The Truth About the Real Impact of Floor Location on the Overall Success of an Exhibit
By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge
You know the old adage in real estate…. location, location, location. This adage appears to apply to exhibiting too. Get the best booth location and your success is assured.
But is it really? Instead of blindly accepting this as truth, we might want to ask a few questions like “What is the best booth location?”, “How much of an impact does location really have on the success of an exhibit?” and “What can we do if we don’t have the best location?”
Best Booth Location Theories Abound
There are many theories on where the best booth locations are. And most of them are just that, theories, not supported with any hard research.
One theory says front and center is the best location. But in a large exhibit hall with multiple entrances, where is front and center, really? Another theory says draw a triangle out from the main entrance and try to be within the triangle. Another theory says the majority of attendees turn right when entering the hall, so be in the right center of the hall. Another theory says place your exhibit near your competitors. Another says be near concession areas.
As you can see, many theories abound. Which do you subscribe to?
Research on the Impact of Location on Success of an Exhibit
Instead of looking to theories, why don’t we look to research? A quantitative study of twenty seven (27) tradeshows conducted Exhibit Surveys concluded:
“There was no statistical correlation between a booth’s location in the front, right, left or center of the hall and who had the most traffic and who was most remembered.”
I realize this may not be what you want to hear and it may very well go against what you believe. But unless you can produce hard research to the contrary, you might be wise to accept it as truth. I think it’s enlightening and bit freeing too. It means you no longer have to be so worried about where you are located, because it doesn’t make a big difference in the end.
What to Do If You Still Don’t Believe You Have a Good or the Best Location
If you really don’t like your location, I guess you could try to get a different space. But that will not be easy to do in popular shows. Better advice would be to do a more effective job of designing and marketing your exhibit. For design tips, please read 21 Ways to Improve Your Exhibit Effectiveness.
Here are 7 things you can do to draw traffic to your location regardless of where you are on the show floor:
1. Do more targeted pre-show marketing letting people know you will be there and what they can learn and do at your booth.
2. Make sure your booth number is highly visible in marketing media.
3. Include a map of the exhibit floor with your booth highlighted in your marketing.
4. Do a better job of creating your exhibit description to draw more interest.
5. Use social media like Twitter and Facebook to announce demonstrations and events in your booth.
6. Use at-show marketing media like the official show directory, show daily ads and inserts, signs and meter boards.
7. Use city and venue marketing media like billboards, taxi top ads, hotel room drops, hotel room TV advertising.
By letting go of old booth location theories, knowing the research about the real impact of location, and using proactive strategies to drive traffic, you will no longer be singing the booth location blues.
Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge is known as the “Tradeshow Turnaround Artist”. Since 1991, his consulting and training services have helped clients improve their tradeshow performance and results to the tune of over $500M. Mr. Davis is co-creator of the CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) program. He can be reached at 704-814-7355 or Jefferson@tradeshowturnaround.com
Looking for additional ideas to achieve higher ROI for your trade show experience? The CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) is your free, on-demand, 24/7 resource to help you find answers to your most pressing exhibiting challenges, expand your exhibiting know-how and improve your company’s exhibiting performance.
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