Destin-Fort Walton Convention Center Exhibitor Guidelines
With direct Exhibit Hall access, loading and installation are a breeze.
Welcome to the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center!
Please review all exhibitor guidelines carefully. Our goal is for you to have the most enjoyable and profitable exhibitor experience possible, and these guidelines are truly your outline for success. We are here to assist you in any way we can, so please feel free to contact us at 850-609-3800 or [email protected].
To order services for your event, visit our online ordering portal:
Adhesive-backed (stick-on) nametags, stickers and decals are strictly prohibited and may not be distributed or used for any purpose within the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center (DFWBCC). Appropriate adhesives may be used on DFWBCC floors or other surfaces if the client is given prior approval by a DFWBCC representative. All adhesives must be approved prior to use. Approved adhesives may be purchased from the DFWBCC. In all situations, regardless of type of adhesive used, the client is responsible for removing all adhesives and adhesive residue. The client is also responsible for any damage that is caused to any DFWBCC facility surface by the adhesives and will be charged appropriate cleaning fees or damage fees for repair, repainting, etc. Clients who do not remove tape and residue will be billed for all labor and material charges for the DFWBCC staff to remove tape and residue.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center offers many features that make our facility friendly to our guests with disabilities. These features include accessible parking, automatic entrance doors, wheelchair-accessible elevator, wheelchair lift for the stage, accessible restrooms, and assistive hearing devices. Please advise us thirty (30) days in advance of any delegates with special needs. We suggest you include an area on your registration form to allow individuals with disabilities to indicate any special needs they may have.
With the exception of guide, signal or service dogs, animals are not allowed in the facility without prior approval. Approval is based on whether the animal is legitimately part of a show, exhibit or activity requiring use of animals. If allowed, the client is ultimately responsible for the liability associated with animals and their sanitary needs.
Audiovisual equipment is provided in-house by the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center. Groups are permitted to bring in third-party audiovisual suppliers, but shall incur a fee for the use of the DFWBCC’s house sound system, and the cost for any electrical needs as well as a fee for the use of an offsite vendor/supplier. Third-party suppliers must provide a copy of Business Liability Insurance and sign a Hold Harmless Agreement. Audiovisual equipment may be ordered online via the DFWBCC’s website.
Banners and Signs
Please advise your Event Coordinator in advance of the quantity, size, and desired location of your banners. Charges will be incurred for hanging banners. Banner hanging can be ordered and arranged online via the DFWBCC’s website.
Day tanks of bottled gas may be used during show hours for cooking or demonstration purposes. Tanks must have a release valve and be removed from the DFWBCC daily at the close of the event. At no time can tanks be stored in the DFWBCC. A 2A40 BC fire extinguisher with current certification is required within ten feet of the cooking device. The Okaloosa Island Fire Department requires a Level II Fire Watch for exhibits that use liquid propane for cooking or other activities.
Exhibitors are responsible for cleanup of their rented booth. Please dispose of all trash in the proper receptacles provided by the DFWBCC. The Exhibit floor is to be returned to DFWBCC in the same condition it was received. If the floor is not returned in such condition, DFWBCC will clean the area and bill you for the costs incurred, including the removal of tape and tape residue. Plastic floor covering is available for purchase.
Any fryer that will release grease-laden vapors will need to be self-enclosed and UL approved. Tableside cookers/gas-fired devices are permissible only when fueled by no more than two ten-ounce LP gas capacity non-refillable butane containers. The butane containers must be removed daily at the close of the show. Standard propane gas grills are only allowed outside the building. If cooking oil is used by exhibitors, it is the exhibitor’s responsibility to move used oil into the appropriate disposal container as designated by DFWBCC Management. Exhibitors shall comply with all Okaloosa County Health Department rules and regulations. Exhibits involving cooking or food preparation must provide a cleanup area. A four-foot space or barrier to separate the public from a cooking, open flame, or heat-producing appliance is required. Anyone planning to cook during an event must fill out the Cooking and Heat Producing Devices form.
As the licensee who has contracted for the use of the facilities, you are responsible for any damage caused by your staff, contractors, exhibitors, or attendees. A pre- and post-walk-through of your contracted areas must be scheduled with your Event Coordinator.
The use of confetti, feathers, glitter, silly string, helium balloons, Mylar balloons, or self-adhesive name tags is prohibited. Signage and decorations may not be adhered to walls or windows in any area of the DFWBCC without prior consent. The use of tacks, glue, nails, staples, or any other type of fasteners to hang signage or decorations is prohibited. Please inquire for a listing of the DFWBCC’s approved adhesives and preferred decorating companies. Sets, scenery, exhibit material, etc., shall be of flameproof material and conform to the Fire Prevention Code of the State of Florida. Cleaning and/or removal of décor items such as confetti, feathers, streamers, balloons, gel beads, rose petals, etc. will incur additional charges.
Trade show electric price is dependent upon requirements and may be ordered online via the DFWBCC’s website. Exhibitors must turn off all booth lights at the close of the show each day. Exhibitors needing overnight electric service should indicate such on their request form.
