directly impaired.

Therefore, Blaine Convention Services recently enacted a Petroleum Product Surcharge. The resulting 2% increase on all materials and services published in the exhibitor manual does not remove this burden from us. But it does partially offset the increased expenses we have been absorbing for a few years now.

Blaine Convention Services thanks you for your understanding, patience and support during these times.

 Payment for BCS Services(top)
Q: May I place my order in advance and pay for it when I arrive at show site?

A: As with most vendors, Blaine Convention Services requires full payment when your order is placed. We require a credit card authorization form (located in your Exhibitor Service Manual) to be on file with us. Orders received without payment will not be processed. A reminder…..if you anticipate the need for material handling at your event site, you will need to have a credit card authorization on file at the BCS Service Desk.

Q: May I pay with a purchase order?

A: No. Blaine Convention Services does not bill exhibitors for products or services rendered. Purchase orders are not considered a form of payment.

Q: What options do I have for payment?

A: Blaine Convention Services, Inc. gladly accepts payment by:

Credit Card: We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.
Cash: Please do not mail cash. We will gladly accept cash payments at the show.

Q: If I overpay on my account, how will my refund be processed?

A: All credits/refunds are processed after the close of the show. Credit card refunds will be applied back to the card within approximately one week after show closing. Check refunds are issued once per month, and consequently take longer.

 Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC)(top)
Q: How would I go about ordering Electrical Services?

A: Please check your booth package, electrical may be included. If not, please see our Electrical Services contained in your Exhibitor Manual here. You will need a login and password to access the manual.

 Display Labor(top)
Q: Will I need to order labor to set up my booth?

A: All exhibitors are required to comply with local union jurisdictions. These are published in the Exhibitor Service Manual. In most cities, exhibitors are allowed to set their own displays without assistance provided that:

All work will be performed by full-time employees of the exhibiting company.

The booth is 10’ x 20’ or smaller.

Booth installation requires no more than two people working one hour or less each.

Consult your Exhibitor Manual for specific information about union jurisdictions affecting your show.

Q: If I order labor from Blaine Convention Services, must I be present for the work to take place?

A: Exhibitors may order labor two ways -- Blaine Supervised or Exhibitor Supervised. Definitions are as follows:

Blaine Supervised — For a nominal fee, Blaine will supervise the installation of your exhibit in your absence so that it is ready when you arrive. A representative from your company need not be present.

Exhibitor Supervised — In this case, a representative from your company must check in at the labor desk to pick up scheduled workers. Your employee is then responsible for supervising all work performed. Workers remain on your clock until your-representative returns with the laborers to the labor desk and signs them back over to Blaine’s clock.

Q: Is my labor request guaranteed?

A: All labor orders scheduled for the beginning of the scheduled exhibitor move-in (in most cases, 8:00 a.m.) are guaranteed. Similarly, all exhibitor supervised labor orders are charged a one hour per worker "no show" charge should you fail to sign in at the labor desk at the beginning of the work day.

Freight Handling(top)
1. Please read the “Material Handling Terms & Conditions” carefully
(these are located inside your online exhibitor manual).
2. Are you looking for Shipping Labels? Please see below.
3. For a list of Required Forms To Be Turned In, see below.

Q: What exactly is material handling?

A: Material handling, referred to as drayage or freight handling, is the movement of your freight from the carrier to your booth and then back to the carrier at the close of the show. Material handling includes unloading your materials from your vehicle, storage at our warehouse for up to 30 days in advance of the show, delivery of the materials to your booth, the handling of empty containers to and from storage, and removal of your material from the booth for reloading onto your outbound carrier.

Q: Is there a charge for material handling?

A: Yes. Material handling charges are computed, in most cases, based on the weight of your materials. The weight is rounded up to the closest hundred pounds (cwt.) and charged according to the rates published on your show price list. Check your show schedule carefully to determine whether or not overtime charges may apply to your shipment.

Q: Does material handling include the cost for me to ship my material?

A: No. Material handling should not be confused with the costs associated with getting your materials to and from either the warehouse or show site dock. When you ship, be sure your bill of lading is marked pre-paid so that your shipment does not arrive collect. Collect shipments will not be accepted.

