Saving money on trade show booth power

Most people know ordering power for a trade show booth can cost a FORTUNE! It’s easy to be intimidated when the show electricians start talking gibberish about your power needs but fear not, we’re here to help and hopefully save you a boatload of money. Follow these three simple steps and become an electricity superhero.


Step one: 

Do a quick inventory of things you’ll need to plug in. This includes laptops, mobile phone chargers, display screens, booth lighting, etc.

Step two:

Educate yourself about how much power each item uses. You can use averages found online and simply round up for safety. For quick reference, phone charges use about 5 watts, a laptop, about 60 watts and a 42” LED display uses about 80 watts. What’s a watt? It’s simply a measure of how much power a device drinks. The end goal is to have enough power at your booth so your electronics don’t get too thirsty.

Bonus: All electronics have information right on them which tells you how much power your devices use. The down side is this information is usually very hard to see. Reading glasses and flashlight are a must for interpreting the tiny hieroglyphics. Don’t have access to the equipment to read the energy requirement? Don’t worry, a quick Google search will get you the information you need.

Step three: 

Use some simple math to figure out your power needs.

Question: But the venue tells me each circuit is rated in amps, what happened to watts?

Think of amps as bottles of water. If your devices don’t have enough available water they will dehydrate and pass out (blow the circuit breaker). Don’t like math? Do what I do, just tell yourself every 100 watts equals 1 amp or one bottle of water. So if you have a 15 amp circuit for your booth, you can safely plug in (2) 42” LED screens, two laptops and 20 phone chargers and have nearly 10 amps (10 bottles of water) to spare for a coffee maker. Of course if you want to do the hard math, just remember West Virginia; Wattage is equal to Voltage times Amperage.

Four trade show booth electrical tips:

1. Bring a bunch of high quality, multiple outlet strips.

Power that is provided is usually a single plug. Electricians are more than happy to rent an outlet strip but for a premium daily rate.

2. Plan your power layout carefully at the booth. 

If the decorators are laying down carpet, make sure you know exactly where each outlet needs to end up.

3. Turn each item on one at a time.

Using that handy on/off switch on a power strip may be convenient but beware. Your maximum power draw happens when you first turn something on. Even if the strips have built in circuit breakers, they can trip with enough force to ruin the entire strip.

4. Offer a FREE charging station for attendees.

As noted above, phone charges use only a tiny drop of power so offering this convenience is appreciated and a great way to attract traffic to your booth.

Still have questions? Give us a call and we’ll do our best to “empower” you with the knowledge you need down the road!

And one more thing, trade shows and user conferences are great places to get customer testimonials on video. We’ve been capturing man-on-the-street type interviews for years and they have proven to be extremely helpful for closing sales. Contact us today and get the conversation started. 978.338.5699 or