What Size of Trade Show Booth is Best For Your Business?


PerspectumWhen it comes to choosing the right trade show booth for your business, bigger isn’t necessarily better. From exhibitor costs to visual impact, choosing the right size of trade show booth for your business is a careful balance of factors that can all play a role in determining your ROI.

Should you choose a large, spacious booth that offers plenty of room for attendees to relax and lounge in? Or a compact, inexpensive booth that lets you generate maximum ROI at the lowest possible cost?

Below, we’ve provided a full guide to choosing the right trade show booth size for your business, from the most commonly available booth sizes and layouts to the ways that your booth size can affect your results.

What are the most common trade show booth sizes?

Trade show booths come in a wide range of different dimensions. Most of the time, trade show booths are built around the dimensions of a 10’x10’ booth, which is widely known in the industry as a linear inline booth.

10’x10’ booths are called inline booths because they’re designed to fit in line alongside the other booths on the exhibition floor. This type of booth opens to the front and provides one dimension of open space for attendees to interact with your team and enter your booth.

Inline booths are also available in wider sizes — some of the most common dimensions include 10’x20’ booths and larger 10’x30’ booths.

As you can see, all inline booths are measured in multiples of 10’. This is because the layouts available on trade show floors are usually configured in multiples of the standard 10’x10’ booth layout.

A 10’x20’ offers twice as much space as a 10’x10’ booth, while a 10’x30’ booth offers triple the floor space of a standard 10’x10’ linear inline booth.

Trade show booths are also available as peninsula booths (or peninsula displays) and island booths (or island displays).

An island display is designed, as you might expect from its name, with a booth layout similar to an island. It’s designed to stand on its own and be accessible from all four sides. Island displays are usually large, with typical minimum dimensions of 20’x20’.

Peninsula displays are designed to stick out from other booths. They’re open on three sides and offer better visibility and access than an inline booth. Like island displays, peninsula displays are usually quite large — expect to see minimum dimensions of 20’x20’ for this booth layout.

Which booth layout is best for your business?

Inline booths, island displays and peninsula displays all have unique benefits and weaknesses for your business:

  • Inline booths, particularly smaller booths, are almost always the cheapest option, making them a good choice if you’re exhibiting at a trade show for the first time and want to keep your budget fairly modest.

    Because inline booths are usually quite small, they’re also great for businesses that want a simpler, less involved trade show presence. The biggest downside of an inline booth is that it generally isn’t as visible as a larger island or peninsula display.
  • Island displays offer incredible visibility, attracting a greater number of people into your booth over the course of the event. They’re also easy to access from all four directions, helping you maximize your booth’s foot traffic.

    By using an island display, you can often build a taller booth than what’s possible with an inline or peninsula booth — another unique advantage that can increase your visibility to draw in more attendees.

    The biggest downside of an island display is that it’s expensive, both to design and build, and also from the perspective of exhibitor fees and logistical costs.
  • Peninsula displays offer a good mix of the visibility and access of an island booth and the moderate costs of an inline booth. Because they’re accessible from three different sides, they can attract a lot of foot traffic and have an open, spacious feel.

    Booths of this type also stand out from the crowd and attract lots of attention, as they’re usually situated at the end of a column of other displays.

    While peninsula displays are more expensive than smaller inline booths, they tend to cost less than island displays. However, by using a peninsula display, you usually can’t extend your unit’s height, as you can with an island display.

So, which booth layout is best for your business? In general, if you’re a small business with a relatively modest budget, you’ll want to choose an inline booth to maximize your ROI and keep your costs as low as possible.

If you’re a growing business with a focus on attracting attention, a peninsula display could be a perfect choice. Finally, if you’ve already mastered trade show marketing and want to maximize your impact, it could be a good idea to invest in a larger, eye-catching island display.

How big should your trade show booth be?

As a general rule, the number one factor that determines how big your booth should be is the size of your team. More team members require more floor space, as a small booth combined with a big team can quickly feel cramped, repelling potential leads and customers.

Most trade show experts recommend providing approximately 40 square feet of space for each team member you plan to have in your booth during the event.

This means that a small 10’x10’ inline booth, which offers 100 square feet of space, is sized for a two-person team. A larger 20’x10’ inline booth, on the other hand, provides enough space for a team of five people.

While it’s possible to squeeze one or two extra people into your booth without it feeling overly cramped, it’s generally best to keep this rule in mind while you decide on your booth’s layout, size, and configuration.

Remember, people tend to instinctively avoid crowded areas. If your booth looks like it’s packed with staff and low on floor space, there’s a real risk that this could keep attendees from dropping in, hurting your results and reducing your return on investment.

Need help with your next trade show?

From rental exhibits to fully customized trade show booths, we offer a wide range of services for businesses that want to make the most of trade show marketing.

Our team has helped a wide range of businesses generate incredible results from trade shows, from small startups to large enterprises. For more information or to speak to a member of our team, please contact us now.