Conference Drape Exhibtions Conventions

We sell Pipe and Drape for the trade show and conference industry. By far, our highest volume products are the core components of the trade show booth. We provide a wide range of other products for the event industry, as evidenced by our shop, but Pipe and Drape booths are the bulk of our business. As the trade show booth is the foundation of many events and conferences, we wanted to create a resource to develop a firm understanding of each of its components and how to plan and prepare an order that meets the needs of you or your customer.


We also realize that a lot of the setup can be complicated. That’s why we’ve eliminated the guesswork by creating pipe and drape kits. Check out the below information if you want to learn more.



The Trade Show Booth: A Breakdown
The standard trade show booth is 8’ high, 10’ wide and 10’ deep. It is composed of two pairs of bases, two pairs of uprights, 3 drape supports of equal length, 3-4 panels of longer drape for the back and 2-6 panels of shorter drape for the side rails. Trade show booths are not frequently sold as a standalone product, however. Most often they are sold as part of a large number of booths in multiple configurations to fill a convention hall.

Trade Show Booth Breakdown
Trade Show Booth Configurations
Standalone Booth: This booth is not connected to any other booth.

Single Booth
In-Line Booth: These booths are connected to each other side-by-side. They are typically around the perimeter of an exhibition hall.

In-Line Booths
Back-to-Back Booths: These booths typically occupy the interior portions of a convention hall and have the most variation in configuration. In Back-to-Back booths you will see various booth sizes on ends of lines of booths, frequently 20’ x 10’.

Back-to-Back Booths
Trade Show: Bird’s Eye View
The schematic below is intended to give you a picture of a trade show from above. It is a simplified diagram indicating the position of pipe and drape (all other objects are ignored) in a hypothetical arena space of approximately 63,000 feet.

Trade Show Birds Eye View
Shows are rarely aligned with such geometrical precision but this diagram gives you a picture of the product, in use, from above. A show of this scale would use:

800 Panels of 8’ drape
256 Panels of 3’x12’ drape
220 8’ uprights and large bases
256 3’ uprights and small bases
456 Drape supports
By examining the schematic you can determine the total amount of hardware necessary.


Trade Show: Solving The Puzzle
At first it may seem difficult to take a drawing or schematic and turn it into a line-by-line order, almost like looking at a different language. Let’s compare apples to apples and look at what our booths look like from a forward-facing perspective as well as bird’s-eye from above.

In-Line Booths
Here we have four In-Line booths. If drawn on the schematic these would appear as so:

In-Line Booths Schematic
The parts should become clear as we compare both versions. See the annotated versions below.

Annotated Schematic
It’s amazing how much information can be presented in a clean, elegant manner with diagrams. We’ll use these concepts to unpack all the information in the original diagram. 15

Careful consideration of the original schematic reveals two repeated configurations of booths.

Repeated booth Configurations
We see there are 12 of the former and 8 of the latter. All that remains is to identify the components of each and add it all together. The second image is easier to deconstruct so we will begin with it.

This diagram is similar to the four In-Line booths on the previous page. We see there are ten In-Line booths. Using the concepts on the previous page we can see that we have eleven 8’ uprights and eleven 3’ uprights. Uprights are always paired with the corresponding base which, in this case, gives us eleven 16×14 bases and eleven 8×14 bases. You will always see one drape support at each connection between two uprights. In the case of ten In-Line booths you can count twenty-one drape supports. With the uprights, drape supports, and bases figured out we will now ascertain the quantity of drape necessary for completion.

You may have noticed on the previous images that a standard trade show booth typically has four panels of 8’ drape in the back. The industry standard fabric, and our highest seller, is Banjo. More details on the fabric are explained later but for now you just need to know that each 10’ section requires four panels of Banjo drape. On the side rails there is a choice between three 3’ x 4’ Banjo and one 3’ x 12’ Banjo. For these examples we will use 3’ x 12’ as it is simpler to compute. If we require four panels of 8’ drape per 10’ section and one 3’ x 12’ per side rail we can see that we require eleven 3’ x 12’ drapes and forty 8’ drapes.

