In order to protect our valued exhibitors and the investment they have made in participating in Southwest Showcase (SWS), show rules strictly prohibit solicitation in the form of “suitcasing” or “outboarding” (see below). Suitcasing and outboarding give non-exhibiting companies an unfair competitive advantage over Southwest Showcase exhibitors who have invested money and other resources to exhibit. These practices unfairly capitalize on the momentum created by Southwest Showcase, are deceitful and confusing for attendees, steal revenue from the conference organizer, and diminish the value of official sponsorships.
Suitcasing describes the practice by individuals associated with companies that are not exhibiting or sponsoring of soliciting sales or sales leads on the expo floor, in the aisles or in other public spaces utilized by Southwest Showcase. Violators will be asked to return their badges and to leave immediately. They will not be allowed to return to the show and no refunds will be made. At the discretion of show management they may also be charged the single booth rate, which must be paid before attending any future SWS conferences. Southwest Showcase asks that both attendees and exhibitors report any violations they may observe to show management immediately.
Outboarding is defined as marketing, sales, and hospitality events conducted by organizations capitalizing on the presence of planners attending the conference without previously notifying Southwest Showcase and obtaining consent. This costs SWS revenue from the potential sponsor, and steals attention away from the official event and the official sponsors associated with it. Outboarders often use SWS branding in association with their competing event, confusing attendees and misleading them into thinking they are supporting the official event, when in reality they are not. This practice is considered unethical and is strictly forbidden by SWS.