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How Big Can Your Trade Show Display Be? Exhibit Rules and Regulations

There are some standard display rules and regulations for exhibiting at trade shows and expositions in the U.S.A. Even the veteran trade show manager or coordinator needs to refer to the rules and regulations periodically to make sure they are in compliance, so show management doesn’t have to tell them to modify their booth structure on-site.

These rules and regulations can act as a guide for you and your exhibit team.  If you know the industry standard for the rules then you may be able to push them a little but it all depends on show management.  It is always good to have proper exhibit and trade show etiquette; meaning, do not do anything that may hinder or prevent exposure and attendee traffic to your exhibit floor neighbors.

Here are three of the most common booth display rules:

Standard-Linear Trade Show Booth

Standard/ Linear Booth:

Standard/Linear booths are also called inline booths. They are generally arranged in a straight line and have exhibiting neighbors on the left and right of them, leaving only the front exposed for attendees.  Linear booths are most commonly 10 feet (3.05 meters) wide and 10 feet (3.05 meters) deep.  They are typically referred to as a 10 foot by 10 foot.  The height of the back wall is limited to 8 feet (2.44 meters).  This back wall height is key to consider when designing your booth property.  Corner booths are always a good location.  You can usually take down one of the 3 foot side rails on the side exposed to the aisle.

Perimeter Trade Show Booth

Perimeter Booth:

A perimeter booth is a linear booth that backs to a perimeter wall of the exposition facility and not to another exhibiting neighbor.  All guidelines for a linear booth apply to perimeter booths except that the typical maximum back wall height is taller, 12 feet (3.66 meters).






Island Tradeshow Booth
Island Trade Show Booth


Island Booth:

An island booth is any size booth exposed to aisles on all four sides.  Island booths are typically 20 feet x 20 feet (6.10 meters by 6.10 meters) or larger, although it may be configured differently.  The use of the entire space may be used.  The maximum allowable height typically ranges from 16 feet to 20 feet, including signage.


No limit to your ideas!

Those are the dimensional limitations you have for your most common booth types.  However, that doesn’t limit the size of your exhibit marketing ideas!


About the Author

Anthony Montano was an exhibiting consultant for Skyline Bay Area, located in Fremont, California.

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