Exhibiting Rules

Eligibility requirements

  • All exhibits submitted for display at the Midwinter Meeting are subject to review.
  • Exhibition is restricted to companies that are in good financial standing with CDS. 
  • CDS is under no obligation to extend application privileges to any company regardless of whether or not said company has exhibited at past Midwinter Meetings. 
  • All products and services exhibited must be germain to and effective and useful in the practice of dentistry. 
  • CDS shall be the sole judge as to the acceptability of exhibits. 
  • Products that fall under FDA guidelines must have FDA certification to exhibit. 
  • An exhibitor may not display any product or distribute advertisements for any product that infringes on the registered trademark, copyright or patent of another company. 
  • Exhibits must not be deceptive or misleading. 
  • Quality of life or leisure products – such as blenders, cosmetics, face creams, flagpoles, fragrances, jewelry, ladders, luggage, massage chairs, vacuum cleaners and similar products – are not eligible to exhibit. 
  • Comparative claims must be fair and, unless they are “puffery,” must be substantiated adequately. Comparative claims may include the use of a competitor’s name and the description of a comparable product or service, including price, if the comparison is made in a manner that is not false or misleading. Unwarranted disparagement or unfair comparisons of a competitor’s products or services is not allowed. 
  • Miscellaneous products and services not specified in these standards may be eligible to exhibit on a case-by-case basis. All exhibitors are required to submit a completed official application when applying for Midwinter Meeting exhibit space. 

Abandoned space 

Any space not completely set up and occupied by two hours prior to the official start of the exhibition (7 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 22) may be resold without refund. An authorized company representative must staff all booths during all show hours. Each exhibit must be open for the full duration of official show hours and must be closed at all other times. Invitations to participate in future Midwinter Meetings will be withheld if booth space is abandoned. If an exhibiting company will be delayed due to weather or any other circumstance, it must notify CDS and inform them of the delay. 

Access to the Exhibit Hall

Only exhibitors will be allowed into the Exhibit Hall two hours before the official opening (7 a.m.) and one hour after the official close (6:30 p.m.). Please do not schedule any meetings before 9 a.m. in the Exhibit Hall (at your booth or within your meeting room) with any non-exhibiting personnel or dental professionals. Admittance into the Exhibit Hall for any non-exhibitor will be denied. 

The official badge must be worn at all times while in the Exhibit Hall. 

Certificate of Insurance

CDS requires exhibitors to provide an original Certificate of Insurance by Jan. 9, 2020, showing the policy in effect at least through March 15, 2020, and issued by an insurance carrier authorized to do business in the State of Illinois. This document must show evidence of insurance coverage with minimum limits of $1 million combined single limit bodily injury and broad form property damage coverage, including broad form contract liability, as well as automobile liability with minimum limits of $500,000, if any automobile will be used by the exhibitor or any of its contractors during the time the exhibitor is setting up or dismantling its booth installations and decorations, or otherwise occupying or using space in the McCormick Place Complex. 

In addition to the exhibitor, certificates of insurance will name as additional insureds the Chicago Dental Society; Freeman; Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority; the directors, members, officers, agents and employees of each of the above. Exhibitors should have a rider on their insurance policies covering their exhibit’s transportation from their home base to the show, during the show, and when transporting their merchandise back to their home base. 

Exhibitors should be aware that the Chicago Dental Society, as well as the security contractor will not be responsible for any property of the exhibitor due to loss, theft, pilferage or mysterious disappearance. This coverage should include all the shipping containers brought into or used throughout McCormick Place. CDS will not be responsible for any actions or omissions of any of the exhibitor’s employees or agents. 

Hotel advertising and promotions

As a prerequisite to exhibit at the Midwinter Meeting, any exhibitor that wishes to promote its appearance at the Midwinter Meeting in any form (i.e. hotel keycards, in-room TV, lobby or elevator TV, door drops, in-room sampling, etc.) at any of the room block hotels must work through the Chicago Dental Society’s official advertising and/or sponsorship agency. 

