Exhibitor FAQs

Annual Conference & ExpoNAFSA 2019 Registration

Find answers to all of your questions about exhibing at the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo. Explore booth options, exhibitor services and regulations, registration and housing information, and networking opportunities.

General Conference Information

What are the official dates of the Annual Conference?
The conference begins Sunday, May 26 and ends Friday, May 31, 2019.

What is the address, telephone number, and web address of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center?
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, D.C., 20001
+1. 202.249.3000

When does conference registration begin on-site?
Registration opens on Saturday, May 25. Registration times are published online at www.nafsa.org/ac19registration

Booth Rental Process and Pricing

What is the booth rental cost?
Please see the grid below for pricing information and important dates.

Booth Category Standard Rate: After Sep.1, 2018
10’x10’ Premium Booth $8,975
10’x10’ Corner Booth $7,625
10’x10’ Aisle Booth $6,215

You can also use NAFSA’s Exhibit Booth Calculator to get an estimate of your booth rental.

How can I select a booth?
Booth sales for NAFSA 2019 are now closed. NAFSA 2020 booth sales will open Monday, July 15. Please contact exhibits@nafsa.org for more information.

What’s included in my booth rental?
All booth rental details are covered in the What’s Included in Your Booth Rental document. This document will also contain booth specification information for furnishing measurements.

How do I access the Exhibitor Portal?
Please use the Exhibitor Portal to access information on booth payments, exhibitor tasks, and additional resources.
*Use the same login credentials as the NAFSA Passport for the official booth contact.

The original booth contact for my organization no longer works here, how do I transfer the contact information?
Please e-mail exhibits@nafsa.org with the following information in your request:

  • Booth Number
  • Name of Organization
  • New Booth Contact Details: First and last name, e-mail of new booth contact, NAFSA Passport account ID

If the new contact does not have a NAFSA Passport, an account will need to be created before the contact transfer can be completed.

How can I pay my invoice?
Visit the Exhibitor Portal to pay your invoices and complete exhibitor tasks

Please see the following documents for the accepted forms of payment
Credit Card Authorization
Instructions for Payment by Check or Wire Transfer

What methods of payment are accepted?
NAFSA accepts payment by credit card, check, and wire transfer (international exhibitors only). We do not accept purchase orders.

If paying by credit card, exhibitors are required to pay a 50% deposit at the time of booking online. Deposit payments by check or wire transfer must be submitted to NAFSA within 30 days of booking. Information on submitting payment:
Credit Card Authorization
Instructions for Payment by Check or Wire Transfer

My institution can only pay by purchase order. How can I rent a booth?
If you are required to pay by Purchase Order, the exhibits staff will include the PO# on your invoice, however, you will still be required to pay by one of the three options listed above.

What are exhibitor tasks, and how do I complete them?
Exhibitor Tasks are listed and can be completed within the Exhibitor Portal. These tasks allow exhibitors to complete payment, and submit to NAFSA the necessary information to promote each organization within the printed conference program, online planner, and interactive floor plan. Failure to complete these tasks by January 25th, 2019 will result in a delayed, or non-representation in these materials.

Can I cancel my booth rental?
Cancellation of exhibit booth space must be in writing and postmarked by the cancellation deadline of March 8, 2019. Deposits are nonrefundable, regardless of the date of cancellation. Cancellations are subject to a liquidated damages payment of 75% of the total exhibit booth rental because of the difficulty of determining and proving NAFSA’s actual losses. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after 5:00 p.m. on March 8, 2019 (Eastern Daylight Time). No shows shall be treated as cancellations. Upon cancellation (including no shows), NAFSA has the right to resell the space and retain all revenue collected.

Exhibitor Services

What are the Exhibitor Installation and Dismantling times for the Expo Hall?

Sunday, May 26, 2019, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST)
Monday, May 27, 2019, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Friday, May 31, 2019, 11:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Please note that during Expo set-up and tear-down, the Expo Hall is considered a Work Site and all exhibitors are expected to meet and adhere to the safety guidelines set forth by NAFSA and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Failure to do so could result in the exhibitor being denied access to the Expo Hall.

Where do I find information on set-up regulations?
Please read IAEE’s Exhibit Booth Regulations to learn about important rules for designing your booth. Booths that are found to be in violation of these regulations will receive a written notice from show management, and will be asked to adjust their booth accordingly.

How do I order electricity and furniture for my booth?
When available, exhibitors will be able to use Freeman’s Online Exhibitor Service Manual to make arrangements for ordering electricity and furnishings for their booth. This will be sent out to all exhibitors with a zero balance in early 2019.

Will there be internet in the convention center?
The Walter E. Washington Convention & Exposition Center does offer complimentary Wi-Fi, however, it is not recommended for video or presentation streaming. The complimentary Wi-Fi service is for casual browsing only. Exhibitors should consider purchasing internet for their booths to ensure optimal coverage for lead retrieval and messaging to attendees.

What is an Exhibitor Service Manual, and when will we receive it?
The Online Exhibitor Service Manual is a comprehensive resource for our exhibitors provided by Freeman Decorating Services, NAFSA general services contractor. This guide contains information for furnishings/electricity rental, booth set-up/tear down, convention center order forms, and much more. Freeman works closely with all exhibitors to ensure a successful, well-planned, and safe experience for the NAFSA International Education Expo. The manual was sent out in early February to all exhibitors with a zero balance as of January 25, 2019.

How do I ship my materials to the convention center?
Information on shipping will be available in the Exhibitor Service Manual.

What credentials will I need to get into the Expo Hall before official hours? (For daily set-up/break-down)
All exhibitors will need a red and white EXHIBITOR ribbon to enter the Expo Hall before official Expo Hall hours. This credential will also be required during installation and dismantling hours. Only exhibitors who have the designation EXH on their attendee name badges will be given this ribbon. Information on exhibitor registration will be sent out in late February before registration opens.

