They’re almost the first things you think about aren’t they? Which show? Which position? And how big? Or, for the seasoned exhibitor, the annual bun fight to secure the best positions and biggest possible space for your budget.
For a new exhibitor, or a company on a tight budget, it can be tough choice when there’s an increasing number of shows to choose from, and bewildering array of ‘extras’, sponsorship opportunities and premium spaces. Is a prime position next to the entrance really worth that much!? It’s vital to make an informed (and rational) judgement about which shows are right for your company and optimum choice of space. Getting drawn into ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ with your biggest competitor can be an expensive exercise.
LOCATE YOUR AUDIENCE
Let’s start with which show. Key questions should include:
- How many people will attend, who are they, and what do they buy?
- How well does the show’s audience profile match my prospect profile?
- Out of all attendees, how many matter to me?
- How much will it cost per head to reach them?
- Will my competitors be there, and does that matter to me?
Smaller, specialist shows provide the opportunity to reach a targeted audience, often at lower cost than the larger, established shows. However, if your goal is to be seen amongst your competitors, the big annual or bi-annual event may be better value for money. Constant change means you can never take any single show, or your show programme, for granted.
Obtain accurate information from organisers regarding visitor numbers, exhibitor numbers, visitor demographics and so on. Many companies attend shows ‘because it looks right’ or because ‘it’s where we’ve always exhibited.’ Without up to date numbers, your choice could prove disastrous.
POSITION FOR TRAFFIC
Always get a copy of the floor plan from the organiser BEFORE you confirm your booking and then identify potential sites for your stand. Ask for specific sites when booking your space. Organisers will often negotiate a premium stand location if they think this is the only way they will get your booking. Remember that early booking will sometimes attract a discount as well as a wider choice of sites.
Best positions for stands:
- Near the centre of the hall – at the ‘crossover’ points that visitors use to get from one side to the other
- On aisles leading to meeting rooms
- Near industry leaders – where you can be sure of large amounts of ‘traffic’
- Near competitors – be bold, give visitors the chance to compare you with your competitors ‘side-by-side’
- Near toilets and restaurants – but not next to them where you get large numbers of people just hanging around
HOW MUCH SPACE?
When calculating space remember product display, demo or meeting space, kitchen and storage, on top of the recommended 50 square feet (4.5 square metres) per sales person. The size and shape of your stand depends very much on your goals and theme and should only be a small part of your event budget, so above all else, don’t blow your budget on a whopping great island site and leave nothing for quality design, engaging attractions and furniture.
We’ve worked in some very small spaces, as well as awkward places. Sometimes a little creative thinking, with careful use of light and space, can turn a difficult or out-of-the-way position into a show centrepiece. Remember also that good food, a decent cup of coffee or some light entertainment will bring customers to your booth from across the show floor – even just a comfy place to sit (but don’t encourage them to stay too long.) Take a look at some examples below from our own portfolio.
Why not give us a call NOW and let’s discuss your exhibition schedule. Perhaps we can inject some money-saving ideas, or help position you for maximum impact, visitors and leads at your next event.
In a small space, it pays to go high if you can, as we did for Sandoz. Height creates impact and visibility against your competitors. A suspended banner is another possibility where allowed.
Creating something novel and fun will draw a crowd, even when your stand is positioned right at the back. It was hard for delegates to miss this American Football themed stand for Norgine.
The trusty coffee bar (with swarthy young barista naturally) rarely let’s you down. And not only do your visitors some back time and again, but you can chat to them while they queue for their caffeine fix.