The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

Exhibitor Services Kit

Show Guidelines


Exhibit hours for The Inspired Home Show are as follows:

  • Sunday, March 17, 2024 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.*
  • Monday, March 18, 2024 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.*
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Exhibitor personnel and manufacturers’ reps will be allowed on the exhibit floor at 7:00 a.m.

* Power Hour: Extend your meetings or schedule new meetings between 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. Another opportunity to make your Show more productive.


If there is an emergency of any type (fire, medical or police), call Security Central Control at +1-312-791-6060 or 6060 from a house phone. Please refrain from calling 911. Be prepared to cite the location of the emergency by building, level and either hall, meeting room or corridor.


The installation date depends on an exhibitor’s freight target move-in date; please refer to the Freight Target Schedule that can be found on the website. Installation may begin once freight is delivered to the exhibit area. Installation of an exhibit must not interfere with the move-in of the Show. See Installation/Dismantle Regulations for general installation dates and hours.


  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024:   All Exhibit Halls – 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024:   All Exhibit Halls – 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 21, 2024:   South Building (Hall A) & North Building (Hall B) – 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
  • Friday, March 22, 2024:  South Building (Hall A) & North Building (Hall B) – 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

South Building (Hall A) & North Building (Hall B) Exhibitors – All materials must be packed, Material Handling Agreements (MHA) turned into the Exhibitor Services Center and freight removed by 12:00 noon, Friday, March 22, 2024. Carriers must check-in at the Marshaling yard by 8:00 a.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024. Shipments will start being rerouted at 12:00 noon on Friday, March 22, 2024.

North Building (Hall C) Exhibitors – All materials must be packed, Material Handling Agreements (MHA) turned into the Exhibitor Services Center and freight removed by 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Carriers must check-in at the Marshaling yard by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Shipments will start being rerouted at 10:00 a.m. on March 20, 2024.


All registrants must pick up their badges in Chicago at one of the locations below. Prior to the Show, registrants will receive an official confirmation email with a scannable QR Code to retrieve your badge. Each individual must pick up their own badge. A photo ID will be required to claim badges. For up-to-date information on badge pick-up locations and hours, please go to

Pre-register to avoid the on-site registration fee of $100 per person.


Request badges online at for all exhibit personnel who will attend the 2024 Show.

  • Companies must be paid in full for booth space before submitting exhibitor badge requests. If you are unsure of your payment status, please contact your Sales Manager.

Badge Allotment – Each company is allocated two (2) complimentary badges and two (2) charged badges at $25 each for every 50 square feet of booth space they are assigned. For example, if you have 100 square feet of booth space, you will receive a total of (8) badges. Four (4) of your badges will be complimentary and four (4) will be charged at $25 each. Use of charged badges is at your company’s discretion and is not mandatory.

Badge Color Bar Identification:

  • Buyer: Green
  • Trade Guest: Yellow
  • News Media: Blue
  • Industry Affiliate: Clear
  • Charity Volunteer: Red
  • Exhibitor: Clear
  • Manufacturer’s Rep: Gray
  • International Sourcing: Purple

Ribbon Identification:

  • International Attendee: Globe badge icon
  • Approved Photographer: White
  • gia program: Gray
  • Influencer Conference: Teal


Exhibitor Service Centers are conveniently located in each building to assist exhibitors with their needs on-site. Utilize the Exhibitor Service Center in your building for help with pre-Show or on-site orders for electrical, plumbing, telephone, labor, furniture, photography, audio visual, computers, host/hostesses, floral, water coolers, product donations, security, internet services and freight. Locations are as follows:

  • South Building – Beneath the food service areas located in the center of the exhibit floor
  • North Building – Room N230b, Level 2


Exhibiting success is much more than just purchasing a booth and showing up at the event. Meeting qualified prospects and turning them into loyal customers is the true measure of exhibiting success. CDS’ XPress Connect lead retrieval equipment and programs are the keys to a highly productive onsite experience.

Exhibitors arranging for an Xpress Connect item may receive support or pick up their unit at the following on-site locations:

  • South Building, Room S104b
  • North Building, Room N230


Floor Managers are provided to assist you during your time at the Show. They are readily available to answer questions during installation, Show days and dismantling. Floor Managers’ desks (Help Centers) are located at the front of each exhibit floor and by each food pod in the South Building.


First Aid Offices will be available from the first day of move-in until the last day of move-out. First Aid Offices are located in McCormick Place on Level 2.5 of the South Building.


McCormick Place has Mamava Lactation Suites to support breastfeeding mothers while at the convention center. Designed for the modern breastfeeding mother on-the-go, these pod-like suites provide a clean, dignified and private space. Situated across the McCormick Place campus, the suites are self-contained with comfortable benches, a fold-down table, and electrical outlet for plugging in a breast pump and a door that locks for privacy. Nursing mothers can unlock the suites by downloading the free Mamava Mobile App available in the Apple App Store and Google Play App Store. The suites are complimentary and available to mothers on a first-come, first-serve basis.


  • South Building, Level 2.5, next to Jamba Juice

There is an additional pumping/infant nursing location in the First Aid Office located on Level 2.5 of the Grand Concourse in the South Building. This space has electricity for pump machines and is set-up to provide privacy.


McCormick Place meeting rooms are available for The Inspired Home Show 2024 exhibitors and approved registered retailers for food functions and meetings only. Product displays will not be allowed in McCormick Place meeting rooms during Show hours, unless previously approved by IHA. The rental of a McCormick Place meeting room includes one (1) standard room set and up to four (4) additional 6 ft. tables. Any tables over four (4) required by the exhibitor will incur an extra fee. A daily rental fee will apply for each day of use. Storage of combustible materials in meeting rooms, ballrooms and service corridors is strictly prohibited.
Meeting rooms will be assigned and contracted with McCormick Place, not IHA. However, IHA must approve all meeting room requests prior to assignment to confirm exhibition in or attendance at the Show. To reserve a meeting room, please fill out the McCormick Place Meeting Room Reservation Form located in the Convention Center Services section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit. Email the completed form to Sarah Wilson at [email protected].

Meeting rooms will be assigned in the following order: (Exhibitors must have booth space in the 2024 Show.)

  1. Exhibitors and Retailers that contracted a meeting room during the 2023 Show.
  2. Exhibiting companies by seniority number.
  3. Retailers registered for the 2024 Show.


IHA offers free transportation services such as morning and evening hotel shuttles and passes for Chicago’s Metra commuter train system during the Show. Visit the Show Transportation webpage at for the most current information on Show transportation.


IHA has paid for music performance agreements with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), granting IHA exhibitors a non-exclusive license to use ASCAP and BMI music in conjunction with the Show.
The ASCAP and BMI music performance agreements negotiated with IHA mean that any exhibitor can make unlimited legal use of any copyrighted music — live or recorded — in ASCAP’s and/or BMI’s repertoire at the Show (or at events held in conjunction with the Show at McCormick Place).


Exhibitors’ intellectual property, including the protection of trademarks, copyrights, patents, exclusive distribution rights and other such valuable business assets are to be recognized and adhered to by all exhibitors, trade guests and attendees. Violations of exhibitors’ intellectual property and exclusive distribution contract rights shall be brought to the attention of IHA by completing a detailed IHA Intellectual Property Complaint form, which can be obtained on-site at any floor manager desk. IHA will provide you with information and resources to help you work with an attorney to resolve any issue. Self-help by exhibitors is not acceptable. Bring the matter to the attention of Show Security. Violators of Intellectual Property, after being proven guilty in a court of law, may have their Show privileges suspended or terminated entirely during the space assignment process.


Consider the following cost saving opportunities when planning the setup of your booth.


  • Exhibitors may complete the following work in a booth of any size using ladders, hand tools and power tools designated safe by McCormick Place. An “exhibitor” is defined as a full-time employee for at least six months.
  • Setting-up and dismantling exhibits using ladders, hand tools and power tools (deemed safe by McCormick Place).
  • Delivering, setting-up, plugging in, interconnecting and operating electrical equipment, computers and audio-visual devices.
  • Special handling charges can be avoided if shipments are packed correctly and do not require special handling to be unloaded. Learn more by reviewing the material handling form and special handling instructions.


  • You can save 10% on Freeman provided services by ordering online and prior to February 16, 2024 rather than submitting a paper form.
  • Freeman online allows you to take your 2023 order and duplicate it for the 2024 Show; assuming your booth configuration stayed the same from the previous year.


