First-time Exhibitors

Thank You for Exhibiting at SupplySide East 2020!

Are you ready for SupplySide East 2020? As a first-time exhibitor, we want to make sure your exhibition experience is as successful as possible. Below are frequently used terms and checklist you can use to help navigate the complicated process of arranging your exhibit space. Overall, the most important thing to prepare for the show is to make sure people know who you are before the show!

Frequently Used Terms

Exhibitor Console: The Exhibitor Console is your starting point for all important information. You can find everything you need to Exhibit here. See below for more information on what is included and how to log in.

Exhibitor Services Kit (ESK): The Exhibitor Services Kit has many different names including ESK, Service Kit, Exhibitor Services Manual, ESM or Service Manual. Whenever any of these terms are used it is about your Exhibitor Services Kit. The ESK is where you can find rules and regulations, order booth furnishings, accessories, find shipping addresses, access important dates and deadlines and much more! 

Target Move-In: The term target refers to a specific move-in schedule for each booth. Each exhibitor is assigned a specific date and timeframe when their freight must arrive at the event or they may receive an “Off-Target” charge or have freight refused, adding to shipping expense and frustration. 

Exhibitor Appointed Contractor (EAC): An exhibitor appointed contractor (EAC) is a company other than the event general contractor or official service provider that requires access to a booth during installation and dismantling. The EAC may only provide services in the facility that are not designated by the facility as exclusive to a designated provider, or by the show organizer in a contract as an exclusive service for the general or official service provider or other 3rd party.

First Time Exhibitor Checklist

1. Pay for Your Booth

Be aware of deadline dates for your booth contract. As of December, booth contracts need to be paid in full at the time of signature. For any questions or concerns, please contact the Sales Support Coordinator, Susan Ginn at

2. Utilize the Exhibitor Console

Each exhibitor has access to an Exhibitor Console on the event website. The Exhibitor Console page is a personalized tool you can use to access all the information you will need to plan for the event. The Exhibitor Console is live and can be found in the upper right hand side of the SupplySide East website, or on the Exhibitor Resources page. 

a. Update Your Company Listing – update your company name, ingredients/products and contact information as soon as possible. This information is used by the attendees to search companies before the event and to find you on the show floor.

b. Badge Registration & Hotel Booking – Where you can register your booth staff for their event badges and book hotel rooms.

c. A link to your Exhibitor Service Kit (ESK) – A link to your Exhibitor Service Kit (ESK) – Where you access the welcome letter, deadlines checklist, show rules and regulations and vendor order forms. 

d. Show Schedule – where you will find the Exhibitor Move-In dates and hours, Expo Hours and Exhibitor Move-Out hours (bottom of the webpage).

e. Exhibitor Tabs – This section includes the booth approval form link as well other required and optional forms and links. Be sure to review each tab for more information on requirements.                                                              

I. SupplySide Connect – gives attendees 24/7 access for 365 days a year to see what companies, ingredients and products will be at the show. This information integrates with the exhibitor search app and includes your uploaded photos. There is no cost to participate. 
II. Certificate of Insurance                                        

III. Sponsorship Opportunities                                                      

IV. First Time Exhibitor (tips)                                                          

V.  Interactive Floorplan                                                

VI. Downloadable SupplySide East Logo                                                   

VII. Lead Retrieval Form                                               

VIII. Shipping Addresses                                                   

IX. Shipping Labels                                                                                         

3. Read the Exhibitor Service Kit

It is important to read the entire Exhibitor Service Kit thoroughly. Below are the documents we recommend starting with.

a. Welcome Letter

b. Deadlines Checklist

c. Show Rules and Regulations

d. Booth Rules and Regulations

e. Certificate of Insurance (COI) Instructions

4. Know the Important Dates and Deadlines

Set calendar appointments for order discount deadlines, booth approval form deadline and your Target Move-In date and time to ensure you are saving money and have a smooth set up. All dates can be found in the Deadlines Checklist in your Exhibitor Services Kit and in the Exhibitor Console.

