Different booth types have different display guidelines established by IAEE that must be adhered to for WEFTEC. See specific guidelines below, including height restrictions, equipment and vehicle display rules, hanging sign details, lighting, the camera policy and more. 

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Animals

Domestic animals: If you plan to use a domestic animal (i.e., cat or dog) in your exhibit, be sure to contact your Show Manager for approval. An insurance disclaimer will need to be completed. Upon proof of Show Management approval, disclaimer forms can be obtained through the McCormick Place Risk Management Department at (312) 791-7113.

Non-domestic, endangered or exotic animals: The use of these animals must be approved by your Show Manager. In addition to the disclaimer form, you must also contact our Loss Prevention Manager at (312) 791-7113.


Contact show management about a live animal display

Assigned Space & Activities

Adequate Space

All exhibitors must rent adequate space to accommodate their planned product display and shall arrange the displays so as to utilize only the booth area contracted for, to recognize the rights of other exhibitors and show visitors, and to conform to the overall pattern developed by the Show Management. No exhibit may interfere with the use of other exhibits, impede access to other exhibits, or impede the free use of the aisles between exhibits.

Exhibition Space & Exhibitor Functions

Exhibitors must confine their activities on the grounds of the exhibition facility to the space for which they have contracted; this includes booth personnel, the distribution of printed materials and the placement of signs. WEF policy prohibits functions being scheduled during WEFTEC Exhibition hours, Monday, September 23 - Tuesday, September 24 between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm, and Wednesday, September 25 between 8:30am - 3:30 pm.

Product displays are prohibited in hotel suites and locations other than the Exhibitor's rented space in the exhibit hall. Any violation of this requirement will result in the termination of the existing contract for exhibit space. If the Exhibitor has a function in an official WEF hotel, signs for that function may be placed in the public space of that hotel only. No Exhibitor signs may be placed in any other official WEF hotel for any other reason.

No soliciting of attendees is permitted in the aisles or in other exhibitors’ booths.

Aisle space shall not be used for exhibit purposes, display signs, solicitation, or distribution of promotional material. Exhibits, signs and displays are also prohibited in any of the common public spaces on the premises of the meeting facilities or in the guest rooms, lobbies or hallways of the hotels. WEF also prohibits non-approved publications and/or advertising in any of the common public spaces on the premises of the meeting facilities or in the guest rooms, lobbies or hallways of the hotels.

Equipment Demonstrations

The Exhibitor is solely liable for the operation of all displays and agrees to indemnify and hold WEF, its officers, directors, volunteers, employees, guests, invitees, and agents harmless from any and all claims of liability arising out of Exhibitor's exhibit, demonstrations and the like.

Giveaways, Contests, Drawings

Federal, state and local laws heavily regulate drawings, lotteries, and/or contests that have prize giveaways. The laws of each state and location vary widely. Each Exhibitor is solely responsible to ensure that all giveaways, contests, drawings, etc. conducted as part of its exhibit comply with all federal, state and local laws. The Exhibitor agrees that it is solely responsible and liable for any government action or legal claims, fees, penalties or charges brought relating to the Exhibitor’s promotional giveaway activities.

Presentations, Sound, and Entertainment

Sound presentations, slides or movies will be permitted if tuned to conversational levels (in no event greater than 85 decibels) that do not interfere with other exhibitor activities. Exhibits also may not use lighting effects which interfere with other exhibits.

Balloons & Drones

Balloons, Radio‐Operated Air Devices, and Drones

  • McCormick Place allows exhibitors to use helium-filled balloons.
  • To prevent escape to the ceiling, helium‐filled balloons and similar objects must be secured. If balloons do escape to the ceiling, a removal fee will be charged--exhibitors are strictly responsible for any removal charges.
  • Helium‐filled balloons or any other helium‐filled object may not be distributed.
  • Mylar balloons are prohibited due to their effect on the fire detection systems.
  • Radio‐operated blimps and similar devices are not permitted.
  • Exhibitors are not permitted to use a drone within the Complex for proprietary and safety reasons.

