Exhibitor Policies

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The authorized signer of the DDW® 2016 Official Exhibit Application hereby agrees to the policies stated below. Revised March 2015.

Booth Construction and Design

Every exhibit space should allow for the visibility of other spaces. To ensure that every exhibitor has reasonable sight lines to the aisle, the following rules for booth construction have been adopted. All exhibit backgrounds must conform to the standards set by the Healthcare Convention Exhibitors Association. Visit www.hcea.org for additional information.

Standard In-Line Booth

A standard in-line booth is ten (10) feet wide and ten (10) feet deep, and eight (8) feet high. Side rails or counters can go up to four (4) feet in height. Any obstructions in the front half of the booth can also go up to the four (4) foot height limit. The height for backgrounds is eight (8) feet, which is allowed in the rear half of the booth space. In a standard 10' x 10' booth, the background cannot extend from the back-wall into the booth by more than five (5) feet.

Corner Booth

A corner booth is an in-line booth with access to two through aisles. All guidelines for in-line booths apply (see above).

Perimeter Booth

A perimeter booth is an in-line booth that backs to a wall of the facility rather than to another exhibit. All guidelines for in-line booths apply except that the maximum height for backgrounds is twelve (12) feet.

Island Booth

An island booth is any booth surrounded by four (4) through aisles. Island booths are 20' x 20' or larger. The visual disadvantage created by a neighboring island booth should be no greater than that caused by an in-line booth.

See-Through Guidelines

Exhibiting companies in island booths are required to comply with the line-ofsight guideline. Exhibitors can allow for 40 percent visibility through their booth or must comply with the 5' set-back rule (see below). The height limit is twenty (20) feet and must comply with the 40 percent see-through guideline. Booth components and fixtures cannot be arranged within the booth to build a wall that violates the 40 percent see-through guideline.

  • Backgrounds can go up to twenty (20) feet in height. This applies to all components and properties of the booth, including fixtures, signs, etc.
  • 5’ Set Back Rule – Side rail and counter height restrictions are waived with the understanding that any side rail, counter, or display fixture that exceeds four (4) feet in height will not be allowed within five (5) feet of the aisle to protect the sight lines of the surrounding exhibitors.
  • 40 Percent See-Through Rule – 40 percent of the booth must have visibility through it on all sides.

Towers, Enclosures, and Second Stories

  • Enclosures and second stories cannot exceed the 20-foot height limit.
  • Towers (any freestanding structure that is not part of the main exhibit fixture) are not to exceed 20 feet in height. These should not occur within five (5) feet of the aisle to not interfere with a neighbor’s visibility. This restriction will be waived (allowing a tower to be placed on the aisle or within five feet of it) if the tower is designed such that it allows visibility through it.
  • All tower, enclosure and second story constructions must be submitted for approval to DDW Administration. Also a structural drawing showing that the structure is properly engineered for its proposed use and approved by a structural engineer must be submitted directly to the Fire Marshal for approval no later than February 6, 2015 (see address below).
  • Multi-level or Covered Exhibits Guidelines are available through the convention center. Fire watch personnel or automatic extinguishing systems are required. Lessee will be charged for fire watch personnel per the county’s fee schedules.

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-249-3000

Booth Equipment and Carpeting

For each standard 10' x 10' booth, Show Management will provide an 8-foot draped back wall, 3-foot draped side wall(s), and a 44-inch by 7-inch one-line company identification sign indicating company name and booth number. Booth space is not carpeted and the ordering of carpet is the responsibility of the exhibitor and is mandatory. Rental carpet can be ordered through the official service contractor. The floor covering must cover the entire net square footage of the contracted exhibit space. Exhibitors will be able to order specific equipment and supplies for their booth. Order forms for material handling, furnishings, carpet, additional drape, floral, audio/visual, catering, utilities, and lead retrieval will be included in the online Exhibitor Service Manual, available in January 2015.

Booth Drawings

Exhibitors in island booths are required to submit floor plans and elevation drawings to DDW Administration. Drawings/renderings will not be returned and are subject to approval of the fire marshal. Each exhibitor is also required to submit plans to the Convention Center. Originals (no faxed copies) should be submitted by February 6, 2015.

Convention Center

No part of an exhibit or sign shall be posted, nailed or otherwise attached to columns, walls, floors, or other parts of the building or its furniture, in any way to deface it. Damages arising from failure to comply shall be the sole responsibility of the exhibitor.

Hanging Signs and Banners

Hanging signs and banners are permitted only with island and peninsula booths, not over a standard in-line. Banners may not exceed the 20-foot height limit (20 feet from the top of the sign). Please contact Show Management with any specific questions or requirements. Exhibitors must follow Convention Center and Freeman policies and procedures.

