top of page
CE, Inc Star.png

Tips & Tools
Solutions to Fit Your Electrical Needs

Tips for Association Themed Areas and

Exhibit Booth Constructions


When it comes to electrical work for your trade show booth and themed areas, there are tips to ensure you have the correct placement and amount of power ordered so that the installation is not delayed. These trade show electrical tips will help avoid delays and reduce costs.


​• Submitting your electrical order and electrical floorplans on time is VERY important in making certain that your exhibit space or themed areas are ready when your labor team is scheduled for installation. All subsequent installation depends on your electrical placement being correct and in place prior to your booth labor team even being able to install flooring. Yes, it’s that important! All efforts for your booth installation and themed areas, depend on accurate electrical plans.


​• Keep in mind that your floorplans are printed and used by workers, so make sure they are clear and concise when printed. If details are incomplete or illegible, electrical installation may be delayed up until actual setup day. Feel free to contact our Customer Service department at 909-623-5192 to follow up before each show to ensure that CEI has received your electrical order and floorplans and that there are no questions.

• Be sure to pay attention to Advanced Discount Deadline Rates posted on order forms to ensure you receive all available discounts.


• There are two different types of electrical labor: “Floor Work” refers to how the power is run under the booth flooring and the man hours required to complete the running of extension cords to the various locations away from the main drop. “Booth Work” refers to making connections as needed during or after the booth construction. This is often hanging stem lights or TV’s. Electricians want to make the final connections to ensure the proper materials and power are used to prevent mishap or injury.


​• Lastly, 1000 watts equals 10 amps. This should be helpful in determining your power needs, as electrical power to the main drop of the booth is sold by these units. All devices, including TVs and computers, generally list the power requirement on a rating label on the back of your equipment. A typical laptop requires approximately 65 watts of power to run. See additional examples here.


We Will Help You Properly Order and Install Electrical


Before you install flooring, ensure that your trade show electrical is placed correctly and in working order. CEI will measure and check electrical placement when we first arrive at the booth space. We also test extension cords and outlets before your booth labor team begins installing flooring.

Incorrect electrical placement can cause your booth installation to come to a halt while you wait for an electrician. For this reason, for EVERY show, we suggest you call CEI Exhibitor Services and speak with our Customer Service Representative, to simply verify that we have received your electrical order and drawing.

​CEI will also take time to understand how power is coming into the booth. The 3 most common ways are from a ceiling drop, up from a floor plate, or across from a structural column nearby. CEI actively works to avoid all the common electrical delays so the installation can proceed smoothly.


The most common way of ordering power is in terms of amps and watts. Think of the process in this manner:  1 amp is equal to 100 watts; 20 Amps are equal to 2000 watts and so on. You can easily estimate the total watts your booth will require using this formula.


Routing power from your main drop to various locations within your booth space will require extension cords (floor work.) Keep in mind that many shows require a minimum of 500 watts associated with each extension cord. It is common to have 3 - 4 extension cords routed on the floor to counters and rooms within your exhibit space. Labor is charged for time, power and equipment used to complete your installation as ordered.


Important reminders:

  • Order before Advance Pricing deadline

  • Make sure your layout matches your order

  • Double check your electrical before booth installation

  • Comply with union rules

Anchor 1

Common Trade Show Equipment and Ratings Guide

coffee pot.jpg


45 Watts

Cash Register

120-240 Watts

LCD Monitor

52 Watts


30 Watts


120-600 Watts

Coffee Maker

600-1000 Watts

Big Screen TV

200-500 Watts

Popcorn Maker

2000 Watts

Hanging Sign

500 Watts

Laser Printer

1000 Watts

Toaster Oven

1500 Watts


2000 Watts


Small Refrigerator

300 Watts

Vacuum Cleaner

1500 Watts


25 Watts

CASH REGISTER_edited.jpg
Copy of HANGING SIGN.jpg

*Always refer to the ratings on your equipment for exact requirements.

Floorplan Grids and Electrical Layouts

This is an example of a standard electrical layout for inline and peninsula booths. Any other placement will require a Labor Request on a time and material basis.


Island Booths and Exhibitor Booths requiring electrical placement other than the back of the booth require a Labor Request and a scaled floorplan should accompany your order request. Feel free to download one of the below grids that match your booth size.

bottom of page