General terms and conditions for trade fairs and exhibitions

Status: 09.04.2020

1. registration

The application for admission to the event is made by submitting the form “Exhibition Contract/Stand Application” to the organizer.

The applicant is bound to his/her registration until 8 days after the registration deadline announced in the “Conditions of Participation”, at the latest until six weeks before the opening of the trade fair/exhibition, unless admission has been granted in the meantime. Registrations received later or after the registration deadline will remain binding for 14 days from the date of receipt of the registration by the organizer.

Applications with conditions or reservations will not be considered. Placement requests are not a condition of participation. There is no exclusion of competition. Text form and electronic form are also permitted.

2. acceptance of the terms and conditions of the fair and exhibition

By registering, the exhibitor accepts the “General Exhibition Terms and Conditions”, the “Conditions of Participation” valid for the respective events, the “Technical Guidelines/Regulations” and the “House Rules” of the operator of the trade fair location as binding for himself and all persons employed by him at the event. They therefore also apply in the contract initiation phase.

In the event of any contradictions between the individual sets of rules, the following order of precedence shall apply:

  • Exhibition contract/booth registration
  • Conditions of participation in the event
  • General terms and conditions for trade fairs and exhibitions
  • Technical guidelines/regulations of the operator of the trade fair location
  • House rules of the operator of the trade fair location

All rulebooks are linked in the online registration form on the website of the respective event, and can be viewed and printed there. They will also be provided by the organizer as a print-ready file upon request.

3. admission, conclusion of contract

The organizer decides on the admission of exhibitors and the products and services listed in the product classification, if necessary with the assistance of an exhibitor advisory board, at his due discretion.

The organizer is entitled to limit the registered products and to change the registered area for conceptual reasons. It may exclude individual exhibitors and suppliers from participation for objectively justified reasons and restrict the event to certain exhibitor, supplier and visitor groups insofar as this appears necessary to achieve the purpose of the event.

Upon receipt of the admission in text form by the exhibitor, the contract with the organizer becomes legally binding. If the content of the admission deviates from the content of the application, the contract shall be concluded in accordance with the admission unless the exhibitor objects in text form within 10 working days of receipt of the admission. The non-consideration of placement requests or other special requests does not constitute a right of objection.

Approval may be revoked if the conditions for granting it are not or are no longer met.

4. withdrawal, termination

The exhibition contract is binding in principle. It can only be terminated for good cause, and withdrawal is only possible under the statutory conditions.

If, after a binding registration or admission has been granted, the organizer nevertheless grants a cancellation as a gesture of goodwill, this does not release the exhibitor from paying the stand rent and bearing all other costs incurred up to that point or costs that can no longer be avoided in the future. The release from the contractual relationship does not extend to further legal relationships with third parties entered into by the exhibitor on the occasion of the conclusion of the contract.

If the stand space can be re-rented, the stand rent generated from this will be credited against the stand rent of the exhibitor who has been dismissed. However, credit will only be given up to 75% of the stand rent payable by the dismissed exhibitor. The remaining 25% is owed by the dismissed exhibitor as a lump-sum compensation for the processing expenses incurred by the organizer. He is allowed to prove that the organizer has incurred no or only a lower expense. However, irrespective of this, he shall also owe the costs of the entry in the exhibition catalog and all other costs already incurred or unavoidably still to be incurred as a result of deliveries and services already provided and the recourse to third parties.

An important reason entitling the organizer to terminate the contractual relationship without notice exists in particular if:

  • the exhibitor fails to comply with contractual obligations, including those in the incorporated rules and regulations, even after setting a reasonable grace period or issuing a warning the exhibitor is more than fourteen days in arrears with due payment obligations even after receiving a reminder in text form
  • a significant deterioration in the financial circumstances of the exhibitor occurs or threatens to occur and as a result the fulfillment of the exhibitor’s obligations to the organizer appears to be at risk
  • the exhibitor infringes the industrial property rights of third parties
  • the exhibitor has brought about the admission by providing incorrect or incomplete information.

