Picking the right space for your trade show booth 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.
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, 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.
Goal 1: Exposure and Visibility
If you want to gain maximum exposure at a trade show, being located close to the show floor entrances 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.
Goal 2: 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.
Goal 3: 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.
High-traffic intersections at trade shows are a great place to position your trade show exhibit. You’ll have opportunities to capture visitors on two different aisles and those that congregate in the intersection itself.
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 entrance 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.
Areas to Avoid
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. Also, by the time attendees get to the back of an exhibit hall, they will have engaged with many exhibitors and may be too exhausted to visit your booth.
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.
You should also avoid contracting space too close to your direct competitors. Having a booth near your competitors will give them the opportunity to see directly into your booth and glean insights into your messaging and trade show strategy.
Your competitors will also have a better opportunity to steal away some of your booth traffic and directly rebut your messaging. You will have enough on your hands while exhibiting, so why make things more complicated by having to battle with your competition during the show?
Pick the Right Space and Start Exhibiting Better Today!
Now that you know how to pick the perfect space on the show floor, it is time to learn more valuable trade show tricks and tips in Nimlok’s Beginner to Winner e-book, designed to help you become a better exhibitor in five concise chapters. Download your free copy today!