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Think Big, Go Small


AuthorCall me a nerd (or maybe a hipster), but I am a huge fan of tiny houses and have a fantasy about someday building one in my parents’ backyard as a vacation home.

Perhaps my minor obsession has something to do with the fact that I lived in shoebox-sized studio apartments when I was teaching English in South Korea, and really enjoyed the challenge. My first place was about 150 sq ft – or roughly the size of your typical backyard storage shed. The average American house size is over 2000 sq ft, so living in a place less than 1/10 that size seems claustrophobic and horrible, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. 

AuthorThe way you make it work? Strive for no wasted space and make sure everything has more than one purpose. My desk doubled as my dining table. My bed was also my couch and also had plenty of storage underneath. My wardrobe also functioned as a pantry. I would even store snacks in the microwave when I wasn’t using it. Even with the space my guitar, keyboard, and French horn took up, I still had plenty of room to move around and have friends over.

I wouldn’t blame you if you think I’m absolutely crazy – and perhaps even a little masochistic – for thinking it was cool to live like that. Trust me, no matter what they say on Tiny House Nation, living tiny doesn’t really work with more than one person (unless you happen to abhor the idea of personal space).

You’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with tradeshows. The space I described is smaller than a 10×20 inline booth and I called it my home. Point being, with a bit of cleverness, you can really maximize your booth space and get shipping/drayage costs down with some creative packing.

Fortunately, Optima’s already got some solutions lined up for going tradeshow-tiny.
One item we offer that’s aligned with the tiny house mentality is the tried-and-true VBurst case-to-counter. How fantastic that it’s not only where you store your up-to-20ft display (NEXT! SEG and VBurst! being the most common) in between shows, but it also helps you avoid keeping anything in storage at the show because you can keep your extra supplies and personal items in there, then just throw a wrap and blotter over the top and voilà, you’ve got a podium. So simple yet elegant.

AuthorNeed a smaller case that will fit even more display and don’t need a counter? Try the Penta Roll Up Retractable Bannerstand. You can easily fit 12 of those bad boys into an Xpressions case. That’s about 32 linear feet of display in a case that’s just 41”h x 14”w x 14”d. I dare you to compare the shipping cost of that solution to your typical 10×30 display (that most likely requires a crate).

Looking to eliminate shipping costs entirely? A 3 Quad Pyramid or 2×2 Salesmate Tabletop packs down small enough to fit into most laptop bags at just 6.75″W x 17.5″L when collapsed. Or an Ultralight X Series Briefcase Tabletop – the carry case is the display! One superb example of a multi-functional display with a relatively small footprint would be the h-line locking counter with our brand-new charging station option. Even a large h-line counter tricked out with those features would fit into two cases that are 24″ x 48″ x 9″ each. Once set up, you’ve got a storage area, charging station, and reception desk (that could even double as a workstation or meeting table) that takes up just 47″ x 13″ of floor space.

We have even more space-saving solutions to offer (OTM table/chairs set, Xpressions Express, and the Quickdrop Backwall are just a few that come to mind)… just let us know your needs and we can handle the real-life-Tetris challenge for you.
Have any clever space-saving ideas or experiences? Tradeshow, home, office, etc. I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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About the Author

Kat Andres is the Inside Sales AE and Sales Development Rep at Optima Graphics. She has been in the Trade Show industry since 2014.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, other Authors, Optima Graphics or Taylor Corp.

Tiny House

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