Even in the event of extraordinary termination of the contract by the organizer, the exhibitor shall continue to be liable in full for the agreed rent, the costs incurred and unavoidably incurred in the future, and any other damage suffered by the organizer. In the event of a new rental of the stand space after termination of the contract, the provisions under sec. 4. par. 3.

A new rental within the meaning of the above provisions shall only be deemed to have been made if admission of the successor exhibitor would otherwise not have been possible due to the exhausted space capacity. Otherwise, the assigned stand space will be occupied by the succeeding exhibitor only to fill gaps in the interest of the overall appearance of the event.

If it is not possible to re-let the space, the organizer may, in the interest of the overall image, also close the gap by reallocating the stand space, exchanging space with other exhibitors, providing space free of charge for accompanying activities, decoration, etc., without this reducing the organizer’s claims against the exhibitor. Any costs incurred by the organizer for closing gaps by means of decoration, etc. shall be borne additionally by the exhibitor.

5. stand division

The organizer decides on the stand layout taking into account the event concept, the theme of the fair and exhibition, the registered products and the local conditions. The exhibitor has no right to be allocated a specific space. Corresponding specifications of the exhibitor in the stand application are non-binding for the organizer.

The exhibitor will be notified of the stand allocation in text form, as a rule at the same time as admission. In case of subsequent announcement, complaints must be made in text form within 8 days after receipt of the stand classification.

The organizer is entitled, for compelling technical or organizational reasons, to subsequently allocate a stand area that deviates from the original stand layout, to change the size and dimensions of the stand area, to relocate or close entrances, passageways and exits, and to make structural changes in the event halls, provided that the interests of the exhibitor are not unreasonably impaired as a result. In particular, the exhibitor must expect that a minor restriction of the allocated stand may be necessary for technical reasons.

Hall supports, pillars, projections and installation connections are part of the allocated stand and do not justify any claims for reduction.

In the event of a reduction of the allocated stand space by more than 10 cm in width and depth, the organizer will reimburse the exhibitor for the difference in rent. Otherwise, the exhibitor may not derive any reduction or other rights from the aforementioned changes.

6. subletting, co-exhibitors, other third parties

The subletting or other partial or complete transfer of the stand space to co-exhibitors or other third parties, as well as the acceptance of orders for other companies, requires the consent of the organizer. Consent must be requested together with the exhibitor’s application, specifying the co-exhibitor or other third party and the products to be exhibited or offered. Even in the event that the organizer grants consent, the contractual relationship shall only come into effect with the exhibitor (main exhibitor). The exhibitor is liable to the organizer for compliance with all contractual and legal provisions, also by the co-exhibitors and other third parties to whom the exhibitor has ceded the stand space in whole or in part. In this respect, the fault of the third party is equal to the fault of the exhibitor.

7. joint stand

There is no entitlement to the joint rental of stand space by several exhibitors. However, the organizer may allow exceptions.

In the case of joint rental of a stand area by several exhibitors, these must appoint a joint representative to the organizer with the application. Declarations made by the organizer to this authorized representative shall be deemed to be declarations also made to the other exhibitors of the joint stand.

The exhibitors of the joint stand are jointly and severally liable to the organizer for the fulfillment of all obligations arising from the exhibition contract.

8. prices

All prices shown in the contractual documents, etc. are in each case plus value added tax at the respective statutory rate, insofar as this is prescribed by law.

9. terms of payment, right of retention, lien

Upon conclusion of the contract, the agreed stand rent shall become due for payment in full. It must be paid within 8 days of receipt of the invoice.

The organizer is entitled to demand an advance payment from the exhibitor for the ancillary services to be provided by him in an amount expected to cover the costs. The advance payment shall not bear interest and shall be settled within one month after the end of the event. Any settlement credits will be refunded to the main exhibitor. In the case of joint stands, reimbursement to one of the exhibitors also discharges the debt of the other exhibitors.

