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Regulations & FAQs

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Loading Dock Access

The Wisconsin Center's third floor loading dock area is the only major access to load in and out of the exhibit hall. The helical ramp leading to the loading dock area and exhibit hall is located on the west side of the building on 6th Street.

Get Directions

To gain entry to the secure dock area, exhibitors or exhibitor appointed contractors (EAC) may request a Dock Pass.

Request Dock Pass

Exhibitors planning to move in on Monday morning before the show opens should have only light items that can be carried in by hand through the front doors of the facility (where no carts or dollies are allowed).


Exhibit Space Rates

Standard Rate: $22.30* per sq. ft.
WRA Supplier Member Rate: $21.30* per sq. ft.

*Ask about our first time exhibitor special

Rates apply to 10x10 booths; more sizes available.

Included with your Exhibit Space:

  • Pipe and drape
  • Wi-Fi service
  • Ice, refrigeration & freezer storage
  • Exhibitor badge allotment
  • Sponsorship opportunities
  • Open loading dock
  • Marketing support tools

Booth Furnishings, Carpet & Freight:
Valley Expo & Displays is your contact for these services. As a non-union hall, exhibitors can opt to bring in their own furnishings when necessary.

Exhibit Contract

Dates & Location



Monday, March 22 
10 am - 5 pm

Tuesday, March 23
9 am - 4 pm

Wisconsin Center
400 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203

Exhibitor Move-In

Saturday, March 20
8 am - 4 pm

Sunday, March 21
10 am - 5 pm

Request Dock Pass

Hand-carried items may be brought in through the front door from 7 am to 9 am on Monday before the show opens. No move-in through the loading dock area will be allowed on Monday morning.

Exhibitor Move-Out


Wednesday, March 23
3 pm - 8 pm

Thursday, March 24 
8 am - 12 pm  

Any freight left in the building after 12 pm on Wednesday will be sent out by the contractor’s preferred carrier at the exhibitor’s expense.



For services such as electrical, plumbing, telephone, standard rental decorations (such as tables, chairs, carpeting, etc. not owned by the exhibitor), vacuuming, cleaning and drayage, only the official contractor is approved.

Only the general contractor may operate any forklift or motorized pallet jack inside the convention center or docks. The general contractor must unload any freight coming in on a common carrier, van line, air freight company, UPS, FedEx or freight brought in by an exhibitor appointed contractor (EAC). Exhibitors may also hire the general contractor to unload their vehicles.

Valley Expo and Displays

4950 American Road
Rockford, IL 61109
815.873.1544 FAX

Electrical, Water/Drain and Internet must be ordered through the Wisconsin Center directly at (414) 908-6053. Although Wi-Fi is provided, if a constant connection is vital to your booth, we advise a hardline be ordered.

Non-union Hall

The exhibit hall is a non-union hall.

Exhibitors may unload their own vehicle and transport their own equipment to their booth. Exhibitors can also bring booth furnishings into the facility and set up their own exhibit (except utility connections) without using the show contractor.

Cold Product Storage

Free cold product storage in refrigerator and freezer trailers will be available beginning Saturday, March 20 at 8 am. Trucks are guarded during the show and are locked overnight.

Exhibitors must remove their own product by 5 pm Tuesday, March 23. Anything remaining after 4 pm is donated to the local food pantry.

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is not responsible for spoiled, missing, or damaged product should problems arise in freezer or refrigeration storage areas.

Complimentary ice, freezer & refrigeration storage is provided. No reservation required; Bring your own container for ice transport.


Alcohol Sampling

There are no corkage fees at the Midwest Foodservice Expo. You may bring your product in free of charge.

    • Wisconsin’s state law permits trade shows like ours to allow manufacturers and distributors to sample their product free of charge. This means there’s no need to have your distributor bring the product in. And there’s no need to ship into or invoice through the convention center’s foodservice company.
    • While you would pay corkage fees for sampling at most trade shows in Wisconsin, Chapter 125.70 of the state's statutes allows alcohol exhibitors at the Midwest Foodservice Expo to sample their products WITHOUT incurring corkage fees. This is permissible because the Midwest Foodservice Expo is produced by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, a statewide trade association that derives income from membership dues of "Class B" licensees. This means that you're not penalized additional fees for sampling your product to retail buyers. Check out the law for yourself on page 41

However, exhibitors sampling alcohol must hire a licensed bartender through Levy Restaurants to pour samples. Based on past shows, the estimated cost of a bartender is $650 for 14 hours of service. Contact Levy directly at 414.908.6156 for current rates and sampling sizes.

This is not a public event where full size sampling is the norm. Sample limitations include:

    • Beer – no more than 4 oz
    • Wine – no more than 1 oz
    • Liqueurs – no more than ½ oz for 14% alcohol or less
    • Alcohol- no more than ½ oz to 2 parts mix OR no more than ¼ oz alcohol straight for 14% alcohol content or more.


Rules for Admission

  • Attendance is open only to people that own, manage or work at a foodservice or hospitality outlet.
  • Children under 16 years of age are not permitted at any time.
  • No sales in the aisles are permitted—solicitation at the Expo by non-exhibiting suppliers is strictly prohibited—including during move-in and move-out.

Exhibitor Appointed Contractors

Exhibitor appointed contractors (EACs) and outside providers are allowed to install and dismantle custom exhibits, provide custom props, custom furniture, and custom flooring. EACs are allowed to provide custom cut carpeting for island exhibits.

Exhibitors must request EAC authorization and follow all rules as outlined in the Exhibitor Service Manual. Dock pass requests must also be completed for EACs.

Booth Regulations

Linear/Corner Booth

Linear/Corner Booth

For more detailed information on Booth Designs and Regulations, please refer to the Exhibitor Service Manual.

More Details

End-Cap Booth

End-Cap Booth

Peninsula Booth

Peninsula Booth

Island Booth

Island Booth

Split Island Booth

Split Island Booth