Suitcasing Policy 2020


In order to protect our valued exhibiting companies and their investment in WISPA, our rules prohibit “suitcasing” or “outboarding”, whereby non-exhibiting/non-sponsoring attendees transact business on the trade show floor or on the premises of the WISPA Show and related events. 
 In order to distribute sales or marketing information and conduct business with attendees of WISPA Shows an individual must be a representative of an exhibiting company. All materials must be distributed from the company’s exhibit booth and not in the public areas of the resort, except with the express written consent of Show Management. 

Definitions of Suitcasing and Outboarding
“Suitcasing” and “outboarding” are business practices in which non-exhibitors/non-sponsors attempt to gain access to trade show attendees without investing in the event. 

“Suitcasing” refers to non-exhibitors who go to shows as attendees but who solicit business in the aisles or common areas of the facility in which the Show is held. 

“Outboarding” refers to non-exhibitors/non-sponsors who set up exhibits or events at offsite locations, in hotel hospitality suites, restaurants or other public places of assembly, and who encourage attendees to do business outside of the trade show floor. 

By suitcasing or outboarding the Show, an attendee gains an unfair competitive advantage over exhibitors that have invested money and other resources at WISPA shows, and deprives the show of income that is used to support the many initiatives of the WISPA. 

WISPA Policy Regarding Suitcasing or Outboarding
• Any WISPA non-exhibiting attendee who is observed to be soliciting business in the aisles of the trade show or on the premises during the WISPA event will be asked to cease to do so.
• Commercial activity conducted by non-exhibiting companies from a hotel guest room or hospitality suite, restaurant, or other public area of the resort is prohibited.
• Non-Exhibitors and Non-WISPA Members who are attending the show but, by WISPA Definition, would be considered a vendor member may be asked to leave if found in violation of this policy.
Show Management reserves the right to approve outboarding activities, such as dinner invitations extended by non-exhibiting companies, in writing prior to the start of the Show. 

Reporting Policy Violations 
Please note that while all members of WISPA are invited to attend WISPA shows, only WISPA registrants who properly display their official Show badge will be allowed on the trade show floor. The suitcasing and outboarding policy, however, applies to all WISPA event attendees. 

Prior to the Show: If you feel that there is a reasonable risk of a problem involving suitcasing or outboarding, notify Show Management prior to the Show.

Onsite: If you suspect a non-exhibiting/non-sponsoring company of suitcasing or outboarding, report the incident to Show Management immediately. Upon receipt of a complaint from an exhibitor, Show Management will:
• Review the complaint with the exhibitor.
• Investigate the complaint and determine what action will be taken, including meeting with the individual/company that is accused of suitcasing or outboarding. 

Action may include any or all of the following:
• Removing anyone found violating the suitcasing and outboarding policy from the Show premises.
• Bringing the accuser and alleged violating party together with Show Management to attempt to resolve the problem.
• Take no action if it is deemed that there is no action necessary. 

If Show Management determines that a complaint is valid but the violator will not attend a resolution meeting nor will they leave the trade show floor or cease any suitcasing or outboarding activities, then hotel security will be contacted to escort the violator(s) from the building. Show Management reserves the right to levy penalties for violations, up to and including suspension from participation in future WISPA events. 

These policies are an industry standard, recognized by The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact WISPA Management.