Esperanto table / display items

Here is a list of items that are useful at displays and tables (such as cultural festivals, peace festivals, etc). You do not need all of these, but this checklist will help you decide what you want to take.

Consider what you want your table to accomplish. Just to inform people about Esperanto? That’s fine (but consider trying to do more). Recruit new members? Even better; have the next activity or event planned and tell people about it. Sell stuff? Have stuff available to sell. Advertise a class? Have a handout about the class.

You probably do not want to tell people the entire history of Esperanto, or the entire grammar, or the collected speeches of Zamenhof. Many people will give you a minute of their time before moving on; some will give five or ten minutes. (Many, of course, won’t give you more than a glance.) Use that minute to pique their interest instead of demonstrating how boring we can be.

Displays put a lot of wear and tear on things. Be prepared to replace books and zines every few years. Do not put out anything valuable or rare; they can get stolen, accidentally broken, spilled on, or simply lost.

Display tables are typically 8 feet wide.

Esperanto display table with
handouts, books etc

Steven Brewer at a table. Photo by Steven Brewer.

Big stuff

  • Table cover (plastic party sheet: green?).
  • Banner with “Esperanto” and contact info (a good outdoor banner costs about $200). I recommend also the slogan The international language that works! (here’s why)
  • Folding table, two chairs (usually provided by Festival).
  • Display holders (for books and handouts). Plastic holders for handouts are stupidly expensive... but they are well worth the cost! For books, here is a free book holder you can make out of cardboard.
  • Boxes. Cardboard boxes work fine and are cheap. Plastic bins are waterproof as well, and are fairly cheap. Make sure you get sturdy ones that won’t crack when mistreated.
  • Hand truck or luggage dolly to transport everything.


    Items with “*” are available free from the ELNA website. Here is a list of particularly useful handouts.

  • That Works * (PDF). Good general-purpose handout.
  • French Verbs * (PDF). Excellent for demonstrating why Esperanto is easier to learn.
  • One-Page Handy-Dandy Esperanto Startup Kit * (PDF). Vocab, instant grammar, pronunciation guide etc.
  • Lesson 1s
  • Song?
  • Beer posters * (PDF). Display these prominently; they make people stop at your table!
  • Free samples?
  • Useful phrases? *
  • (Membership forms)
  • Info on next meeting and/or course. If someone is interested, you need to be able to tell them when and where the next event is.
  • Signup sheet for mailing list

Display items

    Display just a few items in each category. Unless you’re doing a book festival, or have a large booth, more than a few books will just clutter your table. A huge mass of items will prevent people from understanding anything and they will skip it all.

  • Books
    Especially books that many people will recognize, such as
    • Winnie la Pu
    • Asteriks la Gaŭlo
    Also a two-way dictionary (especially useful when someone asks, “How do you say such-and-so?”). If you have a Bible and a Koran, people will sometimes think this is a religious movement. Be prepared to explain this.
  • Magazines. A few El Popola Ĉinios are useful because of the pretty pictures, but note that this no longer appears as a paper publication; it’s Web-only now.
  • UEA Jarlibro. When someone asks, “Does anyone in such-and-such a country speak it?”, look up the delegates for that country and show them!
  • Pasporta Servo book. Also useful for demonstrating the widespread utility of Esperanto.
  • Stamps?

Utility items

  • Masking tape
  • Duct tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Knife (multiple-use, such as scout knife)
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Marking pens (various colors)
  • Thin rope (window-shade)
  • Tarp (clear plastic: useful for rain, or for putting boxes on if ground is wet)
  • Weights (for windy outdoor events)
  • Work gloves for moving boxes or tables
  • Questions and Answers about Esperanto

Personal items

  • Hat (if sunny)
  • Shirt (if sunny or cool)
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle or other drink
  • Aspirin?
  • Emergency snack

(cardboard cutout thingy)

Cut these shapes out of cardboard (thin corrugated or thick shirt cardboard). Fold the big piece vertically on the dotted line. This will be the upright. Put the notched piece across the ends; the book will sit on this. You do not need to be at all exact since most of this will be hidden beneath the book anyway. You now have a super-cheap book support!

Last updated: 17 June 2015. Lupoprodukto.

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