The look of your trade show booth is a huge factor in your success at a show – but so is where your booth is located.
You want a high-visibility location with lots of foot traffic that’s easily accessible. But, a lot of people don’t think that trade show booth location is something they can control. For most shows, location is something you can influence – and it pays to work for a better location.
Here are tips you can follow to get a better location for this year’s shows.
Think About Paying More
Often, booth locations are first-come, first-serve. More on that later. If the location is determined by price, you’ll have to weigh the higher cost versus the higher visibility.
We recommend paying more for a premier spot only if you have a proven system in place. This means your trade show booth is top notch, your lead generation and intake process is efficient, and you have the means to take advantage of that higher traffic.
If those things aren’t true, you probably won’t be able to benefit from a better spot. Pay for a better location only if your lead capture process and booth are as good as you can get them. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting money.
Create a Good Relationship with the Organizer
If booth locations are first-come, first-serve, you’ll need to act quickly to get a prime spot. But that can be hard to do unless you have a good relationship with the organizer.
If it’s a show you regularly attend each year, it makes even more sense to establish a rapport with the people on the other side in charge of organizing and hosting the event. Reach out to them and strike up a conversation. Tell them you’re excited about the opportunity and that you want to stay in touch. Ask them to let you know when preparations for the next year’s show are coming up. See what you can do to help.
With a bit of finesse, you can create the kind of rapport that will make it easier for an organizer to help you. You may even get advance notice of the signup date or a chance to pre-register.
Worst case scenario, the trade show organizer can recommend a better space for your particular booth based on their knowledge of the event, which is a win for you.
Study Foot Traffic at the Event
It’s best to position your booth in a place where you’re going to get a lot of foot traffic. It’s even better if that foot traffic is “fresh,” i.e. it’s close to the entrance where people haven’t already spent 30 minutes walking the floor and checking out booth after booth.
Analyze the floor layout with what you know about keynote speakers, special exhibitions, etc. You’ll want to know where the traffic is coming from and how it’ll flow. Setting up near special exhibitions can be advantageous.
One trick is to identify the main entrances, secondary entrances, and restrooms. Starting with each spot, draw a triangle that goes from the entrance/restroom to expand toward the back. See where there’s overlap on the map once you’ve drawn all the triangles. (Or A’s; this is called the A strategy too). The best locations will be where all these overlap.
This is also an area where having a good relationship with the organizer and host can help you. They can let you know which areas typically get the most demands for their shows.
Having a great trade show booth is a must – but it really helps if it’s in the most ideal location for your business.