I have a colleague who will be helping me set-up/tear-down, but will not be attending the conference. What credentials do they need to get into the expo hall?
Please contact exhibits@nafsa.org to make the necessary arrangements.

What are Exhibitor Appointed Contractors?
Exhibitor Appointed Contractors (EAC) are general services contractors hired by exhibitors outside of NAFSA’s official contractor, Freeman Co. If an EAC is employed, the Exhibitor must provide NAFSA the name of the EAC no later than 30 days prior to the first day of Exposition move in. All EACs must provide a valid certificate of insurance for liability and worker’s compensation. The EAC must also sign an indemnification agreement and agree to comply with these terms and conditions.

What proof of insurance do I need to provide to show management?
Taken from the Liability and Insurance clause of the 2019 Exhibit Space Contact Terms and Conditions:
Exhibitor must obtain insurance policies covering its exhibit materials at the conference. Exhibitor must also have adequate public liability, bodily injury, and property damage insurance coverage for participation in the Expo. Such insurance shall name NAFSA, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, as additional insureds. All Exhibitors must provide a certificate of insurance coverage to NAFSA. Exhibitor hereby waves each and every claim that arises or may arise in its favor against one or more Indemnitee for any and all losses covered by its insurance. Such waiver precludes the assignment of any claim by subrogation or otherwise.
Please e-mail exhibits@nafsa.org for further information.

How do I secure insurance as an international exhibitor?
NAFSA is currently working to secure insurance rates for international exhibitors. Information on the approved companies and insurances rates is forthcoming.

Can we bring in food for attendees to sample?
All food being distributed within the convention center must be approved by the convention center food services department. For more information about ordering food and beverage at your booth will be available in the Exhibitor Service Manual.

Registration, Housing, and Travel

Do I need to register for the conference?
All exhibitors are required to register for the conference when registration opened on March 1, 2019. Each exhibiting organization is allowed two (2) complimentary registrations per 100 sq ft (10’ x 10’) booth rental space.

How do I use my complimentary registration for the conference as an exhibitor?
Fully paid exhibitors have received an e-mail containing unique registration code to use during registration. Instructions for using this code were included in this e-mail.

What if I am not using one of the complimentary registrations, but still need to register as an exhibitor?
The same code will be used for non-comped exhibitor registrations. If you are not meant to receive a comped registration, you will need to wait to register until after all of the complimentary registrations assigned to your code have been used.

When I can book my housing?
The official housing block for NAFSA 2019 opened on March 1, 2019. Reservations can be made online from the Housing & Travel web page. Please see the Unauthorized Housing Providers Notice for information on housing scams.

How do I obtain an invitation letter for my visa application?
If you are from a country which requires a Letter of Invitation to acquire your visa, you will need to submit a Letter of Invitation Request through our web form.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the wait times information for interview appointments and visa processing at each embassy and consular section worldwide. Further information on this can be found on the U.S. Department of State website. Please allow 3-5 business days to process your request. The acceptance of a request will be based on the information provided by the attendee demonstrating professional or academic alignment with NAFSA’s mission and values.

Mailing Lists and Networking

When will we receive the pre-show mailing list?

Due to new policies compliant with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL), NAFSA is implementing a new process for distributing this list to its exhibitors, beginning with the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo. Please review the following information for details on the new process and the new policy surrounding this change.

  • All exhibitors who wish to receive the complimentary list must submit a request through NAFSA's marketing partner, InFocus.
  • The list will be sent only to the exhibitor's agency responsible for handling their mailings/advertising.
    • Exhibitors who do not have their own agency or marketing partners will be required to use InFocus. No lists will be distributed directly to the exhibitor.
  • All mailing messages to be sent using the complimentary list must be approved by NAFSA prior to sending.
  • All exhibitors who choose to use the list for the single-use physical postal mailing will be responsible for paying a processing fee of up to $75 USD.
    • Exhibitors who do not have their own agency or marketing partners will be required to use InFocus mailing services, incurring additional fees based on the services utilized.
  • If there are multiple organizations exhibiting together within an exhibit space, the single use mailing list request must be sent by the booth organizer on behalf of its participants.

Exhibitors are also reminded that use of this mailing list is not mandatory. Exhibitors are encouraged to utilize the Attendee Networking features within the Online Program and Mobile App which will be available Spring of 2019. The Attendee Networking is available to all registrants and allows exhibitors to message directly to attendees through the platforms, provided that both parties have registered for the conference and have elected, or "opted-in", to sharing their contact information in the Online Program and Mobile App.

Prior to the conference, exhibitors may be contacted by companies other than InFocus offering mailing lists associated with the NAFSA conference. InFocus is the only vendor authorized to manage NAFSA's mailing lists. All other vendors promising these services are unauthorized, and should be ignored. For more information, please contact InFocus Marketing.
INFOCUS Marketing, Inc.
Tel: 800.708.LIST (5478)
Fax: 866.708.5478

How can I reach out to attendees before the conference?
Exhibitors are encouraged to reach out to attendees through the NAFSA 2019 Online Program and Mobile App Networking & Attendees feature. For privacy reasons, only attendees who have chosen to share their contact information within this feature will be able for contact.

How can I book a private event during the conference?
For those individuals or groups interested in planning a private event or meeting during the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, please contact exhibits@nafsa.org for further information.

How can I get more exposure in the Expo Hall outside of my booth area?
NAFSA has several marketing and sponsorship opportunities to help enhance your organization’s exposure both within the Expo Hall, and throughout the conference venue. To learn more about these opportunities please see:
Sponsorship Opportunities
Additional Marketing Opportunities