Whenever we get into event season for people who like to serve as vendors and put their work on display at conferences, we start getting a lot of requests for tablecloths and runners and banners lately.
And with that, we also get a lot of questions about tablecloths for vendor events. I think there’s a bit more mystery around them versus other items that vendors use to brand their booths, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer some of them in case this is something you might need in the future.
We usually hear these three questions:
- Do I have to get a tablecloth?
- What size should I get?
- How much do they cost?
Do I have to get a tablecloth?
While you don’t have to have one, it’ll make a BIG difference in how you show up at the event.
Have you ever been to a show where there are vendors who didn’t bring a tablecloth? Even if they have posters up, the table is the center of the space and it makes them look generic. They fade into the background amidst all of the other booths that are fully branded. In that situation, it can undermine your credibility and people will just walk on by.
The whole point of being at the show is so that you stand out and grab your prospect’s attention. You can’t do that if you don’t let your presence be known.
While you can (and should!) do other things – like a vertical banner and branded giveaways – the tablecloth gives the booth a finished look and brings the whole booth together. It also draws your prospect’s attention to the table – which is where you are, waiting to talk with them.
So no, you don’t have to have one. But I highly recommend it!
What size should I get?
There are a lot of options, but here’s the place to start: Do you want a full table cloth or a table runner.
A full tablecloth is a great choice because it covers the entire table – the front and the two ends. The back is left open, making it easy for you to sit there and to tuck boxes and excess material under the table.
Which size you get depends on what size table you anticipate having at your events. Keep in mind that you’ll be using your tablecloth at many events for years to come, so it’s helpful if you choose a size that is flexible. For example: You can get one that is 8 feet, and then you know for sure that it’ll fit if your table is only 6 feet. You may have to do some tucking, but you can make it work. If you think that tucking it in won’t work for you, you can always buy one that is convertible; it includes Velcro so that you can make it fit snugly whether the table is 6 or 8 feet.
A table runner is an interesting answer because it will fit regardless of what size the table is. There are a number of different sizes to choose from. The thing to keep in mind is this: The bigger the runner, the bigger you can make your logo.
One downside of just getting a table runner is if the show you are attending does not provide a basic tablecloth. Most shows provide a generic white cloth over all tables, but I attended one once where they didn’t; it was just the table. In a case like that, the runner will look strange on its own and you’ll need to get your hands on a tablecloth to make it work.
How much do they cost?
The price is going to vary depending on what size you want, the size of the logo, and the method we use to print the logo. We’re always happy to talk with you about your options so that you can make the best decision for your situation and budget.
One final thing to keep in mind is that tablecloths and other vendor-related items are reusable! These are buy-once-use-repeatedly items that improve your professionalism and help you stand out to prospects, so your money here is well spent.