Trade Show Booth: Design, Ideas, and Information

We sell Pipe and Drape for the trade show and event industry. By far, our highest volume products are the core components of the trade show booth. We provide a wide range of other products for the event industry, as evidenced by our shop, but Pipe and Drape booths are the bulk of our business. As the trade show booth is the foundation of many events and conferences, we wanted to create a resource to develop a firm understanding of each of its components and how to plan and prepare an order that meets the needs of you or your customer.

 

We also realize that a lot of the setup can be complicated. That’s why we’ve eliminated the guesswork by creating pipe and drape kits. Check out the below information if you want to learn more.



 

The Trade Show Booth: A Breakdown

The standard trade show booth is 8’ high, 10’ wide and 10’ deep. It is composed of two pairs of bases, two pairs of uprights, 3 drape supports of equal length, 3-4 panels of longer drape for the back and 2-6 panels of shorter drape for the side rails. Trade show booths are not frequently sold as a standalone product, however. Most often they are sold as part of a large number of booths in multiple configurations to fill a convention hall.

Trade Show Booth Breakdown

Trade Show Booth Configurations

Standalone Booth: This booth is not connected to any other booth.

Single Booth

In-Line Booth: These booths are connected to each other side-by-side. They are typically around the perimeter of an exhibition hall.

In-Line Booths

Back-to-Back Booths: These booths typically occupy the interior portions of a convention hall and have the most variation in configuration. In Back-to-Back booths you will see various booth sizes on ends of lines of booths, frequently 20’ x 10’.

Back-to-Back Booths

Trade Show: Bird’s Eye View

The schematic below is intended to give you a picture of a trade show from above. It is a simplified diagram indicating the position of pipe and drape (all other objects are ignored) in a hypothetical arena space of approximately 63,000 feet.

Trade Show Birds Eye View

Shows are rarely aligned with such geometrical precision but this diagram gives you a picture of the product, in use, from above. A show of this scale would use:

  • 800 Panels of 8’ drape
  • 256 Panels of 3’x12’ drape
  • 220 8’ uprights and large bases
  • 256 3’ uprights and small bases
  • 456 Drape supports

By examining the schematic you can determine the total amount of hardware necessary.

 

Trade Show: Solving The Puzzle

At first it may seem difficult to take a drawing or schematic and turn it into a line-by-line order, almost like looking at a different language. Let’s compare apples to apples and look at what our booths look like from a forward-facing perspective as well as bird’s-eye from above.

In-Line Booths

Here we have four In-Line booths. If drawn on the schematic these would appear as so:

In-Line Booths Schematic

The parts should become clear as we compare both versions. See the annotated versions below.

Annotated Schematic

It’s amazing how much information can be presented in a clean, elegant manner with diagrams. We’ll use these concepts to unpack all the information in the original diagram. 15

Careful consideration of the original schematic reveals two repeated configurations of booths.

Repeated booth Configurations

We see there are 12 of the former and 8 of the latter. All that remains is to identify the components of each and add it all together. The second image is easier to deconstruct so we will begin with it.

This diagram is similar to the four In-Line booths on the previous page. We see there are ten In-Line booths. Using the concepts on the previous page we can see that we have eleven 8’ uprights and eleven 3’ uprights. Uprights are always paired with the corresponding base which, in this case, gives us eleven 16×14 bases and eleven 8×14 bases. You will always see one drape support at each connection between two uprights. In the case of ten In-Line booths you can count twenty-one drape supports. With the uprights, drape supports, and bases figured out we will now ascertain the quantity of drape necessary for completion.

You may have noticed on the previous images that a standard trade show booth typically has four panels of 8’ drape in the back. The industry standard fabric, and our highest seller, is Banjo. More details on the fabric are explained later but for now you just need to know that each 10’ section requires four panels of Banjo drape. On the side rails there is a choice between three 3’ x 4’ Banjo and one 3’ x 12’ Banjo. For these examples we will use 3’ x 12’ as it is simpler to compute. If we require four panels of 8’ drape per 10’ section and one 3’ x 12’ per side rail we can see that we require eleven 3’ x 12’ drapes and forty 8’ drapes.

Our next diagram is different than the typical booths we’ve seen. In this example the booths on either end are 10’ x 20’ and require a different configuration than normal. See the isometric sketch below:

Isometric Sketch

The sketch above is equivalent to this portion of the diagram:

Sketch Diagram

With that in mind, we can evaluate the whole diagram seen below.

Full Sketch Diagram

Based on the isometric drawing on the previous page we see we will need eleven 8’ uprights and 16×14 bases, fourteen 3’ uprights and 8×14 bases, and twenty-four drape supports. We will also need fourteen 3’ x 12’ Banjo drapes and 40 8’ Banjo drapes.

Now that we see the quantities of each component required by both configurations we can total everything together.

Component Total

This results in a grand total of:

  • 800 Panels of 8’ drape
  • 256 Panels of 3’x12’ drape
  • 220 8’ uprights and large bases
  • 256 3’ uprights and small bases
  • 456 Drape supports

Want the whole pipe and drape kit, system, or package made for you? Check out our pipe and drape kits page!