Thrive! Conference Vendor Application

Thrive!

May 31-June 2, 2018: Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Dear Vendor,

Thank you for your time, work and ministry on behalf of homeschooling families. Thank you also for your interest in participating in the NCHE conference vendor hall.

First, allow us the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you as you will be working with both of us in this process.

Debbie Mason

Debbie Mason
Debbie is the events director and chair of the conference committee. She started homeschooling in 1981 and has now graduated all 4 of her children. She has been on the conference committee since the late 80s, but has been the chair the committee for the last couple of years. Debbie and her husband, Spencer, have been on the NCHE board since 1988. Debbie’s email address is debbie.mason@nche.com; phone 704-541-5145; cell 704-607-0618.

Spencer Mason

Spencer Mason
Spencer is the conference committee assistant. He is also the law and policy director on the NCHE board. He has been on the NCHE board since 1988 and has held many positions including president. Spencer’s email address is spencer.mason@nche.com; phone 704-541-5145; cell 704-661-6299.

We are expecting around 7,500 attendees this year—homeschool parents, teens and children. These families will come from across the state of North Carolina as well as neighboring states. The conference always generates a high level of energy and enthusiasm among conference attendees. The NCHE conference is a highlight of NC homeschoolers’ year.

We look forward to working with you at this year’s conference. What you do is truly a ministry, and we appreciate you so very much. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will have a page on the conference website just for you (this page will be updated for the 2018 conference in mid to late September): http://www.nche.com/conference/vendors when the website gets updated for the 2018 conference.

Sincerely,

Debbie and Spencer
NCHE Vendor Hall Team

Vendor Selection Information

Selection will be made based on the benefit of the product or service to homeschoolers as determined by the conference committee.

Exempt Vendors
Vendors may be chosen by the conference committee for exempt status. Exempt vendors do not need to go through the application process and have first choice of booth locations and have priority in keeping the space occupied or may request another location. To maintain this priority, exempt vendors need to submit their deposit by a certain date. At the time of this application, some of the booths have already been taken by exempt vendors. New exempt vendors are chosen each year before the conference.

Policy on Colleges
Colleges are given the opportunity to have a booth in the vendor hall. If they are selected for the vendor hall, they will also need to man a free booth in the College Fair on Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. For this purpose, they have permission to leave the booth in the vendor hall in order to cover the table in the College Fair. Colleges also have the option of just doing the College Fair, and the cost is $75 (includes lunch). Here is the application to be in the college fair only. 

Booth Assignments
Booth space is given on a “first come, first served" basis. Exempt vendors have first choice before vendors submitting applications. We will do everything possible to address the needs of each vendor, but we cannot guarantee a location or dimension of your requested space.

Workshop Types
The NCHE conference makes a distinction between two types of workshops:

  • Conference Workshops
    A conference workshop is a non-vendor, non-commercial workshop. It must relate to home education. There is a selection process. If your conference workshop is selected, you will be informed by late January. Fill out the online speaker application NCHE Thrive! Conference Speaker Application. It is due by November 30.

  • Vendor Workshops
    Vendors may conduct vendor workshops to explain the benefits of their product. The cost of each workshop is $75. The content must relate to home education. Early application will improve the likelihood of getting the workshops desired.

Vendor Hall Information and Policies

Set-up and Operating Hours for 2018
All vendors are welcome to begin setting up Wednesday, May 30, between 3:00 and 8:00 p.m. Additional set-up time will be offered after 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 31. Due to facility climate control, loading dock doors will close at 11:30 a.m. All vendors must be set up and ready for business by 1:30 pm on Thursday May 31. Please note that there are no dollies provided by the convention center.

Vendor Hall Hours
Vendor Hall operating hours for 2018 will be as follows: Thursday 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm; Friday 9:30 am to 7:30 pm; and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Drop Shipping & NC Sales Tax
No shipments will be received at the Benton Convention Center, the Marriott or the Embassy Suites Hotel. Shipment of all materials must go through Hollins Exposition Services. They will be contacting you with drop shipping information closer to the conference. For information on NC sales tax, contact the Revenue Department, Sales & Use Tax Division at 877-252-3052.

Vendor Hall Policies

  • All vendors must remain in their allocated space. (Aisle space is not usable space.)
  • If asked to make changes to booth configuration, the vendor has an hour to comply
  • No vendor is allowed to sublet space to another vendor unless permission is obtained by conference committee.
  • All vendors must be invited by the NCHE conference committee.
  • Vendors must be considerate of other vendors. If your demonstration causes noise that becomes a nuisance to vendors around you, you will be asked to stop or lower the sound level to an acceptable level.
  • Vendors may sell only during vendor hours.
  • Booths must be manned the entire time of the conference (allowing for short absenses) unless special permission is granted. 

