Exhibit Operations

Exhibit Operations

Take a moment NOW to review this information – it can save you a great deal of time and expense at showtime!

What's Included in my Exhibit Space Rental?

All standard in-line booths are provided with:

  • a drape background 8′ high along the back wall
  • one (1) identification sign showing your company name and booth number

Other services include:

  • Credentials for your full-time exhibit personnel.
  • Inclusion in the On-Site Exhibits Locator and the ALA web page.
  • Access to purchase the registration database for pre-show and post-show mailings.
  • Removal, storage, and return of empty boxes, cartons, crates, and skids.
  • Carpeting of all aisles in the exhibit hall.
  • Twenty-four hour general hall security.

For the Small Press area, your exhibit space rental includes one draped table, 2 chairs, carpet and one identification sign showing your company name and booth number. See this page for additional rules and regulations for table top exhibits. 

Please note that booth furniture (tables, chairs, etc.) and material handling (shipping/drayage) are not included with your exhibit space rental. Ordering details are included in the Exhibitor Manual.

What other items may I need to purchase?

  • Booth furnishings: (tables, chairs, etc.) ordered through general contractor 
  • Booth vacuuming: ordered through the facility or general contractor (depending on event location)
  • Carpeting: ordered through general contractor
  • Utility service (ie: electricity, internet, telephone): ordered through utility contractor or facility 
  • Lead Retrieval
  • Material Handling: If you ship a booth to the warehouse or directly to the Exhibit Facility, you will be responsible for the Material Handling fees associated with the movement of your freight within the hall. The final cost is based on the weight of your freight.

Note: Exhibitors are reminded that booth carpet or floor covering is mandatory in all booths.

Exhibitors may bring their own carpet/floor covering, or order booth carpet from GES. 
Any booths that are set up on-site without carpet/floor covering installed by 1:00pm on Friday, June 28 will be automatically carpeted at the exhibitor's expense. Show site rates will apply.

Note: Booth carpet is included in Small Press / Product Table exhibits, and in the Mobile App and Diversity in Publishing pavilion exhibits.

Exhibitors may order booth carpet, furnishings, tables, etc. from GES. Refer to the Exhibitor Manual to order additional services.

General Information

Admission to the Exhibit Floor

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not bring children under the age of 16 to the exhibit hall during installation or dismantle. Due to safety and insurance regulations, children are not permitted during these times.

ALA does not restrict children’s access to the exhibit floor based on age during Show hours. Parents or guardians must accompany children (under 18 years of age) and are responsible for their behavior. All persons on the exhibit floor must have proper registration credentials.

Accessibility Services

Wheelchairs, information booths, designated parking, TDD, telephone and other services are available for visitors with disabilities. The San Diego Convention Center is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and continues to look for ways to accommodate all visitors.

Please be sure to read the Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines created by the ERT on making your booth accessible. These are suggestions that can help increase traffic to your booth by persons with disabilities. Compliance optional, but encouraged.


The American Library Association strongly encourages you to insure your property from the time it leaves your facilities until it is returned after the Exhibition. In most cases, a rider can be added to your present policy for a nominal cost that will protect your property while it is out of your control.

The American Library Association, its agents, Hall-Erickson, Inc., the San Diego Convention Center and/or their respective agents will not be responsible in any way for the safety of any exhibit or material against theft, fire, water, accident, or any cause, nor for the loss of damage to goods consigned to its care.

No Smoking Policy

Smoking, vaping, the use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco items is prohibited at Annual Conference & Exhibition Events, regional national conferences, continuing education programs, exhibits and other gatherings sponsored by the ALA. 


Entry to and exit from the exhibit area will be possible only through the main Show entrance and all persons entering and leaving must wear a badge issued by ALA Show Management. During the installation and dismantling periods, no one will be permitted in the exhibit area before 8:00am. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not bring children under the age of 16 to the exhibit hall during installation or dismantle. Due to safety and insurance regulations, children are not permitted during these times.

Lost or stolen property must be reported to the Security Office as soon as possible. Please remember that any claim must be properly documented in order to receive reimbursement from your insurance company.