Recreational Vehicles

Please contact DDW Admin for specific guidelines.

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Contractual Obligations

Americans with Disabilities Act

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, DDW will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate persons with disabilities. Please contact DDW Administration to make arrangements. Exhibitors shall be responsible for compliance within their assigned space and ensuring access into their booth (see Booth Construction and Design).

Cancellation of Exposition

It is mutually agreed that in the event of cancellation of DDW due to fire, strikes, governmental regulations, or causes, which would prevent its scheduled opening or continuance, then and thereupon this agreement, will be terminated. The DDW Council shall determine an equitable basis for the refund of such portion of the exhibit fees as is possible, after due consideration of expenditures and commitments already made.


Notification of booth space cancellation or space reduction must be in writing. Any exhibitor canceling/reducing assigned space will be charged a fee based on the following schedule:

  • On or before Jan. 2, 2015: 25 percent of the total booth fee is due, regardless of whether or not the space is re-sold.
  • Between Jan. 3 and Feb 2, 2015: 50 percent of the total booth fee is due, regardless of whether or not the space is re-sold.
  • After Feb. 2, 2015: 100 percent of the total booth fee is due, regardless of whether or not the space is re-sold.
  • Booth reduction penalties are based on the total booth space initially secured, not the square footage by which the space is reduced. (Example: Reducing a 600 sq. ft. island space to a 400 sq. ft. island space, bought at the standard price before Jan. 2, 2015, would result in a fee of $5,100, 25 percent of the fee for 600 sq. ft.; not $1,700 for the 200 sq. ft. reduced.)
  • All exhibitor personnel registrations will be cancelled with booth cancellation.
  • All secured sponsorships will be cancelled with booth cancellation. Sponsorships will be refunded only if DDW Administration is able to resell the sponsorship.
  • Booth cancellations will result in automatic cancellation of any hotel rooms booked before Jan. 2, 2015.
  • Booth reductions may result in a reduction of the total amount of hotel rooms an exhibitor may secure.

Compliance with Policies

By signing the Official Exhibit Application, the exhibiting company agrees to abide by all rules, regulations, and policies. The signer of the contract also agrees to share the rules, regulations, and policies with all representatives who will attend the meeting.

All matters and questions not covered by these regulations are at the discretion of DDW Administration. DDW Administration may amend these regulations at any time, and all amendments, upon publication, shall be equally binding on all parties affected by them as the original regulations.

All rules, regulations, and policies will be enforced without exception. Whenever possible, DDW Administration will issue a warning and ask the exhibitor to correct the violation. If the issuance of such a warning is not practical, or will not serve to immediately correct the violation, then a penalty may be imposed.

Any exhibiting company that has been given a warning or notice of violation and has failed to take corrective action will be subject to penalties, as follows:

  • First offense: loss of points for the present meeting
  • Second offense: loss of half of points accumulated to date
  • Third offense: loss of all remaining points accumulated to date

Fire Protection

All materials used in the exhibit area must be flameproof and fire resistant in order to conform to local fire ordinances and in accordance with regulations established by the National Association of Fire Underwriters. Crepe paper, corrugated paper, flameproof or otherwise, will not be permitted. Display racks, signs, spotlights, and special equipment must be approved before use, and all displays are subject to inspection by the Fire Prevention Bureau. Any exhibits or parts thereof found not to be fireproof may be ordered dismantled. All aisles and exhibits must be kept clear at all times and fire stations and fire extinguisher equipment is not to be covered or obstructed.

Questions About FDA Regulations

It is the responsibility of each exhibitor to comply with FDA regulations. Please contact the Regulatory Affairs Department with any questions on Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

Food and Drug Administration
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
DDMAC5901-B Ammendale Rd.
Beltsville, MD 20705-1266
Phone: (301) 796-1200
Fax: (301) 796-9878


Exhibitors wishing to insure their exhibit materials, goods and/or wares of exhibits against theft, damage by fire, accident or loss of any kind, must do so at their own expense. Each exhibiting company is responsible for obtaining insurance (liability and fire/theft) in such amounts as deemed appropriate to comply with its obligations hereunder and for its own protection.


The exhibitor agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless DDW LLC, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), American Gastroenterological Association Institute (AGA Institute), American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and Freeman, from and against any and all demands, claims and damages to persons or property which arise out of, from or by any act or omission of exhibitor, his/her employees or agents or any charges imposed for violation of any law or ordinance by the exhibitor, his/her employees or agents. Exhibitor agrees to strictly comply with the applicable terms and conditions contained in this agreement. As well as to strictly comply with the applicable terms and conditions contained in this agreement between DDW, AASLD, AGA Institute, ASGE and SSAT, against and from any and all loss, cost, damage, liability, or expense which arises out of, from or by any reason of any act or omission of exhibitor, his/her employees or agents.