If the exhibitor is in arrears with the fulfillment of payment obligations, the organizer may, without prejudice to his right of termination under para. 4. and his claim for compensation for all damages caused by delay, exercise a right of retention to the stand space and all other contractual services owed by him. The exhibitor shall only have the right to offset his own claims against claims due to the organizer if the exhibitor’s claims are undisputed or have been legally established. The organizer is entitled to a lien on the exhibitor’s brought-in objects for all unfulfilled obligations of the exhibitor and the resulting damages. After giving notice in text form, he shall be entitled to dispose of the pledged items by private sale. He is not liable for loss or damage to the pledged items through no fault of his own.

10. stand construction

Stand construction must take place within the set-up days and must be completed 12 hours before the opening of the event.

If the exhibitor has not started setting up the stand by 12.00 noon on the last set-up day for reasons for which the organizer is not responsible, the organizer may dispose of the stand elsewhere. The defaulting exhibitor shall nevertheless be liable for the agreed stand rent and other costs, as well as any further costs for closing gaps, decorating the stand area, etc. incurred as a result of his default. Item 4 para. 3 applies accordingly.

11. design and equipment

The name and address of the stand owner must be clearly displayed on the stand for the entire duration of the event. The furnishing of the stand within the framework of the uniform set-up provided by the organizer, if applicable, is the responsibility of the exhibitor. The specifications of the organizer are to be followed in the interest of a good overall image. Plans of all stands or advertising spaces must be submitted to the organizer at the latter’s request.

Clean walls at the stand boundaries to the neighboring stand and a suitable floor covering approved by the organizer are required as minimum equipment.

Further requirements result from the included technical guidelines/regulations of the operator of the trade fair location, to which the organizer expressly refers.

The organizer may demand that stands whose construction is not approved or which do not comply with the exhibition conditions be modified or removed. If the exhibitor fails to comply with a corresponding request without delay, removal or modification may be carried out by the organizer at the exhibitor’s expense. If the stand has to be closed for the same reason, there is no entitlement to a refund of the stand rent.

12. operating duty, operation of the stand

The exhibitor is obliged to occupy the stand for the entire duration of the trade fair/exhibition with the registered exhibits and to staff it with competent personnel.

The cleaning of the stand is the responsibility of the exhibitor. It must be done daily after the end of the event. The exhibitor is required to avoid waste and to separate waste according to recyclable materials. Additional disposal costs are charged according to the polluter pays principle. The storage of empties on the stand area is not permitted for fire safety reasons.

13. advertising measures

Advertising measures of any kind are only permitted within the stand.

Advertising measures are also only permitted to a limited extent within the stand. Inadmissible are advertising measures that:

  • relate to products and services other than those approved by the organizer
  • relate to upstream suppliers, other external companies and customers
  • have an ideological or political character
  • lead to disturbances of other exhibitors or the flow of visitors
  • Promote competitive events
  • violate legal or official regulations or offend common decency

The operation of loudspeaker systems, music/light image presentations and audio/video media of any kind – including for advertising purposes – requires the express permission of the organizer, which must be obtained in good time.

In the interest of maintaining orderly trade fair/exhibition operations, the demonstration of machinery, acoustic equipment, photographic equipment and other equipment whose operation may cause disturbances to the event or other exhibitors may be restricted or revoked even after approval has already been granted.

14. connections

The organizer provides the basic building services (heating, ventilation, lighting of the common area). The costs are included in the stand rental fee.

Supply connections (water, compressed air, sprinkler, electrical, connections for telecommunications) and disposal connections (e.g. for exhaust gases) required by the exhibitor at the stand must be ordered separately after approval. Setup and consumption are at the expense of the exhibitor.

In the case of ring mains, the costs are apportioned on a pro rata basis. All installations up to the stand connection may only be carried out by companies approved by the organizer. They receive all orders through mediation and with the approval of the organizer and issue invoice for installation and consumption directly to the exhibitor.

The exhibitor is solely responsible for connections and installations within the exhibition stand in compliance with all legal and official regulations.

Connections and equipment that do not have the required technical approval, do not comply with the relevant regulations or whose consumption is higher than reported may be removed or put out of operation at the exhibitor’s expense. The exhibitor is liable for all damage caused by this or by the uncontrolled withdrawal of energy, water, etc.

