I often hear clients say, “the show was not well attended.” Well, having been to countless events, I have seen that traffic concentrates in certain areas of a show floor. These areas vary depending on the show and your ability to get to these prime locations depends mainly on two things – timing and seniority. Today, we’ll focus on timing.
Trade Show Associations, which serve as the head (or governing body) of every tradeshow, have two specific functions:
1. Market and sell booth space to exhibitors
2. Market the show and sign up attendees for the event.
Let’s focus on their first function, which is how the association markets and sells booth spaces to exhibitors. Many Associations have a sales room on the show floor. It’s usually next to an Exhibitor Lounge and near registration. Many Associations will sell space for next year’s event while the current event is still running, not before, and they will always sell after.
Sign up at least one year ahead of any event that you plan to participate in. You have a much better chance of acquiring a good location.
Now, I definitely recommend checking out a show as an attendee. While you are there think about the next rule.
Identify quality booth space locations during your visit.
a. Where does traffic congregate?
b. Which exhibit hall doors will be open or closed for security badge ID?
c. Where are the prime exhibitors positioned on the floor?
d. Is there a host organization or company that attendees always visit?
Each show is different so it is important to identify these details. I’ve seen many exhibitors position their exhibit at a hall entrance, just based on the floor plan diagram, only to find out that it’s not a show entrance.
Do your homework: Ask the right questions to the association salesperson, talk to other exhibitors, and visit a new potential event with booth selection as part of your strategy.