Selecting the Right Trade Show Display

There are many types of trade show displays available, each offering a unique opportunity to showcase your business, products and other important information in eye-catching ways. Choosing the right display for your company depends on your budget, goals and needs. No matter which exhibit type you select, keep the following tips in mind.


Branding – A well-designed trade show display should reflect your brand, so make sure your display keeps true to company brand standards, colors, imagery and logos.


Impact – The best trade show displays inspire visitors to learn more about a company and leave a lasting impression , so design your display with impact in mind.

Trade Show Display Sizes and Layouts

Trade show displays come in many dimensions, with the standard sizes being 10’ x 10’, 10’ x 20’ and 20’ x 20’. Likewise, there are various trade show exhibit layouts. We list the three most common layouts along with a short descriptions below to help you get better acquainted with your floorplan options.

A 10’ x 10’ booth size is the most popular and most readily available size for most trade shows & events. Check out our 10’ x 10’ guide, linked below, for some additional information on maximizing the value of your next trade show!

Getting The Most Out of Your 10’ x 10’ Trade Show Display

Island Exhibits

Typically 20’ x 20’ or larger, island trade show exhibits are exposed to aisles on all four sides. Hanging structures are usually permitted above island exhibits with height restrictions varying by trade show, but typically it is between 20’ and 30’.

Two common styles of island exhibits are the Axis and Presenter layouts:

  • The Axis Layout utilizes a centralized structure as an axis point for the exhibit design, with independent structural elements positioned near the corners and perimeter of the exhibit. The open floor plan of the Axis Layout allows traffic to flow in and out of the space organically, reducing clutter and traffic build up.

  • The Presenter Layout features a theater/presentation and additional supporting display elements. If you are looking to engage, communicate and employ storytelling at your trade show, consider the Presenter Layout.

  • An inline trade show exhibit, also known as a “linear” exhibit, abuts one or more exhibits on its flanks or back. Generally, inline exhibits are 10’ x 10’ or 10’ x 20’ with a max backwall height of to 8’. The term “perimeter booth” will usually refer to an inline display that is located along the outside wall of an event floor.

  • One key advantage for inline displays is that many can reconfigure into multiple spaces, most commonly 10′ x 10′ and 10′ x 20′ booth sizes. This gives multi-event exhibitors the ability to scale an inline trade show exhibit up or down depending on the exhibit requirements of a venue or by need.

  • Hanging structures are not permitted for inline exhibits.

Peninsula trade show exhibits share one side with another booth, with three out of four sides exposed to an aisle. For many events, the shared side graphic must be plain and cannot contain logos, branding or advertising.

The typical size for a Peninsula booth is 10′ x 20′ or larger. Hanging structures are usually permitted for peninsula exhibits that are 20’ x 20’ or larger.

Portable trade show displays are generally a faster and more affordable option ideal for first-time exhibitors, exhibitors in need of a quick solution and for companies working with a limited trade show budget.

Though portable displays are a lower cost option, they can have just as great an impact as a fully custom exhibit. Many portable displays have large graphic backgrounds that provide the opportunity for effective branding and connecting with attendees.

Portable displays are easier to set up and require less assembly compared to modular or custom exhibits, are made from lightweight materials and come in a variety of sizes, including 8ft, 10ft, 20ft and tabletop. Exhibitors can customize portable trade show displays with custom printed graphics and various accessories like kiosks, counters, lighting and more.

The lightweight construction and portability of these displays makes them easy to ship and ideal for exhibiting at multiple shows in a short period of time. Despite being lightweight, portable displays are designed to withstand multiple uses if cared for properly. Below, we list the most popular portable displays and their advantages.

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Charlotte, North Carolina
Trade Show Displays, Exhibits, Booths