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Creativity needed - Need some ideas to set up a 10 X 8 indoor show

I am getting ready to set up an indoor show where I only have a 10 x 8 set up. The promoter would like something similar to pipe and drap. Since my tent poles are set up for a 10 x 10 space, I'm looking for any ideas you might have. This is such a creative group. I know someone will have some wonderful thoughts for me. Thanks.


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We use our Trimline tent frame for our inside shows.  We called and told Flourish people what we needed and they sent us the poles to change the frame from a 10 x 10 to a 10 x 8 setup.  One show gives you 8 x 12 and they sent us the parts so we can still use our frame for that also.  Contact you tent maker and see if they can help.

I do 2 or 3 indoor shows a year so I bought a pipe and drape system. It's wonderful and so much easier to set up and take down than my tent.

Here's where I got it:

Here's how it looks:

Robin Ragsdale

Thanks for the ideas. I'll check into them.

Jan -- I use individual 2' wide  x 7' high gridwall panels, so that I'm flexible concerning the total space available.  Same idea with the pro panels that many people use.  Or, I used to use trellis panels to create "walls" and I've seen people construct walls by making a frame around lattice panels that are available in places like Home Depot and Lowes.

However, if you don't have the time and/or money to order, purchase and/or make your own walls, plus the means to transport those big suckers to the show ...

I had thought several times about creating a pole-and-drape set-up with lightweight white pvc pipe and elbow joints.  These are also available at the home improvement stores and pvc is amazingly cheap.  You can get elbows that have three openings, so you could have an upright pole at each corner and then two horizontal poles at the top at a 90-degree angle.   You would probably need to have additional connectors and vertical support poles at at least two places along the back 10' wall, and maybe at one place on each of the 8' side walls so that the pvc doesn't sag in the middle of such a long span.  Then after the poles are in place it's an easy matter to suspend fabric from them.  It seems to me that this set-up would be easy to assemble and disassemble on site, and could be flexible by simply having on hand different lengths of the pvc piping.  But be warned, I never actually tried this so it's just a pipe dream at this point.  (get it, pipe?  sorry)

Good luck in your booth designing!


Don't you just love shows that give you odd sized spaces?  I have one I do every year that gives you 8 x 9 spaces.  I've offered to pay them a little more to get a 10 x 10 spot this year, but haven't heard back.   I do set up with 2 x 6 gridwall panels, but would like to have a framework that I could hang drapes or walls from.  The framework would also stiffen up the gridwall.

I like the idea of PVC pipe, but I'd see if you could slide one pipe inside another to make adjustable pole lengths.  Possibly drill a hole every foot for a pin.  I'd suggest putting the upright poles in a small bucket of cement, just for extra stability. 

One other thing I looked at was buying components from Caravan or EZ-UP to get the adjustable upright poles.  If you know someone with a wornout or damaged pop-up, you may be able to salvage the legs from them.  Not sure about how to fit the cross pieces, but I'm sure there's a way. 

Dave -- Re: hanging drapes from the gridwall, I almost always do that to eliminate the visual noise next to and behind my booth.  I purchased tab-top curtains from JC Penney (each curtain covers approx 1-and-a-half grid panels with some draping still present -- then cut the back of each tab where it meets the drape, rehemmed the tab at the cut and sewed velcro to the tab and the drape just below it.  The end result is tabs that fit within each 3" grid opening, that can be quickly opened, looped over the horizontal line and closed back up again with a press.  If it's windy I use a bear clip (aka spring paperclip) at each place where two curtains meet to clamp them onto the gridwall and keep them from blowing around.

To stiffen up the rows of grid, when outside I use zip ties to attach the grid to the tent frame.  For inside shows I make sure i never go longer than 3 panels without inserting a perpendicular panel for stability.  Then I add a corner shelf, sometimes way up high if I don't need a shelf at that place for displaying product.   Along the straight rows of grid (3 pieces or less), I overlap the shelves so there's at least one shelf hook on each of the two panels.

Good idea about sliding the pvc pipe inside another for adjustability!

Years ago, before we bought Expo poles and fire-proof draping, my husband created a PVC piping system. They fit inside each other, so they could be expanded. Where they over lapped, he inserted a copper pipe to eliminate any sagging. Keep in mind this set-up is very light, and needs to be weighted. You can get long bungy or straps that you can wrap-attach to each top corner, then down to weights. Also, don't forget to do a 'cross-hatch' on bigger or expanded walls-it helps for stability.

Yessss!  Glad to hear the PVC idea works.    :)


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