Subletting Space

The subletting, assignment or appointment of the whole or any part of their space by an exhibitor is prohibited. Exhibitors may not permit any other party to exhibit in their space goods other than those manufactured or handled by the contracting exhibitor, nor permit the solicitation of business by others within their space.


Violation of any of these regulations on the part of the exhibitor, his employees or agents, shall annul the right to occupy space and such exhibitor will forfeit to Management all monies that may have been paid. Upon evidence of violation, Management may re-enter and take possession of the space occupied by the exhibitor and may remove all persons and goods at the exhibitor’s risk. The exhibitor shall pay all expenses and damages that Management may thereby incur.

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General Information

Booth Cleaning

An order form for the custom cleaning of tile, carpet and booths is provided. Booth cleaning is the responsibility of the exhibitor. One-time booth cleaning service ordered by exhibitors will occur on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in the evening.

Entertainment/Promotional Activity

Demonstrations or live interviews on the show floor must be confined to the limits of the space contracted. The use of magicians, fortune-tellers, dancers, mimes, puppet shows, or other entertainment of this nature is prohibited unless exhibitor has written permission from DDW Administration. The use of celebrities who are not routinely employed as spokespersons for the exhibiting company is discouraged.

Exhibitor-Appointed Contractors

Exhibiting companies who plan to use a display house/service firm other than the official service contractor must notify DDW Administration via the “Notice of Intent to Use Exhibitor Appointed Contractor” form by March 2, 2015. The display house/service firm must mail an original insurance certificate to DDW Administration by March 2, 2015.

Satellite Symposia Information

Expand your reach at DDW by hosting a Satellite Symposium. Satellite Symposia are educational programs held before or after DDW scientific sessions and hosted by exhibiting companies. Some of these seminars offer CME credit to participants.

Product Theaters

Product Theaters are turnkey, 45-minute marketing presentations about your company’s products or services. These sessions do not offer CME credits, rather, they give exhibitors the freedom to create a presentation centered on their company’s products.

Hotel Door Drops

Hotel door drops not done through DDW’s official vendors, are strictly prohibited.

Labor Union and Regulations

Information will be provided in the Exhibitor Service Manual.

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Live Booth Productions

Exhibitors planning a live booth presentation must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Live Booth Presentations may take place during exhibit hall hours.
  • A minimum booth space of 50’ x 70’ must be secured.
  • The height restriction for island and peninsula booths (maximum height 20 feet) must be incorporated into the overall plan and the “theater” layout must be submitted for approval to DDW Administration by Feb. 6, 2015 (see Booth Drawings).
  • Sound enhancement may be used but the level must be such as to not interfere with adjacent exhibitors. Show Management reserves the right to monitor all sound levels and require the exhibitor to adjust the volume accordingly.
  • No copyrighted music may be used unless the exhibitor has obtained written permission from the copyright owner for such use (see Music Licensing). Programs must be submitted to DDW Show Management for approval by Feb. 6, 2015.
  • A proposal, including times and length of presentations and the proposed speakers and topics must be submitted to DDW Administration for approval by Feb. 6, 2015.
  • Non-profit organizations are not eligible for live booth productions regardless of size of booth.

DDW reserves the right to disallow proposed productions. Prior approval for all programs is required.

Medical Waste

Exhibitors will be responsible for making necessary arrangements for the disposal of medical waste and for the costs incurred. Any company not disposing of their medical waste properly will be penalized by show management and charged any fees that DDW may be charged. More information will be provided in the Exhibitor Service Manual.

Music Licensing

Exhibitors are advised that DDW Administration has not obtained a music license authorizing the performance of either live or recorded music on the show’s premises. As a condition of Show Management’s acceptance of exhibitor’s application to be part of the show, exhibitor hereby warrants and represents that no copyrighted music will be performed, either live or recorded, at the direction of the exhibitor on the show’s premises, including the show floor, conference rooms, or hospitality suites, during the show dates unless the exhibitor has obtained written permission from the copyright owner for such use.

Should exhibitor violate this provision, exhibitor agrees to indemnify, save, hold harmless, defend and bear all expenses as they are incurred by DDW Administration, AGA Institute, AASLD, ASGE and/or SSAT, and their respective directors, officers, agents, employees, and each of them, from and against any and all claims, costs and expenses (including legal fees and expenses), demands, actions, and liabilities of every kind and character whatsoever with respect to the unauthorized use of copyrighted music.