Our next diagram is different than the typical booths we’ve seen. In this example the booths on either end are 10’ x 20’ and require a different configuration than normal. See the isometric sketch below:

Isometric Sketch
The sketch above is equivalent to this portion of the diagram:

Sketch Diagram
With that in mind, we can evaluate the whole diagram seen below.

Full Sketch Diagram
Based on the isometric drawing on the previous page we see we will need eleven 8’ uprights and 16×14 bases, fourteen 3’ uprights and 8×14 bases, and twenty-four drape supports. We will also need fourteen 3’ x 12’ Banjo drapes and 40 8’ Banjo drapes.

Now that we see the quantities of each component required by both configurations we can total everything together.

Component Total
This results in a grand total of:

800 Panels of 8’ drape
256 Panels of 3’x12’ drape
220 8’ uprights and large bases
256 3’ uprights and small bases
456 Drape supports
Want the whole pipe and drape kit, system, or package made for you? Check out our pipe and drape kits page!


Trade shows are unique. The twin goals of marketing is to generate sales leads and then to convert potential customers into paying customers. That said, the opportunity to meet people who are in your industry and looking for products like yours cannot be overstated. In fact, nearly 100% of marketing professionals believe that trade show exhibits provide unique value that cannot be gained from other marketing mediums.

Once the decision has been made to attend trade shows, the process of designing a booth begins. Whether your booth is large or small, pipe and drape can perform many functions. Here are four ideas for using pipe and drape in your next trade show:

Trade Show Booth
We’ll start with the most obvious choice here, and that’s a pipe and drape trade show booth.

While there are several booth types available today, a pipe and drape booth remains one of the easiest, most affordable, flexible, and convenient options. Let’s explore each one of these benefits:

Easy: it takes only about 10 minutes to set-up, and take-down after the trade show is even quicker. With trade shows, time is often limited, so this is a major point for the “plus” column!

Affordable: a pipe and drape trade show booth generally costs a few hundred dollars, compared to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for other types of booth exhibits.

Flexible: did you redesign your company’s logo with a new color scheme? No problem! Changing the look of your booth is as easy as switching out the drapes. Different fabric styles, different colors, and a host of accessories makes it simple to create a booth that is unique to you and your company.

Convenient: these booths break down into individual component parts (pipes, bases, and drapes) so it’s easier to transport and store compared to bulky, non-modular options.

It’s no wonder that pipe and drape has an established history in the trade show industry, and why it continues to be the preferred choice for trade show booths.

Guide Attendees
Separate from their purpose of defining the boundaries of a trade show booth, event drapery can guide trade show attendees' movement and attention inside the booth. For example, drapes can form internal walls, creating different areas within the booth for different product lines, displays, or business segments.

A simple 3 foot tall and relatively narrow set-up can also help serve as a barrier between an “employee only” area within the booth from the rest of the space where a customer is free to roam.

If the venue allows it, short height pipe and drape kits can also be set up as a sort of stanchion / crowd control barrier. In this way, you can help direct the flow of your guests in an easy-to-understand manner.

Create a Conference Room
Trade shows are for business. Often, booth designers forget that you and your customers may need a more secluded space -- or at least as free from the distractions of the trade show as possible -- to talk business and strike deals. Setting up some pipe and drape will give you a makeshift conference room right on premise, without it looking like you’ve abandoned your booth.

Hide Distracting Exhibit Hall Features
There is an ongoing debate among trade show exhibitors about the best booth space locations. Booths near entry doors, bathrooms, and the food court are always in high demand since they receive a lot of foot traffic. However, not every exhibitor wants a clear line of sight from their booth into the men's or women's bathroom. Similarly, a food cart may generate distracting sights, smells, and sounds. Pipe and drape booths can break up the line of sight between your booth and the bathrooms, food court, entry or exit doors, columns, and fire exits.

We’ve explored just a few of the main ways that pipe and drape serves as an essential addition to any trade show, from the actual booth to crowd control to temporary meeting space. If you have any questions or need any advice, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help. In the meantime, we wish you great success at your next show!