Fox Associates is the advertising sales representatives for CDS print publications (i.e. CDS Review, Midwinter Meeting Official Program) mobile app, website and e-newsletters. To place an ad, email adinfo.cds@foxrep.com. 

For information on CDS sponsorships, email Lisa Girardi or call 312.836.7327. 

Exhibitors who are found to have bypassed official CDS advertising and sponsorship representatives and have gone directly to hotels to advertise will be assessed the appropriate fee for the advertising and/or sponsorship. Failure to pay said fee will result in the exhibitor losing its booth placement seniority and possibly its ability to exhibit in the future. 

Laser exhibiting companies 

In keeping with safety precautions for lasers, CDS has adopted the following policies for those exhibitors displaying lasers in the exhibit area:

  • Lasers must be operated only within a suitably enclosed space with the appropriate protective eyewear available for any personnel staffing the booth and attendees who will be viewing/operating the laser. 
  • All demonstrations of CO2 lasers must be conducted in clear plastic boxes with all sides enclosed, including the top. 
  • Appropriate plastic colored cubicles must also be available for any other type of laser being used, particularly dye and argon lasers. 
  • No laser equipment may be left unattended in operable condition. A staff member must always be present at the booth during show hours. 
  • Important note: A description of each piece of laser equipment and its safety features must be submitted to CDS by December 1. Failure to submit this description will result in the denial of the lasers to be shown/demonstrated or the denial of exhibit space. 

Mini courses and lectures 

As a matter of safety and courtesy, all presentations, demonstrations and marketing/promotional activities, including meetings with customers and staff, must be confined to the exhibit space so as not to interfere with traffic flow in the aisles or encroach on neighboring exhibits. 

Adequate space/seating for presentations and demonstrations must be provided within the exhibitor’s booth. CDS reserves the right to have the exhibitor discontinue any activity or dismantle any display/demonstration feature that interferes with the normal traffic flow.

To conduct a demonstration lecture within an exhibit, the exhibit space must be a minimum of 600 square feet and must be in a 20’ x 30’ configuration. Exhibitors are required to allocate adequate exhibit space near these gathering zones to conveniently accommodate company personnel and visitors.

Companies expecting large crowds to gather are responsible for keeping the aisles around their space clear at all times. Linear exhibits do not qualify for demonstration lectures. The exhibitor must complete the Mandatory Approval Form and submit it for approval by CDS. A proposed exhibit layout complete with seating diagram and sound system design must be attached. The sound system must be designed with the speakers facing into the booth. In addition, the speaker volume must be kept to a respectable level, so as to not interfere with neighboring exhibitors. Any exhibitor who violates these rules will have its sound system deactivated for the duration of the meeting. 

CDS encourages all exhibitors to use a wireless sound system, where the attendees use headphones to hear the sales message. Seating area perimeters should be secured with traffic limiting ropes/chains, low walls or low rails. CDS strongly recommends the use of interlocking chairs to prevent individual seating from being misplaced in thoroughfares (aisles), which causes a safety hazard. Demonstration lectures are not permitted to be conducted within any rented meeting rooms. 

Prohibited activities

Admission to scientific courses 

Exhibitors are prohibited from acquiring tickets to any scientific courses (free or paid). The primary function of our exhibitors is to promote, demonstrate and sell their materials, equipment and supplies. The only time it is acceptable for an exhibitor to attend a scientific program is when he or she is providing technical support for a participation program. If an exhibit staff member wishes to attend courses, he/she must register separately under the appropriate category (i.e. dentist, hygienist, etc.) in addition to registering as an exhibitor. 

Business activities outside of booth space

All business activities of the exhibitor must be confined to the rented booth space. This includes the employment of mascots, models, etc. Exhibitors are not allowed to use the public spaces at McCormick Place to distribute literature, samples, etc. Any exhibitor found to have employed staff in these areas will have those staff immediately ejected from the meeting and its booth closed. The public areas include, but are not limited to, the Concourse, all corridors, lobbies, parking garages, shuttle buses and sky bridges. The use of Segway motorized vehicles is strictly prohibited at the Midwinter Meeting. 