  • Check the display labor rates your company is being charged. If you are not using Freeman as your booth installer, please review the display labor rates your company is being charged. IHA negotiated rates are listed below:
    • Straight Time $133.70
    • Time-and-a-Half $200.70
    • Double Time $267.50
  • Be sure to complete your booth set-up by Friday, March 15, 2024 to avoid overtime fees on Saturday, March 16, 2024.


  • Exhibitors with inline or peninsula booth types that order 120-volt electrical services totaling 20amps or less have the option for general placement along the back line of their booth space with no labor or material charges. Inline or peninsula booths that require custom placement of any 120-volt services will be subject to labor and material charges. Island booths that order 120-volt services will be subject to labor and material charges.
  • Exhibitors that order 208-volt or 480-volt services will be subject to labor and material charges regardless of booth type.
  • All electrical installation labor (regardless of type) comes with a corresponding dismantle fee. This dismantle fee is based on 50% of the installation time, not on the electrical rate. For example, 1 hour of installation time would be billed ½ hour of dismantle time, 2 hours of installation time would be billed 1 hour of dismantle time, etc.
  • A Frequently Asked Questions guide for electrical service has been developed to help your company save money and streamline the setup process. Please review the IHA’s Electrical FAQ available in the online Exhibitor Services Kit.
  • Freeman will provide all electrical and plumbing services for the 2023 Show. Please see the below rates.
    • Electrical Labor
      • Straight Time $117.20
      • Time-and-a-Half $175.90
      • Double Time $234.40
    • Plumbing Labor
      • Straight Time $129.30
      • Time-and-a-Half $191.40
      • Double Time $252.70
  • Electrical Tips:
    • 120V electrical services totaling 20amps or less can be ordered along the back line of your booth with no labor or material charges. If custom placement of any service is required, labor and material charge will apply.
    • If you need electrical in a location other than the rear of your booth and want to avoid additional labor charges, bring your own UL approved extension cords (3 wire, 14 gauge minimum with a ground) to get power to the front of the booth without hiring labor. Most home improvement stores sell UL approved extension cords. Any exhibitor bringing in their own extension cords cannot install them under carpet or flooring. Extension cords must be taped on top of the carpet or flooring.
    • Fire regulations require that booth power be disconnected at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19. Electrical service to exhibits will be turned off at this time unless a special request for power has been placed with the Freeman Electrical Service Desk prior to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19.
      During show move-in days, power is on from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. During show days, power is turned on one hour prior to open of show and turned off one hour after the show closes. Power is turned off one hour after the close of the show and remains off. Any booth requiring power outside these windows during move-in or tear-out will need extended power. Any booth requiring power outside of posted show run hours requires 24-hour power.
    • Check your electrical order for scissor or condor lift equipment and/or crews. Most electrical on our Show should be pulled from the floor, not the ceiling. However, based on booth needs and power contained in electrical ports within any given booth space, electrical may be required to be sourced from the ceiling. Please contact Freeman Electrical with any questions.
    • If using your own power strips, they must have circuit protection.
    • Order your electrical and plumbing service(s) before the advance rate deadline of February 16, 2024 to ensure cost savings. If not, try to order at least 48-hours in advance to maximize the benefits of the extended straight time window. The only guaranteed start time for labor is 8:00am and must be ordered 48 hours in advance. All other start times or will call labor is subject to wait times and availability at time of check-in.
    • Prices listed on the Freeman electrical forms are for the entire Show, not daily.
    • At Show close on Tuesday, March 19, Freeman will consider 5:30 p.m. to 9:30pm straight time.
    • There is only one connection point per outlet ordered. Power strips / quad boxes can provide additional plug-in locations. To calculate your electrical needs, take the wattage on the bulb and multiply it by the number of lights you will be using. For example, a track light with 4 lights, each requiring a 100-watt bulb, uses 400 watts of power. Therefore, you should order a 500-watt service and would still have 100 watts left for another item.
    • 5amp services may not be split. 10amp services can be split between two locations. 20amp service can be split between four locations.


  • Unload and load automobiles and small utility vehicles at the exhibit floor docks without hiring union labor. Please review the ASUV forms within the online Exhibitor Services Kit for rules and guidelines.


  • Exhibitors can bring their own food and beverage items into McCormick Place. However, any food and beverage items brought in from the outside must be for the exhibitors’ personal consumption only. Keep an eye out for a list of local restaurants that welcome exhibitor orders.


  • IHA negotiates the lowest rates in the city and secures Housewares only incentives and amenities. There is no deposit required and we have a flexible cancellation policy. You can use your loyalty program number to be given brand points whether for groups or individuals. Early-Bird rates expire after December 31, 2023. Be sure to book your hotels today through onPeak, our official housing provider at
  • In collaboration with onPeak, FHT Global offers comprehensive and customizable travel packages for international guests. For more information, contact [email protected].


  • IHA provides complimentary shuttle bus service to those who make their hotel reservations through the Show’s official hotel block. This services provides transport between our partner hotels and McCormick Place during morning and evening hours.
  • Ride for free on the Metra, Chicago’s commuter train system, using the Show’s complimentary Metra pass. These passes are valid from March 15-20, 2024 for unlimited rides between McCormick Place and downtown Chicago stations. Complimentary Metra passes can be found on the Show mobile app.


Booth space fees

Booth space fees cover the rental of space only. A booth structure is not included. Signs, carpet and a backwall/display are required and are the responsibility of the exhibitor. Pipe and drape are not allowed unless approved by IHA or selected as Pipe + Drape Booth Space option.

IHA Regulation

IHA reserves the right to prohibit or remove any exhibit, product, display or part thereof, or proposed exhibit display or device which in the opinion of the IHA is not suitable to or in keeping with the product display policy or rules and regulations of the IHA at the exhibitor’s expense. IHA reserves the right to rearrange floor plans and relocate any exhibit at any time.

Categorization/Product Display

The Inspired Home Show consists of 4 Expos and over 100 product classifications.

  • Dine + Décor – South Building, Level 3, Halls A1 & A2
  • Clean + Contain – North Building, Level 3, Hall B1
  • Wired + Well – North Building, Level 3, Hall B1
  • International Sourcing – North Building, Level 3, Hall B2
  • Smart Home – North Building, Level 3, Hall B1
  • Inventors Corner – South Building, Level 3, Hall A2

Exhibitors have chosen booth space in certain categories based on the dominant product that occupies 65% of their booth space. If a company’s products fit in more than one category, the exhibitor is allowed to have booths in multiple categories or is required to select the most dominant category represented at the Show. Exhibitors are not allowed to show the same product in multiple locations. This policy will be strictly enforced. Violators will receive a violation notice on-site and may be required to relocate at that time. Otherwise, booth space location at future Shows will be determined by IHA.

IHA also requires that 100% of the booth space contains products approved by IHA. Violation of this policy will affect future participation and booth space in IHA Shows.

Displays being built or renovated should conform to all display rules and regulations and building requirements. Please review all of IHA’s display rules and regulations as well as the McCormick Place/OVG Exhibitor & Utility Ordering Guide in the Convention Center Services section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit. All booth design, construction and configuration must be structurally sound, secure and safe. The Exhibitor assumes all liability associated with the tripping hazard of using a raised-floor in the construction of their booth

IHA and McCormick Place/OVG 360 should review all floor plans for changes to all exhibit structures that have not been previously approved, to ensure that exhibits conform to all display rules and regulations. your Sales Manager must receive all plans for new or renovated structures by February, 2024 with all measurements in inches and feet.

Submit your diagram indicating (feet and inches): booth size (depth, width) with height of back and sidewalls. You must leave a 1-foot space behind your back wall to allow for utility cords and accessibility for the Fire Marshall. A checklist is available to use with your diagram. Floor plans submitted should be final and not for bidding between exhibit design companies. 

Displays that do not conform to the rules and regulations set forth by IHA and McCormick Place/OVG 360 on-site will receive a violation notice. Violations must be corrected by 3:00 p.m., Saturday, March 16, 2024, or IHA may effect the necessary changes at the exhibitor’s expense. Violation reminders will also be sent after the Show to ensure permanent display modifications are made prior to exhibition in future IHA Shows. FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY RESULT IN LOSS OF COMPANY SENIORITY FOR SPACE ASSIGNMENT OR INDEFI-NITE DISBARMENT FROM FUTURE SHOWS.

