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general contractor guidelines

General Information

All personnel operating a forklift, skyjack, or electric pallet jack, must have a valid license to operate the equipment (license must be available for review).

The Austin Convention Center is designated a non-smoking building. Smoking is not permitted in the facility or on the dock. Smoking is permitted in designated areas only.

  • General Service Contractor employees must be identifiable by a uniform, name tag or badge.
  • A General Service Contractor supervisor or foreman must be present before General Service Contractor employees may enter the facility.
  • General Service Contractor personnel are not permitted to use Department employee break room.
  • Drapes, decorations, bunting and other decorative materials must be fire resistant and/or properly treated to meet the requirements for flame proofing.
  • The lobby areas, doors, escalators and passenger elevator are for pedestrian traffic; not move-in and move-out. All move-in and move-out of exhibits must be through designated loading docks, freight doors and freight elevators.
  • Only Department employees are authorized to operate freight doors.
  • Exit, fire hose cabinets and fire pull stations signs must be visible at all times.
  • Current utility forms are available from Department Utility Representative.
  • A detailed and accurate production schedule is required thirty-one (31) days prior to the first move in day.

Registration Area(s) Requirements

  • A “to scale” diagram of the registration area(s), if separate from the exhibit hall floor, is required. The placement must be approved by Department.
  • Registration space is provided in public areas HVAC is provided on a complimentary basis.  If registration is placed in the exhibit hall(s), a fee may be assessed for HVAC on non-show days.
  • Registration areas, entrance units and other show specific displays may be installed during times that do not conflict with the activity of events already in progress.

Exhibit Floor Plan Requirements

  • The Event Coordinator submits the floor plan to the Fire Marshal for approval. It is best to submit a plan for review before booths are sold in an effort to avoid costly changes involving exhibits.
  • Covered exhibits and Multi-Level exhibits require Department approval.
  • A “to scale” exhibit floor plan is required and must include the name, dates and location of the event, as well as, the initial draft and revision date(s) of the plan.
  • Four (4) 11” x 17” floor plans detailing the exhibit layout, show offices, the service counter(s) and the utility grid are required.
  • Allow access to all exits, fire hose cabinets, fire alarm pull stations, phone booths and restrooms.
  • Minimum aisle space required is ten (10) feet.
  • Cylinders of compressed gases require approval by the Fire Marshal. Cylinders must be secured in an upright position at all times.

Concession Requirements

  • The Department requires a thirty by thirty (30’ x 30’) area for concession equipment in each exhibit hall used. When using more than one exhibit hall, total concession area required may be combined.
  • An area for concession seating is required in addition to the 30’x30’ area.

Service Yard
(See Service Yard Access)

  • Vehicle parking is not allowed in the service yard area.
  • A General Service Contractor representative is required at the entrance gate to assist with move-in of freight.
  • Docks 1 and 11 are for Department use only.
  • Docks 2 and 19 are for bobtail loading and unloading.
  • Docks 9 and 10 are equipped with levelers.
  • A “clear zone” must be maintained for vehicles to maneuver.


  • The Department does not accept or ship freight for the client or exhibitors.
  • Requests to drop off equipment or mark the floor must be approved by the Department. 
  • Automobiles are not allowed in the facility without approval.
  • Motorized vehicles are not permitted in permanent carpeted areas.
  • Bicycles and carts are allowed only on the exhibit floor and in the service corridors.
  • Dock spaces are assigned by the Event Coordinator.

Signage and Rigging
(see Rigging Guidelines)

  • Requests for installation of show banners, exterior and interior signs, directional signs and any rigging must be submitted to the Department six (6) months in advance. 
  • Final request are required sixty (60) days before the first contract day.
  • All rigging services are performed and/or supervised by Department rigging personnel. Fees may apply.
  • Any material or equipment related to signs and/or rigging must be completely removed by the end of the last contract day.
  • Items are not allowed to be attached to electrical lighting conduits, utility pipes or sprinkler systems.
  • All beam structures or other painted surfaces must be covered with protective material before wire, cable, or the like is attached to prevent damaging the painted surface.
  • The Department does not allow bridling; all rigging must be dead hung.


  • Department personnel are not allowed to enter an exhibit booth for the purpose of cleaning.
  • The decorating company is responsible for servicing all of their equipment (i.e. booth carpet cleaning, emptying booth trash cans, etc.).
  • Removal of crates, cardboard and/or pallets from the exhibit hall is required.
  • Storage is not allowed inside the building.
  • Flammable liquids are prohibited and may not be used or brought into the facility.
  • Display vehicles require inspection by the Department.
  • Exit signs must be visible at all times.
  • Storage of general service contractor equipment such as forklifts, truck trailers, etc. is not permitted before or after the lease premises date(s) specified on the contract.

Move Out

  • The Department expects the facility to be returned in the condition in which it was received with the exception of normal wear and tear. Excessive clean-up required by the Department will be invoiced to the Contractor.
  • All waste including, but not limited to, cardboard boxes, paper, tape residue, pallets, freight or packing materials must be removed from the facility, including but not limited to the exhibit hall, loading dock and service yard.
  • Any debris left on premises, tape or residue left on any surface, will be removed by the Department and the cost will be invoiced to the Contractor.
  • The Department trash receptacles are available to the decorating company for disposing of table-top debris prior to removing table covering.
  • The General Service Contractor is responsible for all damages resulting from their activities.
  • Any property not removed and that has not been claimed is considered abandoned by Contractor, its contractors or exhibitors.  The Department may take possession of and dispose of such property without liability.  The Contractor will be invoiced for the cost associated with such disposal.

Note:  The information contained herein does not attempt to cover all ordinances and regulations of the City of Austin.

Equipment Fees / Standard Rate
Scissorlift $135 per hour / $535 daily*
Forklift $95 per hour / $280 daily*
Genielift $80 per hour / $200 daily*
Propane Tank                                    $35 per tank
Propane Tank Replacement     $200 per tank
Pallet Disposal                                  $30 per pallet
Waste Compactor Service               $400 per service
Recycling Fee                                    $35 per hour