Cash and credit card sales

The exchange of cash and/or credit cards is prohibited for the sale of products and services at the Midwinter Meeting. Cash and carry purchases are prohibited. Credit card information may be taken only for future delivery. Any exhibitor violating this rule will have its exhibit closed for the current meeting and will be barred from participation in future meetings. This rule is strictly enforced. 

Exhibition of merchandise and equipment to Midwinter Meeting attendees before 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 is forbidden. 

Competing programs 

Exhibitors renting space at the Midwinter Meeting agree not to sponsor or conduct seminars/lectures at any of the hotels in the Midwinter Meeting Room Block. Exhibitors who hold such seminars/lectures may lose seniority and the ability to exhibit at future Midwinter Meetings. 

CDS prohibits exhibitors from hosting or sponsoring any program or event or offering CE credit during the Midwinter Meeting scientific program and exhibit hours. Exhibitors may not promote or offer continuing education credits for any demonstration or lecture given in their booths and/or meeting rooms. CDS offers a comprehensive scientific program on a full array of dental topics during the scientific session. This program attracts the most attendees to the Midwinter Meeting. Therefore, CDS prohibits educational forums which may detract from the activities at McCormick Place during the days of the exhibition. If an exhibitor wants to provide an educational program prior to or after the official Midwinter Meeting dates, it must contact CDS so hotel meeting space can be assigned. 

Exhibitors are prohibited from hiring lecturers who are participating in the current Midwinter Meeting scientific program. The exclusive agreement for all lecturers speaking at the Midwinter Meeting prohibits them from speaking in the Chicago metropolitan area for 30 days before and 30 days after the meeting. Exhibitors are advised that hospitality suites may not operate during the scientific program, as well as during exhibit hours – Thursday – Friday, Feb. 20 – 21, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Feb. 22, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Any violation of this stipulation will cause sanctions to be applied to the exhibitor. Exhibiting companies must submit for approval the names and subject matter of their speakers for the demonstration lectures to the Director of Exhibit Services 60 days prior to the first day of the meeting.  

Distribution of samples, souvenirs and promotional materials 

  • Distribution of samples, souvenirs or any other form of promotional material is permitted, provided that they only are distributed within the confines of the exhibitor’s rented space and that, in the opinion of CDS, there is no interference with adjoining exhibitors and it is conducted on a dignified basis. 
  • Distribution of promotional balloons and labels is prohibited. Promotional stickers may be distributed, but must to be applied to badges or jackets/sweaters. 
  • Promotional campaigns conducted prior to the meeting or onsite must not misrepresent the Chicago Dental Society’s involvement (i.e. no prominent use of the CDS name or logo that might indicate the Chicago Dental Society’s involvement or approval of the promotion). 
  • Distribution of promotional materials that detract from the professional and educational purposes of the meeting is prohibited. 
  • Advertisements outside of the exhibitor’s booth are prohibited. 
  • Exhibitors may not distribute any item/bags/carts with wheels. 
  • Exhibitors may not hang banners, post signs or have vehicles displaying company logos anywhere outside of their assigned booth or outside the Exhibit Hall visible to show attendees. 
  • Exhibiting personnel may not distribute any materials outside the confines of their booth space. The offending person will have his/her badge revoked and the violating exhibitor will be subject to a loss of its seniority for that given meeting. 
  • Mascots and booth personnel are prohibited from roaming the Exhibit Hall aisles as entertainment or to promote the exhibitor’s booth.

Food and beverages in the booth

Exhibitors are prohibited from dispensing all food or beverages in their booth (with the exception of wrapped candy or mints). 

Live demonstrations

Exhibitors are prohibited from conducting demonstrations involving clinical procedures on patients or live models. 