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Sales and/or Order Taking

The purpose of the exhibit is to further the education of meeting attendees through product and service displays and demonstrations. Sales and order taking are permitted provided all transactions are conducted in a manner consistent with the professional nature of the meeting. Products for sale must be the exhibitor’s own unaltered products and the products or services must be pertinent to the attendees’ professional interest. Show Management reserves the right to restrict sales activities that it deems inappropriate or unprofessional. Exhibitors must comply with all sales tax requirements. Exhibitors selling or taking orders during the meeting must adhere to certain business license, sales, and use tax regulations, which vary from state to state.

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Show Management will provide reasonable security protection when exhibits are closed, but the safekeeping of the exhibitor’s property shall remain the responsibility of the exhibitor. Each exhibitor is encouraged to purchase a portal-to-portal rider (available at a nominal cost) on their own insurance policy, protecting them against loss through theft, fire, damage, etc.

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Shipping, Freight, and Material Handling

Advance Shipments*

Freeman will accept crated, boxed or skidded materials beginning Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 and the deadline for receipt of this advance shipment is on Tuesday, May 5th, 2015. Any material arriving after this date will incur an additional after deadline charge.

Please label each piece as follows:

Exhibiting Company Name
Booth #_____
C/O Freeman
9900 Business Parkway
Lanham, MD 20706

Direct Shipments

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, direct shipments will be accepted by assigned target move-in date.

Please label each piece as follows:

Exhibiting Company Name
Booth #________
C/O Freeman
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001

* Dates subject to change.

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General Rules and Regulations

  • Any violations of the following rules and regulations will result in the loss of priority points. All exhibiting companies and their third-party planners are expected to comply with all rules and regulations set forth by DDW Administration.
  • Exhibits must be staffed at all times during the meeting. Those companies that do not keep their booths staffed and operating until the official closing time jeopardize their participation at future DDW meetings and will be penalized with the loss of points.
  • Character of the exhibits is subject to the approval of DDW Administration. The right is reserved to refuse applications not meeting standards required or expected, as well as the right to curtail exhibits or parts thereof, which reflect against the character of the meeting.
  • Non-professional products or services are not to be displayed.
  • Canvassing or distributing advertising matter outside the exhibitor’s own booth is not permitted.
  • Solicitations of business or non-profit conferences in the interest of business, except by exhibiting firms are prohibited.
  • Contests, lotteries, raffles and games of chance, other than those sponsored by DDW, are strictly prohibited.
  • Electrical or other mechanical apparatus must be muffled so noise does not interfere with other exhibitors.
  • Market research companies must indicate on the exhibit application the companies for which they are conducting market research.
  • No exhibitor may enter another exhibitor’s booth without permission.
  • Photographing or examining another exhibitor’s equipment without permission is forbidden.
  • Distribution of any exclusive sponsorship item is not permitted.
  • Use of the DDW Logo is prohibited without the express written consent of DDW Administration.
  • Exhibitors are not allowed to host meetings on the show floor without prior approval.
  • Photo/Video shoots on the show floor require prior approval.
  • Exhibitor personnel, vendors or third party planners may observe, but must refrain from any participation or recording of any scientific sessions on that company’s behalf.
  • Meetings that contain educational material of any kind must be approved by DDW Administration.

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Installation and Dismantling

Installation Dates*

Wednesday, May 13
Thursday, May 14
Friday, May 15
Saturday, May 16

* All exhibits must be set up by Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 3:30 pm.

Dismantle Dates

Tuesday, May 19
Wednesday, May 20
Thursday, May 21

No booth dismantling may begin before 4:00 pm on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

A Freeman Service Desk will be open during exhibit set-up, show dates, and move-out. Exhibitors may verify and adjust their requirements for installation, furniture, audio/visual and other auxiliary services at the Service Desk.

*Dates and times subject to change.

Storage of Crates and Boxes

Proper identification and tags will be available at the Exhibitor Service Desk. Storage of crates and boxes can be arranged with Freeman. All cartons, crates, containers, packing materials, etc., which are necessary for re-packing must be labeled with “empty” stickers, and they will be removed from the floor by Freeman. Crates and boxes cannot be stored behind booth displays.

Booth Demonstrations

Demonstrations, product literature and handout materials are to be straightforward, professional and noncombative in nature and must avoid the use of sideshow or theatrical gimmicks.

DDW will not attempt to settle disputes between exhibitors over issues such as trademark violations, sign copy and copyright violation claims. Show management understands the sensitivity of these issues; however, DDW is not a judge, jury, regulator or police officer, and its enforcement or protection options are limited. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to receive prior approval from DDW for any product demonstration or presentation that may be questionable in nature. DDW reserves the right to order objectionable presentations discontinued unless or until a mutually agreeable presentation may be developed. The exhibitor waives any rights or claims of damages arising out of enforcement of this rule.

Media Policies For Exhibitors

Please review the Exhibitor Media policies here.

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Related Links

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