Exhibit Directory & Exhibit Floor Activity Guide, and Online Exhibitor List Listings

Deadline to edit company listing for publication in Exhibit Directory & Exhibit Floor Activity Guide: April 12, 2024
To submit your 200-character company description, company logo and select the product/service categories that best fit your company, please follow these instructions: 

Select or enter this link: https://hallerickson.ungerboeck.com/prod/app85.cshtml?aat=kVWv0Y7vWqGWZjNl0Ex%2btnJ5bWDN3p4iFJIAnu6y8Uk%3d

Sign In with the email address of record for the booth and the password. If you enter any email address other than the one on file, you will not be able to access the Profile Editor. 

If you do not know the password, please enter the email address on file and click on the Forget your password? link. This will email instructions on how to reset your password. Please note, password emails will come from [email protected]. After resetting your password, return to Sign In with the email address of record and the new password. 

Select Profile Editor and enter your company information as you wish it to appear. Company descriptions are limited to 200 characters, including spaces. Acceptable file format for logo graphic is .png. 

When you are finished, click Save & Complete to submit your listing information. 

Please update your listing by April 12, 2024. 

If you have any questions, or need assistance, please contact us at [email protected].  

If you wish to have additional listings with your booth number, please contact [email protected].   

Directory Listing Warning 

As an exhibitor, your listing in the official ALA Annual Exhibit Directory & Exhibit Floor Activity Guide is always complimentary. Please disregard all solicitations from third party suppliers offering directory listings. They are not affiliated with the American Library Association, the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition or Hall-Erickson, Inc. If you are approached by a questionable supplier, please contact [email protected].

Exhibit Rules and Regulations

These rules, as developed by the Exhibits Round Table, are based on industry standards, physical limitations of the exhibit hall and the needs of the ALA exhibitions. Their intent is to ensure each exhibiting organization, regardless of size, an equal opportunity, within reason, to gain access to the attending audience while providing an opportunity to explore new and creative marketing techniques. The underlying responsibility is that each exhibitor act as a “good neighbor.”

General Guidelines

Show Management shall make all final determinations as to which rules are being violated and it shall be the responsibility of Show Management to review all exhibits and enforce the rules of the exhibition. Any exhibitor who is unsure of the interpretation of any rule or who may be in violation of rules is responsible for notifying Show Management in advance for further clarification.

Responsibility lies with the individual exhibiting organization to comply with all rules and regulations as stated by Show Management in the exhibit space contract, Exhibitor Manual, Exhibitor Update or other regulations and communications. Any request made by Show Management to bring a display into compliance will be respected and any changes to exhibit structure or display will be the financial responsibility of the exhibitor.

Exhibitors will be notified by Show Management if found in violation of any rules or regulations. If after this first warning, an exhibitor fails to comply with rules involving sound, lighting or multimedia, management will discontinue electrical service to the offending apparatus for a time period deemed appropriate. If electrical service is restored and a second warning is required, electrical service will be discontinued to the apparatus for the remainder of the conference. Should a second warning be required to correct any rules or regulation the exhibitor will lose seniority for the next two exhibitions.


The following rules apply to all exhibits.

  • Exhibitors are prohibited from showing or advertising products or services which in the opinion of ALA are primarily aimed at other exhibitors.
  • Exhibitors are prohibited from distributing at the convention center advertising or promotional material for entities other than the registered exhibitor unless special permission is obtained from ALA (e.g., for combined booth space of small exhibitors.)
  • Exhibitors are prohibited from any form of advertising or solicitation at the convention center outside of the exhibit booth space and from door drops or advertising signage at ALA-contracted conference hotels, without the advance written permission of ALA.


All aisle space belongs to the Exposition. No exhibit or advertising will be allowed to extend beyond the space assigned to the exhibitor. Booth representatives including models, demonstrators and actors in costume must remain in their own exhibit space throughout the show. They are not permitted in the aisles, other exhibitors” booths or public spaces. Any demonstration or activity which results in the obstruction of aisles or prevents ready access to neighboring exhibitors’ booths shall be suspended for any period specified by Show Management.

Americans with Disabilities Act

All exhibiting organizations are required to be in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are encouraged to be sensitive, and as reasonably accommodating as possible, to attendees with disabilities. Information regarding ADA compliance is available from the U.S. Department of Justice ADA Information Line (800/514-0301) and from the web site www.ada.gov/infoline.

