TEL : 702-445-8294

Based in Las Vegas, Serving Trade Shows Across the U.S.

A-Z List Glossary of Trade Show Terms Part 2 S-Z

A-Z List Glossary of Trade Show Terms Part 2 S-Z



Here is the A-Z List Glossary Terms of Trade Show Terms from S to Z.



Table of Contents



Weights put around base to help anchor and hold materials. 

Sandwich Board

Two boards held together with hinges that form a tent-like structure for signs. Also known as Tent Boards. 

Schematic Model

A diagram in model form. 

Scissor lift (Cherry picker, Man lift or Boom Lift)

A mechanical device that can be motorized or manually operated to lift a laborer above floor level. A type of motorized lift that raises a working platform straight up and down.  


Theatrical term for fabric that is opaque when lighted from front and transparent when rear illuminated. 


System used to keep exhibits safe, such as guards, closed circuit TV, etc. 

Security Cage

Metal cage to lock up exhibitor materials. 

Self-Contained Exhibit

A display that uses the shipping case as an integral part of the exhibit. 

Self-Contained Unit 

Type of exhibit where crate is opened and becomes part of the exhibit. 

Self-Tapping Screw

A screw not needing a pilot hole (drywall screw.) 


A plastic material used in GEM structures. 

Service Desk

On-Site location for ordering or reconfirming services provided by General Service Contractor and Specialty Contractors. 

Service Kit

Manual containing general show information, labor/service order forms, rules and regulations and other information pertinent to an exhibitor’s participation in an exposition. Also known as Exhibitor Services Manual or Exhibitor Kit. 


The function of assembling and installing displays. Also known as Installation. 

Set-Up Drawing

Drawings which give detailed instructions for the installation of an exhibit. 

Set-Up Personnel

A labor crew that installs a show or exhibit. 


A horseshoe piece of metal used to fasten slings together temporarily. 

Shadow Box

Five-sided enclosure with face open for display of art or object; a niche. 


Freight tendered to a carrier by one consignor at one place at one time for delivery to one consignee at one place on one bill of lading. 

Shipments Without Delivery Receipts

Typically includes shipments through carriers such as Federal Express and UPS.


Person who arranges transportation of goods. 


Transportation of goods. 

Shipping Case

A container for exhibit components, usually made of wood or fiberglass. 

Shipping Crate

Wooden containers for transporting exhibit materials, which may be designed for a single use or custom-built for extended reuse. 

Shirring the Drape

Gathering drape along the rods to even out the folds and give each panel of drape equal spacing. 


Type of hanging hardware in the form of metal “S” used as a hanger for I/D signs, etc. 


Service contractor’s main office and warehouse. 

Short-Term Booking (STB)

Shows sold for the upcoming, or current year, after the deadline. 

Show Break

Time specified for the close of the exhibition and beginning of dismantling. 

Show Card

A type of material used for booth identification signs. 

Show Close Date

Date that a show-ends. 

Show Decorator

Company or individual responsible for hall draping, furniture, aisle carpeting, signage, etc. for trade shows.

Show Management

People or company responsible for an exposition.

Show Office

Office maintained by show management. 

Show Photographer

Official photographer for exhibition, appointed by show management. 

Show Producer

An individual or company that manages trade shows, including leasing the exposition facility, hiring official contractors, and promoting the show. 

Show Rules

The general rules and regulations governing a specific trade show set by show management and/or facility. 

Show site

Onsite at a trade show or event. 


General term for glazed or framed enclosure for display of objects. Also known as Display Case. 

Shrink Wrap

Process of wrapping loose items on pallet with transparent plastic wrapping. 

Side Chair

Chair having no arms. 

Side Door Loading /Unloading

Shipments tendered for delivery in such a manner as to prevent access from the rear of the trailer. 

Side Rail

A low drape divider used to separate one exhibit space from another. 

Sign Copy

Represents the wording, logo, etc. that will go on a sign. 

Sign Holder

A frame on a stand into which a sign can be inserted for display. 

Sign Service

Producing of signs for exhibitors and management. 

Sign Standard

A frame on a stand into which a sign can be inserted for display. Also known as a Sign Holder. 

Silk Screen

A printing stencil used for reproducing one or more times on a variety of materials. 


A wooden platform used to support machinery or a collection of objects for easier handling. In addition, wood blocks attached to crates that allow forklift access for easier handling. Also known as a Pallet. 

Skid Accessible Storage

A secured storage area available for an exhibitor’s materials that do not require refrigeration. 

Skirting or Skirts

A pre-pleated fabric made of polyester satin or taffeta, which is stapled to tables or counters. 

SL and C

Shippers Load and Count. 


A pre-made length of cable used for hanging exhibit materials or signs. 2. A pre-made length of cable or a heavy-duty nylon strap used for rigging machinery to cranes or forklifts.

