What Are the Different Types of Portable Trade Show Booths?

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  • Written By: Cynde Gregory
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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There are three primary types of portable trade show booths, with a number of variations within each type. The most basic type of portable booth involves small, interrelated modular displays that are set up on a table. The next type is a self-supporting display booth. More complex, but also more eye-catching, are portable booths that offer displays using a kiosk. The best choice of display depends on a company's goals and budget.

The simplest kind of portable trade show booths, which use modular units that can be arranged in a number of different ways, serve a number of purposes. It is the most flexible of the exhibit types, and the elements can easily be rearranged, added, or removed to accommodate the available floor space from one trade show to another. For companies or organizations that need a display booth that can be quickly set up, rearranged, and torn down, the tabletop style works well. This type of portable trade show booth display is less expensive than other options, making it a good choice for new businesses with limited start-up monies. It is, however, not as visually impressive as other displays.


Self-supporting display booths are freestanding and make a greater visual impact. This kind of booth is prefabricated and often constructed as a pop-up. Self-supporting exhibits are more costly than tabletop modular displays, but they also make a bigger impression. These types of displays are more involved in terms of setup and teardown time, which means they may not be the best choice at a show where the exhibit must be moved over the course of the event to accommodate performances or presentations.

Kiosk-style portable trade show booths are more expensive than the other options, are less flexible regarding how the displays can be arranged, and are more complex in terms of setup and teardown. Kiosk exhibits make the most memorable visual impact, however, making the added cost and effort worth it to established companies with a visually identifiable brand that can be marketed aggressively with this design.

Most portable booths are constructed using lightweight aluminum frames and high-quality fabric that can endure considerable stretching, folding, rolling, and handling. Within each type, a range of options are available from the most basic elements at one end to more elaborate, company-specific additions at the other. High-quality portable trade show booths are packaged with their own carrying cases constructed of durable, lightweight materials.


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