Last month, we showed how rental companies develop attention-grabbing trade-show booths. In Part II, we zero in on the tabletop and dish on the details for creating winning vignettes.

Set a spectacular table and watch your rental products pop. Here, three rental operators show us how as they create tabletop vignettes that sell themselves.

CURVED APPEAL

THE SETUP: Arlington, Va.-based DC Rental set the table against stiff competition at the ISES D.C. Chapter's June Tabletop Competition at Washington's Liaison Capitol Hill. DC Rental snagged second place with a modern, vibrant design showcasing new rental items.

THE TOP-OFF: An oval acrylic tabletop on a black tube base set the scene and caused a stir. Clients preferred the alternative table shape to rounds and squares, according to DC Rental account executives Hakim Radi and Kathleen Schmidt. In fact, the company saw an immediate spike in rentals of the product after the competition, the reps say.

The company's white square chargers, black asymmetrical plates and lime-green silk dupioni napkins topped the table, accompanied by Italian-style glassware with ball accents on the stem “to reinforce the round motif,” Radi says. Washington-based JLB Floral was also part of the winning team, contributing globes of hydrangea, carnations and button mums. For a touch of whimsy, DC Rental added sphere-shaped kiwi-green Crate & Barrel candles, while shot glasses of gazpacho and crab tartlets gave a taste of what the tabletop would look like during dinner. To complete the scene, “Low-back stainless steel chairs encircled the table, allowing an uninterrupted view of the entire tabletop, including the chrome stacked gourd lamp with black drum shades,” Schmidt notes.

ASIAN-INSPIRED COMMUNAL TABLE

THE SETUP: Orlando, Fla.-based Unique Option set the stage, or at least the table, for client Lisa Konecny of E-Events in Winter Park, Fla., at the March Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Wedding Showcase for brides-to-be. And what did Konecny request of Unique, according to president Awny Khashoggi? Make the table “practical, original in concept and stunning,” he says.

THE TOP-OFF: To do that, Unique Option slipped place mats under the glass top of Orlando, Fla.-based Bill Whidden Designs' shadowbox table system, which connects a series of customizable shadowboxes. Orlando-based Greenery Productions' bento boxes, which served as chargers, also sat beneath the glass along with Gloriosa lilies, pebbles and battery-operated votive candles. Stemware, cutlery, lit candles, Orlando-based Ice Magic's illuminated towers and an arrangement of Gloriosa lilies and lipstick galax foliage occupied the more traditional atop-the-table role. Dragonfly Custom Design in Orlando provided transparent menus and acrylic plexiglass invitations, while Unique Option's own black leather bar stools circled the table.

SWAROVSKI BRIDAL VIGNETTE

THE SETUP: To promote wedding wares, especially jewelry, the Swarovski store in Toronto set up a dazzling bridal showcase for both potential brides and vendors. Toronto-based The Wedding Co. promoted the April event and designed the tabletop. The company tapped Chair-Man Mills, also of Toronto, to provide the rentals and prove to attendees that a wedding tabletop can be “much more than basic white dishes and utilitarian chairs,” president Mary Crothers says.

THE TOP-OFF: The elegant vignette featured Oceana glass plates, contemporary Milano cutlery, plati-num taffeta linen and ice chiavari chairs, “which reflected the idea of Swarovski crystals,” Crothers notes. A Swarovski crystal heart punctuated each place setting.

RESOURCES

Chair-Man Mills
416/391-0400
www.chairmanmills.com

DC Rental
703/671-0684
www.dcrental.com

Unique Option
800/254-5280
www.unique-option.com