Precious alloy exhibitors 

Exhibitors who sell dental gold are prohibited from displaying the gold as decorative items such as jewelry and objects of art. In addition, catalogs and signs featuring such items are also prohibited. Any exhibitor violating this policy will have its exhibit closed for the remainder of the show and may be barred from future participation at the Midwinter Meeting. 

Sales by non-exhibiting companies

Solicitation by non-exhibitors is prohibited. Firms and representatives not assigned exhibit space are prohibited from soliciting business in any form anywhere throughout the McCormick Place campus and all official Midwinter Meeting hotels. Violators of this prohibition will have their badges revoked and be escorted from the facility. 

Sharing booth space

No exhibitor shall assign, sublet or apportion the whole or any portion of space allotted, nor exhibit therein any goods other than those either manufactured or distributed by the exhibitor in the regular course of business, nor permit any representative of any firm not exhibiting to solicit business or take orders in their booth space. Any exhibitor violating these rules will have its exhibit closed for the current meeting and may be barred from participating at future meetings. 

Exhibitors representing other companies must submit a complete list of those companies with contact persons, addresses and telephone numbers when applying for exhibit space. If these companies are not registered with CDS, the Chicago Dental Society may, without recourse, close that portion of the exhibit for the duration of the particular show. In addition, two or more companies, whether they represent or distribute each other’s products, may not share one 10’ x 10’ booth location. 

A reasonable number of booths, relative to the number of companies being represented, must be rented.

CDS reserves the right without recourse to absolutely control or prohibit any exhibit or any part of any exhibit or proposed exhibit which in its opinion is not suitable or in keeping with the character of the exhibition. This reservation concerns persons, things, conducts, printed matter, souvenirs, catalogs, etc. 

Sound/Music projection 

The use of loudspeakers, sound movies, any audio playback devices, megaphones or sideshow tactics is prohibited. 

Sound projection equipment or any other type of sound or noisemaking apparatus must receive advance written approval from show management and must not infringe on adjacent exhibits. If written approval is received, the decibel level must not exceed 85 dB as stated in Section 29 of Federal OSHA Regulation 1910.95, applicable to trade shows. Decibel readers will be used to monitor all approved sound projection equipment. If the level exceeds the maximum level allowed, you will be required to adjust the decibel level accordingly. If multiple warnings are given, your previous approval to use the sound projections equipment will be revoked. This applies to live and recorded music, including that played on all audio and video formats. 

Movies must be so located as not to interfere with other exhibitors or aisle space. Operation of projectors is subject to union regulations. The playing of commercial music via any audio/video playback devices is strictly prohibited. 

While the Chicago Dental Society has license agreements with both the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), CDS does not accept responsibility for music played by exhibitors. 
Activities requiring permission in advance 

Aisle space usage

The aisles are the property of the entire exhibition. As a matter of safety and courtesy to others, all presentations, demonstrations and marketing/promotional activities – including meetings with customers and staff – MUST be confined to the exhibit space so as not to interfere with traffic flow in the aisles or encroach on neighboring exhibitors. When large crowds gather to watch a demonstration or for sampling and interfere with the flow of traffic down aisles or create excessive crowds in neighboring booths, it is an infringement on the rights of other exhibitors. 

Aisles must not be obstructed at any time, unless purchased as part of the rented exhibit space. This is to include any stanchion or crowd control chain/tape. 

When utilizing stanchion or crowd control chain/tape, the booth design should allow for the stanchion or crowd control chain/tape to be positioned within the confines of the rented booth space. The queue of attendees may not extend into the aisle, but must be maintained within the exhibitor’s booth. For crowd control, only one individual may be used at any given time to control crowds. 

Aisle space may be purchased and used for exhibit purposes. Aisle space can be rented at the prevailing price for inline/standard booths. This option is only available to companies who rent multiple island/peninsula booth configuration of 20’ x 30’ or larger. 

Booth designs must be submitted to CDS for approval 90 days prior to the meeting. 