 

Booth Type Height & Graphic Regulations

Inline Booths - Maximum Display Height is 8'

Note: Inline Booths are also referred to as Standard or Corner

Inline booths are typically 10' or 15' deep and can be between 10' - 40' wide. They may have one or two corners. Inline booths are set with 8' drape across the width of the backwall and 3' side rail on each side of the booth

  • The maximum height of 8' (2.44m) is allowed only in the rear 5' of the booth
  • The maximum height allowed in the front 5' of the booth is 4' (1.22m)
  • Only freestanding signage is permitted; no hanging signs or other materials requiring the use of ceiling rigging are approved
  • Display materials should be arranged in such a manner so as not to obstruct neighboring booths' line-of-sight
  • Graphics and signage must display forward to the aisle (perpendicular from neighboring booths)
  • Download the IAEE Booth Guidelines

Perimeter Booths - Maximum Display Height is 12'

Perimeter booths are inline booths against a wall.

  • The maximum height of 12' (3.66m) is allowed only in the rear 5' of the booth
  • The maximum height allowed in the front 5' of the booth is 4' (1.22m)
  • Only freestanding signage is permitted; no hanging signs or other materials requiring the use of ceiling rigging are approved
  • Display materials should be arranged in such a manner so as not to obstruct neighboring booths' line-of-sight
  • Graphics and signage must display forward to the aisle (perpendicular from neighboring booths)
  • Download the IAEE Booth Guidelines

Download the list of Perimeter Booths

Island Booths - Maximum Display Height is 18'

  • The maximum height of 18' may be used through the entire booth space
  • The maximum height of 18' includes both freestanding display items and hanging signs at the top of the sign
  • Electrical/lighting truss or other support truss may be higher than the 18' maximum height, but may not exceed the booth's floor dimensions, and may not display any logo or other design elements, and may not be solid or opaque

Shared Island Booths—Maximum Display Height is 18'

  • Shared Islands will be set with 8' of drape between the two shared spaces
  • The maximum height of 18' may be used through the entire booth space
  • The maximum height of 18' includes both freestanding display items and hanging signs at the top of the sign
  • Graphics within a Shared Island booth must be set back 5' from the established shared drape line
  • Any signage or graphics facing the drape and closer than 5’ will be moved or removed at the Exhibitor’s expense
  • Electrical/lighting truss or other support truss may be higher than the 18' maximum height, but may not exceed the booth's floor dimensions, and may not display any logo or other design elements

Download the list of Shared Island Booths 

Line of Sight

Exhibitors displaying equipment, vehicles, etc. must follow the booth type line-of-sight rules: approved equipment in inline and corner spaces must be 5' back from the aisle; approved equipment in island booths must allow for a minimum of 2' from the aisle to absorb traffic.

All exhibit display elements, including opening doors, moving display parts, hanging signs, etc. must always be entirely within the confines of the cubic content of the booth space and may not overhang or rotate into the aisle at any time.

Pipe & Drape

Exhibitors whose booths are set with pipe and drape (Standard/Corner/Inline and Shared Island types) are permitted to use the pipe only to hang items comparable to the existing drape such as similar drape or a banner. No other use of either the pipe or drape is permitted.

  • Only S-hooks may be used to hang exhibitor materials from the pipe
  • The use of zip ties or any other hanging hardware is prohibited
  • Items hung from the pipe as part of the exhibitor's display must be solely visible within the contracted exhibitor's space and may not interfere with any other exhibitor's contracted space

Cameras & Filming

Only the Exhibitor may grant permission to have his/her exhibit and/or product photographed or videotaped. Exhibitor grants to WEF an exclusive, royalty-free, non-revocable license to WEF to use the photographs, videos, or other likenesses taken by employees or agents of WEF at WEFTEC in any and all media of any and all nature, now or hereafter developed, including but not limited to print and electronic media, in and for all languages, for WEF’s educational and promotional purposes throughout the entire World.

The only videotaping or electronic recording of any exhibit or equipment in the WEFTEC exhibit halls which may take place is by the Exhibitor recording his/her own exhibit or equipment. Any exhibitor taking photographs or videotape of another's exhibit or product without permission must relinquish the film or digital media upon request; the film or digital media will be disposed of one year after being relinquished. Exhibitors shall comply with the WEFTEC Camera Policy for Media.

WEFTEC Camera Policy

Covered & Multi-Level Booths

MultiLevel Booths or Ceilings (including tents)

  • All multi-level and ceiling booths must be pre-approved by show management and McCormick Place
  • Review all requirements below prior to submitting booth approvals
  • Requests for approval must include complete renderings with dimensions, showing all views, along with all information required by McCormick Place Fire Safety

Submit the Booth Design Form no later than July 26, 2019. Submissions must include renderings or diagrams of your design with width and height dimensions of all major structures and signage. You can create an account to submit the form or you may skip the login and complete it as a guest.

