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Check out some of our most commonly asked questions by clicking on the topics below. Still don't find your answer? Reach out, we're happy to help!

Show Dates & Times

Show Dates & Times

Saturday, March 16, 2024 | 10am - 4pm

Sunday, March 17, 2024 | 10am - 4pm

Monday, March 18, 2024 | 9am - 4pm


Do I have to stay set-up for the whole show?

Yes.  Early breakdown is not permitted.


Can I break down earlier than 4 pm on the final day?

No. Early breakdown is not permitted.

Travel & Lodging

Please visit the show information page for directions and lodging information: Spring Show


Friday, March 15, 2024

See floorplan for booth-specific timing: floorplan

What do I do when I arrive? Do I have to check in?

You can go straight to your booth. Look for NEM staff members if you need help determining where to go. Your exhibitor pack (which contains important materials you need for the show, including your parking permit and name badges) will be waiting for you at your booth. You do not need to check in with anyone.

Do I have to load in on the designated load-in day?

Yes. You must load-in during your designated load-in time on the designated loading day. Load-in times are based on your booth location. Find your load-in time here. There is too much happening on the morning of the first show day – we are welcoming buyers, managing parking, answering last-minute questions and needs of the exhibitors, and training staff. You must load in on the designated load in day, during the designated hours. You can get into the show at 7 am on the show morning, so you have a couple of additional hours then to do final touches.


Where do I park during load in?

Exhibitors are permitted to park onsite at the Sports Complex during load-in only, as space permits.  Exhibitors who load-in in the morning must move their cars to one of the satellite lots to accommodate the afternoon load-in exhibitors.  A free shuttle service is provided so you can go back and forth to your car.


What do I do if I have a trailer?

Please call Vitas at 207-749-1509 if you are bringing a trailer. There is no overnight trailer parking permitted onsite at the Portland Sports Complex - you will be towed. 


Do you have carts available for use at load in?

We have a limited number of carts for use.  However, you should plan on being self sufficient in the case that carts are occupied. 


Do I need to bring my own tools for load in?

Yes. You should bring anything you need to build your booth, including tools, extension cords, ladders, etc. 

Can I ship my booth/items to the venue prior to the show?

Drayage is handled by John LePlant and Capitol Conventions. You can contact John at


Is there any food or refreshment provided during load in?

There is a sports bar onsite at the Portland Sports Complex but its hours have been inconsistent since the pandemic. Please to provide your own food & beverage during load-in, or use a delivery service like Door Dash or Grub Hub.


Practice setting up your booth at home, or in your garage. This will help you streamline the process, making you faster and less stressed during load-in. This also helps you identify tools or other supplies you might need for load-in, that you hadn't thought about before.


Booth Set-Up

  • Size: Please refer to your booth confirmation email for your booth size. All booths are 8' high and you must stay within your booth parameters (including 8’ height). You are not allowed to place displays, furniture or other promotional materials in the aisle.

  • Set-up: 8’ high back and side walls, constructed of pipe and cream-colored drape.  Be mindful of how you hang items such as banners, artwork or other framed items - you will need to hang from the pipe at the top of the drape or bring free-standing frames of your own.

  • Colors: Booth draping is cream. It is recommended that you bring your own carpet or rent carpet through Giraffe Events.

  • Furniture:  Furniture is not included with your booth, with the exception of (1) folding chair, a wastebasket and a 44” x 7” ID sign.  The ID sign is white with black lettering (company name & booth #).  Most exhibitors remove the sign and replace it with their own banner/signage but if you do this, be sure to also hang a sign with your booth # prominently displayed so buyers can find you.

  • Power:  Your booth includes 5amps of power, in the form of one outlet at the back of your booth.  Bring your own power-strips and extension cords.  If you require more power, you may order it through Giraffe Events.