Q: What order forms are required to be turned in for Material Handling?

A: You must complete three forms and fax them to our Customer Service Department at (714) 522-8271. You can locate these forms in your exhibitor manual, along with optional shipping labels for your convenience.

1. Payment Charge Authorization – provides credit card information (required)
2. Material Handling Order For Service – tells us what to expect (quantities,
approx. weights, etc, contact information, re-forwarding instructions for the close of the show)
3. Material Handling Rate Schedule – Please print your name and sign the form at the bottom of the page.

Q: What are my choices for freight carriers?

A: As an exhibitor, you are free to use whatever carrier you like to transport your materials. For your convenience, Blaine Convention Services provides a house carrier for ground freight, Yellow Freight System, and one for air freight, ICAT Expo. Both Yellow and ICAT will be onsite at the close of the show to assist you with outbound shipping.

Q: Can I carry my own materials in without using the material handling service?

A: In most cases, an exhibitor may bring in what can be hand-carried in one trip without the use of the loading dock. Refer to the union jurisdictions in your Exhibitor Service Manual for specific information regarding your show.

Q: How should I label my materials for shipping to the show?

A: You can ship either to the advance warehouse address or direct to show site. See addressing details in the following question and answer.

Q: Where can I find SHIPPING LABELS?

A: Pre-addressed labels are provided for your event in the Exhibitor Service Manual (you will need a username and password to access your show’s online manual.)

If you choose not to use the labels provided in the manual, it is important that your labels indicate the following information:

Your Company Name
C/O Blaine Convention Services, Inc.
Show Site Address or Advance Warehouse Shipping Address (Choose One)
Name of Show
Your Booth Number
Piece #___ of #___

Q: What are the advantages to shipping my material to the advance warehouse address?

A: The three main advantages to shipping to the advance warehouse versus directly to show site are:

You have plenty of time to confirm that your shipment has arrived and that everything is intact.

These materials will be delivered to your booth prior to your arrival on-site.

Delivery dates and times are more flexible and predictable.

Q: What should I do if I arrive onsite and my freight is not in my booth?

A: First, you should locate the shipping paperwork (in most cases, this is your copy of the carrier's bill of lading. Verify the address (warehouse or show site) your materials were shipped to:

If your freight was scheduled for delivery to the Blaine warehouse, go directly to the Blaine Service Desk.

If your freight was shipped directly to show site, check with the Blaine Convention Services dock foreman to see if your driver has checked in. If not, contact your shipping company directly to confirm their delivery schedule. (Remember, we begin receiving show site shipments during-scheduled exhibitor move-in, and drivers are scheduled for unloading on a first come, first serve basis.

Q: How do I prepare for outbound shipping at the close of the show?

A: Once you have reviewed your Blaine Convention Services invoice at show site, you may pick up an official show bill of lading for outbound shipping. Each shipment must be accompanied by an official show bill of lading. This document provides Blaine Convention Services with essential information about where and how to ship your outbound materials. Be sure to bring the bill of lading back to the Blaine Service Desk for a receipt before you leave the facility.

Forklift Labor(top)
Q: Is forklift service included with material handling?

A: Material handling (drayage) charges include any forklift work necessary to move your materials from the carrier into your booth space, to move your empty crates into and out of empty storage and to reload your freight onto your carrier. Any additional work requiring a forklift must be ordered separately.

Q: Under what circumstances would I be required to order a forklift separately?

A: Separate forklift work orders must be placed for:

Repositioning material within the booth space after original placement.

Lifting heavy headers or top sections of large displays.

Moving heavy machinery. (These services are sometimes referred to as rigging)

Q: What is the minimum charge for a forklift?

A: The minimum charge is one hour per worker or per crew, plus a one hour minimum for the lift itself.

 Security and Insurance(top)
Q: Who is responsible for the security of my booth and all the items in it?

