Booth Activities


Operation of Exhibits and Conduct

SfN reserves the right to restrict exhibits that become objectionable due to sound, method of operation, materials, content, or any other reason, and prohibit or evict any exhibit that, in the opinion of Exhibit Management, may detract from the general character of the exhibits as a whole. This reservation includes persons, things, conduct, printed matter, food and beverages, or anything of a character Exhibit Management determines is objectionable to the exhibit. In the event of such restriction or eviction, the Society is not liable for any refunds or rentals of other exhibit expenses.


Demonstration areas may not be set on the aisle line of the exhibit; space must be left within the exhibit area to absorb the spectators. Should the spectators interfere with the normal traffic flow in the aisle or overflow into neighboring exhibits, the presentation must be limited or eliminated. Exhibitors are responsible for the safety (structural, fire, etc.) of their booths.

Exhibitors demonstrating or displaying lasers must comply with the Laser Guideline.

Gifts/Promotional Items

Giveaways will be limited to those items relevant to the professional interests of the registrants and must have a value of $25.00 or less per item. Exhibitors may conduct contests, lotteries and raffles onsite. Value of prize may not exceed $1,000. The winner must be announced after the meeting has concluded. All giveaways and handouts, with the exception of literature, must be on the Society pre-approved Giveaway List form. Giveaway items not on the list must receive written approval from the Society prior to the meeting. Such requests must be submitted to Exhibit Management by September 1. Requests received after September 1 will not be approved. Exhibit Gifts and Promotional Items

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

All medical devices or pharmaceuticals exhibited must have fulfilled all applicable FDA regulations.

PhRMA Code

SfN recommends that all pharmaceutical companies exhibiting adhere to the updated PhRMA Code.

No Smoking

It is a policy of SfN that the use of tobacco products is strictly prohibited in all areas of the convention center (including set up and dismantle of exhibits) and all hotel meeting rooms hosting SfN events. Thank you for not smoking.

Sales and Order-Taking

Sales and order-taking are permitted, provided that all transactions are conducted in a manner consistent with the professional nature of the exhibits. Exhibitors selling tangible goods must meet requirements of the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue.

Seller’s Permit

A temporary seller’s permit must be obtained. The form itself and further details are available at the
District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, Customer Service Administration. Exhibitors can search for the form here (FR-800SE). District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, Customer Service Administration can be reached at (202) 727-4829.

Product Category Listing

Each exhibiting company is asked to select a maximum of eight product categories from the SfN Product Category List that best describes their products being offered to annual meeting attendees. Please refer to the online application for submission of product categories. To ensure inclusion in the Exhibit Guide, exhibitors must submit product category lists by August 25. Note: only company products and company contact information are published in the Exhibit Guide.


Taking of photographs in the exhibition hall is strictly prohibited except for booth photography contracted through the official show photographer. An exhibitor may not photograph or videotape the exhibits or product of other exhibitors.

Photo and Video Release

By attending/exhibiting at Neuroscience 2017 or its associated events, you hereby understand that you may be photographed, videotaped, or digitally recorded, as may be your voice, and hereby waive any objection, condition, limit, or right you may have to the photographs or recordings.

By attending/exhibiting at Neuroscience 2017 or its associated events, you hereby authorize SfN to use any such photographs, videotapes or other recordings of yourself and your guests for any promotional purposes and to license other relevant people/organizations to use them. You hereby indemnify and hold the Society harmless for any such licensed or unlicensed use.


Do not store anything of value in crates going into storage. Professional security guard service will be provided for the perimeter of the exposition (not booths) on an around-the-clock basis beginning with the first day of move-in and continuing through move-out. The Society for Neuroscience, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and The Expo Group are not responsible for loss or damage to exhibitor property.
Exhibitors wanting to stay past the published times for move-in will need to hire security for their booth.

SPECIAL NOTE: Poster sessions will be held Saturday, November 11 from 1-5 p.m. Tape will surround the exhibit area until 9:20 a.m. on Sunday, November 12. Because poster session presenters and attendees are allowed access to the vicinity of exhibits on Saturday afternoon and two and a half hours in advance of the exhibit opening, Sunday through Wednesday, exhibitors are urged to provide pre-opening personnel on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and Sunday through Wednesday beginning at 7 a.m. to maintain booth surveillance. The tape surrounding the exhibits will be removed each morning beginning at 9 a.m. All exhibitors should plan accordingly by having one staff person in their booth by 7 a.m. or by hiring a security guard to watch their booth each morning until 9:30 a.m. Publishers should take particular precautions.

Security Tips

  • Have a booth representative available when your freight is taken off the truck to verify the condition of freight and receipt of complete shipment.
  • When your freight arrives at your booth, do not unwrap expensive items and giveaways and leave for lunch/dinner. Secure these items!
  • Do not set up your booth, with your giveaways and laptop computers before the first day of the show. If you are concerned about corporate espionage, do not leave a one of a kind prototype in your booth overnight.
  • If you must leave during show hours and are the only person manning your booth, ask a neighboring exhibitor to watch your booth until you return.
  • The second highest number of thefts occur during move-out. When the show closes, secure your items! Label your boxes correctly.
  • If you have several boxes, shrink wrap them.
  • Stay with your freight until it is loaded.
  • If you have it, odds are, someone else wants it! Theft is a crime of opportunity!