Universal Access and ADA Accommodations-Exhibit Design

Exhibits are public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and each exhibitor is responsible for ensuring that show attendees who have disabilities have access to all of the demonstrations, information, contests, giveaways, or other services offered at a booth.
Please see the accompanying guidelines.


Live animals are prohibited in exhibit space.


The display and distribution of balloons will not be allowed at any time within the exhibit hall. Balloons create many housekeeping problems and are particularly detrimental to the fire detection systems installed in the exhibit hall. Their use is strictly prohibited.

Crate Storage

Empty crates, boxes, skids, etc. that exhibitors have labeled “Empty” will automatically be removed from exhibitors’ booths, stored and returned at the conclusion of the exhibition. “Empty” stickers will be available from the Official Contractor. There is no charge for this service.

Damage to Property

Exhibitors are responsible for damage to uncrated or improperly packed shipments, concealed damage, loss or theft of material after delivery to booth or before material is picked up for return movement. It is expressly understood that the exhibitor will make no claim of any kind against Show Management for any loss, damage or destruction of goods, nor for any damage of any nature to this business by reason of the failure to provide space for any exhibit or the removal of the exhibit.

Disposal or Storage of Packing Materials

Special care will be necessary in unpacking merchandise for display. Loose cardboard cartons will not be accepted for storage unless they are knocked down flat and securely tied into bundles and properly tagged.

Be sure to remove all old labels first. It is suggested that small crates be nested in larger ones to reduce the number of pieces to be stored and thereby hasten their return. No boards or skids will be accepted for storage unless securely tied into bundles and tagged. Materials not in accord with these regulations will be considered refuse and will be disposed of by the cleaners.

No Storage of Any Kind Will Be Permitted Behind Your Display

All combustible materials, which are not an integral part of the display, must be removed each night unless stored in a metal container. However, to facilitate repacking merchandise at conclusion of the exhibit, some exhibitors have found it convenient to remove knocked down cartons to their cars and hotel rooms for ready access.

Early Dismantling

No exhibitor will be allowed to dismantle any portion of their exhibit prior to the end of exhibit hours on the final day of exhibits. This is a discourtesy to those attending the Show and to your neighboring exhibitors. Exhibitors who dismantle prior to the closing of the show will forfeit accrued seniority for the next two ALA Exhibitions.

Food Service

Food and beverage service (including alcoholic beverages) in your assigned booth space may be allowed if approved in advance by Show Management. All requests must be submitted in writing 60 days prior to the show opening. Requests to serve items which detract from the exhibit’s professional appearance will not be allowed or approved. Popcorn is not allowed.

After receiving Show Management approval, it is the responsibility of the exhibitor to contact the exclusive convention center caterer to place all orders. Catering menus and order form can be found in the Exhibitor Manual.


No lighting, fixtures, lighting trusses or overhead lighting are allowed outside the boundaries of the exhibit space. Lighting should be directed to the inner confines of the booth space. Lighting should not project onto other exhibits or show aisles. Lighting which is potentially harmful, such as lasers or ultraviolet lighting, will not be permitted. Lighting that spins, rotates, pulsates and other specialized lighting effects should be in good taste and not interfere with neighboring exhibitors or otherwise detract from the general atmosphere of the event. Exhibitors intending to use light systems should submit drawings to Show Management for approval.

Logo Usage

Logos and graphics will be posted on the Annual Conference website Promotional Toolkit page for your general use and to communicate with your customers and audience that you will be exhibiting or participating in the Annual Conference Exhibits. The custom logo of the ALA Annual Conference is the property of the American Library Association and may not be used by other entities unless Show Management has approved the use in writing as part of a specific sponsorship program.

Use of logos in promoting your participation in ALA events should be directed towards your customers and attendees, and is not to be used to solicit other companies/vendors. Acceptance of an exhibit space contract does not provide an endorsement of an exhibitors products or services.

ALA Logos & Guidelines for Use

The logos of the American Library Association are ALA trademarks and may only be used by those who have received prior written permission from ALA for a specific use. This permission is usually granted based on a shared initiative or special relationship, and requires a specific ALA or ALA division contact name. Refer to https://www.ala.org/aboutala/contactus/rights/logo-rules for logo use rules.


