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Types of Trade Show Booths

Trade show boothsTrade shows can be a great way to gain traction for your business. Whether you’re just starting out or are well established, there are many opportunities available at industry shows. Having a noteworthy presence is critical for a successful show, and the booth you choose is a large part of that presence.

There is a wide range of choices in trade show booths, and knowing the different types of booths that are available will help you narrow your options and choose what best suits your business and goals. The majority of marketers worldwide use one of six types of trade show booths, each of which is described below. As you read about each type, consider these points:

  • Eye appeal
  • Versatility
  • Durability
  • Ease of setup
  • Shipping costs


Panel trade show booths consist of several panels linked together to form an enclosure or solid looking wall. Smaller panels can also be used as tabletop displays; larger sized panels can serve as the back wall of your booth.

Exhibitors who need to transport large booths from site to site often choose a modified type of panel booth known as panel and frame. These booths are more labor-intensive as they must be assembled.

Made of accordion-style panels, these booths are easy to set up and take down in that they simply unfold. Concealed hinges increase panel strength. Panel surfaces can be customized to suit your preferences.


Trade show booths with fabric images that can be stretched across a frame are known as tension fabric booths. These displays are often used as the back wall for trade show booths but can also be created in custom shapes for various purposes. Lightweight frames of aluminum or steel are preferred. Frame construction and methods of applying this tension vary.

One style uses base plates that hold upright posts. At the top of each set of posts is a cross beam for attaching the fabric. Fabric used in this type of assembly often has a pocket at the top so that the cross beam can be threaded through the pocket. Fabric ties fasten the fabric to the side posts.

Another style involves silicone edge graphics, or “SEG.” A thin strip of silicone stitched to the fabric’s edges enables the fabric to be inserted into framing grooves. When the fabric is stretched inside its frame, the graphic appears to be a giant photograph that does not reflect light. This makes your booth appear warm and welcoming. Installing SEG graphics is simple, and takedown is easy. This type of booth requires little storage space and costs less to ship than most other styles.


Banner stands are a very popular display option and are available in many shapes and sizes. Banner stands are usually made up of a banner and one or two poles. Banner graphics might display a single message, or you can create a collage of banner stands to highlight various points of your marketing campaign. Most banner stands are retractable, making it easy to transport and ship them.


Just like the name sounds, a pop-up display “jumps up” from its resting position to full size, either by a pulling motion or by fully opening the storage case. This pop can be compared to setting up movie screens or turning the pages of a children’s pop-up book.

Although a rectangular frame shape is most common, pop-ups can be customized to fit the needs of the exhibitor. Some pop-up frames are curved; others are triangular. Individual pop-ups can be combined to form walls or a series of interior displays.

Pop-up displays are simple to set up and take down and are made of lightweight materials that fit into their own carrying cases. The cases, usually made of sturdy plastic, are easy to transport, wherever your next trade show may be.


The most prominent trade show booths usually utilize a truss design. Exhibitors preparing large indoor booths prefer truss design because it is durable and has interchangeable parts. The shape of a truss design booth can be reconfigured to fit into almost any space. Truss kits usually include all parts and do not require tools for assembly.

Exhibitors have a choice of steel, aluminum or plastic framework for their truss designs. Plastic is the least expensive. However, trusses of aluminum or steel are recommended for outdoor displays. Indoors, a plastic framework is a great option to support decorations or lightweight graphics. However, for shelving or holding heavy items, metal trusses are best. To make the biggest impact, you’ll want to choose a truss design booth.


Hybrid trade show booths combine building materials and incorporate various shapes and styles to create a modern looking exhibition. For example, one exhibitor might create the booth’s back wall from panels with aluminum framing and tension fabric. For special effects, the exhibitor then chooses banner stands and pop ups for the booth’s sides and adds a freestanding metal truss arch with lights as an entryway. The endless variety of ways to construct a hybrid booth gives every exhibitor the ability to create a trade show booth that is effective, affordable and memorable.

If you’d like to get started on creating a trade show booth for your business, check out the options offered by TradeShowPlus.com or call 800-419-3561. We’ve got all types of trade show booths with the features you need, and we look forward to hearing from you!