Alexis Exhibits

Do You Have The Best Spot at Your Trade Show?

Establish Goals and a Strategic Plan Before the Trade Show

I believe that the best way to choose a spot is to take the time to study the likely behavior of the attendees. At medical shows, there are normally a large number of educational sessions and the path that the attendees will follow will be into the exhibit hall directly from the meeting rooms.

Certain other attractions for attendees are worth considering, if there are large dominant exhibitors in the show it may pay off to be close to these booths. Close proximity to catering, lounge areas, restrooms or association booths could also be considerations.

Marketing executives, who have experience in retail, often opt for “end cap” or peninsula booths. These spaces normally have very restrictive rules pertaining to exhibit design that can turn out to be a disadvantage. Sometimes high volume traffic is undesirable. Too many “tire kickers” can distract the booth staff and allow the real prospects to get away.

I have read about a study conducted at a major national show where RFID sensors were placed in the badges of attendees so that traffic patterns and time studies could be analyzed. The area that got the most traffic and held the exhibitors for the longest time was an area just right of center and just a little farther than halfway into the exhibit hall.

In summary, there is no one answer to picking the right spot. You need to establish goals and a strategic plan and then carefully study the entire show/convention schedule to maximize your return.

The Key to Tradeshow Exhibit Success: Location, Location, Location


Warning: file_get_contents(http://www.linkedin.com/countserv/count/share?url=http://alexisexhibits.com/the-key-to-tradeshow-exhibit-success-location-location-location&format=json): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found in /homepages/1/d100598707/htdocs/clickandbuilds/AlexisExhibits/wp-content/plugins/tk-social-share/tk-social-counter.php on line 145

When you’re planning for the upcoming year of trade shows, it’s important to remember that the location of your booth at trade shows can be key to getting the maximum amount of traffic. Lots of traffic can equate to a higher number of qualified sales leads, which you need to justify the expense of attending these shows.

The first step is to plan for the trade show early. When you book early, you’ll have more options to choose from for your booth location. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be limited to choosing from whatever booth spots are not sold. The only plus of waiting: you might be able to find out in advance who your neighboring exhibitors will be. If a show doesn’t sell out, by booking later, the show organizers might offer that accompanying booth—if vacant—for free or for a greatly reduced price just to fill it.

If a particular show is a success for you, sign up and reserve your spot for the following year’s event while at the event or shortly thereafter, which might get you a better location and better deal too. Keep in mind that if you are a returning exhibitor, the event management’s sales folks want you back. Use this as a bargaining chip in your negotiations for next year’s booth rate and location.

So what are the prime locations when choosing your booth location? Let’s take a look at a few of the primo spots that exhibitors crave.

Close to the exit from the restrooms. You might balk at getting seated near the restroom at a restaurant, but tradeshows are an exception. Everyone eventually has to go to the bathroom and as they leave, they are often in strolling mode and more likely to stop.

Adjacent to food kiosks and/or Internet cafes. Be the first booth they see after they grab that cup of coffee, eat that bagel or check their email. Once their hunger is sated or their caffeine withdrawal has ebbed, they will be ready to give you their full, undivided attention.

Close to the entrance/exit of the exhibit hall. It’s guaranteed that everyone will have to walk by your booth multiple times a day. Be the first booth they see when they enter the hall, before they are worn out from hours of schlepping up and down the aisles.

End of aisles or on back walls. People often look to see how long aisles are and stop to get their bearings before they embark down an aisle. Seize this opportunity to grab their attention.

Watch Out For End Cap Booth Spaces At Your Next Trade Show

In a grocery store or other retail shops, it is very desirable to have your product placed on an “end cap” (the very end of an aisle). This position provides a great deal more traffic, keeps you from being right next to your competition, and has been proven to increase sales.

Many marketing managers take this experience in retail and put it to use in selecting exhibit space at a trade show, choosing “end cap” spaces, or “peninsula booths” in trade show jargon. This is not always a wise decision. If you look closely at the floor plan of a trade show, you’ll see that the vast majority of these spaces face cross aisles. Most cross aisles are not a great choice for traffic. Attendees typically use cross aisles to get from one main aisle to another, which means they are looking towards their destination and may completely miss your display.

Another consideration is the display restrictions that apply to peninsula booths. Most of these spaces are 20′ x 20′. Standard tradeshow booth space rules provide for a 5′ line of sight area along main aisles. This means that you cannot install displays over waist high within 5 feet of an aisle that is adjacent to another exhibit. In the case of a peninsula booth, you will lose about a quarter of your exhibit space because of this restriction. This needs to be considered as you design your booth and may mean that you will be unable to use some or all of your existing display.

The best thing to do is to carefully review the tradeshow rules before selecting an exhibit space. In my experience, you should select a space based on where you think you’ll get the most traffic, and while it might, the end cap doesn’t always come out on top.