Understanding Different Trade Show Booth Configurations

Categories: Multiple Booth Sizes, Trade Show Tips

As a trade show exhibitor, choosing the correct size as well as the optimal location for your booth is crucial. It can even be equated to choosing where to set up your business in the first place! In theory, the two are very similar, since you want to be able to attract the most business you can from wherever you choose to plant your roots, be it in a brick and mortar building or in a 10 foot by 10 foot booth at your next trade show. Getting these details right can greatly influence the success you may find at your next trade show or convention event.

Below are some of the various kinds of booths you may find at trade shows. Hopefully, this outline can aid you in making the best choice for your own booth when the time comes to submit the application for attending your next trade show.

Inline Booth Space

Inline booth spaces are the most common type of booth found at most trade shows. They are optimal for the convention space itself, since you will have a neighbor on either side of your booth. A prime example of the dimensions for this specific kind of booth would be a 10 foot by 10 foot space. Since you will have neighbors on either side of your booth, double sided walls might not be the wisest decision. Inline booths will have you packed in, so having lightbox towers or some other form of eye-catching signage can aid in bringing in the maximum number of people to your booth that you can. Since the neighbors are on either side of you, maximizing the space as well as the efficiency of your booth is a must. Try strategic lighting or a similar tactic with your back wall to produce a desired attractive effect.

Corner Booth Space

Corner booth spaces are pretty self explanatory in terms of positioning. While the dimensions may be similar to the standard inline booth space, a corner booth space will be open on two sides with a neighbor behind your booth as well as a neighbor to one side. Corner booth spaces can lend themselves to a plethora of creative options, since being open on two sides lends itself to an extremely inviting atmosphere to begin with. Think of creative ways to optimally use that curve in the walkway as well as all of that open space in front of your booth which might not be occupied at all.

Island Booth Space

With island booth spaces, you are truly floating out there in the trade show exhibition ocean. With no neighbors surrounding you, you have plenty of space to use how you see fit. Double-sided graphic walls prove highly effective in an island booth space given the lack of neighbors. In addition, island booth spaces have a tendency to be a bit on the larger side, averaging 20 by 20 or even 20 by 30 feet areas. Hanging signs, lightbox displays, and trade show towers can all find comfortable habitats within an island booth space.

Peninsula Booth Space

By being open on three out of the four sides, peninsula booth spaces seem to be an extension of corner booth spaces in terms of open area as well as connectivity to other exhibition booths. By only have a neighbor on 1 side of your booth, you can create an environment that is welcoming to trade show patrons while exemplifying your company brand’s persona to the best of the booth’s ability. Peninsula booth spaces tend to run more rectangular than other booth types, such as 10 foot by 20 foot spaces.

On top of these aforementioned booth spaces which are all extremely common, there are other, more specialized booths you may see at trade shows or have the option of purchasing space for. Below are some examples of the more unique kinds of trade show booths:


Pavilion trade show spaces tend to be large, open areas for exhibitors. However, this kind of trade show booth is a bit more specialized. Pavilions tend to showcase specific exhibitors, such as those with new products on the market. Take note if the trade show you wish to attend has designated spaces such as pavilions and if the kind of showcasing they are doing pertains to you. To go off of the aforementioned example, if your company has launched a new product and a primary reason for attending the trade show is to market said product, setting up shop in the pavilion area will ensure that those interested in new and exciting products will swarm to you, since patrons will know that your pavilion is the place to be.

Newcomer Section

The newcomer section says it all; it is truly a place for new exhibitors to the trade show to set up their booth and market their brand. Since this space is specifically designated for newcomers to the trade show, you might be obligated to set up your booth in this section. However, this doesn’t have to be a curse! Those who have attended trade shows year after year will be seeing the same faces and same products in the general area of the trade show. Those regular attendees may be more keen on visiting your section immediately, since they will be seeing new and exciting products or services from you for the first time. The newcomer section is also a great way to get to know the general atmosphere of the trade show as well as make connections with the aforementioned regular attendees.  Read our article series, ‘Exhibiting at Your First Trade Show‘.

Table Top

Generally smaller than other booth sizes, table top spaces may not lend itself to be the most versatile space at the trade show, but can still allow you to make a solid impression. These kinds of spaces tend to be more common at local and/or regional shows as well. While small, there are still plenty of options to choose from in terms of signage when outfitting your table top space. Consider printed table top covers to elevate your table or even table top light boxes to draw the eye of passersby walking through the trade show.


Choosing the correct kind of space to display your products and advertise your brand can seem like a daunting task, especially if it’s the first trade show you are attending. Even seasoned veterans may need to take a step back on occasion to assess all of the various options presented to them. When you do go with a specific space, the next step is to gather the right kind of signage to occupy said space. It can all seem chaotic at first, but the more you go through this process, the more organically the decisions will come to you and the more natural your trade show success will be.

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