Any multimedia display (video wall, video projection, animatronics, robotics, etc.) which is deemed in violation of the Sound and Lighting regulations by Show Management will not be allowed.

Multi-story Exhibits/Single Level Covered Exhibits

In most facilities, multi-story exhibits require prior approval by the exhibit facility and/or relevant local government agencies because it is deemed to be a “structure” for building purposes. Often structural and/or Convention Center Guidelines exist which dictate booth construction. Exhibitors utilizing this type of structure should seek guidance from Show Management prior to installation of multi-story exhibits. All requests must be submitted in writing 60 days prior to the show opening.

Noise Levels in Displays

Exhibits which include the operation of musical instruments, radios, sound projection equipment, public address systems or any noisemaking machines must be conducted or arranged so that the noise resulting from the demonstration will not annoy or disturb adjacent exhibitor and their patrons, nor cause the aisles to be blocked. Operators of noisemaking exhibits must secure approval of operating methods before the exhibits open. Noise levels must be held to an 80-decibel maximum at all times. 

Show Management will monitor the 80-decibel regulation on-site. If an exhibitor is in violation of the 80-decibel regulation, they will receive one warning. If the exhibitor continues to operate noisemaking exhibits in excess of 80-decibels after the first warning, Show Management reserves the right to cut the power of the offending mechanism, or otherwise ensure the noisemaking mechanism is shut off. Any expenses incurred in this instance will be the sole responsibility of the exhibitor.


Exhibitors may use sound equipment in their booths as long as the noise level does not disrupt the activities of neighboring exhibitors. Speakers and other sound devices should be positioned so as to direct sound into the booth rather than into the aisle. Any sound that exceeds 80 decibels measured at the edge of an exhibitor’s booth is considered objectionable and will not be allowed.

Exhibitors should be aware that music played in their booths, whether live or recorded, may be subject to laws governing the use of copyrighted compositions. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are three authorized organizations that collect copyright fees on behalf of composers and publishers of music.


Rules vary depending on the facility, but generally it is required that vehicles on display have no more than a 1/4 tank of gas. The gas tank cap should be sealed and the battery disconnected. Exhibitors utilizing any vehicle should contact Show Management for approval and facility specific regulations.

Display Rules

Read this section carefully to avoid unnecessary on-site challenges or costly modifications.

These display rules must be adhered to on-site, or your display may have to go through costly alterations before the Show opens. The display rules are not meant to limit your ability to showcase your product, but rather to ensure each exhibitor an equal opportunity, within reason, to present their product or service in the most effective manner to the audience. The exhibitor’s responsibility can be summed up quite simply as “Be a Good Neighbor.”

Your agreement to abide by these display rules is a part of the space contract, and they will be strictly enforced by our Floor Managers at show time.
Booth Configurations
Rules and Regulations (back of contract) 
ADA Guidelines
Show Site Work Rules 

Request for Hanging Sign Approval

A Hanging Sign is defined as an exhibit component suspended from the ceiling above or displayed on an exhibit cross-aisle header for the purpose of displaying graphics or identification.

Island and Cross-Aisle Booth Configurations are the only booths that are permitted to display a hanging sign. Hanging identification signs and graphics will be permitted to a maximum height of corresponding booth configuration regulations, provided written approval is received from exposition management.

Show Management requires that all companies wanting to have a Hanging Sign MUST submit a structural drawing, regardless of whether the hanging sign has been used in past shows. All drawings MUST note booth size and structure height. Show Management will review all drawings, and a copy of the drawings will be kept on file.

Request for Hanging Sign Approval Form

If you plan on having a hanging sign, please return this form to [email protected], fax: 630/434-1216 by May 7, 2024. Structural drawings are due to Show Management by May 17, 2024.

Please note, this form does NOT cover structural approval. This form is only to request approval to have a hanging sign from show management to meet ALA rules. All exhibitors who obtain approval to have a hanging sign from show management MUST check with the convention center and Official Contractor to adhere to all structural integrity guidelines and obtain approvals. Please review the Hanging Signs information in the Exhibitor Manual to order hanging sign labor.