Tips for Choosing Trade Show Exhibit Size and Location
Part art, part science, there is no magic formula to selecting the proper trade show booth size for your company’s exhibit program. However, you can include a few basic factors in your decision making process.
Size does matter, but bigger is not always better. They key to success is using the exhibit space you choose effectively. More often than not, as a trade show manager, your exhibit space size selection is determined by budgetary constraints. Or, perhaps has been locked in by a prior investment in a particular size display.
If starting from scratch, choose a modular display system, such as the Mark Bric Display Ripple or Wave, that can easily and quickly be reconfigured to accommodate varying booth sizes & configurations at each show you plan to attend. Trade show exhibit size selection is also heavily dependent on the type of product you are promoting and your sales and marketing goals and objectives.
Once your executives have determined what you need to accomplish – pick a booth that allows you room to do that without looking cluttered or crowded. If you need to have three or four experts there to demo a product, be sure the booth you have chosen is big enough – there is nothing worse than spilling out in the aisles and being an inconvenience to the show attendees. Use YOUR space wisely. There is nothing wrong with a 10’ x 10’ booth space if it meets your needs. Wasting money on a large booth is overkill and is akin to newlyweds who purchase a mansion and then sit on the floor eating off a cardboard box table because they can’t afford a sofa to sit on or table for their large-enough-for-the-whole-football team dining room. Don’t be fiscally irresponsible – use your budget wisely. Booth size is only one part of the equation for trade show success.
Another consideration for trade show exhibiting success is “Location, location, location”. The good news is, studies conducted by Exhibit Surveys Inc. confirm there isn’t a significant difference in exhibitors’ results based solely on location. “Research concludes that the location of an exhibit in a hall (front, rear, right, left, center, etc.) in and of itself is not a major factor in exhibit performance,” says Skip Cox, CEO and president at Exhibit Surveys (full article: http://www.exhibitoronline.com/topics/article.asp?ID=1796&catID=32 )
Though direct correlation between booth location and success cannot be proven, do not just leave it up to chance. You still want to make informed location choices to afford your company every and any available advantage. To garner success, it is foundational to study the floor plan. Begin by watching out for the obvious things like columns, fire hose cabinets, fire extinguishers, fire strobe lights etc. These can create booth arrangement issues, setup issues and you have to abide by mandated safety guidelines in close proximity to these things. Save the stress and choose something elsewhere when possible. Avoid spaces too close to entrances and exits. “For example, entrances and exits are notoriously crowded and chaotic, and attendees may fail to even notice your booth if it’s located adjacent to the door.”– Smart Trade Shows Also try to avoid being near the freight doors. You do not want fork lifts speeding through your area as you set up and during tear down it can get crazy when shipping boxes and crates are being redistributed to everyone.
Watch out for the food courts and the restrooms too. Inevitably, someone will end up in the last available booth tucked in the back corner near the food court or the restrooms where all show traffic is really momentarily rather preoccupied with an agenda other than what you have to say – just don’t let it be your company. After booths closest to those elementary items are eliminated, draw a triangle on the floor plan. The apex of the triangle should be at the main entrance way and the legs should go from there to the far back right and left corners. Areas outside of this triangle are the dead zones – avoid these spots. Choosing from inside the triangle, consider preferred areas within each show hall that will naturally garner you more or less traffic; most experts agree that to be along a wider aisle is better as more traffic tends to flow through these.
Ed Marquez, President of Mark Bric Display, illuminates another factor, “There is what is commonly known in the industry as the rule of “right”. Attendees tend to walk to the right side of the show hall first go to the furthest aisle and begin walking up and down the aisles. People also, for whatever reason, prefer booths on their right hand side. Therefore, attempt to secure a space on the right hand side of an aisle following the rule of right.”
When surveying the floorplan – it may be helpful to shade or highlight these non-desired areas so that you have a visual of what is left from which to choose. Calling show management to find out which booths are no longer available and which booths your competitors have selected so you can avoid head to head competition with them is a good idea too.
All things considered booth size and location choice can be stressful and at times frustrating when the space you prefer is no longer available. In the end, remember it is just one small piece of trade show exhibiting success. So, do your research and then pick a winner!
Still need more help? Give Mark Bric Display a call at 800-742-6275 and we can discuss options with you to help you finalize exhibit size and display types to ensure the best use of available booth space at your next trade show.