Trade Show 101 | Understanding Booth Layouts

Since 1851, trade shows have been captivating audiences. Even today’s modern events draw some comparison to that very first, Victorian-era ‘Great Exhibition.’ Back then, more than 6 million visitors were on hand for the months-long event. Today’s events still draw large crowds and cover massive expanses. The Consumer Technology Association’s annual Consumer Electronics Show sees crowds upwards of 200,000 people filling a dozen or more venues. Covering those spaces are thousands of exhibitors in booth spaces ranging from standard 10’x10’s to massive layouts stretching over thousands of square feet.

But whether it’s a standard inline 10’x10’ or a 60’x80’ island booth, variety abounds.

Let’s dig into some of those common layouts. 

“Booth selection and layout strategy serve as the cornerstone of your trade show success. Whether you’re working on a budget or looking to maximize your brand’s presence, it all starts with your space."

Vicki Fodor | Project Management Director | Exhibit Concepts

Booth Layouts

Inline

Inline booths are one of the most common types of booths seen on the trade show floor. They are also one of the most affordable. These booths stand back-to-back and side-by-side, like the aisles of a grocery store. But just like a store shelf, your brand’s “packaging” needs to be well thought out to attract attention and interest from attendees passing by.

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Corner

Standing on the end of an aisle, corner booths provide more exposure and accessibility than standard inline options. These booths usually fall in line with the other inline, 10’x10’ layouts, but with the added benefit of a second point of accessibility. Corner locations usually cost an additional fee.

Perimeter

Perimeter booths are another standing layout option. Typically, a 10’x10’ layout, perimeter booths are in line with other booths, but positioned along the outside of the exhibit floor, usually against a wall. Perimeter booths can offer some flexibility given their typically higher height restrictions.

Peninsula

Creativity comes into play with peninsula booths. These are one of the costliest options and one of the most accessible. Like the end cap at the grocery store, peninsula booths offer a great deal of exposure to attendees and three separate points of accessibility and visibility. Peninsula booths also have the potential to provide more floor space for exhibitors.

Island

Island booths are the king of the expo floor. The most accessible layout to attendees, island booths are usually the costliest. The island booth offers the most significant amount of exposure and opportunity to “wow” crowds with its creative layouts and attractive engagements. They are also usually not limited by height restrictions, meaning that signage can be optimized to draw attention from across the floor and bring in crowds.

Need help designing your next project? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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