Portable Vs Modular Vs 100% Custom – What Trade Show Display is Right for Your Business?


Portable Vs Modular Vs 100% Custom – What Trade Show Display is Right for Your Business?

Trade shows offer a unique ability to spread the word about your brand and connect with prospects and new clients you may never have connected with had you not exhibited at that show.

Of course, to connect with those prospects your booth needs to make an impact on show attendees. The #1 differentiator of businesses at both large and small shows is the design, style and layout of their booth display.

It’s not always enough to purchase an inexpensive portable display (although they work very well for many applications as you’ll see below). Often modular designs or custom booths are required.

3 Types of Trade Show Displays

There are three main types of show displays.

  1. Portable: Easily transported by hand and set up by a single person in usually an hour or less
  2. Modular: Easily transportable, but usually requires truck freight. Produces more impact and can be changed but takes longer to set up
  3. 100% Custom: Can be more expensive to transport and install but produces massive impact.Will require a professional team for setup and teardown.

Portable Displays

Portable displays you’ve likely seen. They pack up into a nice manageable carrying case that can often be wheeled around, checked with your baggage on a flight and quickly be set up at the show. They are generally only for a 10×10 or 10×20 booth, but are great for local shows as well as businesses who are testing out larger international shows with a smaller booth for the first time.

Portable Vs Modular Vs 100% Custom – What Trade Show Display is Right for Your Business?


  • Budget friendly, make it easy to test-out a show or idea
  • Easily transportable and fast setup
  • Work well for “popping up” at community events around town with your business/brand


  • Don’t produce a lot of impact at a larger trade show
  • Stuck with what you get, can’t really customize it beyond the design you purchase

Modular Displays

Modular displays and booths are similar to lego in the sense that they are a series of panels which can create a variety of booth sizes, configurations and features.

Beaumont & Co. Modular designs can be customized to produce a far greater impact than a portable display. Designs possible with a modular design are things such as:

  • High walls (16’ plus where show regulations permit)
  • Extreme structural strength to support products on shelves, Monitors on walls
  • Custom enclosed areas such as offices built within the booth

Portable Vs Modular Vs 100% Custom – What Trade Show Display is Right for Your Business?


  • Complete custom layout and design from walls, to ceilings and separate rooms
  • Easy to change the layout/design as the core pieces can be re-arranged
  • Can change creative by reprinting the fabric that affixes to the modular frame
  • Provides the structural strength for accessories to be affixed to the walls such as TV’s
  • Can be changed and modified in advance of each show.
  • Can be rented rather than purchased to test out a show or idea


  • More expensive to purchase than a portable display
  • Costs more to transport to a show
  • Takes more time and more man power to set up and tear down

Want help planning for your upcoming show?

Get Free Visuals for your next trade show booth design from our design team. No strings attached, yours to keep even if you choose not to work with Beaumont & Co on your next project. Click here to Request a Complimentary 3D Design and Layout.


Custom Displays

A 100% custom designed booth isn’t something a lot of businesses do, but they produce the largest impact at a show. Just about anything you can imagine can be built for your booth from a large scale fishing boat to a miniature football stadium.

Fabrication technology advancements have made it so that almost any shape or size of booth can be designed and built with a variety of materials ranging from exotic woods, to custom metals and even stone.Portable Vs Modular Vs 100% Custom – What Trade Show Display is Right for Your Business?


  • Makes for an extremely high impact booth that gets noticed and talked about


  • Expensive to produce
  • Materials are not transferable to another design or layout
  • Costly to transport, setup and teardown

The design and style of booth that’s right for you comes down to a lot of things.

  1. What show(s) you’re attending
  2. What size booth will you have at that show
  3. How big of an impact do you want to make at the show
  4. Is this booth going to be used for years to come or just this year

To help you decide the right type of booth, we have two unique offerings for you.

Complimentary Strategy Call

For those that do not know whether to consider a portable or modular booth, we recommend booking a 15-minute strategy call with one of our design team members.

This is not a sales pitch, this is a complimentary 15-minute strategy call to help plan for your next upcoming show. We have worked with many businesses both for design and show management, so we have a wealth of knowledge to draw on.

Request a Complimentary 15-minute Strategy Call

Complimentary 3D Design

For those that know the size and type of booth you’d like we offer a complimentary 3D design and layout creation for your upcoming booth. This is entirely free for you to keep should you not want to discuss your tradeshow needs with us

Request a Complimentary 3D Design and Layout

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