In-Line Walls

IHA requires that all in-line exhibitors provide a finished backwall or acceptable backdrop 8 feet (minimum) in height and extending the entire length of the booth space. Exhibitors with backwalls less than 8 feet high may be required to provide acceptable cosmetic masking (at their own expense) extending the entire length of the backwall and 8 feet high (minimum). Sidewalls are allowed, but not required. Should an exhibitor have sidewalls, they may go to the height and length as set for their configuration. There is no minimum height or length; however, it is the exhibitor’s responsibility to have the backside of the sidewalls flush and finished so as not to be unsightly to any neighbor. This applies for any signage as well. If finished sidewalls or a backwall is not provided by 3:00 p.m., Saturday, March 16, 2024, IHA shall authorize the official service contractor to provide an acceptable backwall at the exhibitor’s expense.

IHA encourages exhibitors to be creative in the presentation and merchandising of product at the Show. To improve the overall appearance of the Show, standard pipe and drape and tabletop displays used solely as exhibit structures are not permitted unless approved by IHA or selected as Pipe + Drape Booth Space option. Standard pipe and drape may not be ordered through the Show’s official contractor unless approved by IHA or selected as Pipe + Drape Booth Space option. For more information, please go to

Any portion of an exhibitor’s display, including signage, which extends or protrudes above or beyond that of the booth adjoining to the rear or side must, at the exhibitor’s own expense, be completely smooth, flush-finished and painted, with no exposed framework. It must be finished in such a manner as not to be unsightly to exhibitors in adjoining booths or to IHA. Back or sidewalls, at any height, that are adjoining a neighbor, including signage, must be flushed, finished and in a neutral color. Exhibits that fail to comply will receive a violation and incur charges to mask the area. No part of the booth or any materials may extend into the aisle. IHA reserves the right to make judgment as to whether a booth shall be finished on-site.

If such surfaces remain unfinished or visually unappealing at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, March 16, 2024 IHA shall authorize the official service contractor to effect the necessary cosmetic finishing at the exhibitor’s expense.

Outer surfaces may not contain any trade names, logos, product or company identification, except when located on a cross aisle or at least 10’ from a neighboring exhibitor. Products, equipment or company identification may not be displayed so that it faces directly into a neighboring exhibitor’s booth.

Americans With Disabilities Act

Exhibitors are advised of their obligations related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III.

The exhibitor understands and agrees that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that the exhibitor’s display be accessible to persons with disabilities, and the exhibitor agrees that it is solely responsible for assuring that its display complies with the ADA.

The exhibitor hereby warrants that it will provide auxiliary aids and services to individuals with disabilities suitable for effective communications between all parties in accordance with the requirements of the ADA, so that the exhibitor’s display will be accessible, as defined in the ADA, to persons with disabilities. The exhibitor further warrants that where the provision of such auxiliary aids would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods and/or services provided by the exhibitor, the exhibitor will notify IHA of that fact at least two weeks in advance of the Show and of the alternative measures it intends to take to assure compliance with the ADA during the period of the Show.

The exhibitor agrees to indemnify and hold IHA harmless for any claims arising out of or in connection with the failure of the exhibitor’s display to comply with the ADA.

For information on compliance, please contact ADA directly at +1-800-514-0301, or visit

Booth Access

To ensure maximum traffic flow on the exhibit floor, exhibitors building contiguous displays along main numbered aisles should have a 10′ opening/entrance for every 30’ of contiguous display.

Cubic Content

To enable an exhibitor to use all of the available booth space, IHA has adopted the “Cubic Content” rule. It allows you to build or place display elements right up to the front of your booth and up to the maximum height permitted.

MAXIMUM Allowable Booth Heights

    South Building – Level 3, Hall A

    • Standard – 12 ft. (3.66m)
    • Perimeter – 12 ft. (3.66m)
    • Walk-Through – 12 ft. (3.66m)*
    • Peninsula – 20 ft. (6.0m)
    • Island – 30 ft. (9.0m)

    North Building – Level 3, Hall B1

    • Standard – 12 ft. (3.66m)
    • Perimeter – 12 ft. (3.66m)
    • Walk-Through – 12 ft. (3.66m)*
    • Peninsula – 20 ft. (6.0m)
    • Island – 30 ft. (9.0m)

    North Building – Level 1, Hall C

    • Standard – 12 ft. (3.66m)
    • Perimeter- 12 ft. (3.66m)
    • Walk-Through – 12 ft. (3.66m)*
    • Peninsula – 14 ft. (4.26m)
    • Island – 14 ft. (4.26m)


    • A Walk-Through exhibit may be approved up to 20 ft. (6.0 m) depending on neighboring exhibit structures.
    • Second floor construction is prohibited on Level 1, Hall C in the North Building due to ceiling restrictions.
    • Any booths with back or side walls must adhere to height, visual and neighboring booth regulations.


    • Standard In-line Booth Definition: One or more standard units in a straight line. Acceptable backwall, flooring and signage required. Sidewalls are permitted, but not required.
    • Perimeter-Wall Booth Definition: Standard booth located on the outer-perimeter wall of the exhibit floor.
    • Height: Exhibit fixtures, components and identification signs will be permitted to a maximum height as indicated under Height Limitations. Backsides of backwalls extending above 8’ must be flush, finished, graphic/logo free and neutral in color.
    • Booth Access: To ensure maximum traffic flow on the exhibit floor, exhibitors building contiguous displays along main numbered aisles must have a 10′ opening/entrance for every 30’ of contiguous display.
    • Intent: Exhibitors should be able to effectively use as much of the total floor space as possible as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others.


    • Definition: Four or more standard units back to back, so that the distance fronting on both main aisles is the same. The exhibit is located in the middle of any block of space and will usually consist of an equal number of spaces. Acceptable backwall, flooring and signage required.
    • Height: Exhibit fixtures, components and identification signs will be permitted to a maximum height of 12’0” (3.66m) or 20’0” (6.0m) if approved by IHA.
    • Booth Access: To ensure maximum traffic flow on the exhibit floor, exhibitors building contiguous displays along main numbered aisles must have a 10′ opening/entrance for every 30’ of contiguous display.


    • Definition: Exhibit with one or more display levels in four or more standard units with an aisle on three sides. Acceptable backwall (minimum 8′ tall), flooring and signage required.
    • Height: Exhibit fixtures, components and identification signs will be permitted to a maximum height as indicated under Height Limitations.
    • Booth Access: To ensure maximum traffic flow on the exhibit floor, exhibitors building contiguous displays along main numbered aisles should have a 10′ opening/entrance for every 30’ of contiguous display.
    • IMPORTANT: Peninsula booths are normally “faced” towards the cross aisle. Any portion of the exhibit bordering another exhibitor’s booth must have the back side of that portion finished and visually appealing and must not carry identification signs or other copy that would detract from the adjoining exhibit. (See diagram on page 11 of the PDF)


    • Definition: Exhibit with one or more display levels in four or more standard units with aisles on all four sides.
    • Height: Exhibit fixtures, components and identification signs will be permitted to a maximum height as indicated under Height Limitations. Exhibitors creating their own Island Booth with purchased space must have 10’ between the neighboring exhibit and must have approval in writing from IHA.
    • Booth Access: To ensure maximum traffic flow on the exhibit floor, exhibitors building contiguous displays along main numbered aisles should have a 10′ opening/entrance for every 30’ of contiguous display.
    • Intent: The extra height is often required in an island booth to permit the open walk-through approach normally used in this type of location. (See diagram on page 11 of the PDF)


    • Height: Canopies, false ceilings and umbrellas must not exceed the height limitations set for the configuration type of the booth in which they reside.
    • Intent: Exhibitors requiring canopies or false ceilings to create the desired exhibit environment within their booth space should be allowed to do so as long as the ceiling and its support structure do not violate the intent of the height or depth regulation.

    Multi-Level Exhibits/Covered Booth Restrictions

    Exhibits that have a ceiling or second level will be required to comply with all IHA and McCormick Place/OVG 360 Rules and Regulations. Please review the McCormick Place Exhibitor & Utility Ordering Guide, in the Convention Center Services section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit. Plans must be reviewed and approved by the fire marshal.

