Thrive! Vendor Application
Thank you for your time, work and ministry on behalf of homeschooling families. Thank you also for your interest in participating in the NCHE Thrive! 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 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 few years. Debbie and her husband, Spencer, have been on the NCHE board since 1988. Debbie’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org; cell phone 704-607-0618.
Spencer Mason assists the conference committee. He is 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. In addition to his board position, he serves as the NCHE executive office manager. Spencer’s email address is email@example.com and his cell phone is 704-661-6299.
We are expecting around 6,500 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 2021 conference in mid fall): http://www.nche.com/conference/vendors.
Debbie and Spencer
If you are applying for the first round of selections, complete this application and submit along with payment by October 31, 2020. In order to be considered, you must include payment with your application. If you prefer to pay by check, click on the link below to fill out the pay by check form. Your payment will be mailed back to you or reimbursed if you are not selected for the 2021 vendor hall. After October 31, applying vendors will be accepted as space allows. Selection will be made based on the benefit of the product or service to homeschoolers as determined by the conference committee.
Booth space is given on a “first come, first served” basis. Select vendors, called exempt vendors, have first choice before vendors submitting applications. Available booths are shown on the map and under “Booth: First Choice.” Vendors will be considered for selection after the completed application is submitted and payment is received. We will do everything possible to address the needs of each vendor, but we cannot guarantee a location or dimension of your requested space. NCHE will notify vendors as soon as we can if selected. The first round of selections will be made in early November. Vendors applying after October 31, will be notified as soon as decisions have been made which happen periodically.
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.
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 vendor hall booth 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 $87 (includes a sandwich). Here is the application to be in the college fair only.
Additional Options on the Application
- 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. You will also have the opportunity to order AV for your workshop.
- 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 2019, there were 712 families who gave permission.
- Signature Card
NCHE will offer a signature card, one per family, to help to draw attendees to your booth. Adult attendees who complete the card by having someone at the booth sign 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 17 vendor names, on a first come first served basis.
- Sandwich for Lunch
We are offering the option of ordering a sandwich for lunch that will be delivered to your booth: turkey with American cheese and lettuce and tomato on white bread for Friday lunch and ham with Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato on wheat bread for Saturday lunch. We realize that these are expensive for just a sandwich, but we are making them available for your convenience; there is no profit in it for NCHE. There will also be a concession stand available.
- Extras for Your Booth
You may order electricity, laptop and LED monitors to use at our booth.
Additional Opportunities to Know About
- 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.
- Advertising in the Conference Program
The printed conference program is a quality publication. 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. Here is the link for the conference program advertising information.
- Advertising in the GREENHOUSE Magazine
For over 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 here.
- Advertising on Social Media, NCHE Weekly Email and on the Website
To learn more about all of our ways to reach homeschoolers, see this page, Reach Homeschoolers.
Vendor Hall Information and Policies
Set-up and Operating Hours for 2021
All vendors are welcome to begin setting up Wednesday, May 26, between 3:00 and 8:00 p.m. Additional set-up time will be offered after 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 27. Due to facility climate control, loading dock doors will close at 11:00 a.m. All vendors must be set up and ready for business by 1:30 pm on Thursday. Please note that there are no dollies provided by the convention center.
Vendor Hall Hours
Vendor Hall operating hours 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 absences) unless special permission is granted.
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.
Hotels with NCHE Blocks
Embassy Suites 800-696-6107 and Marriott (800) 320-0934 are part of the convention area. October 1 (at 9 a.m.) is the first day reservations are open. The name for our block is “Thrive-Home Educator,” and you must call to get the block rate. The rooms in the Embassy usually fill up quickly, but rooms in the Marriott are usually available until closer to the conference. 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 2021 in October).
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.
If you prefer to pay by check, click here.