Exhibitor Guidelines

We look forward to serving you at the DeVos Place convention center! We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation in helping insure that everyone has a safe and successful event.  DeVos Place has a temporary vehicle delivery area on the loading dock. This space is reserved to allow safe access for exhibitors to transport materials to and from their exhibit areas. Show Management will publish the dates and times established for the use of the loading zone in advance of the show. 

  • Exhibitor Vehicle Access During Move In/Out - Must use loading dock entrances at the DeVos Place convention center only. There are no load-in privileges at any other entrances. See map for more info.

  • Passenger elevators may not be used for transporting freight.  There is no on-site freight storage nor can we accept deliveries on your behalf at DeVos Place convention center prior to the first contracted move-in day of the event. Contact ArtCraft Display or your drayage company to arrange for shipping and storage.
  • Exhibitor Building Access During Move In/Out - please use the Service Entrance on the loading dock.
  • Bring Your Own Carts – ArtCraft display has a limited number of flatbed carts available on a first come, first served basis. Carts are checked out at the loading dock. Please return the cart when finished. You are encouraged to bring your own cart to expedite the load in process.
  • Parking - Parking is available at DeVos Place and several parking ramps in the immediate area. Parking in the loading area is prohibited.
  • Exhibitors Hiring Labor - Exhibitors who hire other than the official show decorator for booth installation and dismantling, must notify Show Management of the names of their I&D staff in writing not less than 30 days in advance of the event. Access of I&D staff must be coordinated through the official show decorator.
  • Children under 16 are NOT permitted on the show floor or loading docks during move-in and move-out times.
  • Floor Tape - the use of single- sided or double- stick foam tape, single side or double stick cellophane tape, or masking tape is prohibited on any surface in DeVos Place. Please check with your decorator for approved material.
  • Exhibitor Utilities - Utilities must be ordered 14 days prior to the event, i.e. (Air/Water/Drain, electrical, and telephone services). Service Order forms are available on this website or from DeVos Place convention center.  All multiple booth areas should include a layout with utility locations with the order.  This will help everyone set the order accurately.  Services may be ordered during load in at the Floor Rate through the exhibitor service desk.
  • Exhibitor Fire Safety and Decoration - All fire, safety and DeVos Place regulations must be strictly followed. No propane, acetylene or other flammable or explosive materials are allowed. Gasoline powered vehicles may be displayed with a maximum of ¼ tank of gas. (There are no exceptions.) The vehicle gas cap must be taped or locked and the battery cables disconnected and ends taped. Tanks of compressed air or gas must be chained and secured at all times.
  • Exhibitor Signs, Decorations or Banners - Decorations may not be attached to any surfaces in the building. No holes may be drilled, cored, or punched into the building. All equipment used must be stable without bolting or anchoring to floors or walls. Decorations may not include lighter than air (helium) balloons, crepe paper, cellophane, confetti, cotton, cornstalks, leaves, evergreen boughs/trees, glitter, sheaves of grain, streamers, straw, paper, vines, etc. Poster putty is allowed on glass or plaster wall surfaces. For overhead or heavy signage please contact ArtCraft Display.
  • Exhibitor Food Samples - Subject to Show Management approval, those who manufacture, process or distribute food as their normal course of business and wish to distribute food samples, may be allowed. This is provided food samples are no larger than bite size and beverage sizes no larger than 3 ounces. Please contact the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and your Event Coordinator for approval prior to your arrival.
  • An exhibitor, who does not manufacture process or distribute food as their normal course of business and would like to distribute food items, must purchase these items from the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Please contact the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel to make arrangements to purchase food and beverage services.
  • All cooking plans must be submitted in advance for approval by the Fire Department .Plans must adhere to General Fire Safety/Cooking Guidelines.
  • Exhibitor Giveaways - Samples may not include stick-on decals, lighter than air (Helium) balloons, glitter, etc.
  • Tobacco Free – DeVos Place convention center is a smoke and tobacco-free environment. Please do not smoke in the facility. Smoking cannot occur within 10 feet from any entrance or in the parking structure. 
  • Gratuity Policy - We are here to serve you. No gratuities should be offered to employees. 

Michigan/Lyon Street-Freight Elevators, Ramps, Loading Docks, Marshalling Yard

DeVos Place has two sets of loading docks: The Lyon Street loading docks (located on Lyon Street on the South end of the building), service DeVos Performance Hall, Steelcase Ballrooms, and the Monroe Meeting rooms.

The Michigan Street loading docks (located on Michigan Street on the North end of the building), service the Exhibit Halls, Grand Gallery, Grand Gallery meeting rooms, Gallery Overlook and River Overlook meeting rooms.

Exhibitors will need to check-in with the Traffic Control Guard on the loading dock, letting him know which booth they are in AND in which event/show they are participating. The guard will direct them to the dock available for their show.

