Show rules that are consistent for all exhibits will be our topic for today. These rules deal with audio levels, moving lights, presentation areas, and a host of other topics. They all have one common thread – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
We are all looking for a way to attract attention to our exhibit. Things that move, lights, audio presentations and other animated display items are a key part of this attraction process. The trick is to know when you have crossed the line. Some of this has to do with the nature of the show and the proximity of your neighbor.
Let’s talk about the nature of the show first. Moving lights that are a distraction to your neighbors are generally not well received, and a violation of show rules if they flash into your neighbor’s eyes or across their booth structure. Putting a red or yellow beacon on top of your exhibit would be a clear violation – except at specific shows like a police car convention or military event. It is always best to ask the show organizer for permission or as the rule generally goes – be prepared to remove the culprit if your neighbor complains.
The same goes for audio levels. The rules are the same but island exhibits enjoy a leniency over linear exhibits for obvious reasons. If you have a large Public Address system with audience seating it can be beneficial to get a space on the front line and face the speakers towards the walls of the show instead of your neighbor. Show rules will tell you to have sound equipment face into your own booth space. Audio levels should not exceed 85 decibels when measured from the aisle. PA systems or any audio speakers are allowed in all exhibits as long as they do not distract your neighbors ability to conduct business in their space.
You can get a copy of these guidelines from the IAEE.com website. They have established the standards for exhibit rules and regulations that most show organizers follow today. The organization is called the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). The publication is called The Guideline for Display Rules and Regulations.
This publication will have diagrams and show rules for all the different exhibit sizes including many other types of exhibits that I did not cover such as cross aisle and end cap styles. It also covers general guidelines that I touched on here.