As exhibitors, we all have the same recurring nightmare. We show up to our show, everything is going perfectly as planned, and when we go to set up our display, we discover it is too large and will not fit in the booth space. We are stuck with the paper banner from the show providers as our only means of advertising our booth. This nightmare is usually just our minds working out all the excitement and adrenaline for the upcoming show. However, in 2024 this nightmare is becoming a reality. Show organizers have discovered that exhibitors will pay higher prices for an 8 foot booth, so they can cram additional booth spaces and profit into the show. Now, many shows are offering primarily 8 foot wide spaces. Your 10 foot trade show displays will no longer work. What should I do? Help! My booth space is shrinking!

Help! My booth space is shrinking!

10×10’s are now 8×8’s or 8×10’s

As we break into the 2024 trade show season, with the most momentum seen since January 2020, ongoing issues from the response in the COVID era continue to restrict the industry. Exhibitors are expressing their frustration with convention centers primarily offering 8×8 or 8×10 spaces in lieu of traditional 10×10 booths, while charging the same price. Venues are doing this because they can cram more exhibitors into the same show and charge the same price per booth. The frustration and complications are real, but as exhibitors we are about solutions, not problems.

What can we do?

If you are frustrated by this situation, there is an organization dedicated to giving a voice to exhibitors. The Exhibitor Advocate is an organization dedicated to helping all exhibitors thrive. If you have any issues with convention centers, show labor, or event suppliers, they exist to act as an advocate on your behalf. Pooling the complaints from many to make actual change happen. The only way to make convention centers change their behavior is working together to demand policy changes.

So what can we do right now? It is outside our control if the venue decides to change their policy. Will the convention centers ever change their policy? How long will this take? What we can do is, find solutions in the short term to help bridge the gap while we work to solve the long term problem.

8×8 Trade Show Displays

Formulate Master Backlit Displays 8ftCreative Imaging Displays is here to help exhibitors get through this booth sizing issue by offering display solutions for 8×8 spaces. Many of our most popular displays come in 8ft wide sizes. The following booths are great solutions:

If you currently have a 10 foot booth, contact us and we will find you a similar display that is 8 feet wide. Don’t let the new regulations prevent you from exhibiting. However, if you are an exhibitor and are unhappy with the new trend, there is now a great organization dedicated to helping exhibitors.

Make Your Voice Heard

This is not the first time convention centers changed rules that affect all exhibitors, without the input of the exhibitors. Contact The Exhibitor Advocate with all of your trade show concerns. Their mission is:

“The Exhibitor Advocate amplifies the voice of exhibitors to ensure the enduring success of exhibitions and events by collaborating with all stakeholders to promote and cultivate open communication, consistent standards, and industry best practices.”

Recently, many show sites have implemented rigging regulations which are not only adding additional cost, but making some projects impossible. The Exhibitor Advocate is working with exhibitors to demand change and find reasonable solutions that take safety into account without hindering the exhibition.

In 2024, there is an opportunity for private event organizers. Frustrated exhibitors are looking for alternative solutions. Additionally, private events are started to gain momentum. Organizers and exhibitors are getting around all these trade show regulations by organizing their own events. Some of which are more affordable, while simultaneously generating a much higher ROI. Show organizers and convention centers may soon be a thing of the past if exhibitors continue to grow frustrated. However, your show is two weeks away and you need a booth, so stop reading this blog and start shopping 8×8 trade show booths now!