Display policy at Annual Conference

Purpose of Displays

Displays facilitate the ability of conference members to connect with groups who have information to share on their ministry. Displays are provided to encourage conference members to learn more about the resources that are available through the wide variety of agencies and ministries in the annual conference. A few displays are targeted for sale of goods. The parameters for their purpose are discussed in a separate paragraph.

Requesting Space and Obtaining Permissions

  • Forms requesting display space must be submitted to the Event Coordinator by the fourth Friday in March. The request is then forwarded to the Local Arrangements Committee for space assignment.
  • Groups or individuals requesting display space for the first time must submit plans for content of the display to the Director of Connectional Ministries by no later than 30 days prior to the annual conference session. Failure to comply will result in display request being denied.
  • The Sessions Committee has the discretion to approve all displays and set and publish guidelines for display space assignments.
  • The subject and content of the display is expected to be in compliance with the Book of Discipline, the Social Principles, and The Book of Resolutions is expected.
  • In the event content is deemed to be inappropriate, it will be removed by one of the following officers: annual conference secretary, or chairperson of the Sessions Committee.
  • Groups officially recognized by and/or related to The United Methodist Church may request display space. Each group requesting space must agree to use their display area in accordance with the purpose statement in this document. Groups "officially recognized by" or "related to" The United Methodist Church include the following:
    • Approved Advance (Conference or General) Specials
    • Ministries included and approved in the Conference Budget
    • Ministries included in and approved in the Nominations Report
    • Ministries approved as a Conference Special Offering
    • Ministries which are initiated, supervised, and housed within a local United Methodist church or local United Methodist Church-owned facility within the boundaries of the IGRC.
    • University Senate-approved seminaries
  • Because of limited space and the need of the annual conference to limit its space use to non-commercial organizations, no commercial organizations (other than the exceptions noted in this policy document) shall be permitted to rent or otherwise use display space.
  • No group will be allowed to place signs, displays or vehicles on convention center propoerty without the permission of the Sessions Committee

Size and Location of Space

  • The amount of space available for displays varies depending on the site of the annual conference session. The Sessions Committee believes it is proper to allocate the same size space to each group requesting space prior to the deadline for such requests.
  • Each group setting up a display must agree to keep their display within the space allotted to them and not to encroach onto the display space assigned to another group.
  • Display spaces are assigned to specific locations, and groups setting up displays cannot move their display to another location. Because some locations are considered prime locations, each year display space assignments may be rotated to allow all groups the opportunity to use a prime location.

Special Permissions

In the past, display space has been granted to Cokesbury for a bookstore at annual conference. Since Cokesbury is the denomination's publishing house, they are granted an exception to the stated policy above. Other organizations providing free or reduced fee services to the annual
conference session may also be allowed to have display space where demonstrations or product sales will take place.

Fees and other financial considerations

  • Fees for requested use of electrical outlets are paid by the group requesting space.
  • Fees for requested phone lines are paid by the group requesting space.
  • Fees for tables and table skirting (if not provided) are paid by the group requesting space.
  • Please note that in the eyes of the Illinois Department of Revenue and the Illinois Great Rivers Conference there is no difference between selling items and giving away items for a donation. Please do not put the IGRC tax-exempt status at risk by exchanging any goods for money.


A list of all display booths will be distributed in the on-site packet that members receive. Advertisements for display spaces may not be publicized in other printed materials at annual conference.