Small Package

Any cartons or envelopes with a maximum weight of 50 lbs. per shipment, per delivery that are received without documentation. 

Sound Mix

Procedure of combining independently recorded narration, music and/or sound effect to single master tape or file, while at the same time establishing tone, volume and balance between elements. 


Exhibitor’s location in the hall. 

Space Assignment

Method of allocating space to exhibitors. 

Space Rate

The cost per square foot of exhibit area. 

Space Rent

Cost per square foot for exhibit space paid to Show Management by exhibitor. 

Special Freight Services

Applies to small passenger type vehicles being used for material shipments. Service includes 1 laborer with 1 pushcart in 1 trip. Designed for as many as eight (8) small hand carry type items weighing less than a total of 250 lbs and will all fit on a 3’ x 4’ pushcart for one (1) trip only. There is one cartload allowed per vehicle. 

Special Handling

Applies to display shipments requiring extra labor, equipment, or time in delivery to booth area. 

Special Handling Charges

Costs or charges associated with shipments requiring special handling. 


Twisting together of two or more electrical wires to provide continuous power. 

Spot Colors

Refers to a method of specifying and printing colors in which each color is printed with its own ink. In contrast, process color printing uses four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to produce all other colors. Pantone is the most commonly used spot color specification system. 

Spot Light

A lamp providing controlled circle of light. 


Placement of equipment in exact location in booth by using a forklift. 

Spotting Fee

The charge to spot equipment. 


A device used with crane for special lifting of equipment. 

Storage fee

A fee charged by the warehouse if goods for a show are stored between shows or arrive prior to the advanced warehouse arrival date set for the exhibitors show of attendance. 

ST Labor

Straight Time Labor – Work performed on straight time or at the regular hourly rate. 


ST/OT refers to the rate if machinery/material is handled on straight time into the show and overtime out of the show. Straight time is defined as Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Trucks signing in after 2:00 PM may be charged at the overtime rate. Overtime is defined as any time after 4:30 PM as well as Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. 


ST/ST refers to the rate if machinery/material is handled on straight time both into and out of the show. Straight time is defined as Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Trucks signing in after 2:00 PM may be charged at the overtime rate. Overtime is defined as any time after 4:30 PM as well as Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. 

Stacked, Cubed Out or Loose Shipments

Shipments loaded in such a manner as to require items to be removed to ground level for delivery to booth. 


Elevated platform for entertainment, speakers, etc. 



Trade Show Terms Stage




Individuals that are responsible for the installations of theatrical and stage lighting systems, as well as high rigging on suspended truss systems depending on the work jurisdiction. 

Staging Area

A location used for demonstrations. 2. Area set aside to get equipment ready to move on to show floor. 3. Area used to prepare trucks or privately-oned vehicles (POVs) for unloading or loading at dock. 

Stake-Bed Truck

A truck that has a flatbed body permanently attached to it that has slots for removable side gates. 


Upright post to support ropes for crowd control. 


European term for booth. 

Standard (Classic) Carpet

Standard grade of 16 oz. filament nylon carpeting available in pre-cut and custom sizes. Custom-cut carpeting includes 4 mil poly covering. Carpet packages include vis queen covering and padding. 

Standard Kit Rate also known as Regular pricing

The regular rate paid for ordered products and services after the discount rate expires. 


A direct reproduction of two-dimensional graphics without the use of photographic film. 

Standard Exhibit System

A basic model of exhibiting systems often provided by the general contractor or your local exhibit house.  

Standard U-Ground Cap

Has a parallel blade with a cord clamp and a rubber cap with a reinforced zinc-plated steel plate. The cord grip accepts all cords from 19/64” to 9/16” dia. Solid brass with #6-32 brass terminal screws backed out and staked and a grounding screw. Rated: 15amp 120 volt. 

Step Down Transformer

A device used in converting available power to meet machine power requirement. Step Up Transformer – Electrical transformer used to transform 208-volt power to 220-volts, or other voltage. 


An on-site union official elected by co-workers to oversee union’s work in the facility and resolve jurisdiction issues. Also known as a Union Steward. 

Stock Exhibit

A pre-designed display modified for a particular use by the exhibitor. 

Storage Area

Designated areas for storage of crates or materials. 

Straight Truck

A truck that has a van body permanently attached to it. Also known as Bobtail. 


Dismantle Exhibits. 2. To remove all scenery and props from the stage. 

Structural Pick Points

Truss mounting points – more mounting points required to support more weight. 


An additional, or temporary exhibit/official/association space. 

Subcontract Labor

Labor hired to perform work that cannot be fulfilled by the union labor pool.  Ex: United Maintenance to clean carpet, Advance Warehouse Labor, Lease Drivers, etc. 


Company retained by prime contractor to provide services. 