  • Lighting: Lighting is required. You’re welcome to bring your own lighting as long as it does not exceed your power limit (see “Power” above) or you may order lighting through Giraffe Events by visiting the special orders page: Special Orders


Name Badges

How do I get my name badges?

If you pre-ordered name badges by the deadline, your badges will be waiting for you at your booth. To pre-order you badge, fill out this form: Order Badges


How do I get additional name tags if I forgot to register someone for my booth?

Visit the exhibitor services desk onsite and we can print you any badges you need.

How do I register someone as a buyer?

Please contact us at 207-781-5756 x106 or email and we’ll be happy to take care of that for you.


Can my family and/or friends come visit me at the show?

Unless they are registered to work your booth, visitors are not allowed.  This is a closed show and only open to wholesale buyers.  Your fellow exhibitors have invested quite a bit of money to do this show and write business.  Visitors are distracting.  No one under 16 is admitted at any time, for any reason.

What happens if I forget or lose my name badge?

We're happy to print you another one at registration. Badges are required to be worn at all times on the show floor so if you need a new one, just come see us at registration.



Where do I park during show hours?

There is no exhibitor parking onsite at the Sports Complex during show days, at anytime, for any reason.  Parking is limited and must be reserved for the buyers who attend (trust us, you want them happy!). If you park onsite during show days, you will be ticketed and towed.


Satellite parking lots are provided for exhibitors as well as a free shuttle service. You will be assigned to a specific satellite parking lot and issued a parking pass (see your booth package details for the number of passes included with your booth). The parking pass must be displayed in your car at all times.  Additional passes (beyond what’s included in your package) are $25 per. Please note: If you park any place other than your authorized parking spot, you risk having your vehicle towed. 

The shuttle service will run to exhibitor lots in the morning before the show opens, and in the evening when the show closes. During show hours, the shuttle will not run to exhibitor lots, only to buyer lots. Please plan accordingly. If you have an emergency and need the shuttle during show hours, please visit registration to request a courtesy ride.

Exhibitor Services

An Exhibitor Services desk will be available onsite for any questions you may have. You may also order last minute name badges, tables, lighting, etc. through exhibitor services. 

How do I eat/use the restrooms/take a break if I’m working my booth alone?

The nature of the show is fairly neighborly.  We suggest you make friends with your neighbors and ask them to watch your booth for a minute if you need to get away.  We also suggest you pack water and snacks to tide you over during the day.

About the Buyers

What kind of buyers attend and how many?

The Spring show typically has about 4,000 buyers registered buyers and about 2,000 – 2,500 attend over the three days.  Buyers come from around New England and around the country.  Many are from gift shops, specialty stores, seasonal shops and museum/galleries. However, the show also attracts corporate buyers from companies like LL Bean and Whole Foods.  


How many sales sheets/order forms/catalogs should I bring to the show?

This is a tough question because it really depends on how much interest is in your product.  We recommend bring about  300-400 for the Spring show.  


PRO-TIP: We recommend that you bring a flash drive with your materials loaded onto it.  That way, if you’re running out, you can run out to a Staples or Copy Center to print more.  There are no printing or Xeroxing services onsite at the show.


What if a buyer wants to pick up their order at the show, or take their order with them at the time of ordering?

This is not permitted within the show. NEM is an order-writing show, not a cash & carry. If you would like to make arrangements with your buyer, outside the show area (parking lot, hotel room, etc), we cannot control that. But there is to be absolutely no product leaving the show floor with the exception of the cash & carry hour which is the last hour, on the last day of the show.


Cash & Carry

What is cash & carry?

NEM's cash & carry hour is more of a show sample sale. It's not a traditional cash & carry, Typically exhibitors (and show staff!) are buying (or trading) with each other, and some buyers will come back just to be able to shop for themselves, maybe pick up orders, or shop for samples for their stores. Cash & carry takes place during the last hour of the show, on the last day (Monday) from 3-4pm.  During this time, exhibitors are permitted to sell the product in their booths.

