As a long-term exhibitor at NGS Conferences (my first time was 1985 in Salt Lake City with Heritage Quest), I always wonder how the Tuesday set-up day is going to work out. We typically start moving product into the exhibit hall about 9 am or so – and usually have to be out of the hall (finished with set-up or not) by somewhere around 5 or 6 p.m. In most cases, the smaller exhibitors (as opposed to Ancestry, FamilySearch, or findmypast), just hand-carry, or hand-truck their goods to their booths. Set-up in cities that are not in right-to-work states can be interesting, in that we can’t do that if union labor is expecting to take the goods to our booths. The rules usually state that we must use the union labor if the items can’t just be hand-carried to the booth.
I’m pleased to report that using the union labor went splendidly yesterday. We stacked all our goods on six pallets in the back of our 14-ft box van, drove down from Salt Lake on Monday, and arrived at the back-door of the exhibit hall about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday (after spending the night in the LVH hotel here in Vegas). We were met by some husky fellows who looked at our load and immediately assured us that this was going to be a “piece of cake.” They unloaded the van in under an hour, hauling all 4,996 pounds of it (yes – they weighed it) to our Family Roots Publishing Co. booth #405 at the front of the hall. We spent the day setting up our racking, unpacking books and loading up the shelves. When we got a box or barrel emptied, we set them back on the pallets. We then stretch-wrapped the empties in place, and the fork-truck guys carried them off for storage until Saturday afternoon, when they plan to bring them back to us, allowing us to reverse what we did on Tuesday.
Yes – there are fees for the union labor – and double-time pay is expected on the weekend, but all-in-all, the speed and efficiency of the labor made the job go smoothly – no complaints here.