LAVA’s Cardboard Tables Make a Stand at RTS

By: Adam Swimmer

3 Min Read

May 19, 2023

When you’re travelling to an out-of-country trade show, the additional cost of a table for your booth can be off-putting. So when our team flew to London, England, for the Retail Technology Show in April, we decided to bring our own.

No, we did not transport a full table on a plane. We got creative.

Our parameters – something lightweight, easy to transport, easy to assemble, and cost-efficient. Looking around our warehouse, we found the perfect material to work with: cardboard. After all, we do build technology products for a living so why not pivot and build our own furniture?

1. Something lightweight

Yes, the stands in our booth at RTS were made out of cardboard. Specifically, flat pack cardboard we had on hand that served as packaging for our production materials. As part of its original purpose, the cardboard separates packed up materials, keeping them from scratching during transit. With this project, the lightweight cardboard gained a new purpose.

2. Easy to transport

With the help of a laser cutter, our engineers designed the cardboard shapes to fit together and create the stands. The cardboard became split into pieces of a puzzle, ready to be assembled at the trade show. Until then, we kept the cardboard as flat pack to ensure easier travel.

At the end of the two-day show, our team took the cardboard stands apart and because the cardboard wasn’t painted, we were able to toss most of it for recycling. The rest was used by a neighbour when packing their own show materials as padding. Just as first intended, the cardboard was once again used as padding, keeping materials from scratching during transit.

3. Easy to put together

With the laser cutter, our team cut tabs and slots into the cardboard which allowed our team to lock the pieces into each other, raising 3D stands out of the flat pack. The stands were mostly held together by friction alone with only the top being glued on to ensure it had a smooth surface. While we used wood glue because it’s easier to recycle compared to other types of glue, in the future, we would like to cut tabs and slots into the top piece to lock it into place like the rest of the stand.

Once assembled, the stands were sturdy. We could pick one up with one hand without it falling apart. This allowed us to easily move them around and handle the weight of our products.

In fact, the stands became a bit of an exhibit themselves. Many attendees didn’t realize the stands were made out of cardboard, until giving them a closer look. They were impressed by the stability and some even leaned on them to see if they could handle the pressure, but the stands stood tall unscathed.

4. Cost-efficient

By reusing this cardboard, we kept our materials budget at $0. That’s it, that’s the insight here.

Environmentally friendly trade show stands

Through the innovation of our engineers, we were able to design lightweight, easy-to-assemble, environmentally friendly trade show stands. Made from reused cardboard and recycled afterwards, it was a green (and cheap) endeavour from start to finish. Attendees went away as enamoured with the stands as they were with the SimulCharge products it displayed. Some even asked if we had any stands for sale.

This was a fun project for our engineers and it also helped showcase the wide array of capabilities LAVA has. We plan on using these stand patterns for future trade shows.

If you have any questions or want to chat about the stands, reach out to Emma at

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