Booth Layout – Arranging the Furniture

tip 5_08No single exhibit layout can be right for every exhibitor every time. Each company’s booth type, location and goals for interacting with passers-by should dictate the most effective set-up.

In general, there are four basic types of trade show booths. Those include in-line booths, which are lined up, like row houses, with other identical booths along an aisle in the exhibit hall; peninsula booths, with one side adjacent to a wall or another booth, and aisles on the other three sides; island booths, surrounded by aisles on all four sides, and corner booths, with two sides against walls or other booths, and two sides facing aisles.

In most layouts, in-line booths begin with full-height exhibits against the back side, facing the aisle. This space offers the greatest amount of uninterrupted square footage for larger-than-life graphics. These graphics can demand the attention of busy passers-by. On this space, you should display, in startling form, the single most important benefit of your brand, attached indelibly to your company name.

tip 5_08Other elements should be determined by what you need to accomplish within your booth. Would it help to have large reproductions of product ads? Consider one or more banner stands. Do you want exposure to the largest number of prospects possible, with little or no banter with each of them? If so, place one or more tables or pedestals near the front of your booth. That will discourage people from entering. On the contrary, if you want to lure qualified prospects into your booth, out of the traffic flow of the aisle, place tables or counters to the sides. Do you have several pieces of literature that should be available? If you have just a few, consider adding pockets to your exhibit or counters; if you have more, literature racks will keep your booth neater and more organized. Would it help attract attention or get your message across if you could demonstrate product features in your booth? Be sure and set aside space for that.

Peninsula and island booths offer several layout options as well. The main categories include diamond style, centerpiece style and random style. Diamond-style booth layouts feature a large exhibit module centered within the floor space, visible from all four sides. Additional elements and products can be located around the perimeter of the booth. The advantage of this technique is that it invites prospects to enter from every side, and makes a large portion of your sales message visible, no matter what part of the booth the visitor sees first. The downside is that the message is less centralized, and in some cases, attendees can find themselves in a crowded aisle.

The centerpiece layout highlights a single product in the center of the floor space, surrounded by peripheral display structure and accessories. This arrangement is perfect if your company is unveiling a new product or highlighting its flagship product.

If you want to highlight a variety of products or services, a random-type layout would probably be best. Random designs allow multiple displays and various presentations to be scattered throughout the booth. Remember to consider traffic flow, whatever arrangement you create, as well as space for staffers to speak with prospects if necessary. And if possible, tie the various elements together with a consistent, relevant theme.

Above all, remember, to be effective at every show, you must learn to analyze and adapt to every situation.