Limited Use of Live Marine Animals

Except for the limited use of live marine animals, Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the Society strictly prohibit the use of live or dead animals in the Center’s exhibit halls and meeting rooms. Approval for exhibits that include the use of live marine animals to further the educational intent of the display must be requested upon submission of application for exhibit space. Upon approval by the Society, exhibitors must obtain further approval from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Arlene S. Noyes, CMP
Senior Event Manager
Walter E. Washington Convention Center (Events DC | Conventions & Meetings)
801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 249-3328

The request should set forth the specific purpose, scope, and use of the display. The convention center will respond to each exhibitor’s request. If the exhibitor’s request is approved and during the event the convention center or the Society determines that the use of the live marine animals is in any way improper or distasteful, the use shall be immediately discontinued by the exhibitor or meeting room instructor.

Concession Stands

Limited service will be available during installation and dismantling periods.


SfN expects exhibitors to use prudent judgment when live models are used. Professional dignity and discretion should be observed at all times. The use of minors as models is prohibited. Models contracted to assist with demonstrations in an exhibitor’s booth may not wear tight fitting, revealing, or other inappropriate garments.

Lead Retrieval

Exhibitor Lead Management Systems will be available for rent to exhibitors. Each attendee will have a large, easy-to-read badge with their contact and demographic information encoded on the front of the badge. Attendee email addresses will only be included if the attendee selects this option when registering for the meeting. Complete information will be included in the Online Exhibitor Service Manual that will be available in mid July.

Badge Barcode

Neuroscience 2017 will continue to use a QR code only on that badge that has limited information.  If you use your own lead retrieval system you will need to order a data conversion program to obtain complete attendee data. If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact Holly Gosnell at Convention Data Services at 508-743-0593 or

Printed Materials

Distribution of printed educational material by the exhibitor or its agents is limited to the area rented by the exhibiting company in the SfN exhibit hall. These materials are not permitted in the registration area, poster session areas, meeting rooms, and corridors of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center or in any official SfN contracted hotel.

Mailing Lists/Demographic Information

Exhibitors are prohibited from selling and/or otherwise distributing demographic information obtained by scanning attendees name badges that visit their booth with lead retrieval devices. This information is restricted for use only by companies exhibiting at Neuroscience 2017 to send follow-up information requested by the attendee. Exhibitors violating these guidelines are subject to loss of all accrued priority points and a one-year suspension from exhibiting at the Society’s annual meeting.

Sound Restrictions

The use of open audio systems is discouraged. Requests to use an open audio system must be approved by Exhibit Management, and the exhibitor must agree to discontinue its use if the sound level is deemed to be objectionable to registrants or adjacent exhibitors. Noisy electrical or mechanical apparatus interfering with other exhibitors is prohibited.

Prohibited Practices

The prohibited practices below apply to exhibitors and non-exhibitors:

  • distributing giveaway items that do not comply with stated policy
  • distributing or using stick-on decals and/or similar adhesive-backed promotional items in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • Suitcasing - canvassing or distributing any materials or product samples outside the exhibitor’s own space, the convention center and any SfN contracted hotel unless approved through an official SfN support or advertising opportunity
  • advertisements including, but not limited to; billboards, displays of signs, promotional items, or any form of technology outside the exhibit space, convention center and any SfN contracted hotel unless approved through an official SfN support or advertising opportunity
  • publicizing and/or maintaining any extracurricular activities, inducements, demonstrations, or displays away from the exhibit area
  • hanging signs or banners from the ceiling (island booths only are permitted)
  • entering another exhibitor’s space without permission
  • photographing or examining another exhibitor’s equipment without permission
  • taking of photographs and/or recording any scientific session
  • wearing buttons, unofficial badges, company name plates, etc., in lieu of the official SfN exhibitor badge
  • altering badges in anyway (i.e., ribbons or buttons)
  • operating X-ray equipment
  • use of minors as models
  • noisy electrical or mechanical apparatus interfering with other exhibitors
  • the use of the Society’s name is forbidden on signs inside or outside the exhibit area and on descriptive product literature
  • no subletting or sharing of exhibit space
  • using helium balloons or glitter products
  • selling and/or otherwise distributing demographic information obtained by scanning attendees name badges that visit their booth with lead retrieval devices
  • exhibitors or their agents may not negotiate blocks of hotel rooms directly with contracted SfN participating hotels
  • tipping contracted labor

Exhibitor Lounge

SfN will provide an exhibitor lounge for booth personnel only. An exhibitor badge is required for entry.

Parking at the Convention Center

Walter E. Washington Convention Center address is 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW, Washington, DC  20001.

  • Transportation Information (Includes maps of the Convention Center area)

Satellite Symposium and Ancillary Events

Satellite symposia and ancillary events that SfN annual meeting attendees may attend, but that are not planned or sponsored by SfN. Learn more »

Contact SfN

If you have questions, email or call (202) 962-4000.

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