Do I have to participate in cash & carry?

Participation in cash & carry is entirely up to you. Approximately 85% of exhibitors usually participate in cash & carry. 


What kind of pricing do exhibitors usually offer during cash & carry?

Pricing is entirely up to you.  Some exhibitors sell at wholesale prices, others at retail and others strike a balance. Do whatever works best for your business.


Can I bring additional product to sell at cash & carry?

If you bring extra product to sell at cash & carry you must be able to store it in your booth.  There is no storage available onsite.

Should I charge sales tax if I'm selling at retail pricing for cash & carry?

That is up to you. The cash & carry hour is a little bit of a wild-west scenario. We don't regulate it, other than ensuring cash & carry sales only happen during that hour.


We recommend you have plenty of small change on hand, so that you can make change for people paying with cash. You are also welcome to take credit cards - totally up to you (or trade!).  Additionally, if you have the type of product that is easier carried in a bag, it's nice to make those available for people. 

Best New Product Contest

The Best New Product (BNP) Contest is an optional promotional opportunity for exhibitors. Every exhibitor is allowed to enter one product (one product vs. a collection of products – for example, “Peach Body Lotion” is ok, “Fruit Body Lotions” is not).  The contest entries are displayed on tables at the front of the show.  Buyers vote on their favorites (please note: exhibitors and show staff are not eligible to vote – only buyers).  Winners receive prizes of cash, credit or honorable mention.

Best Booth Contest
The Best Booth Contest is a free promotional opportunity for exhibitors.  Booths are reviewed by a panel of judges and are evaluated based on: lighting, creativity, product merchandising and overall appeal.  Winners receive cash or credit towards a future show. How it works: You don’t have to do anything but create a fabulous booth!



Can I breakdown earlier than 4pm on Monday?

No. Early breakdown is not permitted - and we are very strict about this. Besides being a safety issue, breaking down early changes the tone on the show floor. Buyers might still be conducting business and when exhibitors start to break down, they feel they need to leave. Please respect them, and your fellow exhibitors, by waiting until 4pm to start breaking down your booth.


Where do I park during load-out/can I go get my car before the show closes?

The shuttle service will begin taking exhibitors to the satellite lots on Monday after the show closes. At that point, you will be permitted to retrieve your car and park onsite at the Sports Complex.  Load-out is scheduled from 4:00-8:00pm.  Early load-out is not permitted due to safety concerns as well as respect for buyers and other exhibitors.

What do I do with trash or extra packing materials?

Garbage and waste must be disposed of in trash bags to be left at your booth.  If you don’t have trash bags, or need more, visit the registration desk and we’ll provide you with as many as you need. Please pile your garbage neatly.  Exhibitors who leave their booth “trashed” with packaging, containers, labels, food, garbage and other refuse, will be invoiced a clean-up fee of $150.


How long do I have to load-out? Can I come back to pick up items the next day?

You must be fully loaded out by 8pm on Monday. NEM and venue staff are not responsible for any items left behind.


Instead of rushing to breakdown right after the show closes, go enjoy a beverage or a snack! By the time your done with your break, many of the exhibitors will have cleared out, making it easier for you to pack-up and load-out.


Show Rules

Please refer to the Exhibitor Terms of Service for show rules. As far as buyers, show policies are as follows:

  • Buyer must be a qualified buyer of wholesale giftware, specialty food or home furnishings.

  • Open to the trade only.

  • No one under age 16 admitted.

  • No cameras or video equipment.

  • No photography permitted.

  • No strollers or rolling carts on exhibit floor.

  • No pets allowed, excluding service dogs.

  • 2 forms of business ID required at entry (business cards, business checks, resale #, business invoice, payroll check, business credit card, logo'd clothing

  • Please stay home if you do not feel well.

Travel & Lodge
Booth Setup
Name Badges
Exhib Services
About the Buyers
Cash & Car
Show Rules
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