Audio/Video broadcasting from the booth 

CDS has sole authority over all audio and video broadcasts conducted anywhere at McCormick Place West during the Midwinter Meeting, including the Exhibit Hall, course rooms and all public spaces. Any company planning to conduct or record audio or video broadcasts onsite – whether in its booth or elsewhere throughout the McCormick Place West Building – must visit the Press Office to register to obtain an audiovisual credential to affix to their badge. Only those companies credentialed by the Press Office will be allowed to conduct any video or audio broadcasts or recordings. Failure to register for credentials may result in denial of broadcasting, booth closure, ejection from the meeting or barring from future Midwinter Meetings. 

Exhibitor-sponsored contests 

Exhibitors who wish to sponsor any type of contest, raffle or drawing for prizes must obtain written permission from CDS prior to the exhibition. The deadline to submit proposals for a contest, raffle or drawing is Jan. 18. The following rules apply: 

  • Exhibitors must comply with all local, state and federal laws that apply to such raffles, contests or drawings. 
  • Contests, raffles or drawing rules must be posted at the booth. 
    The rules must include eligibility, date and time of drawing (contest, raffle), No Purchase Necessary to enter, odds of winning, how winners will be notified, how participants can find out who won, etc. 
  • Exhibitors must agree to indemnify the Chicago Dental Society in case of any claims arising from the conduct of the raffle or contests. 
  • CDS must be notified of the name(s) of the winner(s) when the prize(s) has been awarded. 

Emergency situations

In the event of an emergency (fire, medical or police), report it immediately on any Exhibit Hall or house phone by dialing 6060. The operator will notify the appropriate department at once. Please refrain from calling First Aid or any emergency department directly, or using the 6060 number for non-emergency matters. Finally, DO NOT DIAL 911, as it bypasses and delays the McCormick Place immediate in-house emergency response. The Fire Marshall in charge of the City of Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau reserves the right to make any final decision regarding the above requirements, according to Section 12-20 of the Municipal Code of Chicago on Fire Prevention. 

Liability and indemnification 

By occupying the exhibit space (whether or not this obligation is included in any other printed or written contract), each exhibitor agrees to protect, save and hold the Chicago Dental Society and McCormick Place and its ventures agents and employees, American National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago T/U/T–75405 and all beneficiaries and agents thereof, and McCormick Place and all agents and employees thereof (herein after collectively call Indemnities) forever harmless for any damages or charges imposed for violations of any law or ordinance, whether occasioned by the negligence of the exhibitors or those holding under the exhibitor. 

Further, exhibitors shall at all times protect, indemnify, save and hold harmless the Indemnities against and from any and all losses, costs (including attorney’s fees), damage, liability or expense arising from or out of or by reason of any accident or bodily injury or other occurrence to any person or persons, including the exhibitor, its agents, employees and business invitees which arises from or out of or by reason of said exhibitors occupancy and use of the exhibition premises or a part thereof. 

These regulations are to be construed as a part of all space contracts. CDS reserves the right to interpret these regulations as well as to make final decisions on all points not covered in the regulations.

Safety Precautions

Fire retardant materials guidelines

All material used in the construction and decoration of an exhibit must be fire retardant. This includes scenery, backdrops, drapes, display boxes, signs, table and dust covers. Any material considered a fabric must be sufficiently flame resistant to pass the NFPA-701 Standard Flame Test. Exhibit construction material not meeting this standard must be treated with a Class A fire retardant coating. 

Polyurethane foam and any similar material is not permitted in exhibit construction or decoration unless it can pass the NFPA-701 Standard Flame Test. Corrugated cardboard and paper may be used only if they have been fire retarded at the factory. It is suggested that the Certificate of Flame Proofing be permanently affixed to your booth. 

Enclosed Booths

Exhibits having enclosed ceilings or second decks in excess of 225 square feet must have plans submitted to CDS for review 90 days in advance of the show. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are required in each partition area below the enclosed ceiling. Exhibits with enclosures in excess of 1,000 square feet will also be required to have “special fire coverage.” All exhibits with a second deck must submit plans signed by a structural engineer 90 days in advance of the show. (Be advised that enclosed exhibits may eventually be required to have special automatic sprinkler protection). 