    Exhibits having enclosed ceilings or multi-level exhibits must submit plans to Arriel Gray Jr., Fire Safety Manager at McCormick Place by Friday, January 26, 2024. Plans can be mailed to McCormick Place/OVG 360: 301 E. Cermak Rd., Chicago, Illinois 60616 or emailed to [email protected]. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to conform to all Chicago fire ordinances and codes when constructing a covered booth or multi-level exhibit to ensure that their display meets with the necessary fire safety precautions.

    Structural Integrity

    All multi-level exhibits, regardless of whether people will occupy the upper area or not, must have drawings available for inspection by IHA, the installation and dismantling contractor, the exhibitor and McCormick Place/OVG 360 during the time the exhibit is being erected, exhibited and dismantled at Show site. The drawing must include a signature or stamp of a reviewing structural engineer indicating that the structure is properly engineered for its proposed use, and a signature of an authorized official of the exhibit building company indicating that the structure is built in compliance with the details and specifications set forth on the drawings. Signs must also be posted indicating the maximum number of people the structure will accommodate.

    Spanning the Aisle

    Spanning the aisle with both carpet and header signs is prohibited.

    Signage & Hanging Material

    All company identification signs, in booths under 800 sq ft, should be ground supported. Back or sidewalls, including signage, at any height, that are adjoining a neighbor must be flushed, finished and in a neutral color. Exhibits that fail to comply will receive a violation and will incur charges to mask the area. Exhibitors may use wires or cables from the ceiling to anchor or support high floor signage for structural safety. Exhibitors are discouraged from hanging company identification signs from the ceilings of McCormick Place/OVG 360. Signage is limited to the height and size of aligned booth.

    Requests to hang signage or truss from the ceiling must be received by IHA and Freeman no later than December 18, 2023. Approval needs to be obtained each year by IHA, even if approval was given the previous year. Approval to hang signs may be determined based on location within the building assigned. Exhibitors located in the rear of the hall who meet requirements are more likely to receive approval. Exhibitors that do not receive approval will be refused access to hang signage or truss from the ceiling.

    Exhibitors requesting approval to hang a sign from the ceiling, with or without truss, must have an island or peninsula configuration with at least 800 net square feet. The top of the sign or other elevated materials may not exceed the height limitation that applies to your type of booth configuration and the bottom of the sign must be at least 16 feet from the ground. Any company identification/logo must be a minimum of 10’ away from any neighboring booth.

    All exhibitors, with pre-approval from IHA, are allowed to use hanging truss systems for the purpose of additional lighting or video projection. The use of company identification on hanging truss is considered to be a hanging sign and therefore must be pre-approved by IHA. When lighting and/or video projection is used, it may only project into the booth of the exhibitor utilizing the lighting or video projection. It should not reflect into public space or neighboring exhibit space.

    Utility Service Corridor

    Service of utilities will be supplied at the rear of booths whenever possible, but all exhibitors should allow a 1’ unobstructed corridor in the rear and 6” on one side of their space to allow passage for the necessary cable and maintenance personnel. If a utility corridor is not provided, the exhibitor may have to reposition their booth structure to allow passage for maintenance personnel. Any charges or costs incurred due to the lack of a corridor will be the responsibility of that exhibitor.

    Utility Ports

    Electrical and plumbing ports are in various locations on each exhibit floor. Exhibitors are responsible for reviewing their booth floor plan to identify ports for their utility needs. Availability of ports may change based on a booth re-location. Please work with your Sales Manager for your specific needs. To identify floor ports, please see the key below:

    • Plumbing (Square)
    • Electrical (Rectangle)

    Utility Services

    Booth selection must have adequate service for your company’s utility needs. IHA will relocate your company if adequate utilities are not available. To ensure the safety of our attendees, utility services cannot be accessed from an aisle. Instances may occur where a utility port within your booth space is used to service neighboring exhibitors. If ramping is required for the use of utilities within the booth, the exhibitor may be required to sign a waiver of liability.

    Utility Service Cabinets

    All switches for utility service to booths located on Level 3 of the South Building are attached to the building columns on the floor. This equipment must be freely accessible at all times. Be sure to allow for this when constructing solid backwalls. McCormick Place/OVG 360 requires a minimum of 42” clearance around service boxes in the North and South Buildings.

    South Building: To prevent the obstruction of column doors, nothing may be placed within the 42” clearance area. Exhibitors are not allowed to place signage or any other materials on column doors.

    Fire Cabinets

    Fire hose/extinguisher cabinets, fire alarm stations, AED cabinets and emergency telephones must be kept visible and freely accessible at all times as this equipment is strategically located throughout the building. Please review floor plan for exact locations of fire hose cabinets/racks and fire extinguishers.

    Fire Retardancy

    Booth construction and decoration materials must be fire retardant. It is suggested that a certificate of retardancy be available at the show to prevent the need for possible on-site testing of the material. Fabrics must pass the NFPA-701 Code, and all other construction and decoration materials must pass the NFPA-703 Code as well as the UL-1975 test. General guidelines for material fire retardancy include:

    • Backdrops, tents, canopies, dust and table covers, drapes and similar fabrics: These fabrics can often be made fire retardant by a dry cleaner that can issue a certificate of fire retardancy. Suppliers and/or display manufacturers can also provide a certificate included with the materials.
    • Corrugated cardboard/display boxes: These materials can best be made fire retardant at a factory.
    • Wood and wood by-products: If wood materials are not sufficiently fire retardant, a certified fire retardant specialist using pressure impregnation or similar impregnation method must treat them.
    • Polyurethane foam, plastic and similar products.

    Hazardous Demonstration/Display Materials/Pyrotechnics

    When designing demonstrations and displays, note that the following devices require pre-approval by McCormick Place and the Chicago Fire Department.

    • Lasers, open flames (including candles and fireplaces)
    • Smoke-producing devices
    • Indoor Pyrotechnics have special permitting procedures through the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau. Contact the Fire Safety Manager.
    • Heating appliances
    • Welding, brazing or cutting equipment
    • Radioactive materials
    • Compressed gas or compressed liquid cylinders if applicable used in the booth must be securely anchored to prevent toppling.
    • Gasoline, kerosene, bioethanol or other flammable, toxic liquid, solid or gas
      • A limited supply of these fuels may be stored in the demonstration device, but cannot be stored or burned overnight.
      • All fuel transfers must use safety cans.
    • Fire places that use bioethanol must be placed away from an aisle and be supervised at all times. They can only be turned up to half power and the exhibitor must ensure the fire place gets shut down after hours.
    • When displaying a flammable or combustible labeled product, the display container shall be empty. Up to two aerosol cans may be used for demonstration purposes only. Approval requests must be sent in 60 days before move-in of the event. The request must state how the demonstration will avoid hazards to people or nearby objects. Plexiglas or similar protection is required when-ever sparking may occur. Fire extinguishers will also be required.

    Any chemical, substance or material deemed hazardous by O.S.H.A. requires pre-approval and must be accompanied with the appropriate M.S.D.S. McCormick Place Fire Safety Office will need copies of the M.S.D.S. before the materials arrive.

    Prohibited Materials

    The following items are fire-hazardous and prohibited in McCormick Place:

    • All flammable compressed gases, such as propane and butane
    • Explosives and live ammunition
    • Untreated Christmas trees, cut evergreens or similar trees
    • Fireplace logs and similar materials
    • Charcoal
    • Untreated mulch, Hay, Straw, Bamboo and Spanish moss

    Materials Management

    Neither McCormick Place Housekeeping Department nor Shows’ official service contractor manages hazardous material removal. However, McCormick Place can provide contractor names specializing in this service. Exhibitors are responsible for making their own arrangements.

    Building Columns

    Column dimensions on various exhibit floors are indicated on the Freight Target Floor Plans at For those columns without dimensions indicated, please contact McCormick Place/OVG 360, Exhibitor Technical Services at +1-312-791-6113. All construction to cover the columns should be designed with some flexibility to allow for minor variations and must be approved by McCormick Place/OVG 360. All strobes and fire exit signs must remain visible and clear at all times. Any other signage, like “no smoking”, would need to be reproduced on an exhibitor’s column wrap or a different sign nearby. Please note the difference between total access versus limited access in regards to covering the lower portion of a column:

    • Total Access – Entire door must be completely clear to nearest aisle in a direct line and be completely visible at all time.
    • Limited Access – No impediments or obstructions may be placed within the 42’’ clearance area which prohibit the column doors from opening quickly and completely. Lightweight items such as chairs, easels, etc. are permissible, as well as drape, provided they can be moved quickly by one person and do not prevent the doors from fully opening.