Submit Booth Design Form 

Booth Formats

Booths fall into one of the five following booth formats:

-       Format 1: Exhibits with two stories under 225 square feet

-       Format 2: Exhibits with two stories at or over 225 square feet

-       Format 3: Exhibits with ceilings under 225 square feet

-       Format 4: Exhibits with ceilings at or over 225 square feet

-       Format 5: Multiple‐level exhibits, which require automatic sprinklers or any of the above exhibits with installed automatic sprinklers. Separate fire code items apply.

For booth formats 1–4, you will need to comply with the fire code items marked yes on the following table:

Multi-Level/Covered Booth Fire Code Compliance

For exhibits using automatic sprinklers, the amount and type of sprinkler coverage needed depends on the booth specifications. If automatic sprinklers are preferred, or are required, contact our Fire Safety Office to discuss your options.

Fire Code Items for Multiple Level Booths

Maximum Dimensions: To avoid the sprinkler requirement, your exhibit must be less than or equal to 2 levels high (maximum 18-foot elevation*) or 5,000 square feet of enclosed area.

* note that the building fire code requirement is 30-feet, but the show height limitation is 18-feet.

Second Level: Second levels must remain open and uncovered. If they are covered, sprinkler protection will be required. Booths with a third level or more must also have special sprinkler coverage.

Staircases: Staircases between levels must be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum of 3 feet in width
  • Provide a handrail on at least one side
  • Provide handrails a maximum of 1‐1/2 inches in circumference and turned into walls
  • Not be spiral or winding

If the top deck is designed to hold over 10 people, or exceeds 1,200 square feet in area, a second staircase is required which must be remote from the main staircase and meet the same construction requirements.

Smoke Detectors: All areas under the second level or ceiling, including closets, need to be equipped with a UL approved (or similarly approved), battery‐operated smoke detector. If this space is enclosed after hours, the smoke detector must be audible outside the enclosed area.

Fire Extinguishers: A UL‐approved (or similarly approved) 2‐1/2 pound ABC‐type fire extinguisher must be posted in a clearly visible and readily accessible area for each 500 square‐foot enclosure.

Posted Certificate of Fire Retardancy: A certificate verifying the fire retardancy of your booth construction materials must be posted in a conspicuous place within the exhibit.

Certified Approval: After the booth has been designed, the blueprints must be approved and stamped by a licensed professional structural engineer. These blueprints should include dimensions and an isometric rendering. This approval applies to all booth formats outlined previously.

Fire Safety Review: Send stamped blueprints to McCormick Place for review with the Fire Safety Division and by the CFD at least 60 days before the show opens to allow sufficient time for any needed corrections. Show Management approval must be submitted at the same time. Be sure that plans show dimensions and an isometric rendering of your exhibit. In addition, all areas requiring sprinkler protection must be highlighted. If plans are not provided on time, it may cause delays or disapproval of your booth to occur during the pre‐show fire inspection.

Fire Guards: Once a multiple level booth or a booth with a ceiling is built and completed, and whenever the exhibit or show is closed for business, special fire watch coverage is required. Use of individuals designated as fire guards is subject to prior approval by the McCormick Place Fire Safety Manager.

Americans with Disabilities Act: All exhibits must comply with the ADA. For information on compliance, contact the McCormick Place Fire Safety Manager.

Entertainment

All music and entertainment should be in good taste and not include content that is sexually explicit or verbally offensive. Show Management shall make final decisions on the acceptability of questionable booth activities.

Equipment & Floor Load Capacity

Exceeding Booth Height Limitations

Exhibitions Management may approve requests to display equipment exceeding booth height limits under the following conditions:

  • Equipment exceeding the booth height must be in its standard commercial form, and not altered for exhibit display, or elevated with the use of display pedestals (equipment placed on display pedestals to be at eye level must remain within the height limit).
  • Exhibitor must receive approval from the Exhibitions Manager to display equipment exceeding booth height requirements. This request should be sent by July 26.
  • Equipment exceeding the booth height cannot have any displayed logos above the booth height limit.
  • No additional logos, signage, etc., may be placed on top of or otherwise affixed above the height limit.
  • Equipment must meet all guidelines outlined by McCormick Place.
  • If there is a possibility this equipment will exceed the floor load, the floor load exception request must be received by show management no later than July 26.

