There are three key parameters that affect the schedule for packing up your trade show display at the end of the show, these are:

1)      Dismantle Hours – hours that convention center is open for taking apart and packing your exhibit.

2)      Mandatory Driver Check-in time – time by which your truck driver must check in at the Marshaling Yard prior to picking-up your exhibit.

3)      Clean Floor Policy – mandatory time at which your bill of lading must be turned in and exhibit completely packed before the general contractor will fine you for being off the time target.  

Dismantle Hours -

Often-times the temptation for exhibit dismantle is to schedule all dismantle during straight time hours for several reasons:

a)      By the morning after the show, your storage containers will be back at the booth.

b)      When hiring dismantle labor sources the hourly rate will decrease by 30-40% when comparing straight time to overtime.

c)      There is a certain level of exhaustion at the close of the show, and the time directly following the show provides the last chance to meet up with friends and prospects before these key contacts travel.  

Dismantle Scheduling should be directly affected by Mandatory Driver Check-in Time and the Clean Floor Policy for the show. Here’s Why:  

Mandatory Driver Check-in Time

If your truck driver is required to check into the Marshalling Yard early in the dismantle schedule, such as 8:00 AM the morning following the show, you will start to pay for waiting time for that truck driver at some short interval following the driver’s check in. For Instance, your shipper might give you 2 hours of wait time included with the cost of the shipment. 

Driver checks in at 8:00 AM.
Paid driver wait time begins at 10:00 AM. 
Wait time is billed at $75 to $100 per hour.
You hand in bill of lading at 12:00 noon.
Your truck is called in to pick-up exhibit at 2:30.
You pay 4.5 hours of wait time in addition to other dismantle fees.  

Clean Floor Policy

The general contractor (GC) and show management are under a time pressure to empty the conference center of all related show materials.  This time pressure varies from show to show, depending on the contract with show management, and the next scheduled event moving into the conference center.   This time pressure can be very intense.  And one of the ways that the GC gets exhibitors to comply is with the clean floor policy.  This policy states that after such and such an hour, the exhibitor will be fined a freight handling fee, if their exhibit is not completely packed up, and their bill of lading handed in at the GC service desk.  This fine is often 50% of the total freight handling bill, so whether you are a large or small exhibitor, this is a hefty fine!   There is often a second clause attached to the clean floor policy that states if the dismantle of the exhibit is not actively taking place by such and such a time, the GC will intervene and begin dismantle and pack-up of the exhibit.  The damage and disorganization that would be caused by such a course of events would be the equivalent of a hefty fine!   There is another variable to consider before scheduling exhibit dismantle: the labor minimum charge. The labor minimum charge is used to insure that it is worthwhile for a laborer to come to work that day.  For exhibit and dismantle labor in most cities, the minimum charge is 4 hours per laborer.  This is an important variable for two reasons:

1)  You may be able to work the job straight through and pay the same amount at overtime, as a job that takes 6-7 hours to complete with a 4 hour minimum at overtime and an additional 4 hour minimum at straight time. 
2)  You may take longer to do the job with less men, but get an hour worked for each hour that is paid for by using each laborer for the full 4 hours.   Depending on the labor company that you use, you may be able to get labor without paying for the 4 hour minimum on your project. 

This is particularly relevant if you have more men added to your project, once they have worked on a different project for the first part of the day.  Speak with the city manager from your labor supplier to discuss the details.