The use of gases of any kind is only permitted with the consent of the organizer.

The exhibitor is obliged to allow other exhibitors the use of utility shafts located on his stand site, provided that separate collection of consumption costs can be made.

The organizer is not liable for interruptions or fluctuations in the performance of the electricity, water/wastewater, gas and compressed air supply as well as data and communication connections, insofar as he cannot be accused of intent or gross negligence.

15. guarding

The organizer shall be responsible for the general supervision of the premises and the hall, without thereby assuming any duty of care for the stand equipment, products/exhibits or other items brought in by the exhibitor. The exhibitor is responsible for the supervision and guarding of the stand and all objects brought in. This also applies during the set-up and dismantling periods as well as to vehicles and other objects in the outdoor area and in the parking spaces provided by the organizer.

Stand guards can be arranged through the organizer. Outside the official set-up and dismantling times and the event times, stand security can only be provided by the organizer’s contractors.

The exhibitor must keep valuable and easily transportable items under lock and key outside the general opening hours.

The organizer recommends the conclusion of appropriate insurance contracts.

16. exhibitor passes, admission vouchers

The exhibition grounds can only be entered with the exhibitor passes issued by the organizer. They are intended exclusively for the named exhibitor, his stand personnel and agents and are not transferable. They can be confiscated by the organizer in case of misuse. Passes required by the exhibitor for other third parties (e.g. for workers of third-party companies) can be additionally requested from the organizer for a fee.

17. industrial property rights, GEMA

The exhibitor must ensure that the industrial property rights of third parties to the exhibits are protected.

In the event of proven infringements of property rights, the organizer is entitled to remove the products/exhibits from the stand or to close the stand and to exclude the exhibitor from the current event and future events without compensation. This applies accordingly to cases of significant and proven other anti-competitive actions.

When reproducing protected works on the exhibition stand, Section 15 of the Copyright Act must be observed. Obtaining permission from the responsible collecting society (e.g. GEMA) and payment of any fees incurred are the sole responsibility of the exhibitor.

18. photography, other image and sound recordings, data protection

Commercial image and sound recordings of any kind and the production of drawings of products/exhibits are only permitted on the entire event site with the permission of the organizer in text form. The latter shall not be liable for the freedom from third party rights to the photocopies.

Unless the exhibitor objects immediately, the organizer has the right to make or have made image and sound recordings of exhibition stands and products/exhibits for the purpose of documentation or for its own publications and to use them free of charge for the aforementioned purposes. This right also extends to employees of the exhibitor who are included in the process.

The organizer collects, processes and uses the personal data in accordance with the currently valid data protection laws for the fulfillment of its own business purposes (establishment, implementation or termination of the contractual relationship with the exhibitor).

The Exhibitor agrees that the Organizer may forward the personal data collected to third parties for the purpose of advertising services related to the event referred to by the Exhibitor. The exhibitor may object to this by submitting a declaration in text form to the organizer. An objection has no influence on the conclusion of the contract in other respects.

19. degradation

The removal of products/exhibits and the partial or complete dismantling of the stand may only take place after the end of the event. In the event of violations of this provision, the exhibitor shall pay a contractual penalty in the amount of 50% of the stand rent. Removal of the products/exhibits may not take place if the organizer exercises its right of lien beforehand. The notice of the assertion of the lien shall be given to the exhibitor’s representatives present in the stand. If the products/exhibits are nevertheless removed, this shall be deemed a breach of the lien.

The exhibition space must be completely vacated and returned to the organizer in the condition in which it was taken over no later than the date set for the end of dismantling, or in the absence of such an agreement, no later than three hours after the end of the event.

If the exhibitor fails to vacate the premises in time, the organizer is entitled to do so at the exhibitor’s expense and to have any items left behind stored at the exhibitor’s expense. After one month from the end of dismantling and notification in text form, he is further entitled to have items left behind auctioned off or, if they have a stock exchange or market price, to sell them on the open market.

The organizer is liable for damage or loss of these items only in case of intent or gross negligence. Obviously worthless items, in particular packaging materials, may be disposed of by the organizer at the exhibitor’s expense.

