You may be asking yourself, “What size trade show booth do I need?” if you have an upcoming trade show you’ll be participating in. There’s no doubt that expos are a worthwhile forum for self-promotion. But when it comes to picking out the right exhibit booth size, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all exhibitors or shows. Read our expert advice below to help you choose the best trade show booth size for your business.

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What Trade Show Booth Dimensions Are Available?

If you attend various conventions, you’ve likely noticed how many different styles, sizes, and shapes exhibit booths come in. Tailoring and branding your booth to your business allows you to not only network well, but also to bring people into your world. When choosing your trade show booth dimensions, consider whether a standard trade show booth size is the best fit or if there are any less typical trade show booth sizes that may work better.

Standard Trade Show Booth Size Options

Standard booth sizes for trade shows include:

Most trade show exhibit rental companies, including Cardinal Expo, offer exhibit booths in sizes of 10’ x 10’, 10’ x 20’, and 20’ x 20’.

If you're wondering if a 10x10 exhibit booth size is right, check out this 10x10 render we made for Capital One as an example and compare it to the other sizes in this post.

A 10×10 exhibit render created for Capital One

If you're thinking about picking a 10x20 exhibit booth size, consider this 10x20 render as an example.

A 10×20 render of the Capital One booth

Other Trade Show Booth Sizes

If there isn’t a standard trade show booth size that appeals to you, there are still other trade show booth sizes to consider:

  • 10’ x 30’ exhibits
  • 20’ x 30’ exhibits
  • Custom exhibits

At Cardinal Expo, we also offer 10’ x 30’ and 20’ x 30’ trade show booth sizes. Or, if you need your own unique trade show booth dimensions, we provide fully customized exhibits. This can be especially helpful for outdoor exhibits, which may be able to take advantage of even bigger spaces and incorporate large equipment or machinery.

This photo shows the 20x20 booth for Capital One when they picked out a bigger exhibit booth size for an event.

A photo of the 20×20 booth size we created for Capital One

Sometimes picking out the right exhibit booth size means going with a non-standard, custom size, like this 20x30 booth for Capital One.

A photo of the 20×30 booth size we created for Capital One


Common Booth Layouts

Just as your trade show booth dimensions can follow standard sizes or be customized, there are several common layouts for booths to consider or adjust to meet your needs:

  • Inline: Measuring 10′ x 10′ or 10’ x 20’, enclosed on each side except the front.
  • Island: A 20’ x 20’ or larger trade show booth size, with an open aisle space on all sides.
  • Double Decker: A two-story trade show display that makes the most of vertical space to enhance a company’s presence on the show floor.

Now that you know what options are available, the next step is picking out the right exhibit booth size for your business.

What Size Trade Show Booth Do I Need?

Determining what size trade show booth you need depends on a variety of factors, including the space available at your venue, your trade show budget, what your needs and goals are, and what competition you’re facing. Consider the following key details to keep in mind before picking out your exhibit booth size.

Know Your Venue’s Regulations and Expectations

First and foremost, selecting your trade show booth size will come down to the conditions set by your show’s venue. As we’ve mentioned, following your venue regulations is an essential prerequisite for picking the right exhibit booth size.

In most cases, convention halls have standard trade show booth sizes that they’ll allow. Most exhibit booth rentals are 10′ x 10′, but some spaces may offer island or peninsula spaces for booths as large as 20′ x 20′. Booths with raised floors must be ADA-compliant and wheelchair accessible. Consult the exhibitor’s manual for venue-specific restrictions and guidelines.

You should also scale your trade show booth size to the magnitude of your convention and expectations from its attendees. For regional conventions like the Middle Tennessee Realtors Convention in Nashville, it may make the most sense to rent a smaller size or customize an exhibit for the best fit in that space. For bigger, national events like the NAMM Show in Anaheim, you may want to go with a larger exhibit booth size to make sure you stand out, such as a 20’ x 20’ exhibit rental, double deck trade show rental, or a large format display rental.

Consulting with a trade show industry expert can help you ensure that you select a booth that meets the regulations set by the venue and by your show, while also meeting audience expectations. It’s also an excellent idea to rent a booth rather than buying, because rentals allow you to easily change your trade show booth dimensions for the different expos you attend. When renting a booth from Cardinal Expo, we can assist you in determining what size trade show booth you need for your show, venue, and business.

Be Honest with Your Budget

It’s important to research the prices for spaces on the trade show floor, for your ideal booth design, and to understand your overall trade show budget. A 10’ x 10’ space may be pricey at one venue, but a 20’ x 20’ space could be more affordable at another. 

