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Trade Show Booths 101 | Sizes, Styles, and Restrictions

Trade show display booths range drastically in size from a tabletop area to the size of a city block depending on the location, venue, and show.  Here is a breakdown of booth sizes and styles to help you make your decision on what style of booth to get at your next trade show exhibit.

The typical booth size in the US is 10 ft x 10 ft. and these booth areas will fill the aisles of trade show exhibits.  If an exhibitor wants a larger space they can typically rent in multiples of the standard 10 x 10 to create a 10 ft x 20 ft space, 20 ft x 20 ft space, and so on.

In Europe, and Asia, exhibit spaces are typically done in 1m increments, with the smallest typically being 3m x 3m. (See Wikipedia)

Once you have determined the size want you can request what type of configuration you want spatially.  Sometimes the type of configuration is dictated by the size of your booth and you do not have a choice however, OR the booth layout is a first come first serve basis.

Here are the types of booth layouts:

A Linear Booth (aka In-line Booth) is surrounded by exhibit booths on both sides and or back.  Most 10 x 10 booths are linear.  The Linear Booth has the most restrictions due to limited space and popularity of 10 x 10 booth size.  Typically any displays cannot exceed an 8 ft height on the back 4 ft of the booth and no hanging signs are allowed.  The front end of the booth (or front 6 ft) is restricted to a 4 ft height.  This is so that neighboring exhibitors are not obstructed on either side.  If you are a first time exhibitor a linear 10 x 10 is a good option to start with.

Example of what you can do with a 10 x 10 Linear Booth Example of what you can do with a 10 x 10 Linear Booth Example of what you can do with a 10 x 10 Linear Booth

A Corner Booth is a linear booth that is exposed to the aisle on two sides.  Typically the same guidelines apply.

A Peninsula Exhibit Booth is an exhibit area that is at least 20’ x 20’ or larger, and is open to aisles on three sides.  Restrictions vary with peninsula booths depending on its neighbors.  For example, if a peninsula is behind two linear booths the back wall might be restricted to 4 ft high within 5 ft of each aisle.  Most of the time however, there are few back wall restrictions.  The peninsula exhibit booth is probably the second most popular booth next to the island.

An example of a display for a 10 x 20 Peninsula Booth An example of a truss display for a 10 x 20 Peninsula Booth

A Split-Island Exhibit Booth is a peninsula that shares a back wall with another peninsula.

An Island Booth Exhibit is exposed to an aisle on all four sides and is almost always 20 ft x 20 ft or larger.  The island booths typically get the least amount of restrictions.  Typical island height maximum is 16 ft and often times hanging displays are also allowed within these areas.  This is the most popular booth for obvious reasons but can be the most costly!

An example of a Truss Display used in an Island Booth format

End Cap Exhibit Booths are typically comprised of two booths and face aisles on three sides.  End cap booths have the same restrictions as in-line or linear booths.

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