Labor Tips


1. First, not last, ask the general service contractor, GES, to help you with your problems and to answer any questions you may have. We are dependent on you, our customer, for your business. Remember we are here to serve you.

2. Furnish the individual responsible for setting up your exhibit at the show site with the following; 


  •   Bills of lading (paperwork you use in shipping your display materials).
  •   Complete layout of the exhibit. Make it as detailed as you can and include a photo if possible.
  •   Copies of all work or service orders you placed ahead of show set-up.
  •   Acquaint your set-up person with labor rates and regulations.

Emphasize the importance of staying on top of set-up and talking with Show Management immediately if any problems should arise.

3. To ensure that you do not have increased time on the setup of your display, make sure that all shipping crates are clearly marked and numbered on all sides with your company name and booth number for this show. Remove all old transportation and empty labels. There is nothing more frustrating than when a key element in your display is missing because it was delivered to the booth number that you had on the last show because you didn't remove the old labels.

4. Mount all graphics and photos permanently to wall panels. If this cannot be done, then mark all corner marks for these beforehand to avoid additional labor cost to measure and align at the show.

5. If you have special needs for material or tools to set your exhibit either bring them with you or specify your requirements at the service center before labor is dispatched to your booth.

6. Use modular display elements. Have your display constructed of identical looking and sized pieces. These parts should all go together simply with a minimum amount of labor on site; then all you have to do is concentrate on placing your product.

7. Plan the layout of your display and product before you come to the show. Set up your display in your warehouse and lay out your product beforehand. Then take pictures of it and mark the areas on the shelves with corner marks using masking tape. you'll save time and money by avoiding on-site decisions and changes.

8. Avoid display violations. Make sure that you have read your contract and the rules and regulations concerning booth construction beforehand. A few minutes of your time before the show can save thousands of dollars at show site, not to mention a lot of grief, frustration and overtime charges.

9. The way to avoid overtime rates for display labor is to place your labor order for 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. Labor is only guaranteed for 8:00 a.m.


1. What Will I Be Charged?

You will be charged straight time between 8 AM and 4:30 PM weekdays.

On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Straight Time labor will apply until 8:30 PM. Overtime rates will apply from 8:30 PM - 12:00 MIDNIGHT.

2. Do I Have to Be in the Booth to Supervise the Labor or Is There Another Option?

If you are in charge of the set up and dismantling of the booth then you should direct the carpenters and/or decorators as to what goes where and how it goes together. Or, if you don't want to supervise the set up and dismantling you can have GES supervise the set up and dismantling for you.

3. How Do I Go About Coordinating the Laying of My Booth Carpet, the Setting Up of My Display and the Installation of Electrical Before I Arrive?

GES is responsible for electrical services, installation of booth carpet and delivery of your freight. All you have to do is to send in floor plans, in advance, to GES along with a time schedule. They will coordinate the timely delivery and installation of electrical and carpeting before your freight arrives at the building.

4. If There Is a Change to My Schedule for the Labor that I've Requested After the Deadline Date, What Do I Have to Do?

You should call GES to inform them of any changes. You should then follow up with a letter or a fax.

5. Are GES and the Display Labor Unions One and the Same?

No, GES and the unions are not the same. GES is hired by Hall-Erickson to coordinate labor. GES management personnel are non-union, while the people they employ are union. All of the service contractors who work in the McCormick Place Complex go through the unions for the labor to set up and tear down the various trade shows.

6. If I'm Solicited for a "Gratuity" for Show Services, What Should I Do?

If tips are requested or suggested by any worker, it should be reported immediately to Show Management and/or the service center. The general contractor's working policy, as well as that of McCormick Place, prohibits the solicitation of exhibitors. Anyone soliciting a "gratuity" is subject to immediate dismissal. Try to get the person's name or badge number if you are approached so that they can be identified.

7. Can I Get the Same People Back to Dismantle My Booth that I Had to Install It?

Yes, we try to assign, as much as possible, the same union people to dismantle as you had set up the booth.

8. What Should I Do If I Have Problems with One of the People Who Has Been Assigned to Work in My Booth?

If you have problems with anyone working for you in your booth immediately go to or contact the service center. The service center will have a manager sent over to you and resolve the problem.

9. At What Time Should I Check Labor Out from My Booth at the End of the Day?

Straight time ends at 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Display labor must be checked out by you at that time. Allow yourself enough time to get from your booth to the labor dispatch to sign your workers out by 4:30 p.m.