A: You are. Rented booth space is similar to other types of rental property in that you must take the appropriate measures to protect your belongings from loss or damage. The best way to accomplish this is by consulting with your insurance agent about adding riders to existing policies. You can also rent a security guard for your booth. Here are some tips on how to minimize theft and damage to your trade show materials:

Even though Security guards are hired to guard the main doors, don't assume that the exhibit hall is secure. At the end of the day, cover your exhibit with a cloth. The psychological deterrent makes a difference.

Don't list the contents of crates and cartons on your shipping labels. A label that reads "42 inch Color Monitor" is an open invitation for theft.

Never leave your booth unattended during heavy move-in or move-out times.

Never leave one-of-a-kind items unattended in your booth.

Don't leave business tools like laptop computers, calculators and stereos in your booth. Take them with you at the end of the day, or place them in locked storage.

Don't leave your purse, suit jacket or toolbox in your booth unattended.

Q: What responsibility does Show Management take in providing security for the show?

A: Show management provides 24-hour security around the perimeter of the event (entrances and exits, hallways, etc.) to prevent unauthorized entry into the exhibit hall.

Q: Who is responsible for my freight from the time I turn in my bill of lading to Blaine and the time my freight is loaded from the floor?

A: You are. Refer to the tips above to avoid loss.

Q: My company does not have an exhibit and we would like to rent one. Can you explain the benefits of renting a Blaine Rental Display?

A: Blaine Rental Display booths make exhibiting easy. We provide the transportation, handling, installation labor, and dismantle labor all for one published price. All you need to do is show up and sell!

Q: Do these units include carpet?

A: Blaine Rental Displays generally include standard carpet at no additional cost. Other options, such as plush carpet and padding will need to be ordered separately.

Q: What about cleaning my rental display?

A: Daily cleaning is not included in display rental cost.

Q: Do these units include any furnishings?

A: No. Furnishings should be ordered separately based on individual need.

Q: What is the cancellation policy for BCS Rental Displays?

A: No. Because of labor and material costs, orders cancelled before move-in will be refunded at 50% of the original price. Display items cancelled after show move-in begins will not be refunded. Special graphics cancelled or changed after the order is processed will not be refunded.

Q: I don't see a unit that meets our needs for the show. Do you take custom orders?

A: Our systems specialists are standing by to help design a unit that works for you.

Call us today at (714) 522-8270, or email us at

 Furniture and Accessories(top)
Q: What furnishings are provided with my booth space?

A: Typically, none. However, if your booth space does include furnishings at no extra charge, these items will be listed on the Blaine Basics Sheet in your Exhibitor Service Manual under the section labeled Booth Equipment.

Q: My booth equipment includes a 6-foot draped table, but I need a 4- foot draped table. Can I trade?

A: No. Items that are provided as part of your booth package have no trade-in value. If you need an item that is not listed with the booth equipment provided in your booth package, you must order that item separately at the published price.

Q: What is Blaine’s cancellation policy for refunds on furnishings & accessories?

A: We gladly refund at 100% any items that have not been delivered to the booth at the time of cancellation. Items cancelled after delivery are refunded at 50% if cancelled prior to show opening. Some exceptions to this policy are graphics, plush carpet or padding, and modular display units.

 Booth Carpet and Cleaning (top)
Q: Does carpet come with my booth, or must I order it?

A: Carpet is included in your booth space only if it is listed as an item in your contract, or the exhibit hall has pre-existing carpet. The Blaine Basics Sheet from your Exhibitor Service Manual lists all the items provided with your booth purchase.

Q: What about cleaning?

A: General vacuuming of the aisles is provided, and your booth carpet should be installed clean. Once you begin set-up, however, any cleaning for your booth space must be ordered. Also, remember to order cleaning based on the gross square footage of your booth (8' x 10', 10' x 20', etc.) not the actual size of your carpet (9' x 10', 9' x 20', etc.).

Q: Ok, so what size carpet should I order for my booth?

A: Linear and parameter booths are usually sold as 8' x 10' or 10' x 10' units. Standard 9' wide carpet accommodates both sizes. You can order standard 9' wide carpet in 10' linear increments. For example, if your booth is 8' x 20', you would order a 9' x 20' standard carpet. If your booth is 10' x 10', you would order a 9' x 10' standard carpet.

