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GASC: Graph Expo More Exhibitor Friendly

August 6, 2010
RESTON, VA—The Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) notes that new legislation passed in May by the Illinois General Assembly will result in greater work rule flexibility and lower costs at McCormick Place for vendors exhibiting at Graph Expo 2010. Additional changes, including reductions in utilities, related services, and in food and beverage pricing, will also positively affect attendees. This year's show takes place Oct. 3-6 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The legislation changes certain work rules at McCormick Place that will provide greater flexibility for exhibitors in their booth setup and takedown procedures. As of Aug. 1, McCormick Place will already have implemented the first phase of these changes, which encompass the following new initiatives:

* Expanded exhibitor rights. Exhibitors will now be able to do their own booth and equipment setup and dismantling using their own ladders and hand tools (power tools are acceptable), regardless of booth size.

* Standardized straight time, overtime and double time. The straight-time window for all skilled labor services, including those performed by Teamsters, riggers, carpenters, decorators and electricians, will increase to 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday through Friday. Straight time is for the first eight hours of the workday. Specific, standardized windows will be observed for overtime and doubletime. 

* New automobile and small utility vehicle policy. Exhibitors will be allowed to deliver, unload and reload certain materials and equipment themselves in designated areas, according to outlined rules.

* Implementation of lower crew sizes. The crew size has been set at two people, unless larger crews are determined to be necessary for efficiency or safety reasons.

* Significant changes to McCormick Place's exhibitor and technical services. The "at-cost" rate will be charged for all labor provided by electricians, plumbers and telecommunications installers. Additionally, exhibitor and technical services will no longer charge labor for installation or removal of electrical services smaller than 208 Volts, nor for tear-out of booth or meeting room work (excluding rigging or work classified as theatrical or stage production). Additionally, new competitive rates have been put in place for electrical service.

* New pricing plans for food service. A 10 percent price reduction will be implemented for all catering and exhibitor catering menu items, with additional reductions going toward coffee, soda and bottled water. The previous policy of delivery charges on orders of less than $250 will be replaced by no delivery fee for a minimum $35 order. Pricing for purchases from all non-branded food outlets will be reduced by 20 percent. Finally, exhibitors will now be able to bring their own food and beverages into McCormick Place for personal consumption.

"For years, GASC has worked on behalf of our exhibitor companies and attendees to support efforts that would make exhibiting and attending Graph Expo less costly and more hassle-free," says Ralph Nappi, president of GASC.  "Though Chicago, with its history as a printing town and its geographically central location, had always been an ideal city in which to hold Graph Expo, the old rules at McCormick Place had consistently placed undue hardship on our exhibitors and attendees.  The passing of this historic legislation, and the action taken by McCormick Place to enact many of the legislated changes ahead of Graph Expo 2010, is a real win for the entire graphic communications industry."

The McCormick Place bill was passed with overwhelming support by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and was subsequently signed into law by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. The legislation will allow Chicago to compete more effectively for exhibition business against rival cities such as Las Vegas and Orlando.


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