Show floor tips for exhibitors: Show Labor

Posted on Dec 7, 2017 in News, Show Services, ShowRunner
Show floor tips for exhibitors: Show Labor

Once your booth is designed, built and packed, you’re all set for the show, right? Not so fast. If your booth requires show labor for install and dismantle (I&D), this post will walk you through some other key things you should be aware of.

It’s important that you have as much knowledge about your exhibit as possible. Your instructions should contain:

  • A list of all exhibit parts
  • A set of drawings that show how to construct the booth along with diagrams of how key components go together and come apart
  • Tools needed (laborers will provide ladders)
  • Packing guidelines

It’s also important to have a color rendering of the finished product so you know how the exhibit should look upon completion. The rendering will assist you in placing graphics.

Tip: We recommend taking pictures of every layer of the crate/container as you unpack the exhibit – that way, when it’s time to repack the display, you will have a roadmap for safely and efficiently packing the exhibit during dismantle.



If you plan to use Show Labor or hire an Exhibitor Approved Contractor (EAC), here are some additional suggestions:

  1. Be friendly and treat the show laborers with respect.
  2. Be open to the suggestions of the laborers. They can really help you or make your I&D experience more difficult.
  3. Though they may be experienced with exhibit materials, show laborers do not always know the most efficient way to set up/take apart your exhibit. If you are supervising the I&D, let the laborer know that you are the person in charge.
  4. If you are paired with an inexperienced laborer, you always have the right to go to the labor desk and request a new laborer. Be aware that a change may take a while and it may eat into your setup time waiting for a new laborer to be assigned to your booth.
  5. It’s important to keep track of time when you’re supervising show labor to ensure you get the most work done for your money. Find out from your exhibit provider how long it should take to install and dismantle your exhibit and manage to those estimates.
  6. Billing most often occurs in full hour increments, so the best time to cut a show laborer is typically towards the end of a work hour, or at the point where the laborer is no longer being fully utilized. Be advised that the time to return ladders and sign out a laborer is part of the billable time.
  7. EAC laborers usually have a 4-hour minimum time requirement per laborer.
  8. If you hire a supervisor from the show labor pool or EACs, you will be billed a fee based on a percentage of the total labor charge (typically 30-35%).
  9. Hopefully you can handle any small finishing details without show labor, saving you some money on expensive labor services.



If you’re looking for help ensuring you get the most from your show labor, you can hire an I&D Supervisor from the company where you rented or purchased your exhibit. The supervisor will be there to manage laborers, ensure the booth is built properly, to answer questions knowledgeably, and to help you make the best use of your labor dollars.  The supervisor will also see that the outbound shipping paperwork is submitted properly, ensuring that your exhibit gets shipped with the carrier you have designated.

When you’re ready to find out more about how to best utilize show labor, or about what our I&D Supervisors can do to help make your setup and dismantle easier, we’re here for you.

We’re with you every step of the way.

Team Nichols