Just like your business, your booth must be able to weather everything the storm throws at it – both indoors and outdoors.
When setting up an outdoor trade show booth, you have to take into consideration preparation from all angles – what will stay safe out in the elements, how you and your staff will stay in cool in the fiery months of summer, and how you’ll stay warm in the frigid months of winter.
Putting together a booth in the great outdoors is a fabulous way to commune with the natural world while ensuring that you stand out in a crowd. It can also mean destructive wind, punishing heat, and all kinds of potential disasters that have been well-documented on your local weather channel.
Make sure you don’t miss the birds chirping, the fresh air, and the gloriousness of being outside – regardless of your climatic predicament – by picking up these must-haves before your next exhibit.
Items to Protect from Wind
The wind is not a friend to the outdoor trade show, especially when using big craft tents. The fabric tends to catch the wind and act as if it’s the sail of a ship. You most definitely do not want your exhibit to fly into the neighbor’s yard.
Make sure your booth has anchors that securely tie everything down so it all stays right where it should. Something as simple as jugs of water or another weighty item with a handle will be able to attach to tent cables.
Don’t sleep on side panels. They can cut wind, protect you from side-blowing rain, and even keep low-angled sunlight from hitting you. Just make sure your booth is staked securely so they don’t send your booth towards liftoff. It’s also important to have all hands on deck to set up and tear down on a gusty day.
Can you easily knock over your displays with the strength of your hand? You can be sure the wind can too. Keep the wind from knocking things over by placing heavier display pieces in places like the bottoms of crates to weigh down table coverings and other booth accessories.
Items to Protect from Rain
Be prepared for anything from a slow and steady drizzle to a torrential downpour – you never know what Mother Nature might throw at you! A material like cardboard will turn to mush in a storm.
If the rain has been coming down on and off for a few days, picking up a couple of bales of straw for the floor of your space is a great way to absorb water and dry the ground.
Attach walls to your canopy and carry an extra lightweight tarp to cover your area if needed. You can roll the walls up and let fresh air and sunlight in, but if the rain really starts to come down you can quickly lower them and protect your booth.
Bring an extra change of clothes and shoes, just in case!
Items to Keep Cool
Be creative and set up a fun “Cool Zone” for guests who may be getting a bit overheated on a hot day. Provide opportunities for hydration so attendees can feel both cool and safe – setting up an iced water booth (perhaps with lemon or cucumber) can really elevate the ambiance of your exhibit.
Give out swag like cooling face mists or neck wraps kept on ice. You can spruce these up with rose water or an essential oil such as peppermint or lavender for a truly refreshing experience. You can also give out personal fans or popsicles that tie into the theme of the event in some way.
You can turn your booth into the event’s oasis by including comfy seats in the shade for guests to relax in, drawing attendees to your space and encouraging them to interact with your product or business while they take a breather. Look into setting up under a tree or under a pop-up canopy for extra shade.
If you have the freedom to ensure a prime exhibit location, try to angle your booth away from the west. As the sun sets lower in the afternoon, it can smother you in heat and blind you to the point where guests simply avoid your booth.
Items to Keep Warm
Keep guests warm by providing blankets or a fire pit to heat up the action. You can also look into renting a tent heater to ensure a cozy environment at your booth. Place blankets on the backs of chairs to invite attendees in. Just make sure the venue allows an open fire if you want to go the campfire route. Set up a s’more station to allow people to mingle over a fun and nostalgic outdoor snack.
You can warm everyone’s spirits up by offering a warm beverage such as hot chocolate, tea, coffee, or even a seasonal specialty cocktail. If it’s still not warm enough for everyone, look into patio heaters that you can place throughout your space. These typically heat a 15-foot radius around each unit.
Try inventive ways to keep guests moving. Live music or having a DJ spin tracks all night is one fantastic way to get everyone up and grooving. There is, after all, no better way to beat the cold than to get up and move!
Items to Stay Plugged
As a general rule, most outdoor events don’t provide electricity. Make sure that your booth isn’t left in the dark!
If your booth requires electricity to highlight your products, you will have to provide your own lighting. Make arrangements ahead of time with the event coordinators to have electricity supplied.
Outdoor shows normally occur during the most favorable time of year for the right kind of weather for your event, but you never know. Being as prepared as possible can truly go a long way.
Whether you go to an indoor or outdoor event, we can help! Both types of venues can reap you financial awards and can be a whole lot of fun. With the right kind of preparation and a keen awareness of external conditions, your booth can be attractive, appealing, and a real money-maker.
Contact us today to get started on your dream booth, wherever it may be!