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EXPO 2023: MHEC Fall Supplier Meeting and Reception
Worcester DCU, Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Meeting and reception: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
This meeting and reception is held the evening before EXPO and provides a chance for MHEC and our suppliers to gather, connect, and relax before the big day. Often, suppliers join us directly from setting up their booths earlier in the day. The meeting covers recent updates to MHEC and our contracts, and a chance to talk with our strategic sourcing managers. There will also be a catered reception.
NOTE: Both the meeting and reception are free to registered suppliers, but you must indicate on the registration form how many are attending. (We don’t need names of everyone who’s attending—just a number.) Please register here.
EXPO 2023: Autumn in New England
Thursday, September 21, 2023
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: DCU Exhibit Hall, Worcester, MA
1. SHIPPING & LOAD IN OPTIONS AT DCU:
Suppliers can choose one of three different approaches to shipping and/or loading in at the Worcester DCU Exhibit hall:
A. Work with Capital Conventions, the company managing the event. Ship directly to them, and they will set you up per your directions. For complex setups, this can be the simplest option, but also the most expensive. An exhibitors manual that describes this process will be coming soon. The Capital Convention team will be onsite on September 20 and the 21 to receive the material.
B. Alternately, suppliers can ship directly to the DCU Center. The center’s union staff will help unload, bring materials to your booth location and assist you setting up. NOTE: If you choose this option, you still have to fill out the material handling forms from Capital Conventions and ship through them (meaning to their attention at the DCU Center, as noted in their shipping forms).
C. If you are bringing your own materials for your booth with a small wagon or handcart and don’t require labor, suppliers can enter through door 26. There is nowhere to unload near door 26, so exhibitors using this option must be able to carry their supplies themselves.
2. ENTERING THE DCU:
Door 20 is where vehicles can enter the building to be unloaded. Capital Convention and the DCU will have staff there to greet you.
As explained above, Door 26 is for pedestrians and reached via the sidewalk.
3. EXHIBITOR SHOW SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, September 20: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thursday, September 21: 6:00 am – 8:30 am
Set-up must be complete before doors open for our members.
Thursday, September 21: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thursday, September 21: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Drivers for all carriers must be checked in at the Capital Exhibitor Service Desk for pickup of freight by Thursday, September 21, 2022; 5:00 PM.
4. PRE REGISTERING BOOTH REPS:
Basic booth registration allows each organization to bring three (3) people at no additional cost. If a team wants to add a member beyond three, each additional person costs $150, if registered prior to the event.
Shortly after you register, an MHEC representative will reach out via email to confirm who will be at your booth. Please review the report carefully and provide us any updates/changes or additions. So we can include you in our EXPO program, we require all exhibitors register and confirm which three (or fewer) people are coming before September 1.
For those who have already registered, you can update this information yourself following these instructions:
- You can log back into your account via admin.map-dynamics.com
- You will need to know the password you created when you registered
- In your account, you can add and edit your public profile, add personnel, and view your balances
We understand that last-minute changes can occur. Printing a new badge that substitutes one person’s name for another can be done at no cost at the event. Adding any additional team members on the day of the event, though, is $200 per person.
5. ORDERING UTILTIES AT THE DCU:
Contact the DCU directly through their portal.
This can also be ordered directly through the DCU. Basic 5mbps Wifi is included with your booth fee. If you desire a higher connection speed of 10mbps, this is available to purchase from the DCU. Details coming soon.
7. NAME BADGES:
When arriving on Thursday, September 21, please pick up your name badges at Exhibitor Registration. You cannot enter the exhibit hall without a name badge. You must wear your name badge throughout the day. This year, supplier and member badges will be clearly different, allowing everyone to know who’s who at a glance.
8. FURNITURE SUPPLIERS:
We anticipate you’ll have lavish plans for your booth space, and we encourage you to outfit your space any way you see fit. By default, you will receive a table (6’) and 3 chairs in your booth. If you don’t need these items, please let us know in advance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise Capital Conventions.
9. BEST BOOTH AWARDS:
We will continue to have 3 awards for best booths. We are encouraging exhibitors and members to get in the spirit for this year’s theme: Autumn in New England! Based on survey results, our attendees like seeing exhibitors who are engaged and have interactive displays on products covered in your contracts. Feel free to think outside of the box and create some fun and interactive games, activities, and trivia that members can participate in when they visit your booth. Awards will be given to the three most creative booths and will be announced later in the day. (Please note: props must be flame retardant.)
10. BOOTH SET UP TIPS:
- Put your table in the BACK of the booth. This makes the booth feel welcoming, and potential members/sales will walk INTO the booth, instead of sticking out in the aisle.
- Make sure that the reps in the booths are not on the phone or tablet when attendees are wandering around. NOTHING says “I don’t have time for you” like someone on a cell phone or laptop.
- Think outside the box by finding interesting ways to participate in the Theme. Towns across New England celebrate the fall with country fairs, right? Well, step right up!
- Playing games – even something simple can help draw in crowds. Make sure everyone gets a prize – maybe something with a company logo on it.
MHEC will be holding our own raffle at the event, which we will announce via the public announcement system. We welcome other organizations to hold their own raffles at their booths, but for the sake of clarity, full-disclosure, and fairness, MHEC cannot assume any responsibility for other people’s raffles, and we will not announce winners to those raffles on our public announcement system, or in any other way.
We strongly recommend that suppliers considering a raffle:
- Have a basket to collect attendee business cards, and don’t leave the basket unattended
- Advertise how and when winners will be announced in advance
- If winners don’t need to be present at the drawing to win, make certain you’ve made contact arrangements in advance
- Winning a raffle should be a happy experience for all involved—please, no joke prizes, and if you’ve never been to a venue, restaurant, or hotel you’re offering as a prize, please reconsider
12. AT YOUR BOOTH!
Only display brands of products covered in your contract. This includes promotional equipment & supplies.
- Your booth space is 10′ X 10′
- You can have pop up banners
- Table size is 6’
That said, we find that the most successful and memorable booths fill their space imaginatively. If you’re going to provide demonstrations, let us know what you’re doing, and we can promote in the program.
13. TOYS FOR TOTS/CHARITY SUPPORT:
Once again, we have Toys for Tots! We encourage members and exhibitors to bring an unwrapped toy or offer a $20 cash donation.
14. BOOTH BREAK DOWN:
Starts Thursday, September 21 at 3:00 p.m.
IMPERATIVE! Many attendees arrive in the afternoon and expect a full EXPO experience. Breaking down early is disruptive and interferes with conversations other exhibitors are having with attendees. We really appreciate your support and cooperation in observing this deadline.