Once the exhibitors have parked their vehicles in the loading dock, they must unload their items onto a cart. Flatbed carts and pallet jacks will be available from your decorator, but in limited supply. If exhibitors have their own personal cart, dolly, or other item that would assist them in transporting their items into the exhibit hall we would encourage them to bring it for their personal use. After their items have been removed from their vehicles and placed in the vicinity of their booth, they must return to the loading dock and remove their vehicle. Vehicles are to be removed from the loading dock before exhibitors spend time “setting up” or “arranging” their booths.

Parking is available in the DeVos Place Parking Ramp which is directly beneath the building and can be accessed from the entrance on the North West corner of DeVos Place on Michigan Street. Additional parking may be available in the City-County Building on Monroe Street (across from DeVos Place).

Exhibitors have multiple options for re-entry into DeVos Place after they have parked their vehicle. If they park in the parking ramp below DeVos Place, they may take any of the elevators up to the DeVos Place Grand Gallery. The other option is to re-enter the building through the Grand Gallery doors on Monroe Street.

Vehicles may not be left in the loading dock for any reason except for load-in or load-out purposes without the approval of the building.   Load-out will not begin until the time approved by the presenter of the event. Carts, pallet jacks, etc. will not be available until the arranged load-out time. The loading dock interior and exterior doors will not open until the time posted in the show program.

Exhibitors are asked to disassemble their booths and transport their items to the loading dock upper walkway before retrieving their vehicles.

Freight Elevator

If arranged prior to load in/load out, exhibitors may use the freight elevator in Exhibit hall “B” to shuttle materials to and from the parking ramp. The freight elevator will be operated by a security guard, at additional expense to the event settlement.  This is a great option for events that have a lot of vendors arriving with personal vehicles and small trailers.  This option must be advanced with your event coordinator at least 2 weeks prior to your event start date.

Scribner Street Staging / Marshalling Yard 

Scribner Street (west side of the Grand River) may be used as the Marshalling Yard / Staging Area for exhibitor vehicles wishing to use the loading docks during load-in to DeVos Place.  All vehicles must check-in with Traffic Control on Scribner Street.

Vehicles arriving at DeVos Place loading dock without having checked-in on Scribner will be refused access to the docks and routed to Scribner Street for check-in. Scribner Street is a one-way street heading north and can be accessed from Pearl Street.

Traffic control guards will be stationed on this street. Exhibitors are to check-in with the guard and provide the name of their event, booth number and company name. Exhibitor vehicles will be held on Scribner Street until the scheduled load-in begins, or until space is available on the loading docks. The guard will let them know when to proceed onto Michigan Street eastbound to the DeVos Place loading docks. The guard will give each vehicle a voucher which will allow them access to the dock.

Marshalling yard use must be planned in advance with your event coordinator at least 2 weeks prior to your event start date. 

Vehicles

Vehicles are permitted in exhibit hall areas strictly for purposes of loading and unloading freight.  Unless they represent an integral part of a display, vehicles may not remain parked in the exhibit halls.  Display vehicles must conform to State and City fire codes as it pertains to fuel tanks and battery connections.   Vehicles, because of the flammable nature of fuel tanks and their ability to obstruct exit ways, cannot safely remain in the high traffic exhibit halls.

Empty Crate Storage

Crate storage is not permitted on-site at DeVos Place.  Once exhibit materials have been unloaded, crates must be removed by your service contractor.  DeVos Place does not provide any storage for exhibitors. All materials for a show may be delivered on the first day of the contracted time and must leave at the end of the contracted time. DeVos Place does not arrange for items to be shipped or stored. Our in-house decorator, Art Craft Display Group (616-791-8024), may be contacted to arrange for storage.

The event will be charged excess rent for each hour that materials stay in the building if not properly pre-arranged. The Grand Rapids Fire Department will enforce this safety requirement.

Exhibit Floor

As outlined in your license agreement, you are responsible for returning the exhibit floor in the same condition you received it.  Simply put this means that all cleaning of the exhibit floor is provided by your booth cleaning contractor. This is our way of assuring that the hall is provided in optimum condition to each event at the time of their move-in.  Every event expects to receive the facility clean and clear and ready for installation by their service contractor.

When using permanently carpeted areas as exhibit space, your service contractor must lay heavy-duty visqueen over the permanent carpet before bringing freight or material-handling equipment into the area. Your service contractor must take protective measures to avoid damaging permanently installed carpet.

Freight Deliveries

We cannot accept any freight or materials (including overnight freight services) prior to your contracted move-in date.   Your official service contractor or freight carrier must deliver and accept all freight shipments delivered to our facilities during your move-in period.  All exhibitor goods must be sent to the attention of your service contractor.

DeVos Place will not accept any freight or property on behalf of exhibitors or other parties. It is the client’s responsibility to advise all exhibitors and other parties. All shipments arriving prior to contracted days can be handled by Art Craft Display (our in house decorator 616-791-8024) if arranged for with them in advance. DeVos Place does not arrange for outbound shipments.

