It is fair to say that not all trade show booths are equal and some exhibitors will enjoy a far more productive and successful show than others and that is for a number of very good reasons.
Here is a look at how you can potentially improve your odds of enjoying a successful trade show at what factors influence the outcome in your favour, from where your booth is located to checking out your rivals, and lots more besides.
Get ahead of the game
One of the best ways of ensuring that you get the best possible return from your investment in attending a trade show is to be quick when booking for the event opens.
You need to be aware that is not uncommon for regular exhibitors to book their space for the following year almost immediately after the present one has ended.
If you have attended before and see which locations seem to be enjoying the most traffic try to liaise with the organizer to let them know what you want and get your name at the top of the list when booking opens.
Do your research
Booking the right trade show booth location is not an exact science but there is some detective work you can do to boost your chances of putting yourself in one of the best spots available.
A good tip would be to request a copy of the floor layout from previous years, as this is often very similar each year the event is held.
Use that layout to assess booth space allocation in comparison to where most of the attention of exhibitors seem to be focused if you have attended the event previously.
Not all high-traffic areas are a good bet
You would think that any area in the exhibition hall where big crowds are gathering would be a good location for your booth but that is not always the case.
For example, the entrance area is often heavily populated. However, this is often because people are pausing while they get their bearings and work out where they want to go.
You run the risk that you won’t get the full attention of attendees if you are located in one of these congestion areas.
Be mindful that there is a subtle but important distinction between productive high-traffic areas and bottlenecks.
Choosing the right type of space
You will discover that the majority of trade shows offer you a choice of exhibit space.
The four main types are end-cap booths, island, peninsula, and inline aisle booths. Each of these options offers advantages and disadvantages so there is not one option that is preferable to book over another.
Island booths probably give you the most flexibility because you have four sides open and can use a more custom design, but if you are on a budget you might find the price tag for this type of booth might be prohibitive.
Work out how much square footage you need for your needs and try to match up a booth that ticks the boxes in terms of location and design layout.
Stand out from the crowd
Another good reason for liaising with the organizer and getting the lowdown on who is also taking space and where they are located is the fact that you can use this information to your advantage.
If you can choose a spot where your booth will be between booths with smaller display space, for example, this will help your booth to stand out and help draw more attention with that greater visibility.
Know where your competitors are
You might not be too concerned about competition if you think your product or service is superior but even allowing for that you don’t really want to have a booth right next door to one of your biggest rivals.
You don’t have to be afraid of being near your competitors but if you know that they have a bigger budget and a larger stand, you don’t want to hand them any sort of advantage before you start.
Ask the organizers to confirm which companies have booked space around your chosen location. However, if you think that you have nailed a dynamic exhibit that will get you noticed, you might decide to rise to the challenge and deliberately take on your rivals and trade show neighbo
Out of sight but near the restaurant
Sometimes it pays to think outside of the box and be prepared to take a booth that seems to be unloved and away from the main traffic of the event.
You can sometimes strike gold with this strategy.
One example of this would be to take a booth that is not in the main walkway but is in a spot that is right next door to the only onsite restaurant. This could turn out to be a high-traffic location that doesn’t cost you a lot but delivers plenty of foot traffic.
Habits are hard to break
A final tip that is worth taking into account is the decision as to whether you want your booth positioned on the left or the right of the trade show hall.
It has been consistently shown that visitors in the United States work their way from right to left and European shows witness people doing the opposite and starting their walk from the left side of the hall.
This simple fact can help you choose a location for your booth based on where you are in the world and the knowledge that you will be visited first if you choose the right side.
It is worth taking the time to consider all these factors when planning to exhibit at a trade show, especially when you consider that the booth space you book will form a large part of your overall budget for the event.
Get your location and other strategies just right and you will be improving your chances of enjoying a successful event that gets your company noticed.