Break Down Barriers

While walking a recent show, I noticed a high percentage of exhibitors behind tables (sitting or standing), which creates a barrier and wastes valuable space. Sadly, this isn’t rare behavior, especially in 10×10′ exhibits. But it can be easily corrected.

First of all, instead of placing the table along the aisle, run it along one side of the booth and stand beside it. This works especially well for sampling items, since attendees must actually enter your booth to try your product. For even more impact, be sure to add some type of interaction or motion that draws people in.

Next, instead of piling stacks of literature on the table, use waterfall racks. These add vertical elements and are less cluttered. Another way to create height in your display is with a stair-step platform on the table to display products. You’ll be amazed how much better you can showcase multiple items this way rather than on a flat tabletop!

If you feel you absolutely must have something along the aisle, use only a small podium and leave plenty of room for people to walk off the aisle and get them into your space.


© 2011-12 Marlys K. Arnold  (Reprinted from the June 2011 TradeShowTips Online. To receive tips like this in your inbox every month, please take a moment to fill out this request.)

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About the Author:

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. She travels the country consulting and training both exhibitors and show managers, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image (2002), host of the Trade Show Insights podcast and creator of the ExhibitorEd training kit. She can be reached at

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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