Submit the Booth Design form below to request approval. You must include renderings or diagrams of your design with width and height dimensions of all major structures and signage. You can create an account to submit the form or you may skip the login and complete it as a guest.

Submit Booth Design Form

Exceeding Floor Load

The floor load for both Hall A (South) and Hall B (North) is 400#/sf.

For equipment planned for display in an exhibitor's booth which exceeds the stated weight limits, the exhibitor must supply detailed plans of original equipment and weight load on all points, in accordance with the Center requirements, as well as plans showing proposed method of weight redistribution. A licensed structural engineer must certify plans.

Flooring

Booth Flooring is Required

All booths are required to have carpeting or other appropriate floor covering the complete rented booth area, regardless of the installation of other equipment, including trucks or vehicles.

Flooring Guidelines

Stick-on flooring is prohibited. Exhibitors may not use adhesive to adhere items to the center floor.

Exhibitors providing their own flooring must meet show management's minimum coverage standard:

  • Inline booths (10'x10', 10'x20', etc.) must cover a minimum of 9' deep from the front by the full width of the booth (10', 20', etc.)
  • Island, Shared Island booths, as well as Inline booths greater than 10' in depth must cover the complete square footage of the booth.

Exhibitors may request approval for exhibitor-provided flooring if they wish to do so by sending an email to Show Management with an image of the requested flooring as an attachment or web link.

Exhibitors without flooring pre-approval, carpet, or carpet/labor orders as of 12:00 pm Sunday, September 22, 2019, will have carpet placed in their booth at their expense.

Fog/Smoke Machines

The level of fog/smoke used as part of an event may set off the fire alarm system. To
eliminate this fire safety issue, McCormick Place restricts usage of fog/smoke machines to water based chemicals. The Fire Safety Department must obtain advance approval. A copy of the MSDS covering the machine along with an outline of where it will be used
and a schedule including rehearsal and show times must be given to your Event
Manager for review.

Show Management must separately approve the use of fog/smoke machines.

Submit request to use a fog/smoke machine in your booth

Hanging Signs & Display Items

Only Freeman is authorized to rig within the facility. Exhibitors requiring hanging of signs, lights, etc., must submit a Structural Integrity Form to Freeman.  All ceiling rigging must conform to Show Management rules and regulations and facility limitations.

Island Booths

The maximum height for hanging signs in Island Booths is 18 feet (5.4864 meters) at the top of the sign. Hanging Signs and Graphics for Island Booths must be directly over contracted exhibit space only and, if rotating, may not rotate into the aisles at any time.

Shared Island Booths

The maximum height for hanging a sign is 18 feet (5.4864 meters) at the top of the sign. Hanging Signs and Graphics for Shared Island Booths must be set back 5 feet (1.52 meters) from the shared drape line. 

IAEE Regulations

NOTE: Inline/Corner/Standard and Perimeters booths may not hang signs.

Shipping Hanging Signs

Overhead hanging signs are to be sent in separate containers directly to advance warehouse using the Hanging Sign Labels. This container MUST arrive by the September 10 warehouse shipping deadline. If these procedures are not followed‚ Freeman cannot guarantee the hanging of your sign or advance pricing.

Approved Labor

All overhead hanging must be assembled, installed, and removed by Freeman. Please refer to the Freeman Terms and Conditions found in the Exhibitors Services Manual as it relates. Please complete the Labor Order Form for labor to assemble your hanging sign.

  • Set up instructions must be provided for signs needing assembly.
  • Hanging anchor points must be pre-fabricated and ready for use.
  • Electrical signs must be in working order and in accordance with the National Electrical Code.
  • Electrical Service requirements must be ordered in advance using the Electrical Service Order Form
  • If any hang point supports are over 250 lbs., notify Freeman immediately for special authorization.

Height variances will not be issued.

Hanging Sign Labor & Order Forms

McCormick Place Hanging Item Policies

Hanging items are defined as any materials, including but not limited to, signs and machinery, which are hung from or attached to ceilings, exhibit structures or building supports. All requests for hanging items other than signs must be reviewed and approved by Show Management. For items weighing 500 lbs. or more, drawings must be reviewed, signed and stamped by a licensed structural engineer to certify structural integrity and safety. The responsibility to hang an item is shared by your general service contractor and the utility provider.

