Trade Show Tips: How to Choose the Best Exhibit Space

You’ve decided that investing in face-to-face marketing will achieve your brand awareness and lead generation goals, now it’s time to get down to the business of creating a plan. It’s important to not only select the right trade shows to attend, but how much to invest, your messaging, campaigns to drive traffic to the booth, a compelling design that will attract the right prospects and leads to your space, and the experience they will have in your space. These are important decisions that can make or break the success of your program, but as important as these steps are, one of your first decisions can be the most important.

Much like real estate, location is everything at a trade show. Selecting the right location for your booth is a crucial component to a trade show that yields the results you want. More so, it’s true that not all exhibit spaces are created equal. This is all the more reason to not only choose the right size but also to select the best space in the exhibit hall for your needs.

So, where should your booth be located in the exhibit hall? Here is a breakdown of considerations in order to find the best solution that aligns with your goals.

Focus on Your Goals

What are you trying to accomplish by attending this show? Is it all about scheduling pre-set meetings with current and potential clients during the show or do you simply want to generate buzz on the floor and drive traffic? Your goals for the show are a driving force behind your booth selection. A goal of scheduling meetings means that you’ll need designated meeting area in your booth and a quieter environment to have a meaningful conversation. On the contrary, if you need to generate buzz you want to be front and center or in a high traffic area that will draw visitors into your space.

Consider the Audience Journey

The more you understand your clients and how they reach a decision, the more effective your messaging becomes. Think through their pain points; research their current situation, and how your unique solution can solve their problems. Motivation comes in many forms, but compelling clients (potential and current) to engage with you on the show floor is a great start to a meaningful conversation. Choosing a location that makes you easily accessible at a trade show can increase the likelihood of engagement with visitors.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

How important is line of sight? Understanding traffic patterns can be difficult by simply looking at a floorplan, but think about whether your space is visible from main aisle ways and escalators when making a space selection. Never underestimate the power of simply making eye contact and driving traffic to your booth; your staff can take it from there. But it all begins with drawing them in.

Scope out the Competition

While it’s true that you can’t win a race by constantly looking back to see what your competitors are doing, you should at least be aware of their presence. By viewing the show floorplan, you can understand where your competitors are located and make a decision based on the best scenario for your company. Keep in mind that being next to your competitors isn’t always a bad thing! In some cases, you can draw a bigger crowd or make it easier for potential clients to visit more than one vendor when they come to the show hall by being adjacent or in close proximity to a competitor. On the other hand, some distance could help your space to shine versus being overwhelmed by the much larger or more impressive competition. The choice is yours!

Traffic-Driving Marketing Plan

And there will be situations when you don’t get your ideal location. In those cases, your integrated marketing campaign to drive the right traffic to your booth becomes more important. In order to have the greatest chance of success, you should be developing your campaign, including on-site sponsorship opportunities, at the same time you are working on the booth design and engagement plan.

Selecting the best exhibit hall location is just one piece of the face-to-face marketing puzzle. Need help making a decision? Contact our team or download our Checklist for Choosing the Best Exhibit Hall Location using the form below.

Is creativity a key component of your face-to-face marketing program? It should be. Our Creative Brief Template will get you and your team started down the path to creative thinking.


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