Nametag Policy
We will allow 4 free vendor nametags per first booth, Two additional free nametags will be allowed for each booth after that with a cap of 10 free nametags per vendor. We will charge $10 per nametag beyond those allowed for free and for those purchased onsite.

New Lunch Option
We are offering the option of ordering a sandwich for lunch that will be delivered to your booth--turkey sandwich for Friday lunch and ham sandwich for Saturday lunch.

Hotels with NCHE Blocks
Embassy Suites 800-696-6107 and Marriott 800-228-9290 are part of the convention area. These rooms usually fill up quickly. October 1 (at 9 a.m.) is the first day reservations are open. There are several other hotels not too far away. To find the current list of lodging, go to https://www.nche.com/thrive/lodging (when the website is updated for 2018).

Vendor Promotion Opportunities

NCHE would like to partner with you to promote your business.

  • Vendor Workshops
    Vendors may conduct vendor workshops to explain the benefits of their product. Doing a vendor workshop gives you an opportunity to explain your product or service in a more detailed way to a group of interested people. The cost of each workshop is $75. The content must relate to home education and not exceed 60 minutes. Early application will improve the likelihood of getting the workshops desired. Apply for Vendor Workshops using this form.
  • Contact List
    Vendors have the opportunity to purchase a contact list for attendees who agree to allow their contact information to be given. Vendors must agree to use these contacts only for their own business and not to loan, rent or sell these contacts. In 2017, there were 730 families who gave permission. Request this on the payment form.
  • Signature Card
    NCHE will offer a signature card, one per family, to help to draw attendees to your booth. Adult attendees who complete all or a certain percentage of the card will be entered into a drawing for a $250 prize. The signature card will have a minimum of 5 vendor names and a maximum of 30 vendor names, on a first-come first-served basis. Request this on the payment form.
  • NCHE Website
    We will put your business along with the link to your website on our conference website.
  • Advertising in the Conference Program
    The printed conference program is a quality publication. Advertising in the program gives you a front row seat to our attendees. Our program is distributed to all of our adult attendees for free and is a vital tool to them while they are at the conference. You do not have to be a conference vendor in order to advertise in the conference program. Please indicate your interest in learning more about Conference Program Advertising in the application. Here is the link for the conference program advertising information.
  • GreenhouseSponsorship of a Conference Event
    NCHE is known for its many events at the conference. We have multiple opportunities for sponsorship of those events. See the sponsorship application for more information. 
  • Advertising in the GREENHOUSE Magazine
    For thirty years, our flagship magazine has been bringing words of encouragement, methods of homeschooling, stories of student success and news to keep homeschoolers informed. GREENHOUSE is available in print and digital formats. You can learn more about GREENHOUSE advertising rates on the website.  

Application

Please complete this application and submit along with payment by October 20, 2017. In order to be considered, you must include payment with your application. If you prefer to pay by check, just print the shopping cart page and mail it with a check made out to NCHE to the address below. Your payment will be mailed back to you or reimbursed if you are not selected for the 2018 vendor hall. After October 20, applying vendors will be accepted as space allows. To see if there are booths available check under Booth: First Choice. 

NOTE: Returning vendors who have participated in our conference within the last three years and nothing has changed about your organization may skip Part 2: Organization Mission and History.

If you are a new vendor applicant and have products, catalogs, pictures or other materials that may help your application presentation, please send them directly to the Conference Chair:
Debbie Mason
NCHE Thrive! Conference Chair
8600 Ducksbill Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28277

NCHE will notify vendors as soon as we can if selected. The first round of selections will be made in early November.

Application, including payment, must be submitted by October 20, 2017 to be considered in the first round of selections.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations will receive refunds based on the following:

  • Received by November 30 will receive an 70% refund.
  • Received by December 31 will receive an 60% refund.
  • Received by January 31 will receive a 40% refund.
  • Received by February 28 will receive a 30% refund.
  • Received by March 31 will receive a 20% refund

   No refunds will be given after March 31.


Part 1: Company Information

In this section you will tell NCHE about your organization.

Organization Essentials
Onsite Leader
This is the contact information for the organizational representative who will be at the conference. If this is not known yet, leave the fields below blank.
Conference Program Information
Vendors attending the conference will have organization and product/services information printed in the conference program. If this section is left blank, your organization name, booth number/s and website will be the only things listed.
In 80 words or less, describe your company, booth or product in the way that you want it described in the program. Please use paragraph format and complete sentences.

Part 2: Organization Mission & History

New vendor applicants are required to complete this section.
Vendors who have participated in the conference within the last three years and who have not undergone any significant organizational change may skip this section.

