For the purposes of this policy the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention shall be referred to as the “EC” and the Southern Baptist Convention shall be referred to as the “Convention”.
The Bylaws of the Convention state the following:
1. Bylaw 18 E: The EC shall be the ” executive entity of the Convention in all its affairs not specifically committed to some other board or entity .”
2. Bylaw 18 E (4): The EC is to ” have oversight of the arrangements for the meetings of the Convention”
3. Business and Financial Plan Section 4:
Exhibits: All exhibits of every description shall be rigidly excluded from those parts of the place of meeting where the people visiting the exhibits will disturb the proceedings of the Convention, their locations to be determined by the Executive Committee or its agent. The Executive Committee of the Convention shall have exclusive control of all exhibit space.
The Bylaws of the EC state the following:
Article VI, Section 6.4.3: The Business and Finance Committee of the EC “shall be responsible for considering and recommending action concerning” . . . “making preliminary plans for future Convention meetings;” and “making arrangements for the annual Convention meetings.”
B. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MISSION AND PURPOSE
The Organizational Manual of the Convention states the following:
“The Executive Committee exists to minister to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by acting for the Convention ad interim in all matters not otherwise provided for in a manner that encourages the cooperation and confidence of the churches, associations, and state conventions and facilitates maximum support for worldwide missions and ministries.”
The Organizational Manual of the Convention also states that ministry purpose of the EC is to “assist churches through conducting and administering the work of the Convention not otherwise assigned.”
C. EXHIBITOR POLICY PURPOSE
The purpose of the Exhibit Hall (“Hall”) at the Annual Meeting of the Convention is to assist churches and their leaders and members “present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations” by:
1. Inspiring churches to support and facilitate missions’ education and awareness, strengthen relationships and foster fellowship between churches and Convention ministries and entities; and
2. Informing churches of resources which will encourage, equip, engage and empower them
D. GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The Hall is maintained at the Convention’s Annual Meeting to inspire and inform churches, leaders and members and as a result, each Exhibit will be expected to comply with the following principles:
1. Honor Jesus Christ and serve the unity of Southern Baptists in a common and cooperative effort to fulfill the Great Commission
2. Reflect a high standard of quality and commitment to excellence
3. Is consistent with the current Baptist Faith and Message and the ministries, missional vision, and core values of the Convention
E. EXHIBITOR ELIGIBILITY
1. Primary Exhibitors shall be limited to:
a. The EC, Convention entities, the Woman’s Missionary Union
b. Convention Approved Committees
c. Cooperating Baptist State Convention(s) and their entities
d. Host city for the following year’s Convention Annual Meeting
e. Colleges, universities, and schools that have continued to demonstrate a commitment to the work and purpose of the Convention and have entered into a cooperative relationship with cooperating Baptist state/regional conventions
f. Organizations approved by official action of the EC
2. Secondary Exhibitors shall be limited, on a space available basis, to:
a. Organizations sponsored by a Convention entity or auxiliary; or
b. Organizations approved by official action of the EC
3. Vendor Exhibitors as described below shall be limited, on a space available basis, to:
a. Vendors which meet the stated purpose and guiding principles of the Exhibitor Policy
b. Other Mission Sending Organizations will be excluded from the Hall unless:
i. Sponsored by a Convention entity(entities) or auxiliary which have a similar ministry assignment and
ii. Approved by the official action of the EC
c. The inclusion of such vendors or other organizations should not indicate a real or perceived endorsement of those vendors by the Convention or the EC
4. Exhibit space shall not be granted to any applying Exhibitor that has acted to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior, and/or the use of alcoholic beverages in its activities or on its properties.
F. EXHIBITOR RESPONSIBILITIES
By submitting its application and receiving acceptance from the EC authorizing exhibit space, the Exhibitor acknowledges and agrees to fully comply with the following terms:
1. Each Exhibitor shall submit a request for exhibit space to the EC. This request must be in writing, using the Exhibit Space Request form, and submitted not earlier than one year in advance of the annual meeting, nor later than December 15 prior to the meeting.
2. Each Exhibitor shall send a nonrefundable deposit check in the required amount to the EC to accept and confirm their reservation.
3. Each Exhibitor shall work with the EC selected Decorator to secure needed equipment and services.
4. No Exhibitor shall assign, sublet or share the whole or part of the booth space allotted unless approved by the EC Convention Manager. Each Exhibitor and its employees and representatives shall use reserved space for lawful purposes only and will conform to all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations.
5. Each Exhibitor shall be subject to sound level standards that will be established by the EC Convention Manager and/or Assistant Convention Manager (EC Manager).
a. Exhibitors must notify the EC Manager that they intend to use amplified sound, so the exhibit can be placed in an area that will be less likely to disrupt other Exhibitors.
b. If the noise level at the exhibit area exceeds a reasonable level, as determined by the EC Manager, and is disruptive to other Exhibitors, the Exhibitor will be given a warning and requested to lower the volume or eliminate the disruptive noise. If the Exhibitor fails to comply with the request and more than one request becomes necessary, the Exhibitor will be fined $250 for each additional request and the Exhibitor may be prohibited from exhibiting any further at the current Convention or at future sessions of the Convention if their exhibit continues to be at an unacceptable volume level and/or is disruptive to other Exhibitors.
