Exhibit Display Types & Regulations

Typically, there are four types of booth displays: Linear, Perimeter, Peninsula, and Island. The following booth display rules are characteristic for U.S. trade shows. Please be sure to check your specific show manual as regulations vary by convention center and even within show halls. Contact show management for specific regulations

  • Linear or In-Line Booth Displays 10' x 10' Linear (or In-Line) Booth


    Linear booths, also called "in-line" booths, are generally arranged in a straight line and have neighboring exhibitors on their immediate right and left, and leave only one side exposed to the aisle.

    Linear Booths are most commonly 10' wide and 10' deep, i.e. 10' by 10' (3.05m by 3.05m).

    The maximum height is 8'. This 8' height may be maintained 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'. This rule applies even if multiple 10' by 10' spaces are utilized.

    A corner booth is a linear booth exposed to aisles on two sides. All other guidelines for linear booths apply.

    NOTE: hanging signs are not permitted over linear booths.

  • Perimeter Booth Display Perimeter Booth

    perimeter booth

    A Perimeter booth is a Linear booth that backs to an outside wall of the exhibit facility rather than to another exhibit.

    The 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'.

    NOTE: hanging signs are not permitted over perimeter booths.

  • Peninsula Booth Display Peninsula Booth

    peninsula booth

    A Peninsula booth is exposed to aisles on three sides, and comprised of a minimum of four booths. There are two types of Peninsula booths: (a) one which backs to Linear booths, and (b) one which backs to another Peninsula booth and is referred to as a "Split Island Booth."

    For all peninsula booths, the exterior of the back wall must be finished and may not contain booth identification, logos or advertisements.

    If backed by a row of linear booths, the back wall may be no higher than 4' for a distance of 5' from both side aisle and 16' -20' high in the center of the back wall. These height restrictions must be maintained for a distance of 10' from the back wall.

    Where two peninsula booths share a common back wall ("split Island"), the maximum height may be 16' to 20' in all areas of the booth, including the back wall (same as Island booth rules, below).

    NOTE: hanging signs are permitted over peninsula booths
    that are 20' x 20' or larger.

  • Island Booth Display Island Booth

    island booth

    An Island booth is any size booth exposed to aisles on all four sides. Island exhibits are normally 20' x 20' or larger.

    The entire space may be used up to the maximum allowable height. This ranges from 16' to 20' including signage. Island booth heights drastically range from show to show and convention center to convention center. Be sure to review your show manual early as height variances may be given if the request is turned in prior to the deadline.

    NOTE: hanging signs are permitted above all island booths.

Other considerations

Multi-story Exhibit

A Multi-story Exhibit is a booth where the display fixture includes two or more levels. In many cities, a Multi-storied Exhibit requires prior approval by the exhibit facility, and/or relevant local government agency, as well as show management because it is deemed to be a "structure" for building purposes. The city building department generally needs to issue a building permit based on an application and drawings prepared and submitted by a licensed architect or engineer. Exhibitors should obtain local building regulations early on to ensure that all time constraints are met. Exhibition organizers should be prepared to assist exhibitors in this application process.

Canopies and Ceilings

Canopies, including ceilings, umbrellas and canopy frames, can be either decorative or functional (such as to shade computer monitors from ambient light or for hanging products). Canopies for Linear or Perimeter booths should comply with line-of-sight requirements. The bottom of the canopy should not be lower than 7' from the floor within 5' of any aisle. Canopy supports should be no wider than 3 inches. This applies to any booth configuration that has a sight line restriction, such as a Linear booth. Fire and safety regulations in many facilities strictly govern the use of canopies, ceilings, and other similar coverings. Check with the appropriate local agencies prior to determining specific exhibition rules.

Covered ceiling structures or enclosed rooms, including tents or canopies, shall have one smoke detector placed on the ceiling for every 900 square feet. Fire extinguisher should also be included.

Hanging Signs and Graphics

Most exhibition rules allow for hanging signs and graphics in all standard Peninsula and Island booths, usually to a maximum height range of 16' to 20' from the top of the sign. Linear and End-cap booths do not qualify for hanging signs and graphics. The distance is measured from the floor to the top of the sign.

Whether suspended from above, or supported from below, they should comply with all ordinary use-of-space requirements. For example, the highest point of any sign should not exceed the maximum allowable height for the booth type. Hanging Signs and Graphics should be set back 10' from adjacent booths and be directly over contracted space only.

Approval for the use of Hanging Signs and Graphics, at any height, should be received from the exhibition organizer prior to installation. Variances may be issued at the exhibition management's discretion.


Exhibitors should adhere to the following suggested minimum guidelines when determining booth lighting:

  • No lighting, fixtures, lighting trusses, or overhead lighting are allowed outside the boundaries of the exhibit space. Exhibitors intending to use hanging light systems should submit drawings to exhibition management for approval.
  • Lighting, including gobos, should be directed to the inner confines of the booth space. Lighting should not project onto other exhibits or exhibition aisles.
  • Lighting which is potentially harmful, such as lasers or ultraviolet lighting, should comply with facility rules and be approved in writing by exhibition management.
  • 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.
  • Currently, some convention facilities are not allowing quartz halogen lighting fixtures in exhibits due to potential fire hazards. Check with exhibition management.
  • Reduced lighting for theater areas should be approved by the exhibition organizer, the utility provider, and the exhibit facility.