Hand-carried Freight

Move-in or move-out through the DeVos Place convention center lobbies is strictly limited to hand-carried items.  All load in and load out of show materials must be done through the loading docks. At no time shall the Grand Gallery (main convention center lobby) or passenger elevators be used for load in, load out, or restocking of materials. The general rule of thumb for items that may be hand carried is that if you could legally bring it on an airplane, you can take it through our front doors. Dollies and four-wheel carts are prohibited.

Material that requires the use of wheeled or mechanical equipment must be delivered to the exhibit floor via the loading docks. 

The escalators and elevators connecting the lobbies to the exhibit level are designed for passenger use only.  They are not capable, nor intended to carry heavier loads and can be damaged by carts loaded with freight. 

Signs - Banners - Window Graphics

No signs, banners, or flags may be displayed on the interior or exterior of the buildings unless approved by your Event Coordinator.   DeVos Place has permanent directional signage in all areas of the building. Any additional signage may be provided by the client. DeVos Place does not allow anything to be pinned, taped, tacked, stapled, or otherwise attached to walls. Nothing may be suspended from the meeting room ceilings.

All large banners and signs that you would like to hang must be facilitated through Art Craft Display. Small signs may be hung using poster putty on painted surfaces only. Signs may not be adhered to the building in any other way. Signs may not be hung on brick walls. It is recommended that signage be made of a sturdy nature (such as foam core). Easels may be rented from either an AV company or a decorator.  Please be kind enough to notify your presenters, exhibitors, staff and guests of this important guideline.

Animals

Animals, other than guide or service animals, are allowed in DeVos Place only for exhibits, demonstrations, and/or entertainment. All animals for those purposes must be approved by management and any proper permits must be obtained. All sanitary needs of animals will be the sole responsibility of the client.

Compressed Gasses

If the event will be bringing in any compressed gasses, you must notify and get approval for such by the Event Coordinator prior to the event. All compressed gasses brought into DeVos Place must be contained in an approved cylinder, which must be properly secured to prevent tipping or falling over. If the client has rented compressed gas tanks, we remind them to make sure a “pick-up” date is scheduled so tanks will be removed from the facility at the end of your contracted event time.

Food industry tradeshows

If food show exhibitors either give away or sell food or beverage products not provided by our in-house catering department, show management is responsible for notifying Amway Grand Plaza Concessions for assistance in obtaining a blanket health permit covering exhibitors.

For all shows other than food industry shows, any exhibitors that either give away or sell food or beverage products not provided by our in-house catering department must contact Amway Grand Plaza Concessions and obtain their own individual health permits.  It is show management’s responsibility to inform their exhibitors of this requirement and to determine that all such permits are in place prior to show opening.

When we provide the food or beverage product, it is our health permit that protects the consumer.  When we do not provide the product, we cannot be held responsible for its safe consumption.  Therefore, show management must assume responsibility for safeguarding the public's interest. 

If you have questions as to whether or not this applies to you, talk with your Food & Beverage Sales Manager at the Amway Grand Hotel, or contact the public health office here in Grand Rapids where the permits are issued:

Environmental Health Division
700 Fuller Avenue N.E.
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
P: (616) 632-6900
F: (616) 632-6892
www.accesskent.com/Health

General Fire Safety Guidelines 

DeVos Place is committed to making sure that your event is safe for all participants. Your Event Coordinator is familiar with the Fire Marshall’s guidelines and is responsible for making sure that they are followed.  Safety is our number one priority for your event! The purpose of these guidelines is to communicate the information necessary to maintain acceptable levels of fire and public safety within DeVos Place Convention Center. These are minimum fire safety requirements which apply to all events.

Grand Rapids Fire Department's (GRFD) Fire Prevention Bureau (FPB) is responsible for enforcement of the International Fire Code (2003) as adopted in the Grand Rapids Municipal Code. Covered under the Fire Code are existing commercial occupancies (that is, every type of building except 1- and 2-family dwellings) and new installations of fire protection systems in buildings.

FPB Inspectors respond to complaints of unsafe conditions by the public. They also inspect temporary cooking and gathering facilities (festivals, etc.) for fire safety.

Fire Prevention Inspectors focus their work on higher risk occupancies, such as Assembly occupancies (restaurants, bars, theaters, clubs), Educational occupancies (elementary and secondary schools), Residential occupancies (apartment buildings, hotels, dorms) and Institutional occupancies (nursing homes, retirement homes) and Factory and Storage occupancies (using hazardous processes and manufacturing or warehousing dangerous products). Inspectors also advise fire companies conducting fire safety inspections in their response districts.

Floor plans are reviewed by DeVos Place staff.  After review, floor plans will be “Approved", or required changes will be indicated.  A representative of the DeVos Place Event Services Team will communicate with the client or contractor on required plan revisions. A copy of all approved plans will be sent to the Fire Marshall for their records.  In special circumstances DeVos Place will present the Fire Marshall with the plans for approval. The Fire Marshal may conduct a final walk-through of the show floor prior to doors opening, and may also randomly inspect during show hours.  Fire Marshall inspections are required for all events which involve access by the general public. The cost of the inspection will be outlined in your cost estimate and billed to the show on settlement.

Floor plans need to be sent to your event coordinator for approval.