Exhibition Booth, Trade show Booth, Trade show booth design, Exhibition Booth design

A Trade Show Company’s Guide to Common Trade Show Terms

Since the trade show industry is a niche, there are a lot of terms used that might not be familiar to the masses. So, to help you understand some basics, here is a list of common trade show terms. 

  • A/V (Audio Visual): A video that contains both audio and visual. It also includes design, lights, staging, screens, and much more.
  • Access Panel: These are panels or sections of the trade show booth that can be removed to access lamps, switches, light fixtures, and so on. 
  • Back-to-Back Booth: A trade show floor wherein all trade show exhibit are arranged back-to-back. 
  • Base Rate: The salary paid for a particular job excluding the overtime, incentives, or any other payments. 
  • BOL: It stands for Bill of Lading. It is a document that needs to be presented for shipping the show booth goods. Moreover, it contains all the terms and conditions for the transportation company and the shipping company. 
  • Booth Number: This is the number assigned to the trade booth by the trade show organizers for identification on the floor plan and storage purposes. 
  • CEM: It stands for Certified Exposition Manager. On completion of a training program offered by the International Association of Exposition Managers, the person is certified as a competent manager of trade show events and exhibitions. 
  • Clamp-on Fixtures: A c-clamp device with an electrical fixture used to attach show displays.
  • Cross Aisle: This is an aisle at a right angle to the main aisle. 
  • Customs Broker: This person is in charge of clearing all the trade show booth goods such as booth banners, show displays, and much more through customs. This is usually the case for international trade show events
  • Declared Value: The shipment company’s stated value for the exhibition booth goods for shipping
  • Drayage: A service that includes exhibition booth goods deliveries to the trade show venue and the carrier loading area, removal and storage of crates during and after the trade show
  • Exhibitor Kit: It is also called Services Kit or Exhibitor Services Manual. It is provided by the trade show organizers. The kit consists of a booklet detailing all the rules, regulations, charges, show booth space information, forms, and much more relating to the upcoming trade show
  • Free Standing: This refers to the trade show display product that can be presented independently or are self-supporting. 
  • Full Booth Coverage: It refers to the carpet covering the trade show exhibit.
  • Grid System: It is a technique used by trade show companies to provide a system of structural supports, electrical conduit, etc. on a pattern of centers
  • Hand Carry: The items that the trade show organizers allow to be carried in and out of the venue without any charges. 
  • Hard Wire: These refer to the electrical connections other than receptacle to receptacle ones. 
  • I&D Company: It stands for Installation and Dismantle Company. As the name suggests, they are in charge of installing and dismantling the trade show booth.
  • Kiosk: These are small informational counters installed in a trade show exhibit. They are used to access information about the show displays, services, and so on.
  • Lightbox: As the name suggests, these are lighting fixtures in the shape of a box used to display graphics and light. There is a glass or plastic film on the front to diffuse the light. 
  • Literature Rack: They are also called lit racks. These are placed on the counters to hold the trade show exhibit related literature such as brochures, flyers, leaflets, booklets, and so on.   
  • Masking Drop: These are drapes used in a trade show event to cover the storage and other facilities that the organizers do not want the attendees to see or enter. 
  • Panel System: It refers to a prefabricated trade show exhibit rectangular panels of different sizes that are connected.
  • Plug Strip: Also known as a Power Strip, this allows as many as six items to be plugged in. It can be plugged into a 120-volt power supply.
  • Rental Booth: As the name suggests, these are packaged booths that trade show booth rentals that exhibitors can rent.
  • Rigging: It refers to the process of suspending an AV, booth banner, or any other graphic from the ceiling for a trade show booth
  • Stock Exhibit: This is a pre-designed exhibition booth that exhibitors take from trade show companies and modify them according to their preference. 
  • Target Date: This refers to a particular date assigned to each exhibitor for the delivery and storage of the trade booth goods at the storage facility.
  • Vinyl: This is a fabric used for the show booth walls, drapes, tabletops, etc.


We hope this article helped understand the trade show jargon for an upcoming trade show.

Tip of the Day: Make a note of all the terms that you feel are commonly used in the trade show industry. Or, you could simply add this blog to the bookmark page for easy access.

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Exhibit Rentals Inc. is a trade show booth design company focused on providing solutions in trade shows, expositions and global conferences. Our expertise in the booth rentals space lies in our team which has a combined experience of over 50 years and has done exhibition executions across USA, Europe and Asia.

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