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PART 3: Vendor Hall Booth Selection

In this section you will provide information about your booth selections.

Booth Space Sizes
Most booth spaces are 10 feet wide by 8 feet deep and include a table, two chairs and drapes. There are a few unique booths available with each space being priced according to its size and location. There may also be variations in booth layouts because of structural restrictions, etc.

Booth Prices and Location
The following table groups booth by prices, and the map shows booth location in the Thive! vendor hall. Booths that are available will show up in "Booth: First Choice." 

Booth Numbers Price Per Booth
172-177, 181-186, 189-194, 198-203 $375
126-128, 134-141, 143-144, 178, 180, 187-188, 195,197, 206-211, 215-220 $400
129-133, 146-148, 152, 155-160, 164-169, 171, 204, 212, 214 $425
125, 149, 151, 161, 163, 205, 221 $450
11-18, 26-29, 32-37, 48-54, 56-62, 65-71, 73-79, 82-88, 105-109, 112-116, 119-123, 153-154, 170 $475
9-10, 25, 31, 43-45, 47, 63-64, 80-81, 93-94, 98-102, 110-111 $505
2-6, 8, 30, 39-42, 46, 92, 95, 97, 103-104, 117-118, 124 $530
24 $775
142 $975
21 $1,250
150 $1,100
7 $1,580
55, 72 $1,700
38 $1,800
91 $2,600
96 $3,950

[ Open Larger Vendor Hall Map in new tab/window]

You will now identity the booth(s) you would like to rent during the conference. To have continuous larger presence at the conference, select multiple adjacent booths.

You will also select equipment you will rent for your booth(s).

NCHE does everything we can to give vendors their first choice booth(s).  However, sometimes we cannot accommodate eveyone's requests.  In order to help understand where there is flexibility, we ask that you tell us about your second and third choices. Tell us about any requirements about your booth shape and size.

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Part 4: Vendor Workshop Application(s)

In this section you will tell us about each vendor workshop you'd like to offer attendees.

You can submit up to 3 vendor workshop applications.  Early application will improve the likelihood of getting the workshops and times desired. We cannot guarantee you will get your first choice. 

There is a $75 fee for each workshop.  Equipment to enhance your vendor workshop is available to rent.

If you do not wish to submit any vendor workshop applications, proceed to Part 5: Vendor Promotional Extras.

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Vendor Workshop Essentials
Pay your Vendor Workshop Fees by entering the number of Vendor Workshop Applications you are submitting. Provide any additional notes about your Vendor Workshop Applications.
Vendor Workshop Applications Fees
Would you like to tell us anything about the times and days of your workshops?

Part 5: Vendor Promotional Extras

NCHE is offering vendors the following additional opportunities to interact with conference attendees.

2018 Conference Contact List
A contact list of attendees who agree to allow their contact information to be given. Vendors must agree to use these contacts only for their own business and not to loan, rent or sell these contacts. In 2017, there were 729 families who gave permission. 

2018 Conference Vendor Signature Card
NCHE will offer a signature card, one per family, to help to draw attendees to your booth. Adult attendees who complete a certain percentage of the card will be entered into a drawing for a $250 cash prize. The signature card will have a minimum of 5 vendor names and a maximum of 30 vendor names, on a first come first served basis.

Part 6. Vendor Lunch

This is a sandwich only that will be delivered to your booth in the vendor hall. Colleges that have vendor hall booths and order lunch sandwiches, will have their sandwiches delivered to their College Fair tables on Friday.

Lunch Sandwiches

 


Review

You have now completed the majority of the application. 

Please review your application carefully. Verify that you have:

  • Selected the booth(s) you wish, as well the equipment for your booth you require,  
  • Selected the vendor workshop fee for each vendor workshop application you included,
  • Selected the extra items useful for promotion,
  • Ordered the correct number of lunches.

It is recommend that you print this page now, so as to have a record of your application.

In addition, we will send a copy of your application's information to the email of your choice.

A copy of the application will be set to this email address. Please note: In the email you will receive, all billable items will be marked as UNPAID. However, this only because the email is generated prior to receiving credit card payment. If there is an issue with your payment, you will be contacted by a member of the conference team.

Payment

Submit your application and add all the billable items selected as part of your application to your Shopping Cart. Review your items and then proceed to checkout to submit payment.

If you prefer to pay by check, after filling out the application form, click "Add to cart." From the shopping cart, click "Checkout," fill out the account and billing information, click "Continue to next step," and print out the Review Order page. Make out a check to NCHE and mail it and the Review Order printout to NCHE Thrive!, 8600 Ducksbill Drive, Charlotte, NC 28277.