    Exhibitors interested in covering higher than the top of the box should contact the McCormick Place Fire Safety Manager at 312-791-6079.

    The cost of covering columns within the booth space will be the responsibility of the exhibitor. To order draping or masking for a column, contact the official service contractor, Freeman, at [email protected].

    Booth Number and Company Identification

    No portion of an exhibit structure or carpeting may extend beyond the assigned floor space unless approved by IHA. Booth number identification stickers will be placed in front of each booth space.

    Floor Covering

    All exhibitors are required to provide acceptable floor covering. Unacceptable coverings include paper, foamcore or cardboard. For carpet ordering information, please refer to the “Carpet/Cleaning Brochure” located in the Official Show Contractor section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit. Carpet may be ordered by IHA for exhibit areas that do not have acceptable floor coverings, and the exhibitor will be charged.



    The date of installation is dependent upon an exhibitor’s freight target move-in date. Any requests for earlier installation must be directed to Freeman at +1-888-508-5054 or

    Every exhibitor will be assigned a freight target move-in time for their exhibit structure to facilitate installation at the Show. The Freight Target Schedule, with utility port locations, was emailed separately. Installation may begin once freight is delivered to the exhibit area. Installation of an exhibit must not interfere with the move-in of the Show.

    It is the exhibitor’s responsibility to be cognizant and courteous of freight that may impede another person’s setup, and must relocate materials on request.

    EXHIBITOR INSTALLATION – date and times are subject to change

    • Friday, March 8, 2024      12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.       South Building (Hall A) & North Building (Hall B)
    • Saturday, March 9, 2024       DARK DAY
    • Sunday, March 10, 2024       DARK DAY
    • Monday, March 11, 2024       8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.       South Building (Hall A) & North Building (Hall B)
    • Tuesday, March 12, 2024       8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.       South Building (Hall A) & North Building (Hall B & C)
    • Wednesday, March 13, 2024       8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.       All Buildings
    • Thursday, March 14, 2024       8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.       All Buildings
    • Friday, March 15, 2024       8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.      All Buildings
    • * Saturday, March 16, 2024       8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.      All Buildings

    * All booths should be set by Saturday, March 16, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. Exhibitors may work later on Saturday, March 16, 2024 if necessary.

    All crates not tagged by this time will be removed and placed into storage by IHA at the exhibitor’s risk. All unwanted containers and refuse should be placed in the aisle directly in front of the exhibit for housekeeping removal. Neither IHA nor its Official Service Contractor will assume any liability for exhibitors empty crates or boxes, or their contents.

    Crate Storage/Empties

    If you want any crates placed in storage and returned at Show close, pick-up “Empty” stickers at the Exhibitor Service Center or Help Center/Floor Manager Desk. Once your crates are empty and ready to be taken out of the hall, place an EMPTY label on each crate and make sure your booth number is clearly visible. Labeled containers will be picked up periodically and stored in non-accessible storage during the show. At the close of the Show‚ the empty containers will be returned to booths in random order after aisle carpet removal. Keeping your empty containers until the end of move-in WILL NOT ensure that you receive your crates first during move-out. No crates will be allowed in the aisles.

    Booth Staging

    In addition to equipment and furniture placed within a booth space, exhibitors are allowed to stage the following items:

    • Boxed or loose product, materials or literature.
    • Fiber cases used to ship pop-up displays.
    • Personal items such as small luggage, purses, briefcases or coats.
    • The following restrictions must be observed when staging these additional items:
    • The amount of product, materials or literature that may be staged within a booth space must not exceed a one-day supply.
    • Items may be placed either in a display case, on a counter, on a shelving unit, in a closet, on a table, under a table or stacked neatly within the booth space.
    • Items that are placed under a table must not protrude outside the table dimensions.
    • Items that are stacked must not create a tripping hazard or hamper easy movement within the booth space.
    • Items may not be placed on or within six inches of floor ports, electrical wiring or cabling.
    • Pallets, empty crates, cartons and boxes may not be stored in the booth space.
    • Staging will not be allowed behind the back wall of the booth and behind the drape within the booth.

    To ensure that the Show is clean at opening, adequate time is needed to remove crates, clean the halls and lay the aisle carpet. All exhibitors must have their crates labeled and their exhibits/products completely set by 5:00 p.m., Saturday, March 16, 2024. IHA will note any violations or abuses to this policy and reserves the right to levy a penalty of loss of seniority at future Shows and will also charge back the exhibitor for any trash removal on Sunday morning.

    Extended Work Authorization Forms

    The exhibit halls will be open to exhibitor personnel during move-in and move-out from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Exhibitors or representatives of an exhibitor who work before 7:00 a.m. or work past 6:00 p.m. during move-in or move-out will need to complete an Authorization Form, which may be obtained from your sales manager before the Show or from any Help Center located on the exhibit floors. The following rules apply to anyone working before 7:00 a.m. or past 6:00 p.m.:

    • Any personnel found in an unauthorized or unattended booth will be cause for all associate personnel to be asked to leave for the day.
    • No one will be allowed to work before 7:00 a.m. or past 10:00 p.m. unless approved by IHA.
    • When working late, personnel will not be allowed re-entry until the next working day once they exit the Show floor.
    • All personnel are required to wear the Show designated credentials in plain view while on the Show floor. It is the exhibitor’s responsibility to register their Exhibitor-Appointed Contractors (EACs), allowing them to receive the appropriate credentials. It is prohibited for an exhibitor to register their EAC using their exhibitor badge allotment.
    • Smoking in all exhibit halls is prohibited. McCormick Place is a smoke-free building. There are designated smoking areas.
    • All personnel are required to follow all safety rules as set forth by IHA and McCormick Place.
    • All bags, tool boxes, cartons, etc. removed from the Show floor are subject to inspection.
    • Exhibitor or Contractor Supervisors are responsible for the conduct of their personnel.

    No Freight Aisles

    For safety and to expedite the movement of crates during move-in and move-out and to conform to Chicago Fire Ordinances, certain aisles have been designated as “No freight, fire and safety aisle.” Any exhibitor placing crates or freight in these aisles may have it removed immediately by IHA at the expense of the exhibitor. Please refer to the online Freight Target Floor Plans for specification of “no freight aisles.”

    Booth Appearance – Cleaning

    Exhibitors must keep their booths neatly arranged in order to maintain and improve the overall appearance of the exhibit. IHA may require exhibitors to rearrange displays as considered necessary. FIRE REGULATIONS require that merchandise, racks, displays, chairs, etc. be kept out of aisles and within the exhibit space. All fire extinguishers and fire hose cabinets/racks must be visible and accessible at all times.

    Exhibitors desiring booth vacuuming or porter service during the Show may find more information in the “Carpet/Cleaning Brochure” in the Official Show Contractor section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit. Cleaning service is provided by Freeman and will be billed directly to the exhibitor at the prevailing rate.

    Booth Construction Policy

    IHA prohibits the use of build-n-burn exhibits and any extensive construction from occurring on-site, particularly during move-in. Build-n-burn exhibits are defined as being built for one-time use with the intent to destroy or leave the booth at the conclusion of the Show. Exhibitors that leave a build-n-burn booth at the conclusion of the Show or by their final move-out date will be responsible for all labor and cleaning costs associated with its removal and may be subject to a penalty set by IHA. Exhibitors, or their EACs, should plan for a prefabricated booth that can be easily assembled on-site with the least amount of additional construction needed.
    Extensive construction, by an EAC or Exhibitor, that produces excess noise, dust or debris beyond a reasonable amount and/or that negatively impacts the Show or fellow exhibitors will be charged for all necessary cleanup and further construction may be halted.
    Please make the necessary arrangements to ensure your booth is ready by the required set time of Friday, March 4 at 5:00 p.m.


    TEAR DOWN BEGINS AT 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Do not tear down early! If you are observed tearing down early at the Show, you may be assessed a $1,000 violation fee. If you are observed tearing down early a second time at the next year’s Show, you may be barred from exhibiting at future Shows.

    Only packages that can be hand carried by one person and taken out the front door in one trip or that do not require shipping crates will be permitted to leave the premises on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Exhibitors may remain in the building Tuesday evening as long as necessary to complete packing and/or securing merchandise.

