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How to Plan Your Electrical Needs for a Trade Show?




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There are a lot of things you can pick and choose while building your trade show booth. However, there are a few things you must ascertain as failure in those can lead to dire consequences. One of those things is the power supply to your exhibit. Improper electrical plans can lead to inadequate power supply and insufficient power outlets. This can further lead to a last-minute hassle to secure the power you require for all your equipment. As an exhibitor, you must avoid this scenario and plan for your electrical needs thoroughly. In this blog, let us see the proper way of planning your electrical needs. 

Trade show booths comprise multifarious equipment that runs on electricity. You need a power supply and proper connections for lights, AV equipment, interactive display for trade show, AR-VR setups, presentation zones, etc. Thus, failing to meet your power demands can result in operation problems that can degrade your overall trade show presentation. Since the whole reputation of the brand is at stake, it is imperative to get your electrical needs right. Though, the power requirements of every brand are unique, let us know a few basic things you can ensure to avoid any onsite problems. 

Calculate Your Power Requirements 

You can begin your planning for electrical needs by identifying all the pieces of exhibit equipment that need a power supply. Calculate the power each equipment and booth element might need. To make your calculation accurate, consider all the items including lighting, screens, A/V equipment, computer equipment, charging points, digital signage, etc. There might be multiple quantities of these necessities so you must factor those as well. Create a spreadsheet and note down all the details such as plug configurations, product specifications, power needs in watts, etc. Using the spreadsheet, calculate the total power you would require at the venue. 

Identify the Doghouse 

Doghouse is basically the main electrical distribution point of your booth and its location might vary from one booth design to another. In in-line trade show booth design, the default doghouse location exists at the back, which you have to share with all your neighboring exhibits. Peninsula and island booths provide much more flexibility to the exhibitors. In those designs, you can get electricity from the ceiling, floor port, or column. So, depending on your booth design, find out the location of your main distribution point. 

Create Electrical Diagrams for Your Booth

This process is extremely critical and requires a thorough study of your booth layout. Get inputs from your exhibition booth ideas and create meticulous electrical diagrams for your booth. Essentially, the diagram must indicate all the power outlets along with their location, placement of electrical components, and number of electrical components connected to each outlet. Create separate electrical diagrams of each piece of equipment to understand its individual power needs. Here, you can find opportunities to plug different items into the same surge protector or power strip and save expenses. Seek out help from a professional as mistakes in the electrical diagram can make the job of your installation team complicated. It is advisable to factor in your adjacent stands as well to get your electrical diagram orientation right. 

Order Qualified Electrical Vendors  

Order only licensed electricians for installing and dismantling electrical connections. Explain all the booth work, ceiling work, and floor work that electricians need to carry out. Floor work involves wiring and placement of the doghouse and ceiling work involves installing lighting and digital signages. On the other hand, booth work takes care of all the equipment on the floor that needs to be connected to a power source. Here, it is critical to take care of venue regulations while handling the booth work. Read the custom trade show displays manual to also know about the regulations related to hardwiring and plug reconfigurations. Not only is it necessary to make all the electrical connections accurately, but it is also important to do it neatly. No wires, cables, or connections should be visible on the floor to maintain the overall aesthetic appeal of the booth.  

Do You Need 24 Hour Power Supply? 

Depending on your electrical layout and the type of equipment you use, you might or might not require a 24-hour supply. Furthermore, venues that are energy-conscious turn off power an hour after the show ends. The power does not come back until 30 minutes before the show resumes the next day. There might be pieces of equipment in your booth such as a refrigerator that need an uninterrupted power supply. It is important to mention your need for a 24-hour supply while submitting your electrical order. 


Modern trade show booths require extensive planning for all the electrical needs. It is important to create an electrical layout and identify the equipment that needs a power supply. It is also necessary to detail all the booth, floor, and ceiling work to make the installation process easier. Get end-to-end services from experienced booth builders to minimize your work in trade show preparation. If you don’t want to purchase a booth, go for affordable solutions for trade show booth rental in Omaha from reliable suppliers. Prepare a comprehensive electrical plan using the insights from the points above. 


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