Q: I have an island booth that is 20' x 20'. Should I order two 9' x 20' standard carpets?

A: No. Standard carpet is not meant to be used in multiple lengths. Dye lots often vary and therefore we do not guarantee color match between multiple lengths of standard carpet. Exhibitors with island booths (20' x 20', 30' x 40', etc.) should order special size or plush carpet that is cut to fit the exact size of your booth. Sure, it costs more, but the end result is worth it. We guarantee a color match, and your carpet will cover your entire booth space.

Q: Does the price of carpet include labor, or must I order labor separately?

A: The published price for both standard and plush carpet includes delivery, installation, and removal.

Q: Is padding available for my booth?

A: Yes, but padding must be ordered separately. Refer to the price list included in your Exhibitor Service Manual.

 Signs and Graphics(top)
Q: Does a sign come with my booth?

A: Yes. Each in-line booth receives a 7" X 44" Identification sign with your company name and booth number.

Q: Who might I inform as to how I would like my sign to read?

A: Blaine Convention Services prints the I.D. sign from a list provided by Show Management. If you would like your I.D. sign to read differently from how your company is listed on your contract with Show Management, you should contact your show manager directly.

Q: I would like to add more information to my I.D. sign. Is that possible?

A: No. The I.D. sign is just that -- it allows people to locate your exhibit space on the exhibit floor. However, special signs and graphics can be ordered through Blaine Convention Services. Look for ordering information in your Exhibitor Service Manual.

 Plants and Foliage(top)
Q: Where can I order plants and flowers for my booth?

A: Most shows offer a recommended Plant and Floral supplier. Look in the Exhibitor Service Manual for information and the order form.

Q: Does the price of foliage include delivery to and removal from my booth?

A: Yes, as long as you order from the Official Floral Contractor selected for the show. When you choose to order from a vendor other than the one specified in the Exhibitor Service Manual, the General Service Contractor may charge you drayage.

Q: Can I take the plants home after the show?

A: Flower arrangements are purchased items and you may take these with you. Green plants and containers are rental items only and will be picked up by the plant supplier at the end of the show.

 Computers and A/V Equipment(top)
Q: Who do I contact to rent a computer? A slide projector and screen?

A: Most shows recommend both a computer rental company and an audio visual rental company by providing forms for each in the Exhibitor Service Manual. Blaine Convention Services, Inc. recommends Technology Resource Corp. for both computer and audio visual rentals and service.

Q: Do I have to pick the equipment up or is it delivered to me at the show?

A: Computers and audio visual equipment are delivered to your booth during the end of exhibitor set up. You should communicate with the vendor as to a specific delivery time, since someone from your company must sign for the equipment upon delivery.

Q: Am I required to pay drayage to the General Service Contractor for bringing in rented Computer/Audio Visual Equipment?

A: When you order your equipment through the show's recommended vendor (the vendor that supplied the form in your Exhibitor Service Manual) you are not charged drayage by the General Service Contractor. However, should you order though an outside vendor, the contractor is likely to receive the equipment at the dock and charge drayage as with any other dock delivery.

 telecommunications and Internet(top)
Q: Do I need to order a phone for my booth?

A: The answer is "it depends". Having a phone in your booth is very convenient, particularly if only one person is manning your booth. Payphones are not always located near your booth, and leaving your booth unattended to make a call may cost you lost business in your booth. Cell phones work better in hotels than in convention centers due to structural interferences.

Q: Do I order my phone through Blaine Convention Services?

A: No. Each facility makes arrangements to provide phone service to exhibitor booths. The service provider is often the venue itself via their own communications department. Sometimes, you must go directly to the phone company to place your order. Either way, your Exhibitor Service Manual should include an order form for you to submit directly to the designated vendor.

Q: When should I place my order?

A: As is always the case, the earlier the better. However, ordering early may be even more critical for phone service, particularly when you must go directly through the phone company. The earlier you order, the sooner you will know your phone number for publication to your home office, in marketing material, and to correspondence to potential customers and attendees.

Q: What about Internet service?

A:Internet connections are usually provided by the same vendor as phone service. If your manual does not include information about this service, you may want to contact the venue's convention services department.