Hazardous displays and demonstrations

No hazardous display will be permitted without the approval of CDS. This includes any demonstration which involves lasers, laser cutting, cooking, open flames, lit candles, pyrotechnics, smoke-producing devices, heating appliances and any welding, brazing or cutting equipment. If approval is granted, the demonstration must be performed in a manner which ensures the absence of any danger to anyone or any nearby object. Plexiglas or similar protection must be utilized wherever sparking may occur. Specific fire extinguishers may also be required. A copy of all paperwork regarding the request and approval of the procedure should be forwarded to the McCormick Place Exhibit Hall Manager and to the CDS Director of Exhibit Services. 

Demonstrations involving the use of any LP gas (including propane and butane) will not be permitted nor used at McCormick Place by orders of the Chicago Fire Department. No hazardous material will be permitted in an exhibit without the same prior approval of CDS. This includes the use of compressed gas or liquid cylinders, radioactive materials, gasoline, kerosene and any flammable, combustible or toxic liquid, solid or gas. If permission is granted, only a limited supply will be allowed in the demonstration device. Such material can not be stored in McCormick Place overnight. 


City Ordinance prohibits smoking during the set-up, show hours and tear-down for the show. Smoking in public facilities and establishments is against the law. Smoking is allowed only in authorized areas. Smoking is prohibited within all enclosed spaces of McCormick Place, including exhibit halls, meeting rooms, lobbies, food service areas, hallways and parking garages. Smoking is also prohibited within 15 feet of any entrance. Violators are subject to fines issued by the City of Chicago. Propping open emergency crash exits in Hall F is strictly prohibited. 


Excess fuel/cylinders must be properly stored outside, and all transferring of fuel must utilize safety cans. All compressed gas cylinders in use must be securely anchored in the exhibits to prevent toppling and must be removed after show hours. Aerosol cans and other products containing flammable or combustive ingredients are not permitted in the exhibit area unless they are empty. Operating stoves and heaters inside booths also require prior approval. Kindly note that any chemical, substance or material deemed hazardous by OSHA must be accompanied with the appropriate Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), copies of which must be sent to CDS 90 days prior to the show. 

Storage of any kind is forbidden inside the display area, behind the back drapes or beyond the display wall. All cartons, crates, containers, packing materials, etc., which are necessary for repacking must be labeled with “EMPTY” stickers and removed from the show floor. (All empty cartons must be labeled by noon Thursday, Feb. 22). All unwanted containers and refuse should be placed in the aisle directly in front of the exhibit for housekeeping removal. Only a one-day supply of operational and advertising material may be stored inside the exhibit. 

Exhibitors dispensing matches are not allowed to store them in their booth overnight unless they are placed in enclosed metal containers. All firehose cabinets, pull stations and emergency exits (including those inside an exhibit space) must be visible and accessible at all times. All main and cross aisles, corridors, stairways and other exit areas must be maintained at their required widths during show hours. Chairs, labels and other display equipment may not protrude into the aisles. Any vehicle or other apparatus that has a fuel tank and needs to be displayed must have a locking fuel cap and contain no more than 1/8-tank of fuel. The battery cable of such equipment must also be disconnected. Exhibits using a large amount of electricity are required to have approved carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguishers, to be displayed in accessible areas of the booth at all times. 

Distribution of balloons or other inflatable objects is prohibited. Use of remote controlled devices such as drones or radio-operated blimps is forbidden. 