20. acceptance of goods

The organizer is not obligated to accept shipments of any kind addressed to the exhibitor on the exhibitor’s behalf. If, in exceptional cases, he nevertheless accepts them, this shall be done free of charge, but without liability for loss or damage, unless he can be accused of intent.

21 Warranty, Force Majeure, Insurance, Liability, Statute of Limitations

The exhibitor shall only be entitled to a reduction in rent if a rectification of defects in the rental object has failed or the organizer has not attempted to rectify the defects despite a reasonable grace period.

If the organizer can no longer provide the stand space for a reason for which he is not responsible, he will inform the exhibitor immediately. The latter shall be released from the obligation to pay the stand rent, and any stand rent already paid shall be refunded to him. The exhibitor shall have no further claim for damages.

The exhibitor shall be liable to the organizer for any damage caused to the organizer by him, his employees or third parties commissioned by him or other third parties used by him to fulfill his obligations.

The organizer does not bear any insurance risk of the exhibitor. He recommends that the exhibitor take out his own insurance and, if necessary, a security contract.

In all other respects, the organizer shall be liable in accordance with the statutory provisions insofar as the exhibitor asserts claims for damages based on intent or gross negligence on the part of the organizer, its representatives or vicarious agents. With the exception of cases in which the organizer can be accused of an intentional breach of contract or a culpable breach of an essential contractual obligation, its liability is limited to the foreseeable, typical damage. This shall not affect liability for culpable injury to life, limb or health.

Unless otherwise stipulated above, the liability of the organizer is excluded, regardless of the legal nature of the asserted claim.

The above liability regulations apply accordingly to all services provided by the organizer in connection with the exhibitor’s participation in the event.

All limitations and exclusions of liability in favor of the organizer also apply to the personal liability of its organs, employees, workers, vicarious agents and assistants.

Contractual claims of the exhibitor against the organizer become time-barred within 12 months. The limitation period begins at the end of the month in which the closing day of the event falls. Claims arising from intentional breaches of duty are subject to the statutory limitation period.

The organizer’s claims for compensation due to changes or deterioration of the rental object shall become statute-barred after one year from the date on which the organizer receives the rental object back.

22. domiciliary rights, violations of the terms of the contract

The organizer exercises domiciliary rights in the entire event area and during the entire set-up, running and dismantling time of the event. It may issue house rules.

Without prejudice to his right to terminate the contract for good cause, the organizer may have the stand closed in the event of serious violations or other violations of the contractual agreements or regulations under public law that continue even after a warning has been issued, or in the event of conduct on the part of exhibitors, personnel or agents of exhibitors that jeopardizes the orderly running of the event. This also applies in particular if the exhibitor violates legal regulations, morality or the purpose of the event with advertising measures.

In these cases, the organizer is not liable for the economic consequences of the closure. The exhibitor cannot claim a reduction of the stand rent. He is liable for all direct and indirect consequences of non-compliance with contractual and legal provisions.

23 Applicable law, place of performance, place of jurisdiction

The entire legal relationship between the organizer, its employees, vicarious agents and assistants on the one hand and the exhibitor or its employees, vicarious agents and assistants on the other hand shall be governed exclusively by the law of the Federal Republic of Germany, to the exclusion of the provisions of the International Sales Convention (CISG). With regard to all contractual documents, the text version in German is binding.

The place of performance and jurisdiction for all disputes arising directly or indirectly from the contractual relationship – also in proceedings involving documents, bills of exchange and checks – is the organizer’s registered office, provided that the contractual partner is a merchant, a legal entity under public law or a special fund under public law or, without being a consumer, has no general place of jurisdiction in the Federal Republic of Germany. However, the organizer reserves the right to assert his claims before the court having jurisdiction over the exhibitor’s registered office.

24 Ancillary Agreements, Severability Clause

Additional agreements are only binding if they are made in text form or confirmed by the organizer in text form. These conditions and the exhibition contract remain valid even if individual provisions should be invalid.

Download general terms and conditions for trade fairs and exhibitions