The elevator located at the north entrance to the DFWBCC is for patron’s use only. It is not a freight elevator and may not be used for exhibitor load in/load out. Carts are not allowed on the elevator. If the elevator is used for freight, the client will be responsible for fees incurred to post security personnel at the elevator.
Exhibitors loading in very large items must work within the limits of the DFWBCC load-in doors. The roll-up doors to the loading dock and into Ballroom I measure 12.5′ x 12.5′. The roll-up door at the northwest corner of Ballroom I measures 10′ x 10′. All doors leading into the ballrooms and meeting rooms measure 6′ x 8′. Roll-up doors will be raised/lowered by DFWBCC staff only.
When assistance is needed from the Okaloosa Island Fire Department, this will be coordinated through the DFWBCC at the expense of the client. Fire assistance (Level I or Level II Fire Watch) will be necessary for events that contain any open flame or cooking outside of the kitchen, have a high volume of occupancy, or events that use pyrotechnic or outdoor flammable displays. The DFWBCC reserves the right, along with the Okaloosa Island Fire Department, to determine those needs.
- Level I Fire Watch – One Firefighter from the Okaloosa Island Fire Department
- Level II Fire Watch – One Engine Company and Three Firefighters from the Okaloosa Island Fire Department
Exhibitors, contractors, and clients must comply with all federal, state, and local fire codes dealing with public assembly. Care should be taken not to obstruct any fire hose, hydrants, extinguishers, pull boxes, entrances or exits.
Before commencing the sale of your exhibit space and entering into contracts with your exhibitors, floor plans must be approved by your Event Coordinator. Please note that for safety reasons, all exits, entrances, air supply vents, ramps, sidewalks, hallways, stairways, elevators, and isles must be kept clear at all times. Exit signs must be kept visible at all times. Fire extinguishers, fire protection valves, and fire hose cabinets must be kept clear and visible at all times.
No forklifts are allowed in the Ballrooms or Meeting rooms without prior approval. To preserve and prevent damage to the flooring, only approved, non-residue tape can be used on these surfaces. Please check with your Event Coordinator for more details. This policy applies to all taping applications including, but not limited to, carpeting, cords, and displays. The client and client’s service contractors are responsible for the removal of all tape and tape residue. Should the client or service contractor fail to remove the tape and/or residue, the client will be charged for the labor and materials used to remove the tape and/or tape residue.
Food and Beverage
ARAMARK is the exclusive in-house provider of food and beverage at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center. A complete range of services is available to you including catered meals and banquets, coffee and refreshment services, receptions, crew/staff and green room catering, concessions, and exhibit booth services. No outside food and/or beverage is allowed inside the DFWBCC.
The client or exhibitor may rent the DFWBCC’s forklift with a driver on an hourly basis. Contact your Event Coordinator for pricing.
All orders for additional furnishings must be received by the DFWBCC seven days prior to the show to receive the advance rate. All orders placed within seven days of the show will be charged the standard rate. Orders may be placed online via the DFWBCC’s website. If a contracted convention services company is providing this service exclusively, products must be ordered through them.
If heat-producing devices are used in the facility, an insulator, such as a pan or block of wood, must be used between the device and any DFWBCC surface or furnishing. Heat-producing devices include all cooking devices such as fryers and burners, hair dryers, curling irons, and hot glue guns.
Hours of Operation
The administrative office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time. Building access during events varies by event, and specific times may be requested by the licensee. Activity between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. or during holidays may result in additional charges.
Complimentary wireless internet is available throughout the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center. Hard wired internet lines are available to order via the DFWBCC’s website.
Load In/Out Procedures
The client must provide the DFWBCC with a load in/load out schedule and exhibit layout. The loading dock will be open for all vendors during the scheduled move-in time. All loading and unloading must take place at the loading dock area. Vendors must bring with them any items they require to load in and out of the DFWBCC; for example — flatbeds, dollies, or any other mechanical devices to assist with the load in and out process. The DFWBCC prohibits loading in/out through the main lobby (east doors), south and north doors. All vendors must unload their vehicles at the loading dock in a timely manner. Vehicles may not be left on the loading dock while vendors set up their booth. Personnel will be provided at client’s expense to ensure control of this load in/out process. Please obey all traffic signs while on DFWBCC property. “No parking zones,” as well as other restricted areas, will be strictly enforced, and vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense. Load in must be complete, and all carts, flatbeds, dollies, etc. must be removed from the show floor before the event can begin. All vendors needing loading/unloading assistance need to make arrangements by calling the DFWBCC at 850-609-3800 at least two weeks prior to the show date. Labor rates will apply.
Outsourced Additional Equipment
Arrangements may be made with your Event Coordinator to rent equipment in addition to regular inventory.
The main parking lot is located adjacent to the facility and an under-building parking area is available as well for a total of 600 spaces. The clearance to the under-building parking area is 6’6″. Three additional public parking lots are located nearby. All parking is free. No overnight parking is allowed.
