In many trade show cities around the country, there are union rules that all but "prevent" exhibitors from moving their own product into the trade show hall. These rules ban exhibitors, and anyone except union staff from using any sort of equipment including dollies and hand trucks to move goods into the convention center. Only union employees are allowed to use this equipment. In addtion, in many cities, only those union employees that work for the general contractor are allowed to use this equipment. So the exhibitor is restricted to hiring workers from the general contractor, unless the company product, exhibit materials or literature can be carried into the exhibit hall. Many of the move-in schedules take place on the weekend, and there are usually minimum costs and/or fixed costs for these services, so using the GC's labor to get product into the hall, can easily add $500 or more dollars to the smallest exhibitor's bill. And, on the other hand, shipping critical materials like new, "one-off" samples of product, literature and pieces of the exhibit to the show hall can often be risky. These small boxes are often lost or misplaced by the GC and are very difficult to find on the trade show floor if they are delivered to the wrong booth. At the most recent Project trade show in Las Vegas, I witnessed something that I never thought I would see, and have not seen during my 24 years in the industry.....Show Management had enlisted a team of their own labor to help exhibitors carry their product to their booth spaces. This was incredible, almost unbelievable to me for a number of reasons. 1) This is the equivalent of show management taking money out of the pockets of the same General Contractor that they must partner with to complete all of the other show tasks. 2) This is a fairly large show with over 1000 exhibitors. 3) Show management at this show does not have a reputation for supporting their exhibitors. So let this be a lesson to trade show organizers everywere. It is possible to partner with the general contractor and support your exhibitors. Often times there is a creative solution that while it pushes the boundaries of accepted trade show policy, will provide a better solution for those really paying for the trade show, the exhibitors. Kudos to the management of the Project Show for coming up with a solution which is in their exhibitors best interest and helps the smaller exhibitors survive in a difficult business environment!