The JJs List Blog

The Scourge of Bar Tables At Networking Events

Posted by on September 30, 2015 - 2 Comments

We’ve all used them, decked out in chartreuse cotton tablecloths and twisted into a knot around the middle, tops adorned with chocolates, business flyers and business cards.  Bar tables!

A staple of business networking and social events, they are designed to be a convenient spot to place a cold beverage while you wipe your pant leg right before you shake a new contact’s hand, and an easy place from which to work the room.

cocktail tables

Image from catertainment.com

But dare we call them non-inclusive?

Have we overlooked the fact that the events we often attend include wheelchair users, little people and other individuals with varied height needs?  We think that these well-intentioned networking hubs become anything but inclusive.  They become opportunities for exclusion.

Bar-height tables make visibility and communication a line-of-sight challenge for wheelchair users and little people.  It makes for awkward situations that features shouted “excuse me”s and the decision of whether to tap a person on the elbow or at the waist since their shoulder is out of reach.  How would you feel if you spent the entire time at a networking event looking at people’s waists and butts?

Let’s work together to make it possible for everyone to have a level playing field when networking.

Lest anyone roll over any toes, we may want to consider a new paradigm of networking event bar tables.  Perhaps two tables of differing heights side by side, cloaked by the same tablecloth but at heights accessible to all.  This seemingly minor aesthetic shift creates a wide open avenue for one another to be seen and heard.

Long story short.  Why not?

2 Comments

Helen says:
Sep 30, 2015

There is a company that makes beautiful, easy to operate (one hand) adjustable tables in all styles and compliments. I’ve been trying for years to get them to market differently without success. Would Love the distributorship. They are not listening.

Jesse the K says:
Oct 30, 2015

I agree 100%. On the four-top tables at local restaurants, most people can’t see me in my chair, because the table blocks the view of my head.

It’s the pits! Uncomfortable, as well, for anyone who wishes to sit with their feet supported.

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