    South Building (Hall A) & North Building (Hall B) Exhibitors — All materials must be packed, Material Handling Agreements (MHA) turned into the Exhibitor Services Center and freight removed by 12:00 noon, Friday, March 22, 2024. Carriers must check-in at the Marshaling yard by 8:00 a.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024. Shipments will start being rerouted at 12:00 noon on Friday, March 22, 2024.

    North Building (Hall C) Exhibitors — All materials must be packed, Material Handling Agreements (MHA) turned into the Exhibitor Services Center and freight removed by 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Carriers must check-in at the Marshaling yard by 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Shipments will start being rerouted at 4:30 p.m. on March 20, 2024.


    Tuesday, March 19, 2024

    • 5:30 p.m. Begin removal of aisle carpeting.
    • 6:30 p.m. Begin returning Priority Storage
    • 7:30 p.m. Begin returning all other empty storage

    Wednesday, March 20, 2024

    • 12:00 a.m. Anticipated completion of returning all empty crates.

    Exhibitors are encouraged to remain with or hire security at their booth until crates are received, packing is complete and the booth or product are loaded for departure.

    Excess Trash

    Exhibitors are required to return their booth space in the same manner it was received. Exhibitors are to arrange with their Exhibitor-Appointed Contractor to remove all trash from their booth after dismantling. This includes all carpet, tape, padding, promotional materials and display components. If exhibitors need assistance with trash removal, please arrange this with the Exhibitor Services Desk. Any trash that cannot be removed with a broom and shovel will be considered “excess trash” and IHA or the exhibitor will be charged for this service. IHA will issue a violation and charge the individual exhibiting company for any excess trash removal.

    Recycling Efforts

    IHA, Freeman, McCormick Place/OVG 360 and the Show’s cleaning contractor have created a recycling program for The Inspired Home Show. Our goal is to improve our ability to reduce, reuse and recycle Show generated waste. We are asking your assistance with the following:

    • Break down and flatten corrugated boxes and place them at the booth’s edge, NOT in the aisles.
    • Place all metal banding and wood materials separate from other trash at the edge of your booth.
    • Trim out all visqueen by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2024.
    • Each garbage can placed by columns in the aisles will be paired with a co-mingled recycling container. The following materials will be accepted: aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, tin cans and all other number 1 or number 2 recyclable plastic containers.
    • Any other garbage should be placed in the standard waste receptacles.
    • Break down and flatten all corrugated boxes.
    • Roll up any carpet or padding and remove any double-faced carpet tape.
    • Place any wood, carpet, padding and metal banding separate from other waste in your booth.

    Green Initiatives

    McCormick Place/OVG 360 and the Show’s Official Service Contractor, Freeman, have implemented initiatives to conserve energy and resources for the benefit of the environment. IHA encourages its exhibitors to voluntarily take advantage of these initiatives when and where appropriate. A list of the initiatives can be found on McCormick Place/OVG 360 website at or on Freeman’s website at

    Transportation Companies

    Exhibitors will be responsible for making all arrangements with transportation companies for the prompt pick up of their shipments. The official contractor will be forced to use the designated Show carrier if no carrier has been designated by the exhibitor. It is the exhibitor’s responsibility to call that preferred carrier and to make sure that the shipment is moved out of the building by the designated date and time.


    Exhibitor assumes all risk and responsibility for the integrity of their booth, their employees, their labor and their Exhibitor Appointed Contractor utilized in the installation/dismantle process or other services for their booth.


    Promotional Plans and/or Demonstrations

    All Promotional Plans and/or Demonstrations should be submitted to IHA for approval. The Show encourages promotional plans/demonstrations, but asks that you do not interfere with normal traffic flow in the aisles or traffic into any neighboring exhibits. Use of other exhibitor’s product for demonstration purposes is not permitted. Please refer to IHA’s Show Guidelines and the McCormick Place/OVG 360 Exhibitor & Utility Ordering Guide located in the Convention Center Services section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit for additional demonstration regulation information.

    Demonstration Areas

    Demonstration Areas must be organized within the exhibitor’s space so as not to interfere with any aisle traffic. Sampling or demonstration tables must be placed a minimum of 2’0” (60 cm) from the aisle line. Should spectators or samplers interfere with the normal traffic flow in the aisle or overflow into neighboring exhibits, IHA will have no alternative but to request that the demonstration or sampling be eliminated. Demonstrators or characters must remain in their exhibit space. Demonstrations and distribution of promotional materials in aisles and common areas is prohibited.

    In-Booth Receptions, Meetings and Events

    If you wish to hold a press event, meeting, or reception at your booth prior to the official opening or after Show hours with non-exhibitor personnel who do not have an exhibitor badge or manufacturers’ rep badge, you will need to make special arrangements in advance.

    Depending on the number of people attending your event, you may be required to hire security to monitor surrounding booths and products. Depending on booth size, IHA may need to restrict the total number of attendees for an in-booth event. For security guard order forms, please see the Security section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit.

    • If your expected event attendance is 11-15 people, one security guard must be hired using one of IHA’s official security companies.
    • If your expected event attendance is 16-20 people, two security guards must be hired using one of IHA’s official security companies.
    • If your expected event attendance is 21 or more people, three security guards must be hired using one of IHA’s official security companies.

    If you require catering, you must work with McCormick Place’s official catering provider, OVG Hospitality. Catering menus can be found in the Vendor Services section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit. For questions relating to catering, alcohol, and bartender requirements, please contact OVG Hospitality at +1-312-791-7250 or [email protected].

    Buyer Appointments

    Only on Show days can you arrange to have buyers enter the Show floor up to one and a half hours before opening (7:00 am – Sunday through Tuesday).

    Sound Level

    Exhibitor’s sound level shall not intrude and violate the rights of any and all adjacent exhibit areas. Exhibitors using audio or musical equipment in their display space shall not be permitted to operate at a maximum of 70db Sound Pressure Level (SPL) when measured in any neighboring display area. The use of sound systems or equipment-producing sound is an exception to the rule, not a right. IHA reserves the right to determine when sound constitutes interference with others and must be discontinued. Products producing sound must also comply with the preceding guidelines.


    Distribution of balloons is prohibited but displaying of balloons is permitted. However, Mylar balloons are not permitted at all due to their effect on the fire detection system. All balloons must be properly secured to prevent their escape to McCormick Place ceilings. Any cost of labor to retrieve balloons will be billed back to the exhibitor. See McCormick Place/OVG 360 Facility Information and Internet Ordering Guide, located in the Vendor Services section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit.


    Any exhibit that involves the cooking of food must use either an electrical or natural gas hookup and must be adequately ventilated. Nothing combustible can be placed near any heat-producing appliance. All heating devices including, but not limited to stoves, ovens, microwaves and heaters must be UL-approved for booth usage (UL approved, 2-A:10-B:C). The use of propane or butane is strictly prohibited. ABC-type fire extinguishers are also required. For information on food sampling and refrigerator rental, please contact OVG Hospitality at +1-312-791-7250.

    Vehicle Displays

    Any vehicle or other apparatus that has a fuel tank and is part of a display must comply with the following:

    • Required to be equipped with a locking (or taped) gas cap
    • Contain no more than 1/8 tank of fuel.
    • Once the vehicle has been positioned, it cannot be moved until move-out begins, without prior approval by the Fire Safety Manager or Designee.
    • Battery cables must be disconnected once the vehicle is positioned. The engine cannot be operated during show hours.
    • Refueling must be done off property.

    Open Flame Devices

    Used for illumination or decoration, such as candles, gelled alcohol fuel fire bowls, firepots or fireplaces must comply with the following:

    • Prior notification and review by McCormick Place, Fire Safety Manager, the Fire Prevention Bureau, Fire Marshal Authority having jurisdiction for each and every display.
    • Must be contained inside a non-combustible enclosure that totally encapsulates the flame providing a measure of safety to the public.
    • Must be positioned on a non-combustible surface with 24 inch clearance of the flame device from any combustibles and booth back wall.
    • Must have a mechanism available to quickly and safely extinguish the flame.
    • Must have at least one multipurpose fire extinguisher rated minimum 2 – A:10 – B:C strategically located with the booth.
    • Booth personnel should be familiar with the operation of the fire extinguisher.
    • Booth personnel must be in attendance whenever the device is in use.
    • Maximum one day supply of the replacement fuel allowed in booth.
    • Device must be allowed to cool before refueling.
    • Flame must be extinguished ½ hour prior to closing.

