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Show Rules for Linear and Inline Exhibits (Part 2) : The Line of Sight Rule

09/03/15 by Brandon

In our previous blog, we discussed the height restriction imposed on linear or inline exhibits at your typical show. Now we’re going to discuss the “line of sight” show rule for the same linear exhibits, which focuses more on the exhibitors to each side of you rather than the ones behind you.

The Line of Sight Rule

This rule is a little more complicated as it changes as the booth size increases, but let’s start with the basic principal. The rule simply states that your neighbor to your left and right has the same opportunity for an attendee to see their exhibit as they walk across or down an aisle, as they can see your exhibit. Bottom line – you are not allowed to obstruct your neighbor’s exhibit by putting tall items in the front of your booth space.

So let’s take the basic 10’ x 10’ booth space and draw a line from left to right dividing the booth in half. You would have two 5’ deep by 10’ wide spaces that together would make the 10 x 10. The rule generally goes like this. You are allowed to go up to 8’ tall in the 5 x 10 space nearest the backwall drape. In the space that is in the front half you would need to drop down to a height that is usually no more than 4’ feet tall.

I know that your first concern is that if you have a front counter that is standing (or bar height) which is usually about 42” tall that you would only be able to put a 6” item on top. I can tell you that I have never seen the line of sight rule disallow a standard monitor to be placed on top of a counter. By a standard monitor I am talking about a 42” slim monitor or smaller. Everyone does it so it would be hard to enforce that rule on the show floor. Don’t put your latest gadget or gizmo that is the size of a mini refrigerator on the front counter as it would clearly be a line of sight rule violation. Many exhibitors try to put 10’ pop-ups on the backwall and then add banner stands on either side or on the front edge of their exhibit. These banner stands are usually angled so attendees can see them as they walk down the aisle. If they are in the front half of the booth space they would also be a violation of the line of sight rule and your neighbor would have the right to ask the show organizer to have you remove or relocate it.

Now here is where the line of sight rule gets a little complicated. You are able to have thin poles, panels, and header signage that can go all the way to the front edge of your exhibit space but only in larger booth spaces. Linear exhibits that are 10’x30′ and larger provide these allowances with the restriction that you only do this in the middle section of the space. The show rules get pretty specific about dimensions and visual lines of sight so it is best for you to read the rules of each show for yourself so if you are getting a larger space you can modify your exhibit to take advantage of these exceptions.

In summary, be mindful of other exhibitors and don’t allow your exhibit to interfere with the presentation of theirs. If there is a dispute, the show organizer is going to handle it by the book so if you do feel the need to stretch the rules a bit, make sure you can easily conform to the show’s exhibitor manual without compromising your message.