People are often seen moving throughout the public in a very subconscious way. So in a trade show, people may wander into your booth and stay to learn about the solution, but may not realize why they were lured into your exhibit space in the first place. One of the ways that people try to take advantage of these subconscious decisions is through the location and style of the booth they’re exhibiting.
When analyzing the success or failure of a trade show, you must determine whether the ROI (Return on Investment) is a number great enough to consider that investment a net positive. As you’re considering the different types of booths available, weigh out the positives and negatives of each booth type to get a realistic estimate of your ROI based on your knowledge of your target market. For example, were the hours, resources, and staff invested into that trade show equal, less, or more than what the company received in business leads and sales generated from the event.
The location of a company’s booth at a trade show can be a large contributor to the its success. Prime locations such as the center of the expo, close to the bathroom or the food court, or by the convention entrance typically experience more foot traffic in their booths. A helpful tip to enhance your presence is to position your company near complementary businesses and distance your booth from your competitors. This allows you to take advantage of the relevant traffic flocking your area without losing any to competitive products. The category of booth can also play a large part in the success of your trade show, and there’s a wide variety of different layouts and designs you can choose from. Here are the 6 of the most common booth types and the pluses and minuses to each:
1. Corner Booths
Exposure is a huge aspect of how well your booth performs at an event, and corner booths will optimize yours by being present in two separate aisles at once. Generate twice the amount of foot traffic and utilize the full opportunity of the space by maximizing the face time your displays have with the passing audience. This increases the chances of catching the eyes of someone passing the booth, and also creates a more open and navigable area where people will feel more comfortable browsing the exhibit. However, these booths come at a premium, but depending on the importance of your company's performance at the next trade show, this might completely justify the upcharge.
Cross-aisles are exhibit aisles that run perpendicular to the main aisles of the show floor, and the cross-aisle booths are then positioned at the intersection point of these walkways. To be considered a cross-aisle booth, you need to purchase both exhibits on either side of the aisle. These are high-demand booths as a result of being located in a high-traffic area. More often than not the option for a overhead cross-aisle header is available. This allows you to display your company name across a banner sign at a different height than the rest of the companies in the surrounding area. Attendees can then observe where you’re located well before they approach the booth. Some trade shows offer inline cross-aisle booths, while others require that companies buy island and peninsula booths. If island and peninsula exhibit spaces are the only option then the price will be must greater, because of the larger amount of space that you would occupy on the event floor. However the greater cost comes with the privilege of having one of the most sought after spots at the event.
3. In-Line or Linear Booth
These are the basic packages of booths available at most trade shows. In-line or linear booths are positioned with booths on either side of their exhibit in an aisle, making these the most challenging to differentiate yourself from those exhibitors around you. Companies can try to maximize exposure by picking in-line booths near the hot spots of the event, but you should also invest a significant amount of time to drawing in traffic through digital channels to boost the foot traffic in front of your linear booth.
4. Island Booths
These are the “creme de la creme” of booths. As the name suggests, they are displays that stand on their own and have aisles on all four sides of their exhibit. Island booths allow you to have much more freedom and opportunity to embellish your wide open space. This setup makes it easier to engage with attendees for longer amounts of time because you get to own that entire presence without the distraction of next-door neighboring exhibitors. Consider a co-marketing opportunity with a partner where you could split the cost of an island booth and decrease the cost by half. This collaboration is also very beneficial if you’re serious about growing a line of business with a complementary partner. The obvious negative to these types of booths is the price range for most businesses, so if cost is a worry than islands may not be your first choice to exhibit.
5. Peninsula Booths
The peninsula booths are positioned on three aisles, and have a booths backed up on their last side. Given the booths significant exposure, you should expect to receive a significantly higher amount of traffic and opportunities to engage with passing attendees. Peninsulas typically offer more space, and exhibitors even take advantage of it by building multi-story structures for attendees to tour on the expo floor. On average, they’re usually three to four times the square footage of a standard booth, which allows your marketing team to spread their creative wings to design the open space. This extra freedom provides a greater opportunity to set yourself apart from the other exhibitors. Much like the island, peninsula booths will charge you a premium.
6. Perimeter Booths
These are the booths that are backed up against a structural wall in the convention center. They don’t offer as much space as the luxury island or peninsula booth, but many times the height restrictions for perimeter booths are much higher than in the center which allows you to have a taller reach and presence on the floor. Furthermore, being against a wall or at the end of a major aisle often leads the crowd towards your booth without the attendee even realizing their course. The entire time they’re walking down the aisle, whether they know it or not, they can see your booth in their peripheral vision. Naturally they will continue to walk down that path until they reach the end in most instances, which increase the odds that they will engage the booth to hear more about your product.
Each booth type has its own benefits and drawbacks, and requires you to ask yourself what you truly wish to achieve at the event. Weigh your costs to opportunities to determine which booth presents the highest probability of reaching that goal. By evaluating the cost benefit analysis of an exhibit space you will increase your chances of success under whichever style best fits your brands needs.
Scanalytics is among the top 10 fastest growing “Internet of Things” companies, measuring human behavior insights through intelligent floor sensors. The SoleSensor platform translates consumer foot traffic into actionable data through a dashboard interface for real-time and historical viewing of trends in physical spaces. Using the floor sensor technology, brands capture and analyze occupancy, traffic patterns and engagement times to increase conversions and improve ROI.
With over 40 million impressions to date, Scanalytics has deployed SoleSensors across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Southeast Asia. Learn more at: www.scanalyticsinc.com.