    Cleanup areas are available on the exhibit floor in the South Building & North Building. Please use these areas for cleanup of utensils and equipment after cooking demonstrations.

    Safety Precautions

    All product demonstrations involving any moving and potentially hazardous machines, displays or parts must have hazard barriers to prevent accidental injury to spectators. Demonstrations must always be supervised by exhibitor personnel who can stop the demonstration in the event of an emergency. Fire extinguishers will also be required.


    Shopping bags are permitted. However, IHA recommends that all bags are clear on one side. Having contents of the bag visible will expedite the security process. Distribution of gadgets and favors should be pre-approved by IHA in order to notify our Security team in advance. Security may confiscate giveaways that do not have approval or appropriate forms. Absolutely no products may be sold on the Show floor at any time. Distribution of items may only take place within the exhibitor’s space. Distribution of items in aisles and common areas is prohibited.

    Live Animals

    If an animal is being used for demonstration purposes or to create in-booth excitement, the following steps need to be taken.

    1. Inform IHA’s Show Management of intent.
    2. Submit a Live Animal Disclaimer Form to McCormick Place/OVG 360.
    3. Submit a Permit Application to the City of Chicago’s Commission of Animal Care and Control.

    Items required to be sent with Permit Application:

    • Payment of $275 Application Fee.
    • Health, vaccine records and shipping documents are required for all animals in the exhibition.
    • A copy of the exhibitor’s valid animal license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture.
    • Proof of Insurance.

    Important points to remember:

    • Applicants must notify the Commission of Animal Care and Control of any changes to the original application as soon as the changes are decided or a minimum of 15 days prior to the event, whichever is sooner. This includes: changes in dates, animals exhibited, location, set up, plans, etc.
    • The City of Chicago reserves the right to inspect the exhibition.

    For more information, please contact McCormick Place’s Loss Prevention Manager at +1-312-791-7113.


    IHA (Show Management)

    IHA will supervise and strictly enforce all Show rules and regulations. Penalties of violations may include: violation fee, cancellation of space, loss of seniority, suspension or cancellation of privileges, or other such sanctions as IHA’s Board of Directors determines.

    Code of Conduct

    For the most current versions of the Attendee Code of Conduct, Exhibitor Code of Conduct and the Trade Guest Code of Conduct, please visit us online at

    Termination of Show Privileges

    Any exhibitor, its representatives or agents, committing a violation of civil or criminal law or otherwise wrongful act before or during the Show, violating a Show rule, violating another exhibitor’s intellectual property or contract rights, unreasonably interfering with exhibiting or attending privileges of another party or violating the Exhibitor Code of Conduct, is subject to immediate expulsion for the duration of the Show, and/or such further action as may be determined by IHA authorities, once independent verification of the act or violation is obtained. Additional penalties may include a period of suspension of exhibition or attendance privileges at one or more future Shows, or permanent expulsion from the Show if warranted. All acts and violations of these rules shall be referred to IHA’s Board of Directors for such further review and response as the Board of Directors deems appropriate in the circumstances, following the Show. Other prohibited acts may be referred to the Board for review and response following the Show.

    Any person who takes the property of another party at the Show without authorization or commits an act as described above is subject to suspension of Show privileges for not less than three years following the Show at which the incident occurs. This suspension may be increased up to and including the permanent expulsion, if the facts warrant a longer suspension in the Board’s determination. The employer or principal of a person who is suspended or expelled from Show privileges is also subject to suspension or termination of Show privileges for its representative’s or agent’s actions.

    The decision of the Board of Directors is final and not subject to further review, and Exhibitors so agree on behalf of their employees, representatives and agents, as a condition of exhibiting privileges.


    Sharing or transferring of space is prohibited. Exhibitors may not sublet or share any portion of their booth spaces, nor are they allowed to display any merchandise other than their own products listed in their application and approved by IHA, except where such articles are required for the proper demonstration or exhibition of exhibitor’s display. Companies sharing space must be legally affiliated, must have completed an application to participate in the Show and been approved by IHA. Any exhibiting company found to be sharing or subletting its space contrary to these rules will be suspended from one or more future Shows, and the company improperly sharing or subletting the space may be closed down and expelled from the Show, and will be barred from future Shows at the discretion of IHA.

    Product Samples

    Only exhibitors, buyers and manufacturers’ representatives are allowed to leave the exhibit floor with product samples during the Show.

    After the Show closes on Tuesday, March 19, at 5:30 p.m., only exhibitor personnel will be allowed to leave the exhibit hall with merchandise. Exhibitors will be required to show a photo I.D. and business card before they leave the exhibit hall with product. Exhibitors caught selling or giving away product may be barred from exhibiting at any future IHA Shows. All product will be confiscated at the exit if the appropriate badge, business card and I.D. do not match.

    No Cash Sales

    IHA is a not-for-profit organization committed to protecting our tax exempt status. In an effort to ensure we are in compliance with all city, local and state taxing authorities and their regulations, with the support of the Board of Directors, we prohibit “cash sales” during the Show. “Cash sales’ is defined as the purchase of goods where money transfers hands for the exchange of product. Violation of this policy may result in your company being barred from participation in future Shows. As the selling of product continues to be an issue, IHA will be more vigilant in the policing of this policy. Please note that Trade Guests are NOT approved to remove any product from the exhibit floor. Product given to trade guests will be confiscated by security.

    Exhibitor-Appointed Contractors (EAC)

    Exhibitors using outside contractors to provide any service at the Show are required to complete an online registration form on IHA’s website starting in early November. Exhibitors may not register contractors for exhibitor badges. Non-approved contractors will not be able to work or gain entry and the exhibitor may have to hire approved contractors. Exhibitors or EAC’s found in violation will be held accountable. For more information, please refer to the Exhibitor Services Kit.


    Unauthorized photography of any exhibit or product is prohibited and may result in expulsion from the Show. Unauthorized photography includes videotaping or photographing another exhibitor’s booth or product without the exhibitor’s permission at any time. Exhibitors are required to monitor their own booth areas and should notify IHA or security immediately of any unauthorized photography. Arrangements can be made to have your exhibit photographed and videotaped with the recommended Show photographer. Upon request, IHA will also provide exhibitors with “no photography” signs to be placed in their booth.

    Video Taping

    McCormick Place/OVG 360 and IHA allow exhibitors to engage in single-camera shoots within their booths. However, all videotaping must be approved by IHA prior to the Show. Please contact Sharon Bellock at [email protected] or +1-847-692-0134 for approval.

    If using an exhibitor-appointed contractor (EAC) to videotape in your booth, you must register your contractor on IHA’s website starting in November. When your contractor arrives on-site, they must obtain a wrist band and photography ribbon from the Show Office, Level 4, Room N426ab, in the North Building. If they do not receive these credentials, they will not be allowed on the Show floor.


    Children under the age of 18 are not allowed on the exhibit floor during move-in or move-out. Individuals under the age of 18 are only allowed on the exhibit floor during the four designated Show dates and hours (excluding move-in/move-out days), provided that the guardian accepts full responsibility for the behavior and safety of the minor. Each child must be registered as a trade guest and must wear their badge when on the Show floor. As a safety precaution, the use of strollers is prohibited on the exhibit floor at any time.

    Responsibility of Property

    IHA will provide perimeter guard service during the hours the exhibit area is closed. However, exhibitors are solely and fully responsible for their own exhibit structure, merchandise and exhibit material. Exhibitors should insure their exhibit against loss, theft or damage from any cause whatsoever. All property of an exhibitor is understood to remain in their care, custody and control in transit to or from or within the confines of the exhibit hall.

    Exhibitors are encouraged to hire booth security guards and should insure their property at their own cost and expense. For booth guard information, please refer to the Security section of the online Exhibitor Services Kit.

    Exhibitors desiring to insure their exhibit, merchandise and display materials against damage, theft, fire, etc. must do so at their own expense. IHA suggests that exhibitors contact their insurance brokers who can secure an exhibit rider policy which will provide all risk insurance covering exhibit property while absent from home premises for exhibition purposes.

