Exhibitor FAQs

The 2024 TML Annual Conference and Exhibition will take place October 9-11 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, located at 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX 77010. The TML exhibit hall is located in Hall A3 and B3.

Approximately 3,500 appointed and elected city officials and municipal professionals will be in attendance. Additionally, there will be more than 400 exhibiting companies and approximately 1,800 exhibitor personnel, sponsors, and staff in attendance. 

The TML Municipal Marketplace is a searchable online directory of TML exhibitors and sponsors. A Marketplace listing is included with every exhibit space and sponsorship.

The Marketplace allows city officials to search for businesses and organizations by product category, keyword, or company name.

The Marketplace is the official directory used to identify and locate exhibitors and sponsors onsite at the Conference, and is also made accessible year-round on the TML website as a valuable resource for connecting city officials with the services and products they need.

Visit and browse the 2023 Marketplace here.

View the full Exhibitor Schedule, including show hours, here

Unless you have made other arrangements with The Expo Group or TML, your move-in time is Tuesday, October 8, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

If you did NOT pre-ship your booth space items and plan to deliver them to the booth yourself:

  • Pack and pre-label your freight with your company name and booth number. Don’t forget to pack wheeled carts or other items to transport your materials from the loading dock to your exhibit space.
  • Arrive at the convention center loading dock Tuesday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (see directions to loading dock here)
  • Each vehicle will have 15 minutes to unload items. Unload your freight onto the dock, return to your vehicle and park.
  • Return to the convention center and head to Exhibitor Registration, just outside the exhibit hall entrance, to check in.
  • Locate your booth space.
  • Return to the loading dock to pick up your booth freight and transport your items to your booth space.

If you pre-shipped your booth freight to The Expo Group for delivery onsite:

  • Upon arriving to the convention center, head straight to Exhibitor Registration, just outside the exhibit hall entrance, to check in.
  • Enter the exhibit hall and locate your booth. Pre-shipped items should be delivered to exhibitors by Noon on Tuesday (please be patient as delivery times may vary).

If you have just a few light items to carry in:

  • Enter the convention center and head to Exhibitor Registration, just outside the exhibit hall entrance, to check in.
  • Locate your booth space and deliver your items.

The number of details involved in setting up a booth space can be unpredictable:

  • traffic to the convention center,
  • finding parking,
  • bringing in or tracking down booth freight,
  • checking in at exhibitor registration,
  • printing booth badges,
  • finding your booth,
  • making sure your furnishings/ carpeting/ electricity, etc. are all set up to your specifications,
  • troubleshooting any issues with the booth,
  • unpacking collateral, and setting up your display.

Many of these steps can present additional obstacles that are outside of the exhibitor’s control. Exhibitors are required to set up on Tuesday, so you can fully focus on networking with attendees at the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening on Wednesday. 

We get it. Traffic in the exhibit hall is sometimes slower on Friday morning as the conference winds down. However, there are many reasons that TML requires exhibitors to participate 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Friday morning.
Each attendee should receive the full conference experience with their registration (keynote speakers, concurrent sessions, refreshment breaks, exhibit hall, and more) so it’s important that the exhibit hall is available to them for the duration of the conference. It is the “TML Annual Conference and Exhibition” after all!

  1. For a portion of conference attendees, this is the only time in their conference schedule to browse the hall and meet with exhibitors, meaning attendees still want to see exhibitors on Friday! Packing up your exhibit space early can actually prevent attendees from feeling welcome in the hall, which further contributes to less traffic. This is why TML policy states “Exhibitors dismantling or abandoning exhibit space early, without express written permission from TML will be assessed a fee of up to $750. TML reserves the right to adversely consider Exhibitor’s record of non-performance for future TML events”.
  2. Thursday evening is an important time for many exhibitors, sponsors, TML Board members, and staff as they host or attend receptions, annual meetings, or just enjoy spontaneous networking at conference hotels and restaurants. A Thursday evening move-out would greatly interrupt these important conference events.