6. No Exhibitor shall engage in the direct sale of materials unless pre-approved in advance by the EC Manager. Under no circumstances may any Exhibitor, other than Convention entities and auxiliaries engage in the promotion or distribution of any type of dated curriculum.
7. Exhibitors who desire to make published materials available for sale to attendees must contact LifeWay Christian Resources Retail Division for consideration of LifeWay’s consent to make such sales through the LifeWay Christian Stores exhibit.
8. No Exhibitor shall engage in the direct solicitation of contributions.
9. No Exhibitor shall engage in the sale or distribution of food/beverages.
10. No Exhibitor may place posters, signs or meeting announcements in any area other than in their own exhibit booth unless approved by the EC Manager.
11. No Exhibitor shall distribute information outside the Hall without the written permission of the EC Manager.
G. WAIVER, RELEASE, INDEMNIFICATION, AND HOLD HARMLESS
The Convention and the EC have secured the exhibit space at the annual meeting of the Convention as a courtesy and convenience to organizations who wish to display exhibits. Each Exhibitor, by entering into this agreement, waives any right which the Exhibitor might have to make a claim against the Convention or the EC for damages arising from the theft, destruction, or other loss of the Exhibitor’s property or from any injury to the Exhibitor or its employees, agents, volunteers, guests, or visitors. Exhibitor agrees to indemnify and to hold harmless the Convention, the EC, and their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents from and against all cost or liability arising from any claim which might be made against any of them by any person or entity whatsoever arising from the theft, destruction, or other loss of property or from any bodily injury to the Exhibitor or the Exhibitor’s employees, agents, volunteers, guests, or visitors. This waiver and indemnification agreement applies to any claim or cause of action arising during the entire period of time the exhibit space is made available to Exhibitor, including times for moving in and out of the exhibit space.
H. EC CONVENTION MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES
The EC Convention Manager and Assistant Convention Manager (EC Manager) serve as the authorized representatives and agents of the EC for the exhibits and exhibit area at the Annual Meetings of the Convention. As such, they shall fulfill the following duties:
1. Secure space for the exhibits in the same building complex as the Convention’s plenary sessions. The space is to have a minimum of 90,000 square feet.
2. Select a Convention Decorating firm and negotiate a contract for the exhibits.
3. Work with the Decorator in designing the layout and color scheme for the exhibit hall.
4. Develop a security plan for the exhibit hall and contract for the appropriate security services .
5. Work with the Decorator to notify Exhibitors of the following:
a. Exhibit schedule, floor plan and booth listing
b. Set-up and tear-down procedures
c. Order information for carpet/accessories
d. Logistical information regarding Material Handling
e. Local labor jurisdiction requirements
f. Shipping/receiving and billing procedures
g. Special exhibit hall rules and limitations set by the building owner
h. Local fire code regulations
i. Additional information, as needed, concerning procedures related to the decorating firm
6. The EC Manager has the authority to restrict, alter, or close any exhibit because of noise; method of operation; or take any action deemed reasonable, necessary or appropriate if the exhibit is out of keeping with the mission of the Convention. No refund shall be offered under such circumstances.
I. DECORATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
The EC has contracted with a Convention Decorator to fulfill the following duties:
1. Work with the EC Manager in designing the exhibit layout and produce working drawings of the exhibit plan.
2. Prepare, for each Exhibitor, information outlining services and equipment provided by their firm.
3. Provide Exhibitors with equipment and services as requested.
4. Provide back and side draping and an identifying sign for each exhibit booth.
5. Provide shipping and temporary storage facilities for Exhibitor’s materials.
6. Work with the EC Manager in establishing set-up and tear-down procedures.
7. Invoice Exhibitors for equipment and services used in their exhibit.
J. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
The cost and financial responsibility for Exhibitors shall be as follows:
1. Primary/Secondary Exhibitors: The cost of exhibit space will be invoiced by the EC on a cost-per-square-foot basis. At a minimum, the cost per square foot should be sufficient to recover the cost of the rental of the exhibit hall, security services, general decorating services (i.e., basic drapes and signs), janitorial services, and administrative costs. Exhibit rates will be determined annually by the EC based on size requested and annual facility costs.
2. Vendor Exhibitors (including any other organizations): The cost of exhibit space will be determined annually by the EC and invoiced to the Exhibitor.
3. The Convention Decorator will directly invoice/charge each Exhibitor for equipment and services rendered to or for that Exhibitor.
K. SPONSOR RESPONSIBILITIES
Any Convention entity or auxiliary sponsoring a Secondary Exhibitor shall have the following duties:
1. Ensure that the Secondary Exhibitor complies with the Exhibitor Policy Purpose and Guiding Principles as stated in this Policy.
2. Provide a letter of recommendation from the entity President/Chief Executive Officer for a Secondary Exhibitor to the EC Manager.
3. Facilitate the resolution of any disputes between the Exhibitor and the EC in accordance with the dispute resolution guidelines in this Policy.
L. DISPUTE RESOLUTION
In the event of any conflict between the EC, EC Convention Manager, Convention Decorator, and/or any Exhibitor or sponsoring entity, biblical principles, such as those set forth in Matthew 18:15-20 shall be followed.