Parking Lot Guidelines
Up to one-half of the parking lot, and Bayview Plaza are available to rent for displays and shows. Tents are permitted; however, no holes may be made in the pavement. Tents must be secured by cement ballasts, water barrels, or comparable securing systems. All motorcycles, boats, trailers, and other displays with hitches or kickstands for display either in the grass or on the asphalt must have a 1′ x 1′ piece of wood, plastic or other suitable material under their kickstand or trailer hitches to prevent damage to the landscaping and asphalt. Palm trees must not be used for support of tents. No nails or spikes may be used on any surface, including the grass and asphalt. Any damage caused by violation of these regulations will be invoiced after the event. Client must leave the parking lot in the manner in which it was rented. If excessive cleaning is required as determined by the DFWBCC management, additional cleaning and/or damage fees will be billed post-event. During events in the parking lot, no horn blowing, engine racing, or loud music is allowed.
A room rental includes the use of the shared pre-function space directly in front of the contracted room. The following restrictions apply:
- An eight-foot aisle must remain open in all pre-function space. Tables, chairs, signs, exhibits, etc. must be placed to ensure an eight-foot clearance.
- DFWBCC furnishings may not be moved by clients.
- Any items placed in the pre-function areas must have rubber feet to protect the flooring. (Carpet squares may also be used.)
- Depending on the display, pipe and drape may be required to protect artwork.
- Pre-function space may not be used as meeting space. Commonly accepted use of pre-function space is for registration, check-in, greeting, reception and display.
All rigging that is installed at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center must be approved and installed by our rigging staff. Rigging points are only available in the Ballrooms. All rigging must conform to the structural engineering design of the building.
The DFWBCC maintains an exclusive in-house security operation. Our trained building security staff maintains security coverage for the DFWBCC’s perimeter areas, internal corridors, and life safety alarm system. Security staff will open and secure exterior and interior access doors, as well as monitor internal traffic flow. The DFWBCC requires certain events to provide minimum levels of security coverage in any leased space and other areas (i.e. docks, public access areas, registration areas, etc.). Such coverage will be at the client’s expense.
The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center is a non-smoking facility at all times. Smoking will only be permitted in the designated smoking areas located on the north, east, and south patios. Absolutely no smoking is permitted on the loading dock.
There are no storage facilities onsite; therefore, the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center cannot accept any advanced shipments. Please make arrangements with show management for any items needing to be stored before the scheduled move-in day. Any freight scheduled to be delivered to the DFWBCC during the designated move-in period must be labeled with the name of the show and show management. The DFWBCC will not accept C.O.D. shipments or any other costs associated with freight delivery/pick up. All freight left in the DFWBCC at the end of the show will be disposed of at the owner’s expense. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to arrange for pickup of any items needing to be shipped at the end of the show.
The use of duct tape and packing tape is prohibited in the DFWBCC. If it is necessary to hang an item, please check with DFWBCC staff. Charges may apply for materials needed. The use of tacks, nails or any other device used to secure draping to the tables is strictly prohibited. Please do not mark with chalk on any carpeted area inside the DFWBCC. Any damage done to the carpet, furniture or walls will be billed directly to the exhibitor or client as determined by DFWBCC Management.
Temporary Use Permit
A Temporary Use Permit is necessary when some portion of the event (minus parking) takes place off DFWBCC property such as Marler Park, Boardwalk area, etc. Contact the Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office for procedures for acquiring this permit.
Subject to availability, the DFWBCC may be able to coordinate your transportation needs. Arrangements must be made prior to your event. Conditions and charges may apply. Contact your Event Coordinator to arrange transportation.
Vehicles in the Facility
No vehicles of any kind (except vehicles to be actually displayed as part of the show) will be allowed to be driven into the facility by anyone other than DFWBCC Staff. For liability reasons, staff personnel will drive all display vehicles inside the facility. The client will be billed for any damage caused to the facility.
- All vehicles must be free of mud, dirt, oil, water, etc. and must be free of leaks;
- All fuel tank openings shall be sealed in an approved manner to prevent the escape of vapors;
- Fuel tanks shall not contain in excess of one-quarter of the tank’s capacity;
- At least one battery cable shall be removed from the batteries used to start the vehicle engine, and the disconnected battery cable shall then be taped. Batteries used to power auxiliary equipment shall be permitted to be kept in service;
- Fueling or defueling of vehicles shall be prohibited inside the building;
- All vehicles must have a drip pan for fluid leakage kept underneath the vehicle;
- Carpet squares are needed under each tire and trailer hitch to prevent carpet damage. The DFWBCC can supply these if necessary;
- A vehicle cannot be moved during exhibit hours without prior written approval from the DFWBCC.
Welding and/or Cutting Equipment
Welding and/or cutting equipment is prohibited in the DFWBCC except as part of an exhibit, which must be approved by the Okaloosa Island Fire Rescue Services Department through DFWBCC Event Coordination. A Level II Fire Watch will be required.
Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center 1250 Miracle Strip Parkway SE Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Driving or flying, Destin-Fort Walton Beach is easily accessible. Interstate 10 to the north and U.S. Highway 98 along the beach make for a picturesque drive. Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is a short drive from the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, and the Pensacola International Airport (PNS) is just an hour to the west. To the east, near Panama City, is Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP). Destin Executive Airport (DTS) serves private and small charter aircraft and is only moments away.