Security precautions 

Exhibit merchandise and displays are prime selling tools. Exhibitors should take every precaution to protect this material. A few security tips: 

  • Ship materials in locked trucks or crates. If cartons are used, be sure they are securely taped or banded. Under no circumstances should the outside be marked by the name or type of articles contained inside. 
  • Ship with a qualified trucker or forwarder. 
  • Be sure to furnish the shipping company information with an accurate and complete bill of lading. 
  • Do not leave the booth unattended during the setup period. 
  • Be sure that all exhibit personnel wear their meeting credentials. 
  • Cover displays after setup and each night before departing. If merchandise is particularly valuable, consider private security or safety container rental. 
  • Do not leave merchandise under tables or displays. 
  • Escort your merchandise to your booth, if possible. 
  • Treat valuable goods, especially prototypes, as irreplaceable. 
  • Provide locked storage space for TVs, DVD and MP3 players and computers. 
  • Do not, under any circumstances, include merchandise in containers to be stored with empties. 
  • At the close of the meeting, be sure to pack as quickly as possible and, under no circumstances, leave the space unattended during this period. 
  • Have an employee remain in the space with the shipment until it is actually picked up by the drayage contractor’s personnel. 
  • Your freight forwarder should be informed as to the type/number of items they are picking up. That itemization should be indicated on the bill of lading submitted to the General Contractor. 
  • Most importantly, obtain proper insurance coverage for your goods to, during and from the show site. 
    During setup and exhibit days, report all incidents to meeting security – Armageddon. Its office is located in Hall F. 
  • Once the drayage contractor’s personnel remove the items from the Exhibit Hall, all incidents (damage or loss) should be reported directly to the general contractor, Freeman, 773.473.7080. 

Should the exhibiting company decide to hire its own private security, CDS has an official security vendor: Armageddon. The security vendor form will be provided in the Exhibitor Services Kit online. Security cages may also be rented from AMK Systems, Inc., 773.735.1600. 

CDS will maintain security during the official dates of the meeting. Limited security will be provided throughout tear-down. However, the exhibitor is responsible for securing its own exhibit materials and/or merchandise once the exhibits officially close at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, through the final removal of the exhibit materials on Monday, Feb. 24. Any material that is left in these areas after the designated storage area will be required to submit a bill-of-lading to the point of origin or returned to the Freeman warehouse and charged accordingly. 

Do not leave merchandise unattended in your booth during the move-out. CDS, the McCormick Place Complex and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority will take all reasonable precautions against damage or loss by fire, water, storm, theft or strikes or other emergencies, but do not guarantee or insure the exhibitors against loss by reason thereof.

Exhibiting personnel Code of Conduct 

Exhibitor personnel are expected to behave in a professional manner at all times during the Midwinter Meeting. If you have questions or need assistance during the meeting, please contact or visit the Exhibits Office located in the Exhibit Hall, next to the Exhibitor Lounge (under the Overlook Café).


Your booth must be fully operational and staffed during exhibition hours, Thursday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Exhibitors are not permitted to dismantle their exhibits before 4 p.m. Saturday.


The official CDS Midwinter Meeting badge must be worn at all times while in the Exhibit Hall. Don’t deface badges by inserting company cards or applying novelty items.

Booth Space

Exhibiting companies are responsible for monitoring their own space. Exhibitors may not enter another exhibitor’s booth space without first obtaining permission. Exhibitors are not permitted to enter an unstaffed booth of another exhibitor at any time.


Exhibitors are allowed to photograph, videotape and mechanically record their company’s booth during regular floor access hours. Exhibitors will be asked to refrain from photographing, videotaping or mechanically recording if such activity interferes with setup, show activities or teardown. Exhibitors are not allowed to photograph, videotape or mechanically record another company’s booth without permission.

Presentation/Demonstration areas

As a matter of safety and courtesy to others, all presentations, demonstrations and marketing/promotional activities, including meetings with customers and staff, must be confined to the exhibit space so as not to interfere with traffic flow in the aisles or encroach into neighboring exhibits. Solicitation outside your booth in any way is strictly prohibited. 


Sound must not exceed 85 decibels when measured by CDS from any adjacent aisle so that it does not disturb neighboring exhibits.

Market research

Exhibitors may conduct market research as a booth activity. Attempting to survey or gather data in other areas of the convention center is strictly prohibited.