5. Know Who to Contact

We are here to assist you and know who to contact when you need assistance.

a. Account Managers: Contract your space, upgrade or add sponsorships, make contact or account information changes.                                             

I. List of Sales Account Managers and contact info

b. Client Services Specialists:  Questions about set-up, need help accessing your console, have questions about registering your booth staff or any time you are not sure who to ask!                                                  

I.  Client Services Specialist

c. Accounting Services:  Contact your accounting services representative when you have questions on payment or would like to make a payment over the phone              


6. Train Your Booth Staff

The best way to maximize your success at any event is to have a fully trained and engaged booth staff. Attendees have expectations when they come to your booth. Below are some tips to get started:

a. Be memorable & enthusiastic

b. Professional

c. Knowledgeable

d. Friendly

e. Courteous to your "guests"

f.  SMILE! Have a positive attitude. How often do potential customers make a special trip to see you?

g. Carry and use breath freshener spray or small mints (Tic Tac’s vs. large, bulky mints). Shy away from spicy or garlicky food and alcoholic beverages

h. Avoid chewing gum, eating, and drinking while in your exhibit space

i. Keep your booth neat & tidy!

j. While working the exhibit, don't sit in your booth or lean on the exhibit counters

k. Don't spend time talking on your cell phone, with booth neighbors, or to your other booth staff

l.  Make eye contact; never ignore a prospect, even if you're with another prospect. (Give them a nod and "just a minute" sign). Include them into your conversation

m. Greet attendees by name. If you can't pronounce it, ask!

n. Shake hands; match the strength of the other person's handshake and only "pump" twice

7. Put Together a Trade Show Kit

Include the kit in your freight or checked bag including:

a. Copy of your booth staff contact info

b. Copies of all orders and tracking numbers

c. Small tool kit

d. Staples, scissors and tape

e. Pens and markers for labels

f.  First Aid kit

g. Bottled Water

h. Mints or other breath freshener

i. Cleaning supplies (paper towels, cleaning spray, etc.)

j. Shrink wrap – if needed

8. Plan for Move Out

Move out is often one of the most confusing and overlooked parts of trade show management. Each facility, contractor, and show comes with their own unique move out challenges. Here are a few notes to get you started:

a. Pre-arrange your outbound shipping with a carrier who is familiar with tradeshows.

b. Plan Ahead! Contact your Client Services Specialist 6-8 weeks PRIOR to the event to discuss the move out process if you have any questions.

c. After emptying crates, place empty labels on all sides of your crates and cases. Remember to remove old empty labels. Additionally, the empty labels are sometimes color coded, so make sure you get the correct color and be sure your booth number is on each label. This will ensure no crates are lost or separated and will speed up move-out. Don’t forget to label your pallets if you need them back for return shipping. If they are not labeled they will not be returned to your booth.

d. Large shows take time for the crates, pallets and empty boxes to be returned to the booths for load-out packing. Please plan your departing flights appropriately. Loose cartons and fiber cases will be returned first so you can start packing. Wooden crates and skids will be next. Material return is random, and holding your empty crates during set up will not get your crates back to you any earlier. If you hold your empties, the Floor Manager will warn you at first and then have your empties removed.

9. Additional Tips

a. Exhibitor Newsletters – sent each month to all Key Contacts. Each issue contains the latest changes, booth information, sponsorship opportunities and deadlines.

b. Keep the total square footage of your booth space in mind when you order decorating items. Do not order more than will comfortably fit in your booth and allow you to do business.

c. If you have multiple locations, please complete a new and separate order for each location (booth, meeting room, etc.).

d. Take a company credit card to pay all balances due on show site and for deposits on rental equipment.

e. Work Zone - You should know that the show site and surrounding areas are active work zones. You need to be careful, and agents and representatives are present at their own risk.

f. Order Lead Retrieval system – track who visits your booth and receive a report at the end of the show.

g. Order Porter Services and Vacuuming – this is a food heavy event and trash removal and vacuuming are not included in your booth package.

h. Check out Sponsorship Opportunities – get your name in front of 3,500+ participants and improve your Priority Placement when selecting your booth next year. Sponsorship opportunities can be found by clicking here. To purchase, please contact Danica Cullins.

i. Advertise in the Natural Products Insider magazine – produces 27 digital issues and 6 print issues a year. Advertising money spent will improve your Priority Placement when selecting your booth next year. For more information, please contact Danica Cullins.

j. Invite your customers – as an exhibitor, you can invite as many customers and prospects to attend the show for $79! For more information, please contact Cassie Jensen.

10. Have Questions?

Exhibiting for the first time can be a lot to take in sometimes! Don't worry - we have a whole team to help. 

  • Contact your Account Manager for any questions on your booth contract, booth move possibilities, and sponsorship/advertising opportunities. 
  • Contact your Client Services Representative for any questions on the exhibitor service kit, booth ordering, move-in & move-out information.  

For any further questions on exhibiting or sponsoring, please contact Danica Cullins, VP Sales, at