Picking the right space for your trade show exhibit is essential for gaining foot traffic, visibility and generating leads. There are many factors that should be considered when picking the perfect spot on the trade show floor. In this post, we cover how to select the best space to help you exhibit better at your next event.
Before you start the exhibit space selection process, determine how much real estate you need. Referencing your budget and exhibiting goals is a good starting place for planning your space requirements. If using an existing exhibit, base your space requirements on previous shows. If debuting a new exhibit, ask your expert exhibit partner how much square footage you need to get the most out of your exhibit. Review show packets or contact management to find information on registration price, break deadlines, early selection, premium space rates and more to better plan for cost and to avoid late fees and penalties. If you’re using an existing exhibit and realize it won’t work perfectly for the site, talk to your partner about small tweaks to ensure your booth works for the show.
Review Floor Plans
Each trade show has a unique floor plan, so it is important to acquaint yourself with the lay of the land while selecting a booth space. While reviewing a trade show’s floor plan, familiarize yourself with the locations where the most attendee traffic is likely to flow, such as attendee registration areas, entrance and exit points, conference spaces, exhibitor meeting rooms, and attendee dining stations.
Larger trade shows often occupy multiple exhibit halls or floors within a venue, so obtain floor plans for all of the areas. Some trade shows have explicit criteria for exhibiting in an area; a section may be reserved for show sponsors or for a specific segment of your industry. If this is the case, make sure to verify with show management beforehand that you are allowed to lease space within a prospective area.
Many venues have obstacles that can be barriers to your on-site success like weight-bearing columns, fire apparatuses or evacuation egress points. These obstacles can interfere with the visibility and accessibility of your exhibit, so identify these barriers beforehand to avoid headaches later.
Prime Trade Show Real Estate
While there are many prime locations on the trade show floor—each offering its own distinct advantage—the best space for your company is one that best aligns with your show goals and objectives. Below we list three common trade show goals and the locations suit them best.
Exposure and Visibility
Select a location close to the show floor entrances, which provides great visibility and foot traffic with attendees entering and exiting a show. However, you should not position your exhibit too close the entrance as attendees tend to pass the first few exhibits in an effort to explore the show. Find the happy-medium close enough to the entrance to get noticed, but far enough away to capture the sustained attention of attendees.
Leads and Sales
To gain leads, you need a consistent flow of traffic into your exhibit. Think of the main aisles of a trade show as busy thoroughfares in a city; they are wider, busier and usually lead to key points of interest. Booths positioned along main aisles are more likely to pull in attendees making their way around the show floor, leading to a steady flow of traffic in and out of a booth. By having your booth positioned along a main aisle, attendees are more likely to make their way directly by your exhibit, increasing the number of prospects your staff are able to engage with.
Meetings and Consultations
Trade shows provide an ideal opportunity for exhibitors to sit down and meet with prospects. However, to get the most out of your meetings, you will need to select a quiet and more intimate space on the show floor. Secondary aisles see less traffic and are quieter, so if you position your booth along one, you will block out the distractions of a busy trade show and allow prospects to better focus on speaking with your staff.
Maximize All Opportunities
While there might be “better” and “worse” locations for your exhibit, how you leverage your location is up to you. Take advantage of the inherent benefits of any location your booth is placed. High-traffic intersections at trade shows are an ideal location, but only if you make the most of this plum spot. To capitalize on busy intersections, consider designing a booth that is open to both aisles so that prospects can enter your space from multiple points. If you plan on displaying products, or you want to communicate key brand messages, place product display areas and signage near each entry point. Open booths also make it easier for you to manage booth traffic, as attendees will have an unobstructed path to get from one end of your space to another, reducing bottlenecks inside your booth.
Just as there are prime areas on the trade show floor, there are also spaces that are less desirable. Areas in the rear of an exhibit hall get less foot traffic and are often missed. One way to make the most of a rear space is to incorporate lounge areas and charging stations within your exhibit. Prospects will see your booth as an oasis and will be more likely to stop in for a quick rest, giving your staff the opportunity to engage with them.
Make Sure Your Exhibit Booth is Ready
Now that you know how to pick the perfect space on the show floor, make sure your booth is ready for all of your upcoming shows by asking your exhibit partner the right questions. Download our latest guide – Are You Asking These 3 Important Trade Show Questions? – today.