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How to Create a Socially Distant Booth Display

By August 7, 2020 No Comments

Civilization is a social agreement. We promise to look out for one another in exchange for an open exchange of ideas and products. In order to maintain a happy, healthy society, we must evolve with the times, no matter how confusing they may be.

The novel coronavirus has upended the way we do business. Interior gathering spaces must limit their attendance, which puts undue stress on the planning and preparation that goes into any trade show. Last month, we discussed the safety protocols to keep in mind while gearing up for your next expo, and now we want to take a closer look at how exactly that will take shape.

THINK BIG AND SHOW OFF

Your booth design makes a statement, but what is it saying? If you have a complicated message to convey to consumers, you may want to save it for an email blast to your contact list. Trade shows are a visual space, and you want to rule it with the best, brightest images on the floor.

Creating a socially distanced booth means keeping visitors at least six feet away from your display – and one another. Think about the math. If the first attendee is six feet away from you and the next individual is six feet further, you are already playing to an audience that stands 30 feet away if there are only five people in line. How do you reach that respectfully sprawling audience? Make sure your graphics, iconography, and logos can be seen from (social) space. 

One important question to ask yourself: Does my booth hold someone’s attention for more than eight seconds? It is an additional metric, assuredly, but it taps into the way your client’s mind works. Studies indicate that the average human brain gets distracted in the span of only eight seconds, so your visual messaging needs to be bold enough to overshadow the din of displays surrounding your booth for at least that duration of time.

Give them a reason to wait in line. Create larger than life imagery that intrigues the entire queue and gets more detailed as they slowly (and safely) make their way to the front of the line. 

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT

One way you can rise above the noise of a “new normal” expo is to literally elevate your design. Create a double deck exhibit and put your most epic messaging at the top to project out to the crowds as they stay at arm’s length.

Use your ascending space wisely. The upstairs lounge can become a wellness center. Stock it with hand-washing stations, masks, bottled water, and socially distanced lounging space where your team members can decompress before maneuvering their way back to the trade show floor.

PROVIDE AMPLE SPACE AND TIME

Traditional marketing strategies sought to create an event around the release of a new product or initiative. The bigger the crowds, the better the reception. But now, crowd sizes are irresponsible and disrespectful. You want your clientele to be happy, healthy, and confident that you respect their wellbeing. 

To emphasize your efforts, you need to give your guests not only six feet of space but also plenty of time. Spread out your showings to allow smaller groups to enjoy your exhibit in select pulses. You can customize your messaging to the specified demo represented by each pared-down audience. Post your attendance times online and make it a must-see event without creating a must-avoid crowd. 

Time is valuable. An estimated 78% of attendees at a given trade show have traveled over 400 miles to be there. Make the best use of their schedule by being conscientious. Be sure to explain the time limits you are designating for your booth. While you always want interested parties to ask plenty of questions about your product, you can usher them to a nearby area to chat while your teammates hold down the proverbial fort. 

The longer one visitor loiters at the front of your queue, the longer your other guests must wait in a line spaced out at six-foot intervals. Waiting is already a chore; don’t make it even more laborious for your clientele. 

FLOOR THE COMPETITION

Even though we all love the thrill of a productive trade show experience, it can be tough on the feet. Standing all day takes its toll on the arches, so your choice in flooring should consider your guests’ comfort and safety.

While you may immediately think that carpeting is the best way to welcome visitors, a red carpet can also be a red flag. Carpets are more difficult to keep sanitized, and cleanliness is job #1 in a COVID-era expo.

Consider the benefits of vinyl instead of carpeting. The spongy texture can be forgiving on tired feet, yet it is easier to clean than rugs. There are pros and cons to each flooring approach, so it is advisable to explore your options with a team of experts.

GET ON THE TRAIN

Now that you have designed your booth in the most socially responsible ways possible, it’s time to staff it accordingly. Train your team to understand your distancing protocols, cleaning regimen, and visitor engagement strategy.

A common mistake is to assume that the customer is always right. Wrong. If your staff allows one unruly client to loudly parade around your booth without a mask, their instinct may be to leave him alone to avoid offending a potential sale. But now look at the situation another way: that unmasked client is driving away dozens of other customers who see your booth as a potential threat to their health.

It is vital to train your staff on the proper protocols to defuse a tense situation and keep your clientele safe. For help maneuvering the complexities of the current trade show industry standards and practices, contact the experts at Patriot Exhibit Services. Let’s get social… at a respectful distance. 

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