Suitcasing and Outboarding

SEMI is striving to help all exhibitors have a successful SEMICON West.  SEMI Show Management is adopting increased measures to protect exhibitors from "suitcasing / outboarding" at the SEMICON West.


This is the SEMICON West Suitcasing/Outboarding Policy, which will be posted using signage around the exhibit hall and included in the onsite guide for all attendees.


Suitcasing & Outboarding

In order to strengthen the experience of our exhibitors, SEMI Show Management has adopted increased measures to protect against "suitcasing" and "outboarding" at SEMICON West.


Statement of Intent

In order to protect our valued exhibitors and the investment they have made in participating in SEMICON West, show rules strictly prohibit solicitation, "suitcasing", or "outboarding" by attendees who transact business at the show or in SEMICON West-area hotels and do NOT have exhibit booths. Suitcasing and outboarding give non-exhibiting companies and attendees an unfair competitive advantage over SEMICON West exhibitors who have invested money and other resources to exhibit. These practices unfairly capitalize on the momentum created by SEMI to market SEMICON West, and deprive SEMI of revenue used to support our programs and initiatives.


What is Suitcasing and Outboarding?

Suitcasing and outboarding are unethical parasitic business practices in which non-exhibitors attempt to gain access to trade show attendees or exhibitors.


Suitcasing refers to those non-exhibiting companies or persons who go to shows as an attendee but "work the aisles" from their suitcase (briefcase) and solicit business in the aisles or lobby area.

Outboarding refers to non-exhibiting companies that set up exhibits at off-site locations—hotel hospitality suites or restaurants—and encourage show attendees to leave the show floor.  Off-site events held during show hours diminish the size and diffuse the quality of the audience available to legitimate exhibitors.  

These practices skirt the support of the organizer and the industry.

Examples may include but are not limited to:


A non-exhibitor sets up a hospitality room off the show floor and invites attendees to leave the show floor and visit their suite.

A non-exhibitor sends out alerts to potential customers that while they will not be exhibiting this year they will have personnel walking the show floor and will be offering a SEMICON West show special. (This would also involve trademark infringement.)

A non-exhibitor piggybacks on the activities of a third party such as a vendor or partner who is exhibiting.

What are the Consequences of Suitcasing and Outboarding at SEMICON West?

Only contracted exhibitors are permitted to promote their products, services or company at or in conjunction with SEMICON West. Unless an external marketing opportunity has been contracted by the exhibitor, all company promotion and product sampling must occur within the contracted booth space.  Exhibitors found conducting unauthorized promotions outside of their exhibit space will be asked to return to their booth and any remaining promotion materials will be recycled.  Any SEMICON West attendee who is observed soliciting business in the aisles or other public spaces will be asked to forfeit their badge and leave the show immediately. 

Likewise, known commercial activity conducted from a hotel guest room or hospitality suite, a restaurant or any other public place in proximity to SEMICON West by non-exhibiting companies, will be shut down. Those found to be involved with suitcasing or outboarding will no longer be welcome at SEMICON West.  Failure to comply may result in the loss of priority points or approval to exhibit the following year


The Suitcasing Prevention Team

SEMICON West has created a Suitcasing Prevention Team that will operate for the duration of the exposition. The team will consist of SEMICON West Management Staff, SEMICON West security, and the most important member of the team, YOU! Exhibitors will be our greatest asset in preventing suitcasing as you are on the front lines at the exhibition.


What to Look For

Identifying potential suitcasers and outboarders is fairly simple, given the nature of our event.  Look for:

1) Non-exhibitor attendees who appear to be initiating contact in aisles or in booths.

2) Any attendee who appears to be handing anything out in the aisles may be suitcasing as distribution of any promoiton is restricted to exhibitor's booth space unless otherwise approved by SEMI..

3) Outboarders can be identified by their invitation (written or oral) to do business with them off site—if they don't have an exhibit booth or are partnered with SEMICON West in another way, they are outboarding.

What Can You Do?

Please report any violations you may observe to SEMICON West Floor Manager, SEMI Show Management, other SEMI Staff or to SEMICON West security. SEMI Show Management will investigate all complaints of suitcasing.

Upon receipt of a complaint from an exhibitor, SEMI Show Management will review the complaint with the reporting party and if possible observe the suspected suitcaser. SEMI Show Management will then address the issued directly with the subject of the complaint. If found to be valid, the complaint will be resolved by offering the suitcasing company the option of immediately purchasing booth space on the floor (if available) or surrendering the conference credentials and leaving the premises at once.

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