Trade shows are one of the most effective ways to meet new clients and reconnect with current customers. That’s one reason they’ve been around so long. But just showing up at an event with a fabulous new display isn’t enough to guarantee results. You also need to get noticed. Whether you’re an old pro at trade show exhibiting or new to the game, it never hurts to rethink the strategies you’re using to draw traffic to your booth and look for new ways to make the most of your trade show exhibits.
Location Is Important
Eye-catching trade show displays aren’t everything. Just like real estate, a lot of your visibility on the floor comes down to “location, location, location.” You might think you’re stuck with the booth spot you’ve been assigned, and this may be true for the current year, but it’s never too early to think about the future. Pay attention to the layout of the exhibit hall and how the visitors make the rounds. You’ll notice natural congregation spots or resting points. You’ll also notice areas that are out of the way, inconvenient or blocked by physical structures like columns or supports. Keep these in mind or take notes for the following year. It’s never too early to start evaluating your participation at an expo, even if the event is still going on.
Positioning Your Trade Show Exhibits For Maximum Exposure
When the time comes to choose your booth location for the next year, remember what you’ve learned about the exhibit hall and the attendees’ behavior, then choose a booth location that maximizes your exposure. Any trade show exhibits near an entryway are going to get noticed. If you can’t find a spot there, get in the next aisle over or at the end of an aisle.
Think about where the hot spots of activity will be. Are there restrooms, staircases and elevators, coffee or snack stations, charging stations or new product displays? Any of these will be a draw and are sure to attract regular traffic your way. If you’re unfamiliar with the floor plan, ask event management where these things will be located and identify any unspecified items on the map. There may be structures that cannot be moved that will affect your visibility.
Still no luck? Think about your competition. Would it be beneficial to be located near them or further away from them? Choose accordingly. If you know which exhibitors tend to be big draws every year, get a spot close to them and reap the rewards of being their neighbor.
If you’re overwhelmed just looking at the floor plan, start at the entrance point or another area that gets a ton of foot traffic. Draw a triangle out from there and try to get a booth spot inside the triangle or as close to it as possible. This will eliminate much of the floor plan from your consideration, making it easier to digest and make a decision with the added bonus of putting you in a busy zone on the floor.
Oh, and don’t assume you’re stuck with your booth spot this year. If you’re unhappy with it, talk to the event management staff. You never know if there’s been a no-show or a last-minute cancellation that opens up a better booth location. Most exhibition managers will be willing to let you switch booths. It’s in their best interests to keep you happy and coming back to their event for years to come.
By: Ken Buckman –