  • These rules and regulations provide absolute limits which cannot be exceeded under any circumstances or conditions.
  • Fire Retardant regulations apply to hanging items. Refer questions regarding fire retardancy to the Fire Safety Manager at (312) 791‐6079.
  • No hanging items are to be hung from any electrical fixtures, raceways, water, gas, air, fire protection, communications lines, piping, supports or hangers.
  • All electrical and neon items must conform to City of Chicago Electrical Codes.
  • The use of MIS, Octonorm or similar components systems for hanging signs is not permitted in McCormick Place.

Lighting & Sound

Booth Lighting

Exhibitors should adhere to the following guidelines when determining booth lighting:

  • No lighting, fixtures or overhead lighting are allowed outside the boundaries of the exhibit space.
  • Lighting including gobos should be directed to the inner confines of the booth space. Lighting cannot project onto other exhibits or show aisles.
  • Lighting which is potentially harmful, such as lasers or ultraviolet lighting, is prohibited.
  • Lighting that flashes, rotates, pulsates or has other specialized effects is prohibited.
  • Lighting simulating UV lights must be masked with smoked plexiglass or masked with drape so that the lights do not disturb neighboring exhibitors.

Sound in Booths

Public address systems are not permitted. The noise level from any demonstration or sound system should be kept to a minimum and should not interfere with others. Any speakers must be directed into the middle of the exhibitor’s booth space. The use of sound systems or equipment producing sound is an exception to the rule, not a right. The Water Environment Federation reserves the right to determine at what point sound constitutes interference with others and must be discontinued.

Exhibitors who wish to have live music for their exhibit must contact Show Management with the details of their live music request by August 23, 2019.

Request live music for your booth 

Personnel & Representatives

Exhibit booths must be attended and maintained by at least one exhibitor or exhibitor representative at all times during show hours. All representatives of the exhibitor must be registered and receive a badge to be admitted to the exhibit hall and participate in the vendor’s booth.

Booth representatives and exhibitor’s officers, agents, and employees may not wear clothing that WEF deems excessively scanty or revealing, or otherwise inappropriate or not in keeping with the character of the Exhibition. Prohibited apparel includes, but is not limited to, bathing suits, lingerie, excessively short skirts or shorts and/or other attire WEF deems scanty or revealing.

Selling in the Exhibition

The on-site sale and/or delivery of goods is not permitted. Any violation of this requirement will result in the termination of the existing contract for exhibit space.

Storage

Nothing may be stored behind booths. All packing containers, wrapping materials, carrying cases, etc., must be stored off the exhibit floor. All booths will be inspected to ensure compliance. Please contact Freeman to make arrangements for storage of empty crates and boxes. Empty labels are available at the Service Desk beneath the floor in Hall A (South) and at the rear of Hall B (North).

Exhibitors should not leave valuables or personal items (laptops, cell phones, PDA’s, purses, cameras, briefcases, etc.) on tabletops, behind booth drape, or in any unsecured areas of the exhibit. Please remove all such items from the building at the close of show each day. During move-out, please do not leave your booth unattended until all of your display materials have been packed and crated.

Vehicle Displays

Vehicle Notification Required

Show Management must be advised of all vehicles that will be displayed (regardless of whether they have previously displayed at WEFTEC) by July 26, 2019

The following information must be included:

  • Vehicle type
  • Dimension (L/W/H)
  • Weight
  • Whether the vehicle is in its normal commercial form, or has been modified for display (and if, so, how)
  • Whether attendees will be invited/anticipated to enter the vehicle

Submit the form below to notify Show Management. You can create an account to submit the form or you may skip the login and complete it as a guest.

SUBMIT VEHICLE DISPLAY FORM

All vehicles must move in on Wednesday, September 18.

Exhibitors should confirm orders and their vehicle move-in date with Freeman to ensure a smooth delivery of the vehicle.

Contact Freeman to confirm your vehicle move-in at FreemanChicagoES@freeman.com or +1-773-473-7080

Vehicle Display Requirements

  • Any vehicle or other apparatus that has a fuel tank and is part of a display, is required to be equipped with a locking (or taped) gas cap and can contain no more than 1/8 tank of fuel.
  • Once the vehicle has been positioned, it cannot be moved during show hours, without prior approval by the Fire Safety Manager or Designee.
  • Battery cables must be disconnected once the vehicle is positioned. The engine cannot be operated during show hours.
  • Refueling must be done off property.
  • One key to the vehicle must remain in the booth at all times.

Display Guidelines PDF

Download Display Guidelines PDF