Introduction: How to Comply to 10' X 10' Trade Show Booth Furniture Rules?

Picture of How to Comply to 10' X 10' Trade Show Booth Furniture Rules?

Navigating the ins and outs of exhibitor regulations can be tedious and frustrating work, especially for a novice exhibitor.
Airborne Visuals Trade Show Displays will be presenting you the rules specific to using displays and furniture in a 10' x 10' Trade Show boothwhich is the smallest and most common exhibit size. Same rules apply to in-line spaces such as 10' x 20' Trade Show booth whereas larger 20'x20' booths have different sets of rules that are much less restrictive.

The following information is a general trade show guidelines commonly accepted (and variably enforced) at most trade show convention centers. These rules will however differ significantly based on the venue, the show management and the decorator so always check your exhibitor manual for full details.

Step 1: Identify Your Booth Type: Linear, Standard and Perimeter.

Picture of Identify Your Booth Type: Linear, Standard and Perimeter.

Linear booths have one side exposed to an aisle and are generally arranged in a series along a straight line. They are also called "in-line" booths. This configuration also includes corner booths and perimeter booths.

A standard booth is any trade show booth that shares a common back wall and adjoins other exhibits on one or two sides. A corner booth is a linear booth exposed to aisle on two sides. All other guidelines for linear booths apply.

A perimeter trade show booth backs up to a wall of the exhibit facility rather than to another exhibit. This space gives you the option of extended height on the back wall and side walls of the booth. It also tends to come with a premium price.

Step 2: Wall Height Regulations

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For standard booths: maximum height is 8'. This 8' height may be consistent on the sidewall of your booth up to a distance of 5' from the front aisle. The remaining length of the sidewall may be no higher than 4'.

For perimeter booths: maximum height is 12'. This 12' height may be maintained on the sidewalls of your booth up to a distance of 5' from the front aisle. The remaining length of the sidewall may be no higher than 4'.

Step 3: Read the Exhibitor Services Manual.

Picture of Read the Exhibitor Services Manual.

This may not be the most thrilling read of your career, but it will be the most important for your business as applied to exhibit displays and trade shows. It's difficult for Airborne Visuals to assess all the rules and regulations for each trade show, so it's crucial to read your exhibitor manual thoroughly and also to understand your Exhibitor's Rights specific to each venue (Pennsylvania Convention Center Rules).

If you're not sure what is permitted, you will need to submit your layout for approval by Show Management but know that these approvals aren't always granted. It's better to address specific questions in advance rather than on the way back to your hotel when your booth is turned away by management.

Step 4: Identify Accessories and Add-ons That May Required Extra Time, Effort And/or Money.

Picture of Identify Accessories and Add-ons That May Required Extra Time, Effort And/or Money.

These include canopies/ceilings, hanging signs lighting and towers for your exhibit display. The next steps will explore the regulations for these trade show booth add-ons individually.

For all linear booths starting with 10' x 10' spaces (but also valid for 10' x 40'), your display materials should be arranged in such a manner so as not to obstruct sight lines of neighboring exhibitors.

The maximum height of 8' is allowed only in the rear of the booth space, with a 4' height restriction imposed on all materials in the remaining space forward to the aisle. (Note: When three or more linear booths are used in combination as a single exhibit space, the 4' height limitation only applies to that portion of exhibit space which is within 10' of an adjoining booth).

Step 5: Counter and Kiosk Rules

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In a 10'x 10' booth, Trade show counters and kiosks in line with the front of your booth cannot exceed 4' in height. This rule ensures that the trade show visitors have full sight of every booth going down the aisle.

Step 6: Mind the Rules for Canopies and Ceilings.

Picture of Mind the Rules for Canopies and Ceilings.

Canopies and 3D Shapes, including ceilings, umbrellas and canopy frames, should comply with height and line of sight requirements for the trade show booth configuration being used. The base of the canopy should not be lower than 7' from the floor within 5' of any aisle. Canopy supports should be no wider than three inches.


Hanging Banners that suspend from the exhibit hall ceiling truss are, as a general rule, not permitted for in-line or linear booths.

Step 7: Towers and All Things Statuesque

Picture of Towers and All Things Statuesque

A Trade Show Tower Displayis a freestanding exhibit component separate from the main exhibit fixture that is often used to capture the attention of your audience. Towers are subject to the same height restriction as applies to the rest of the trade show booth configuration being used.

Step 8: Consider Your Lighting Options.

Picture of Consider Your Lighting Options.

There are a few important, sweeping guidelines for trade show booth lighting. Below is a list of important points when determining booth lighting for your exhibit display:

  • No lighting, fixtures, lighting trusses or overhead lighting is allowed outside the boundaries of the exhibit space.
  • Lighting must be directed to the inner confines of the booth space. Lighting must comply with facility rules.
  • Lighting which is potentially harmful, such as lasers or ultraviolet lighting, should comply with facility rules and be approved in writing by exhibition management.
  • Some halogen bulbs are strictly prohibited by Fire Department codes in some convention centers especially in Las Vegas.
  • Lighting that spins, rotates, pulsates, and other specialized lighting effects should be in good taste and not interfere with neighboring Exhibitors or otherwise detract from the general atmosphere of the event.

Step 9: Ask for Help!

Picture of Ask for Help!

Finding the right layout for your booth may seem like a lengthy undertaking in the beginning, but you can drastically improve your understanding of the trade show booth business and exhibit displays rules by reading ALL materials from your Exhibitor Manual, asking questions to the Show Management and having your Exhibit Displays vendor such as Airborne Visuals assisting you to make the process easier. There are more resources available on our web site: 10 x 10 Trade Show Booth, so feel free to use it.
We wish you a great success at your next trade show! Thank you for your attention, we hope it helps.

Airborne Visuals Team

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