Supervised Labor

Union labor that is provided to a customer/exhibitor to install or dismantle a booth or exhibit space and is supervised and/or directed by GES. 

Supervision Minimum

Minimum amount charged for labor supervision fee. 


Additional charge to base rate such as a surcharge for receiving freight on overtime. 

Surge Protector

A surge protector is an appliance designed to protect electrical devices from power surges and voltage spikes. Surge protectors attempt to regulate the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or shorting to ground voltage above a safe threshold. 


T and M

Time and Materials; A form of billing in which a consumer is charged for labor costs (time) and materials. 



Table Top Display

Graphic designed for use on top of a table. 

Tack Board

A 4’ x 6’ or 4’ x 8’ board supported on legs that you can tack to the board and use to display posters, graphics, signs or other material. 


Type of material used for skirting or special draping. 


An individual or company hired to work in an exhibit to greet visitors, demonstrate product, or stage a performance. 

Tare Weight

The weight of a container and/or packing materials without the weight of the goods it contains. Also known as the empty weigh, weigh empty. Refer to: Gross Weight. 


Double-faced tape is used to adhere carpet within the booth space. Duct tape is sometimes used on the carpet edges and to secure carpet pad to the floor and carpet and pad together. Plastic tape is used to close carton, hold pads on blanket wrapped exhibits and for basic packing. 

Target Date

A designated day and time for arrival of freight assigned to a particular exhibitor or exhibit area depending on their location within the facility. Helps to ensure a smooth move-in. 

Target Map

Color-coded floor plan indicating freight delivery for individual booths.


Rules and rates of a specific carrier. 

Tax Exempt

Customer is exempt from paying taxes. 

Tax Exempt Certificate

Document needed from customer to verify tax exemption status in the state the show is held. 

Tear Down

Dismantle or disassembly of an exhibit. Also known as Dismantle. 

Telescopic Rod or Pipe

Horizontal drape support where one section slides inside another for use at various lengths. 

Temporary Imports

Temporary importation provisions are an important tool for companies who want to show their products in foreign markets or for professionals bringing tools of the trade into a foreign country for a limited period of time. 


Freight handling or dock area of carrier. 

Tent Board

See: Sandwich Board. 

Thin Wall

Lightweight electrical conduit. 

Three Wire

Term describing electrical cable with one continuous ground wire. (ALL SUBS SETS)

Three Dimensional (3D)

A flat image having the effect of three dimensions. 

Through Bill of Lading

A single bill of lading covering both the domestic and international carriage of an export shipment. An “air waybill” for instance, is essentially a “through bill of lading” used for air shipments. Ocean shipments, on the other hand, usually require two separate documents; an “inland bill of lading” for domestic carriage and an “ocean bill of lading” for international carriage. “Through bills of lading” cannot be used. Refer to: Air Waybill, Inland Bill of Lading, Ocean Bill of Lading. 


A method of securing shipment by use of nylon belts and block latches. 2. Securing a leveled hanging sign. 

Toggle Switch

A lever moved back and forth to open or close an electric circuit. 


A box which every exhibitor should carry containing tools and supplies to repair an exhibit or product in case of an issue. 

Total Weight

The weight of the actual shipment after the “heavy” weight and the “light” weight of the shipping vehicle has been taken. 

Touch Up

Paint and the act of painting nicks and scratches on an exhibit. 

Tow Motor

See Forklift. 

Track Light

A 4’ to 8’ track bar that holds light fixtures. 


Tractor is the driving unit of a large truck; trailer is the container unit. 

Trade Fair

Broadly, international term for an exposition. 

Trade Show

An exposition held for members of a common or related industry. Typically not open to the general public. 



Top Trade Shows In Florida A-Z List Glossary Terms of Trade Show Terms Part 2 S-Z



Traffic Flow

The movement of attendees through an exhibition, exhibit, or event. 

Trailer Accessible Storage

Available as locked access trailer storage for materials not requiring refrigeration. Space is available as 1/4 trailer, 1/2 trailer, 3/4 trailer or full trailer. 

Transient Space

Short-term rental space. 


A black and white or color translucent photograph or artwork. 


A heavy-duty traverse rod for drapery. 


A triangular beam structure utilized in overhead rigging. 


A metal device that pulls the tension and allows you to tighten the cable. 

Turnkey Exhibit

A phrase used to describe an exhibit where the exhibitor simply “turns the key” upon arrival at the show and opens the booth. Everything else is handled by their exhibit provider. 


Electrically or manual rotating platform. 

TV Monitor

A type of screen used to show a video image. 

Twinkle Lights

Flickering or intermittent lights. 

Twist Lock

Type of electrical plugs which are twisted together as opposed to standard male and female plugs. 

Twisted-Pair Cable

A type of cable that consists of two independently insulated wires twisted around one another. The use of two wires twist together and helps to reduce crosstalk and electromagnetic induction. 



