Flooring for Trade Show Facilities

November 1, 2018

Kendall Youngworth

Kendall Youngworth is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Tennant Coatingsa leader in flooring experience, knowledge and expertise. Kendall has more than 10 years of experience assisting clients across many industries in the selection and installation of optimal concrete flooring for their facilities. 

When exhibiting at trade shows, vendors take pride in their products and booth design. The same can be said of the venues in which vendors choose to exhibit. As an exhibitor, there are many costs associated with proudly displaying your items at a show, meaning that it’s important for the venues to also reflect that same pride in their facility. No matter how carefully a facility is set up, unattractive flooring, whether carpet or concrete, can send a subtle signal of “we don’t really care.” 

Few floors endure the level of punishment of a trade show facility or convention center, yet often times people only think of the traffic during a trade show, such as foot traffic – spikey heels and wet boots tracking in outdoor elements – or food carts and tables rolling up and down the aisles. Regrettably, people tend to forget about the load-in and load-out phases of a show, which are the harshest on flooring. From heavy sample cases, crates and forklifts transporting and dragging around product, to the endless rearrangement of furniture and displays, the parade of traffic is constant. 

When concrete slabs are left uncoated in high traffic areas – such as in convention center – not only can the substrate wear quicker over time, but it can also produce concrete dust that is released into the air, covering unintended objects, while being inhaled by employees and attendees. The concrete is also susceptible to spills, staining and damage, such as cracks and pitting, which can become trip hazards for those walking around and cause additional wear to forklifts and other vehicle traffic. 

Epoxy and Urethane Systems Are the Answer

High-performance epoxy and urethane flooring systems are created to withstand such types of abuse and can be customized to target specific issues a facility may face, like additional texture, aiding against bacterial growth and decorative options.  

Safety and Slip Resistance

No matter what other considerations there may be, safety typically tops the list. With epoxy and urethane flooring systems, grit can be added to provide additional texture for added slip resistance. Other systems such as decorative flake and quartz and can provide additional texture as well. While this is particularly important in entryways and lobbies, where precipitation and particles from the environment such as dust and sand are tracked in, it is equally important in loading dock areas, both open and closed, as well as kitchens and washroom areas where the spilling of oils and other liquids is inevitable. 


Epoxy and urethane flooring systems offer durability, which can result in a longer lifespan of the concrete substrate, with less maintenance and downtime for repairs. Systems can be created to provide abrasion resistance, thermal shock resistance, chemical resistance or even UV resistance (non-yellowing). Sometimes high levels of moisture can be found in a concrete slab, but do not fret as there are systems available to help counteract moisture vapor transmission.

Special Requirements

The Food Court and Concession Areas

Throughout the food prep and food court areas, it is extremely important to maintain a high level of cleanliness or hygiene. The application of a seamless floor coating can help aid against the growth of bacteria and other pathogens by eliminating crevasses where they can flourish.  The option of installing cove base is highly recommended, as it creates one cohesive and seamless system between the floor and the wall. Some systems are thermal shock resistant for areas that may require high-temperature cleaning. However, the most important aspect is that the substrate is impermeable so that food items and liquids cannot seep into the concrete allowing bacteria to flourish. 


The exhibit space aisleways, entrance hall and concession areas, meeting rooms and restroom areas can benefit with attractive, durable floors that do not require specialized cleaning or constant buffing and polishing maintenance.

When it comes to options for creating a unique look that will not only reflect your brand as a venue but impress vendors, visitors and employees alike, epoxy and urethane flooring systems offer a multitude of standard and custom options, creating a more “designer” effect in what might otherwise be a boring space.

For example:

  • Logos, icons, labels, arrows, line striping and other designer (and functional) features can be embedded in the system. 
  • Metallics can be added to create the impression of swirling movement, a marble-like effect or even a bubble effect.
  • Customized colorants, flake and quartz blends can be made to match your specific color scheme.


Keeping your epoxy and urethane flooring clean couldn’t be easier. No waxing or polishing or buffing is required, saving the cost of specialized cleaning procedures that can eat away the bottom line. These impermeable systems allow you to, sweep, mop and scrub with ease, without staining or allowing liquids, food particles and other debris to embed into the concrete, which can be difficult to remove. 

From basic clear coat systems to the various decorative options, as well as texture options, epoxy and urethane flooring help contribute to a well maintained, clean and beautiful venue, where both the venue and exhibitors can be proudly represented.


Don’t miss any event news! Sign up for any (or all) of our e-newsletters HERE & engage with us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn & Instagram!

Add new comment

Partner Voices

Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce the approval of a 2.5 million square-foot convention center with 800,000 square feet of exhibit space and 300,000 square feet of breakout area, including 160,000 square feet of ballroom. “This news is a game changer for Dallas and will put our city on the map as the preeminent large-city convention and meeting destination in the nation,” said Craig Davis, Visit Dallas President & CEO.