An exhibitor shall not infringe upon the rights and privileges of other exhibitors. Any complaints regarding infractions of the rules or disputes between exhibitors will be adjudicated by CDS and its decision is final. 

Any exhibiting personnel violating these rules will have their badges revoked and will be escorted from the meeting. Unethical conduct or infraction of the rules on the part of the exhibitor or its representatives will be subject to dismissal from the Exhibit Hall and forfeiture of booth space, booth fees and/or seniority status in booth assignments. 

CDS shall make no refund and the exhibitor and/or its representatives will make no demand for redress in the event an exhibitor engages in unethical behavior or otherwise breaks the rules. These regulations are to be construed as part of all space contracts. CDS reserves the right to interpret its rules as well as to make final decisions on all points not covered in these regulations. 

Enforcement of rules 

The rules and regulations as presented in this prospectus are intended to bring order and fairness to the technical exhibition. Without enforceability, however, these would have little value. In addition to being subject to restriction or termination of an exhibit as specifically stated above, Midwinter Meeting exhibitors who violate any of the stipulations of the regulations presented in this prospectus will be subject to the following sanctions: 

  • 1 violation: loss of current show seniority point 
  • 2 violations: loss of half of accrued seniority points 
  • 3 violations: loss of all seniority status 

To contact CDS onsite

Lisa Girardi, Director of Exhibit Services, 312.617.1170

Floor managers

CDS has an Exhibits Committee, which acts as official Floor Managers during the Midwinter Meeting. Floor Manager badges will identify these individuals. They act in conjunction with show management and have the authority to enforce CDS rules.

While show management will exercise reasonable care in safeguarding your property, neither the meeting management, facility, security coordinator, drayage contractor, nor any of their directors, trustees, officers, agents or employees assume responsibility for such property. 

Exhibitor-appointed Contractors

If an exhibitor plans to use a contractor other than the general contractor (Freeman) for installation and dismantling of their exhibit, it must submit an Exhibitor-appointed Contractor (EAC) Form to CDS on or before Jan. 9. 

If using the services of an EAC, please be sure to provide them with all the necessary information, such as your official booth number, booth size (dimensions), copies of floor plans or any other information. The EAC should not contact CDS for this information. The exhibitor must also notify Freeman in writing of its intention to use an EAC no later than Jan. 9. 

EACs may not set up hospitality desks or otherwise utilize any part of the exhibit hall for conducting business. The EAC may only assemble and dismantle the booths for which they have been contracted and approved within the confines of that space. An official Midwinter Meeting wristband is required during exhibit hours for management personnel. Wristbands will be distributed each day of setup/teardown by the show security firm, Armageddon. 

Exhibitor-appointed Contractor Code of Conduct

Exhibiting companies are responsible for notifying independent contractors of these rules: 

  • EACs may not solicit business at any time during setup/teardown. Violators will be removed from the premises.
  • EACs must provide CDS with a Certificate of Insurance by Jan. 9. 
  • The Certificate of Insurance must list the Chicago Dental Society, McCormick Place Complex and Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Freeman, its members, employees and agents, as additional named insureds, as set forth in the indemnification and insurance provision in the contract for exhibit space. The policy should include a $1 million comprehensive general liability, $1 million worker’s compensation insurance including employee liability coverage, and $500,000 with respect to damage of property. EACs who fail to meet the deadline will not be allowed in the Exhibit Hall. 
  • EACs must provide CDS with a copy of its license to operate in the State of Illinois and within McCormick Place. 
  • EACs must abide by the rules and regulations included in this exhibitor prospectus. 
  • Notification must come from the exhibiting company, not the independent contractor. Requests coming directly from the independent contractor will not be acknowledged. 
  • EACs must wear a wristband to gain access to the Exhibit Hall during setup. Wristbands must be obtained from the Security Office located on Level 3, Hall F. Show Day wristbands will be available to EACs granting them access to the Exhibit Hall from 8 – 10 a.m. and from 3 – 5 p.m.