(Conditions of Participation with IPR)


The certification partnership is conducted via a signed Participation Agreement where the DOC and show organizers agree to provide the requisite services and management of the event, and maintain high-quality standards. The following guidelines, including the “Indemnification” and Intellectual Property Rights agreements on page two, describe the organizer’s obligations and conditions of participation.

  • File a complete application 180 days ahead of the scheduled show opening, but not before the finish of the previous show. Should applications not be received at least 180 days prior to the start date of the show, the TFC program will allow for a grace period of 5 business days to receive the application. Applications will not be considered complete unless accompanied by proof that the applicant has booked space with the fair owner/authority. Certification is per show, per year, although a same country show tour on subsequent days might possibly be considered one show.
  • Have the capability and experience to organize, recruit and manage an official U.S. exhibition/pavilion at a foreign fair. The show must have a reputation as an established, well-attended venue that provides good marketing opportunities for U.S. firms. First-time shows and spin-offs of established shows to other countries will be considered for certification, but must be highly qualified. Usually, the show organizer should have or be a qualified exhibitor sales/service agent located in the U.S. However, U.S. Chambers of Commerce and similar organizers can be considered also.
  • Conduct and commit adequate resources to a domestic and overseas marketing campaign to recruit at least 10 U.S. exhibitors for the U.S. certified group and to attract foreign buyers. The campaign must also target infrequent and small/medium sized firms, consistent with the Commerce Department goal to increase the base of U.S. companies that are exporting. The failure to obtain 10 U.S. firms will not necessarily cause the withdrawal of certification, but could become a significant factor in considering future applications.
  • Develop, construct and decorate an attractive, high-quality U.S. pavilion. When a show does not lend itself to a U.S. pavilion arrangement, the organizer must work with the Project Officer and post on providing a suitable alternative for U.S. exhibitors. An enlarged version of TFC logo or Commerce logos must be prominently displayed throughout the U.S. pavilion. All goods displayed in the U.S. pavilion or under TFC auspices by U.S. firms or their local representatives must be marketed under an American brand name and must have at least 51% U.S. content.
  • Provide exhibitors with show services such as display space, booth design/construction, forwarding and set-up services, furniture, identification signs and display systems, utilities, and assistance in hiring temporary staff such as interpreters and booth attendants. Services must be provided at reasonable costs. Organizers should also provide market information to exhibitors and help them achieve their objectives in participating in the fair.

Provide a fully furnished standard exhibitor booth and standard decoration for Commercial Service personnel to staff a Business Information Office (BIO) on the show floor with the U.S. exhibitors. Agreement to provide a standard booth to post is required for certification -- it is not optional. However, as sales, booth arrangements, etc., finalize, the organizer may request from post that the organizer provide space other than a booth for post use. If post feels it does not need a formal booth, or the request is otherwise justified, post can waive the booth requirement and work with the organizer to develop a space arrangement post feels is adequate for the show. Booth or other space should be adequate to run operations, provide proper US&FCS/TFC identification (signs/emblems/flags), display materials, conduct counseling, etc., and be in a location agreeable with the post. Post/CS use of the booth must be agreeable/approved by the organizer.

  • Provide a show manager in the U.S. to work with the TFC staff, Commercial Service posts and domestic offices. TFC Project Officer will work with the show manager to ensure that show logistics, planning, BIO needs, booth/pavilion decorating, signage, embassy support services, VIP arrangements, etc., are closely coordinated and agreed upon well in advance, especially with posts.
  • Supply the post commercial section and TFC staff with promotion brochures and an electronic copy of a directory or electronic spreadsheet of U.S. exhibitors (to include company name, exhibitor contact name, and complete contact information – such as e-mail, fax, telephone, and address) in ample time for pre-show distribution and end-user contact.
  • Report the results of U.S. exhibitor participation and provide timely survey data to HQ TFC staff.
  • Support the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). This support consists of having U.S. exhibitors attest that they have the authority for the use of IP associated with the products being exhibited and do not knowingly infringe on the IP of another party; agreeing to follow and support the show owner/organizer’s IPR rules and procedures; with the assistance of the US&FCS, advise U.S. exhibitors of the show owner’s/organizer’s IPR policies/procedures, provide information to help procure legal representation at the event, and provide U.S. exhibitors with USG educational information on IPR protection.
  • Contribute $2,000 (non-refundable) to Commerce to help defray direct expenses incurred by the Department in promoting and supporting the event. Sign a Participation and Indemnification Agreement.

NOTE: Generally only one organizer per show is certified. However, when deemed in the best interest of the U.S. to provide uniform services and an official, unified status for all U.S. pavilions, all qualified organizers may be certified. This procedure, begun 3/98, is mainly used for air/defense, travel, or educational shows where the U.S. itself is a primary marketing factor.

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