Exhibitors are invited to enjoy coffee, light breakfast, and upbeat tunes in the hall on Friday morning.

Slow traffic blues? Don’t sweat it! There are many ways to take advantage of breaks in booth traffic:

  • Organize your leads
  • Draft follow up emails
  • Jot down notes about what worked/didn’t work
  • Keep one rep at the booth and send another to scope out the hall – check out the competition, take photos or notes of booth space ideas, best goodie items, etc.
  • Network with fellow exhibitors. You can learn a lot from your neighbors!
  • Get to know the TML exhibits staff! Visit us at the Exhibit Hall Information booth located in the Town Square. We’d love to meet you, answer your questions, and hear your feedback about the show. 

Where to Park:

The George R. Brown Convention Center Parking and Directions can be reviewed here.

This requires additional registration credentials. Exhibitors wanting to attend sessions, keynote presentations, or ticketed meal functions will need to register for the conference at www.tmlconference.org. The booth space includes an allotment of exhibit hall passes only; it does not include registration to attend functions that take place outside of the exhibit hall.

Yes. The organizing and promoting of these events is entirely up to the exhibitor. Exhibitors will oftentimes host a reception or happy hour at a nearby restaurant or hotel after conference hours. You may promote the event by passing out invitations at your booth space or by using the Additional Marketing Opportunities. 

With the exception of wrapped, bite-size candy or peppermints, ANY food or beverage items distributed from your booth space MUST be ordered through the convention center caterer. A full menu of their offerings and ordering information will be provided in the Exhibitor Service Manual, distributed to every exhibitor mid-July.

Need ideas for what to serve and when? Contact us for recommendations!

Prizes and giveaways can help create brand awareness by getting your logo/message out into the world. They can also be utilized as an incentive and help you collect vital intel from booth visitors. Additionally, goodie items can make for great ice breakers on the show floor.

Here are a few approaches and best practices we’ve gathered over the years.

Be mindful of the legal gift restrictions:

  • Prohibited: a company offering or a city official accepting any gift valued at $50 or more.
  • Prohibited: a company offering or a city official accepting cash or gift cards of any value.
  • Click here for a full explanation of the law.

General Giveaway:

  • Simply provide a small branded giveaway to every booth visitor.
  • Reusable goodies that are immediately applicable to a city official’s daily life are best!
  • The most important thing with any giveaway is to make sure the item is clearly branded with your logo. It’s a traveling advertisement!

Upgraded Giveaway in Return for Info:

  • If you want to give away something of more value (but still under $50), offer the item as an incentive for booth visitors to provide more information about themselves.
  • Example: “Complete two quick questions and receive a thank you gift!”
  • The “questionnaire” should quickly gather whatever attendee info you find most valuable, along with Name, City, Email.
  • Keep the questionnaire very brief!

Combo of Giveaway and Upgraded Giveaway: Best Approach!

For visitors who do not complete your questionnaire, you can still have a smaller thank you item for visiting the booth.

*Prize Drawing:

  • Attendees are “entered to win” upon completing a questionnaire, or stopping by the booth space.
  • Be sure to collect information that will allow you contact the winners directly. Name, City, Email, Phone (offer to text them if they provide mobile number).
  • Pre-draft a quick template for notifying winners with clear instructions and a deadline for claiming their prize: “You’re the winner of our door prize! Stop by XYZ COMPANY booth ### to claim your XYZ gadget by 9:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7”.
  • Depending on your budget (under $50 per item), you could draw a winner every hour. More winners = more brand exposure!

*Establish a deadline and/or protocols in the event that a winner is not able to return to your booth to claim the prize.

Need more ideas? Just ask us! 

Please contact us at exhibits@tml.org.

The week of the event, Exhibitors and Sponsors of the 2024 TML Annual Conference can visit Exhibitor Registration, located in the Pre-function lobby, level 3, outside Hall B3. Our representatives will be happy to assist.

For questions after the event, please email exhibits@tml.org.