you know you need, while providing
the option to expand your footprint
should you need it in the future.
By obtaining a right of first refusal,
the convention center is required
to ask you if your event would like
additional space before selling it to
• What is the tipping policy for personnel?
Have an open discussion with the
convention services manager and/
or labor contractor to understand
the tipping policy, as well as what’s
appropriate and what’s not.
Everything is up for negotiation on the
front end. Having a reference list of negotiable elements before negotiations begin
can provide a much-needed perspective
and help ensure a “win-win” agreement
for all involved. Consider the following
elements when entering into contract
negotiations with the convention center:
• Rental price per square foot and how
• Flat rate and the ratio of load in/out
days to show days
• Air conditioning, heat for load-in/out
JUDGE US BY THE COMPANY WE KEEP
• Lighting — show lighting or half
lighting for load-in/out
• Dumpster fees
• Cleaning fees
• Electrical power (discounted if pro-
vided by the convention center or
subsidized by the center if
provided by an outside supplier)
• Internet service
• Room re-set fees
• Complimentary use of table
• Marshaling yard
• Catering rebate
• Convention center’s share of adver-
tising revenue from sponsors
• Parking rates for local attendees
• Rekeying fees
• Audio patch fees
• Complimentary use of built-in theat-
rical lighting, audio
American Academy of
• Walk the space with your event
manager to check out the condition
of the facility. Take photos to document any damage that precedes your
• What is the access policy to the center? What doors are open for entry
during specific hours? Are there any
special passes required after hours?
How is the building secured?
• Meet the fire marshal. If the fire
marshal has any concerns, this
meeting allows for a conversation in
which to find a solution together, as
opposed to a faceless mandate.
• When will final invoicing be done?
Set a time to review your invoice
with your event manager, in-person,
near the end of the event. If there
are any initial corrections, these can
be discussed before final invoicing.
Request a copy of the changes (even
if just handwritten) to take with you.
American Health Information
While the items below affect the on-site
experience, several should be discussed
prior to arrival:
Material Handling Equipment
Prior to Arrival
• What is a reasonable expectation for
response time to requests?
• When is it best to involve the event
manager, and when should you go
direct to someone else? Acquire a
list of who gets called for what services.
• What is the policy regarding personal
transportation inside the convention
center? Are Segways, scooters, bikes,
skateboards or roller blades permit-ted?
• Request the convention center’s
emergency response plan, and communicate it to all key personnel.
Sending a formal thank-you letter to
both the center and the city goes a long
way, especially if you want to return to
the city in the future. Be specific
regarding what you appreciated, and
note specific individuals deserving of
18 West Campbell
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Tom Hohenadel – firstname.lastname@example.org
Association Insurance Specialists
Mark Ledogar is senior vice president, One Smooth
Stone, and serves as executive producer for a
variety of clients. For more information, visit www.