    Liability of Exhibits and Merchandise

    The exhibit space located in McCormick Place South and North Buildings and all common areas are leased to IHA by the McCormick Place/OVG 360 and this agreement is subject to all the terms of the lease from the McCormick Place/OVG 360 to IHA. Neither IHA nor McCormick Place/OVG 360 nor their respective agents or employees shall be liable to the exhibitor or any other person for any loss, damage or injury, whether to person or property, sustained by the exhibitor or any other person, whether or not the negligence of other conduct of IHA or the McCormick Place/OVG 360 or their respective agents or employees causes or contributes to such loss, damage or injury. The exhibitor agrees to defend, protect, indemnify and hold harmless the IHA and the McCormick Place/OVG 360 from all liability, loss, damage or expense, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and from all claims for loss, damages or injury which may be incident to arise from or in any way connected with the exhibitor’s use or occupation of exhibit space, whether or not the negligence or other conduct of IHA or the McCormick Place/OVG 360 or their respective agents or employees causes or contributes to such liability, loss, damage, expense or injury.

    Exhibitors are liable for any damage to floors, walls or columns of the exhibit building. No cement or paste is to be used for fastening floor covering. Tape used to secure carpets, linoleum or tile should have a cloth rather than a paper binding to facilitate its complete removal from the floor. IHA will hold the exhibitor responsible for removal of all tape placed on the exhibit floor.

    At the conclusion of the exhibition, building management will inspect the exhibit floor and meeting rooms. Any exhibitor not complying with the above regulations will be invoiced for labor required to clean the floor. Exhibitors should apprise their Exhibitor-Appointed Contractors of this fact.

    Health & Safety

    The well-being of our exhibitors, attendees and staff is important to us. We are working diligently to provide a heightened level of comfort at the upcoming Show. The Show is being designed with well-being protocols in place to ensure everyone has a safe trip while in Chicago. For IHA’s most up-to-date Health and Safety protocols and policies, please visit


    • ADVANCE ORDER – An order for services through a recommended vendor prior to the vendor’s deadline or installation date. Usually at a discounted rate.
    • ADVANCE RATE – Cost for services provided at a discounted rate when ordered and/or paid by vendor’s deadline.
    • ASUV (AUTOMOBILE AND SMALL UTILITY VEHICLE) – An automobile or small utility vehicle, such as a passenger car, van or small company vehicle, as distinguished from trucks, tractor-trailers and other over-the-road vehicles.
    • BACKWALL – The panels at the rear of the exhibit. IHA requires that all in-line exhibitors provide a finished backwall or acceptable backdrop, 8 feet (minimum) in height and extending the entire length of the booth space.
    • BILL OF LADING – A document that establishes the terms between a shipper and a transportation company for the transport of goods between specified points for a specified charge.
    • BONEYARD – Contractor storage area at Show site.
    • BUILD AND BURN DISPLAY – Exhibits built for one-time use with the intent to destroy or leave the booth at the conclusion of the Show.
    • CARPENTER/DECORATOR – Skilled worker who handles booth set up or build.
    • CUBIC CONTENT – Maximum use of exhibit space, without sidewalls set-back.
    • CWT – Abbreviation for “hundred weight.” Equivalent of 100 lbs. Unit of measure used in drayage/material handling.
    • DECLARED VALUE – A shipper’s stated dollar value for the contents of the shipment.
    • DOCK – Location where freight is loaded onto and taken away from trucks
    • DRAYAGE/MATERIAL HANDLING CHARGES – Charges based on various Show operational costs including the storage of freight up to 30 days at the warehouse address, labor and equipment to: load exhibit material, deliver material to the booth, deliver empty containers to and from storage and remove material from the booth for reloading onto outboard carriers. In addition, marshalling yard fees, drivers, equipment rental, teamster and rigging labor. Cost is calculated by 100 lb. units or hundred weight, abbreviated CWT.
    • EMPTY STICKER – The tag indicating a crate may be moved into storage. This sticker identifies the exhibitor and the return location for the crate. When properly marked with an “EMPTY” sticker indicating booth number and company name, crates, boxes and/or fibers cases are removed, stored and returned to booth at Show close.
    • Event Collection – A modular exhibit system using extruded metal framing and PVC, masonite, or fabric wall materials.
    • EXHIBITOR-APPOINTED CONTRACTOR (EAC) – Any company designated by an exhibitor (other than the “official” contractor or Show’s recommended vendors) providing a service and needing access to an exhibit any time during installation, Show dates and dismantling.
    • FIRE RETARDANT – Term used to describe a finish that coats materials with a fire-resistant cover.
    • FLOOR LOAD – Maximum weight per square foot a floor can support.
    • FLOOR MANAGER – Person hired by the International Housewares Association that serves as a point-of-contact for exhibitors onsite before, during and after the Show. Assists with the overall operation of the exhibit area.
    • FREEMAN – Freeman is the “Official Service Contractor” for IHA. They are responsible for drayage, material handling, signs, carpet, furnishings, booth accessories, rental displays, labor, cleaning, plumbing and electrical services.
    • HAND CARRYABLE – Items that one person can carry unaided (meaning no hand trucks or dollies).
    • I & D COMPANY – Company hired to install and dismantle exhibits. (Generally an exhibitor-appointed contractor.)
    • INSTALLATION – Setting up an exhibit booth and related materials according to instructions or drawings.
    • ISLAND BOOTH – A booth surrounded by four aisles.
    • MARSHALLING YARD – Control point at which all freight is checked in. Freight is then dispatched to the appropriate loading dock as space becomes available. This process ensures a safe and expedient fashion in which freight is delivered to the exhibit hall.
    • MASKING DRAPE – Drape used to cover storage or other unsightly areas.
    • MATERIAL HANDLING AGREEMENT – A list of goods shipped, also a receipt for same. Important: When all material is packed at the end of the Show, the entire material handling agreement (including name of carrier) must be given to the freight desk. Note that the exhibitor must make his own arrangements with the carrier of their choice.
    • MODULAR DISPLAY – Exhibit constructed with interchangeable components.
    • MULTI-LEVEL EXHIBIT – Exhibit with second level (also called Double Decker).
    • OFFICIAL OR RECOMMENDED VENDOR – A select group of contracted companies (approved by IHA) responsible for various tasks or services needed for exhibiting.
    • ON-SITE ORDER – An order for services placed on Show site. Prices for on-site orders are more costly and advance orders are normally processed first. In some cases, on-site orders cannot be fulfilled.
    • OT LABOR – Work performed on overtime, billed at either time-and-one-half or twice the published straight time labor rates.
    • PADDED VAN – Similar to a household goods moving van. Operators specialize in moving fragile goods, carefully suspended and blanket wrapped if necessary.
    • PENINSULA BOOTH – Booth with aisles on three sides and backs up to a neighboring booth. (Also called ENDCAP)
    • POWER HOUR – IHA encourages exhibitors to extend their business meetings an hour past the 5:30 p.m. close on Saturday – Monday during the Show. By ending meetings by 6:30 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m., there is more opportunity to conduct business and to avoid transportation lines.
    • PRODUCT DONATION PROGRAM – Charities that receive donations of product from the Show floor. These products are NOT shipped by the exhibiting company via a material handling agreement.
    • RIGGER – A rigger is a skilled worker who handles signage or any other booth elements that require ceiling support cables
    • SOFT CLOSE – While the Show closes at 5:30 p.m. Saturday – Monday, IHA encourages meetings/business to continue until the hard close time of 6:30 p.m. (See Power Hour)
    • SPECIAL HANDLING – Applies to material shipments requiring extra labor, equipment or time for delivery to booth.
    • ST LABOR – Labor performed on a straight-time basis.
    • STANDARD IN-LINE BOOTH – One or more standard booths in a straight line.
    • TABLETOP DISPLAYS – Draped table used as an exhibit structure to display product. These displays are prohibited if used solely as exhibit structures.
    • TEAMSTER – Union that handles material going in and out of the exhibit hall with the exception of machinery. Exhibitors can hand carry their own items or use manual carts or dollies.
    • TARGET DATE/TARGET TIME – This is the assigned time and date that your vehicle must check into the marshaling yard at McCormick Place. The schedule is for the move-in of your exhibit only. The time and date does not apply to your product.
    • UNION STEWARD – On-site union official. The steward is elected by his co-workers and oversees his particular union’s work in the facility. Stewards represent the union in the resolution of any dispute over their particular jurisdiction.
    • WALK-THRU DISPLAY – An exhibit located in the middle of any block of space and will consist of an equal number of spaces back to back so that the distance fronting on both main aisles is the same.




    View the full list of IHA staff on the housewares website at