We’ve all heard the famous real estate mantra: “location, location, location.” This doesn’t, of course, just refer to the value of homes – it also has a lot to do with ensuring your trade show booth is as smashing a success as it possibly can be.
We’ve talked about the importance of laying out an aesthetically pleasing exhibit that shines the brightest, but when preparing for your next big event, it is absolutely imperative that you don’t overlook the importance of where you set up shop. It’s a key part of your overall marketing strategy, as it influences both the quantity and quality of your potential engagements.
Let’s explore some expert strategies you can follow to ensure that your booth isn’t left in the dark, but instead is right where it needs to be:
Utilize your connections
Relationships matter! Flip through your Rolodex of existing partnerships and seek out new ones that you can utilize on the trade show floor. Establishing an information alliance can be a great way forward in creating incentives for referrals between exhibit locations. This can include coming up with case studies together before the event.
Choose your partners wisely, and make sure that you’re not being taken advantage of. Rather than allow others to piggyback on your reputation, find solutions that ensure that you’re getting just as much out of a potential partnership as they are.
This is especially useful if you’re a bit behind schedule and spaces are filling up fast. See who is around the area that you’re looking to book and if you have similar target buyers, look into booking that spot.
Think about your competition with a critical eye. Would it be more beneficial to be closer to them or farther away? Even though it may seem obvious to select a space right next to a flashy booth of a big brand that draws tons of foot traffic, it may not be wise if you have absolutely no customers in common. You could, however, reap the rewards of being their neighbor.
Know your venue
Get to know the layout of the venue beforehand. Gaining a well-versed understanding of foot traffic patterns will put you ahead of the game and alleviate the chaos that is sure to come once the event gets going.
Have a feel for the venue’s layout and see where your location relates to where the major traffic areas will be. Find out where your competitors will be situated, as well as bathrooms and concession stands. Having a thorough grasp and feel for the space will ensure that your team is better prepared to successfully capture and convert prospects.
Study up and research the event schedule so you have an idea of when and where main events will be taking place and where some of the big brands will be unveiling new products. Taking note of the lineup should influence your team’s agenda.
Keep in mind an “A pattern” if you aren’t sure where to place your exhibit – simply draw a triangle from an area that gets a ton of foot traffic and search for locations inside or as close to it as possible. Some of the best booth locations can be found leading towards the very back of triangular areas like the main entrance, secondary entrance, and restrooms. Spots near the educational offerings, show service desks, lounges, and bar setups tend to draw more people.
Envision dimension as you imagine walking into the space from one of these locations, with all pathways leading to your brand.
Bang for your buck
Don’t underestimate the potential revenue opportunity in finding the best booth location. Once you determine an appropriate budget for the event, you need to not only direct those funds towards a prime location, but factor in crucial elements such as travel, setup and teardown costs, giveaways, and a whole host of little details that piece together your grand vision.
Meet with your team and come up with an explicit understanding of how you plan to delegate this money towards securing the best possible location for your booth. Relay the agenda to your team beforehand, and stress the importance of sticking to a budget that works for you. This will help to keep focus and keep unnecessary spending to a minimum.
A fantastic way to make the most of a space is to integrate lounge areas, interactive art displays, and charging stations within your exhibit. This will lead attendees to view your booth as an oasis and will be more likely to engage with your brand and stay a little while.
Avoid problem areas
To revisit the real-estate metaphor, when looking for a new home you naturally strive to stay away from undesirable locations. It’s almost easier to determine what constitutes a poor location than to discuss good ones! Selecting a space for your trade show booth is no different.
You’re going to want to avoid locations that prevent your booth from being seen, are out of the way, or are inconveniently blocked by columns, supports, separation walls, or other physical structures. Keep in mind one’s line of sight when exploring the venue. Ideally, you want your exhibit to be visible from down a main aisle on the showroom floor.
Study your attendees’ behavior, and pay close attention to the manner in which they’ll be making the rounds, taking note of natural congregation points or resting points. While entrances and exits may have high visibility, they can become so crowded that attendees may miss the display booths located right next to the door.
If you’re unfamiliar with the floor plan, simply ask event management where any unspecified items are on the map.
One interesting note is that Americans tend to visit trade show booths on the right, while those in European countries, for example, tend to visit those located on their left. This is because people naturally gravitate towards the way in which they drive. Keeping in mind the natural flow of traffic, it would make sense that the back left corner of a U.S. show floor would not be the most desirable location.
At the end of the day, what matters most is wherever your target customer will find you.
Regardless of where you end up on the trade show floor, Patriot Exhibit Services can help you get to where you need to go. It’s never too early to start planning for your next exhibit – contact us today to get started on creating the booth of your dreams!