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IAEE addresses full cubic content for linear exhibit space

iaeewhitepaper2The debate between advocates and opponents of full cubic content has been ongoing, and in 2010, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) created a task force to research the subject. The task force’s findings have been released in IAEE’s White Paper: Evaluating and Implementing Cubic Content into Linear Exhibit Space.

“The exhibitions and events industry is growing exponentially on a global scale and this is a good thing,” said IAEE Cubic Content Task Force Chair Carol Fojtik, CEM. “Naturally, as exhibitors venture into new territory, questions will arise. The task force’s goal is to answer these questions and help exhibitors – those coming to and those going from the U.S. – make the most of their exhibiting experience.”

As it pertains to exhibition booths, cubic content is a unit of measurement allowing display materials and products to occupy 100 percent of the exhibit space purchased, regardless of sightlines, up to a height established by the exhibition’s rules. While full use of cubic content space is common on an international level, U.S. show organizers remain divided on the idea.

The current IAEE publication, Guidelines for Display Rules and Regulations, generally allows exhibitors using island space to occupy 100 percent of the space’s cubic content with both product and display materials. Linear booths are expected to maintain a visible line of sight as set forth by the show’s organizer. However, since IAEE’s Guidelines are not actual rules, many show organizers have modified them to meet their exhibitors’ needs and/or the type of show organized. For example, an exhibition for heavy equipment manufacturers may require a larger setback from the aisle line for safety purposes. Another show may set the booth display/product height limit at five feet to ensure sightline fairness to all exhibitors.

Cubic content for linear booths in the U.S. is not as popular as it is in other countries, but more U.S. organizers are finding it necessary to allow cubic content in linear booths for the sake of attracting and accommodating international exhibitors.

“Not all rules, styles and customs are the same from country to country,” said Larry Kulchawik, senior vice president of 3D Exhibits Inc. “This is only one part of the country differences in trade show marketing, but a big one.”

Exhibition organizers share their experiences in the white paper. The publication also discusses various types of displays used in exhibitions and their relation to the full use of cubic content, including a sample of cubic content display guidelines provided by Messe Frankfurt.

The IAEE White Paper: Evaluating and Implementing Cubic Content into Linear Exhibit space is available free to IAEE members and costs $199 for non-members.


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