Underwriters Laboratory – Underwriters Laboratory. An organization that grants electrical ratings. 



Ultra Plush Carpet

Highest grade of 50 oz. filament nylon premium carpeting with 4 mil poly covering (vis queen), anti-static treatment and 3M Scotchgard™ protection available in custom sizes. 

Uncrated Materials/Shipments

Material that is shipped loose or pad-wrapped and/or un-skidded machinery without proper lifting bars or hooks. 

Under-Carpet Distribution

Refers to the distribution of electrical wiring beneath booth carpeting as required. 


An organization of workers formed for the purpose of dealing collectively with their employer in wages, hours, working conditions and other matters pertaining to their employment. 

Union Jurisdiction

Jobs that the union has negotiated to be filled by its members. 2. Crafts covered by specified national or international unions. 

Union Steward

An on-site union official elected by co-workers to oversee union’s work in the facility and resolve jurisdiction issues. Also known as Shop Steward when in a warehouse. 

Unsupervised Labor

Union labor that is provided to a Customer/Exhibitor to install or dismantle a booth or exhibit space and, per customer’s election, is not supervised. Customer/Exhibitor assumes the responsibility for the work of union labor when Customer/Exhibitor elects to use unsupervised labor. 


The vertical post that supports back wall and side rail drape. Also known as Post, Stanchion, Tube, Pipe, Steel or Pilaster. 

Upson Board

Material used primarily for Tack Boards. 



Value Added Tax – A tax that adds to the overall price of a product reflecting the value added to the product by processing. 


An overhead, decorative border normally used as a light baffle. 

Van Line – Crated

Freight which is enclosed in some container (e.g. a cardboard box or fiber case). 

Van Line – Full Pad

A fully padded shipment. All pieces in the shipment are wrapped. 

Van Line – Partial Pad

A partially padded shipment. 

Van Shipment

Shipment of exhibit properties via van lines, often consisting of large pieces, crated or uncrated, such as furniture and exhibit materials. 


Applies to any rolling stock, self-propelled, towed and/or pushed vehicles or machinery. 


Brand name for a fabric closure with two components: hooks and loops. The two components adhere when pressed together and separate when pulled apart, allowing repeated use. 


A plush fabric like velvet, used for draperies. 


Plastic material used for drape or table tops. 

Vinyl Tops

Plastic tabletop coverings. 


Plastic covering over carpet for protection. 





Sometimes used as substitute for Tack Board. 


Carpeting an entire area. 


Building where you can store goods. 

Warehouse Handling In

Any materials shipped back to warehouse from exhibit site. 

Warehouse Handling Out

Any materials shipped to exhibit site from warehouse after the deadline to receive advance shipments. 

Warehouse Receipt

A receipt issued by a warehouse listing goods received for storage. 

Warehouse Storage

Location where you can store advance crated freight shipments. 

Waste Removal

Removal of trash from an area or building. 

Wastewater Drain

A temporary drain line usually leading into sewer system. 


An impression incorporated in the paper making process showing the name of the paper and/or the company logo. 


Unit of electrical power, equivalent to one joule per second. 


A charge assessed for handling cargo at a pier. 


Commonly used threaded nut with flanges for easy adjustment by hand, also called Butterfly Nut. 

Wire Nut

Plastic thimble with recessed spring, so it closes spliced wires to maintain electrical contact. 

Wishbone Leg

A type of leg found on 30” wide wood display tables. 

Work Order

A document prepared to authorize and detail a request for service. 

Work Rules

Regulations which govern union working conditions such as when overtime begins, etc. 

Work Time

Paid time that begins as soon as the workers are turned over to the exhibitor and stops when the exhibitor releases them. 

Working Drawing

The detail plans from which an exhibit is constructed. 


24 Hour Power/Service

When power is left on in a booth for 24 hours during the run of the show. Often required when there are refrigerators, fish tanks, computers, etc. in the booth. 

3rd Party Billing 

A contractual agreement between a party other than the exhibiting firm and GES. Hence, the third party is invoiced for all or part of the products and services purchased by the exhibiting firm. If the third party has not paid the invoice by the last day of the show, responsibility for the charges is reverted to the exhibiting firm for payment. 

4th Side Counter Skirt

A standard counter skirt is 3-sided with one side open. Therefore, the 4th side counter skirt encompasses all four sides of the counter. 

4th Side Table Skirt

A standard table skirt is 3-sided with one side open. Therefore, the 4th side table skirt encompasses all four sides of the table. 

TrueBlue Exhibits Service Standards
  • We Do It Right, The First Time and Every Time
  • 3D Booth Rendering
    Matches Reality
  • Always Go
    The Extra Mile
  • Win-Win Happy
  • Everything
  • Committed
    to Care
  • Customer
  • Clockwork