by Lisa Grimaldi | March 01, 2006

The following checklist was compiled with assistance from the San Diego Convention Center (

Compile the following data.

  • Attendance history
  • Gross and net square-footage of exhibit space at past events or trade shows
  • Number of meeting rooms used
  • Number and type of food and beverage functions from
    previous years' events
  • A/V and other technological needs

  • Find out if other groups will be in the center during the event dates, including those that are moving in or out.
  • Will any renovations and/or construction be taking place during the event?
  • Is the center compliant with requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act?
  • What is the emergency evacuation plan?
  • How many miles is the center from the airport?
  • How many hotels are within walking distance?
    Is on-site parking available? How many spaces are there, and what is the rate?
  • Is a sample contract available for perusal?
  • Ask for references of groups similar in size and nature.

  • How do service contractors access the exhibit space, particularly if it is on multiple levels?
  • Where are the elevators, and what is their weight capacity?
  • How early can the exhibit and meeting space be accessed?
  • When can registration begin moving in? Where is the best placement for registration?
  • If the show draws more exhibitors than anticipated, is additional space available?
  • Does the center provide heating, air conditioning and full lighting during exhibitor move-in and move-out days?
  • Does the center have adequate equipment inventory (i.e., tables, chairs, staging)?
  • What is the total number of meeting rooms?
  • How many meeting rooms can be comped, based on rented exhibit space?
  • What is included with the meeting room (i.e., tables, chairs, water service)?
  • How soundproof are the meeting rooms?
  • How many room setups will the center arrange per event?
  • Is space available outdoors for functions, and is there a rental fee for using it? Is there a backup area in the event of inclement weather?

  • What are the center's exclusive services?
  • Who are the on-site service providers (both exclusive and nonexclusive)? Request price lists for all vendors.
  • Are there guidelines or requirements for using outside service providers?
  • Is a business center on site? What are its hours?
  • What are the telecommunications capabilities? Are there computer hookups in the meeting rooms and exhibit halls?
  • Who handles trash removal from the exhibit hall, and what is the fee?
  • What is the current rate of exhibit space per square foot, and what is the minimum daily rental? How is the minimum calculated?
  • Are show management offices included in the rental price?
  • If a meeting room setup needs to be changed, is there a fee?
  • What is the deposit schedule for facility rental?
  • What are the cancellation penalties?