Given the possibility of theft and pilferage that accompanies any merchandising operation, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention rental agreement contains general language which indemnifies the facility from any claims of theft or damage to exhibitor property. Mandated insurance pertains to third party injury, accidental death and City property claims only. The Convention Center is not insured for exhibitor property damage of losses.

Generally speaking, the cost of security personnel assigned to the event will be charged to the licensee. The particular size and type of security force shall be determined by the Convention Center VP/General Manager. Security will be required for move-in and move-out. Designated points of entry or exit will be guarded according to the amount and location of space reserved. Guards will inspect all articles entering or leaving the facility and no worker or exhibitor will be admitted without a badge.

Each exhibitor should receive an exhibitor service manual designating appropriate times for set-up, show hours and move-out. The service manual specifically discloses the terms of the exhibitor's agreement, including a statement regarding liability for theft or damage to exhibitor property.

In all matters related to security, the lessee shall deal directly with the Convention Center VP/General Manager or a designated officer - not with the individual security guards. The security forces will answer directly to the Convention Center VP/General Manager and shall be empowered to take whatever action is deemed necessary to provide order and protect the facility and its contents.

Public Safety 

A floor plan layout shall be submitted by the licensee at least ninety (90) days prior to move-in of an event. The plan is subject to approval by the Columbia Fire Department. All displays or decorating materials must be fireproof. Smoking is not permitted within the facility. Patrons are prohibited from access to designated areas.

Convention Center equipment such as fork lifts, ladders, tools, etc. shall not be used by decorators, exhibitors, or non-Convention Center employees. These outside agencies must provide their own equipment or utilize Convention Center personnel at current rates.

Freight doors, overhead doors, emergency exits and corridors leading to these exits shall not be blocked at any time. All crates and boxes shall be removed from the premises prior to opening of the show.

No electrical or plumbing work shall be done except by Convention Center personnel or contractors designated by the Convention Center VP/General Manager. Outdoor displays must be approved in writing by the Convention Center VP/General Manager. All complaints or questions regarding public safety shall be brought directly to Security or Convention Center Event Manager.

Your cooperation is essential to providing a safe and secure environment for exhibitor property. If you require further assistance in planning your event, please contact an Event Manager at (803)545-0001 or 800-264-4884.

Recommended Security Precautions

All exhibitors are encouraged to:

  • Be present during all periods of occupancy as authorized by the Show Manager. This requirement is important during the move-in and move-out periods when large quantities of display materials are moved into and out of the Convention Center.
  • Remove small items immediately and remain in the booth until all exhibitors and workers are instructed to vacate the show area.
  • Exercise generally accepted security precautions during the event. Each booth or exhibit should be attended at all times during the set-up, event hours and load-out.
  • Furnish as much information as possible regarding the property, as well as provide witnesses to the removal of said property. Any loss of property should be immediately reported to the Convention Center Security Office. The exhibitors should be encouraged to make a separate report to the Police Department.
  • Arrange displays to discourage pilferage. At the end of each show day, small valuable display items should be secured in locked containers or show cases within the booth, covered with fabric, or removed to a secure location at the end of the show.

Show Managers are encouraged to:

  • Authorize an adequate number of security personnel on a 24 hour basis to act as a deterrent against theft and pilferage. The Convention Center has an exclusive contract with a security contractor who is able to schedule personnel on an hourly basis.
  • Advise all exhibitors that additional Security personnel may be hired (with adequate advance notice) to monitor individual displays.
  • List the hours during which exhibitors are allowed to enter the show area. This schedule should include daily beginning and ending times for set-up, occupancy periods for each show day, and move-out.