Trade Show Electrical Tips


At MYDISPLAYSOURCE™ we do a lot of electrical drawings each year for our clients. On the trade show floor you will see clients with way too much power and those with little or no power. Below are some tips that will help you avoid some of the pitfalls of dealing with trade show electrical issues. Hopefully, these tips will help save your company some money too!

  • Submit Electrical Orders Early – to the show contractor that way you can take advantage of the advanced rates. Be sure to include any labor hours. If you do not know then just guesstimate!

  • Send your Electrical Drawings to the Show Contractor with your Order – This is self explanatory, but it ensures you will get your power down early and the electricians can ask any questions they have ahead of time.

  • Reception Counters – usually need only 5A or 500W. This will accomodate charging stations, lead machines and laptop computers with no problem.

  • Use Convention Center Supplied Extension Cords Under Carpet – this is usually mandatory, but many clients try to “cheat” and use their own. If you have a problem during the show and it’s not your extension cord then you are liable for damage, extra labor and a rental extension cord.

  • Use “Home Runs” – Always and I mean ALWAYS have one extension cord from the power source to your endpoint. Do not try to chain power together from one kiosk to another. If you have an electrical problem during the show it is much easier to diagnose and fix if you know that there is a single extension cord running to the power source.

  • Label Your Extension Cords – Assign a number to each cord. This way you know which cord is plugged into the source. Easy to diagnose on the show floor.

  • Use 15A or 1500W Service – This size amperage or wattage will work with all standard multi-outlet strips without losing any power. If you have a 20A line and plug in a multi-outlet strip then you just turned that into a 15A line and wasted your money unless you have a 20A specific multi-outlet strip (most people do not).

  • 24 Hour Power is only needed for your equipment, refrigerators or hanging signs that are required to be on 24 hours. Many clients try to get 24 hour power because they think it is required for the whole exhibit.

  • Rent Spotlights from the Convention Center – This will save you a lot of time and headache in trying to retrofit your exhibit with lighting. Most convention centers have these available at a reasonable price $250-$500 per light. It’s a great hidden deal!

These are just a few of the tips that will make your exhibiting experience better.