Ultimately, a trade show is about making money. While it may be enticing to go for all the bells and whistles, if a company can garner a satisfactory return on their investment with less, then that’s what they should do. Set up a realistic budget that allows you to profit by meeting high but achievable goals.

When it comes to trade shows, you begin to get more return on your investment the longer you’re in the game. Like any skill, you continue to improve and get better with practice. Applying smart budgeting techniques will allow you to keep attending trade shows, which is where you’ll begin to really pull as much value out of your dollar as you can.

At the end of the day, it’s important to keep your trade show budget sustainable and manageable. To learn more, read our tips for great trade show booth design on a budget.

Understand Your Business’ Goals and Needs

Companies should be realistic about how much booth space their business needs based on their goals, as well as the number of staff who will be attending the booth. Going bigger isn’t always better, especially for smaller companies with a limited number of staff working the trade show floor. Businesses with many employees attending the show, or those that expect to have a larger presence at their upcoming expo, should select a more spacious booth space and design. 

You’ll want to consider your business’ scope, products, and services before picking out the right exhibit booth size. Retailers will need to consider booths that can maintain shelving for products or space for demonstrations, while service providers may need to prioritize space for one-on-one consultations.

Again, a major benefit of renting an exhibit is that you are not stuck with a single exhibit size. Owning a booth limits you to that size for all your upcoming events, which can limit the number of expos your business can take part in as well as constrict your display to having the same type of impact each time.

By renting an exhibit booth, you can vary the size of your exhibit to match the effect you want to have on your audience, whether it’s by streamlining your customer experience or expanding to allow for additional visitors and types of engagement. With Cardinal’s expertise, you can cater and adapt to changing business objectives with matching trade show booth sizes and layouts, as well as be prepared to measure trade show effectiveness toward those objectives.

Check Out the Competition

While it’s true that you need to keep your own business’ goals in mind when deciding on a trade show booth size, no business wants to be outdone by its competitors. And for a first-time exhibitor, it may be difficult to know what the competition is offering. However, if you consistently notice that your exhibit is underwhelming compared to your competitors, it may indicate that it’s time to upgrade your trade show booth size.

Do Your Research

That said, do some research on previous years’ expos via pictures or videos on the convention website or on social media. This can help you gauge the attributes of a standard presentation for your particular expo. Take notes on what makes successful and attractive booths stand out, as well as notes on what may not be working on weaker booths. When picking out the right exhibit booth size, you can cater to these notes to find the right match.

Doing your research on the venue can also help you glean some information about the competition. If a space has primarily large booths each year, it might make sense to go with larger trade show booth dimensions, if it works for your budget. When an expo has a large number of exhibitors and expected visitors, it’s worth picking a trade show booth size that can make your company stand out and nail that first impression.

Get Expert Help

Part of the limitations associated with upgrading your exhibit is you can quickly need the help of a small army to bring everything to fruition. That’s why we assist you in every step of the process from planning to packing up. Especially if you are not experienced at the particular trade show you are attending, consulting an expert will give you an edge over the other competitors, even if you aren’t aware of what they might be planning.

Cardinal Expo brings over 28 years of industry experience to back your trade show exhibition with expert insights and seamless processes. We’ve installed and seen countless exhibit booths at hundreds of different events. At your next expo, you can rest assured that we will help you pick the right exhibit booth size and make it a success from start to finish. When you team up with Cardinal, it means strengthening your presentation with an in-depth insight into the ins and outs of the industry.

Trust Cardinal with Picking Out the Right Exhibit Booth Size for Your Business

Trade shows are an exciting and engaging way to reach new customers, reconnect with existing ones, and hone in your business’ sales craft. But to reap the benefits of the trade show experience, you’ll want to work with a trade show services partner that can be with you through every step of the process. 

Cardinal Expo is a trade show display company with three decades of experience in helping businesses of all sizes thrive at trade shows. We help businesses all over the country show off their brand through our exhibit booth rentals and our turnkey trade show services.  We can walk you through every decision before your show and even provide support during the event. Want to see our work? Take a look at previous work we’ve done for clients across the country.

Ready to make an impression at your next trade show and start crushing your sales goals? Contact Cardinal Expo at 504-930-3545 or fill out our contact form below for a free quote on your booth!

Contact Us Today

We at Cardinal Expo are here to answer any questions you may have, provide you with additional information, and create an effective solution for your exhibit needs.

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