Monday, February 4, 2008

Choosing space

Whether you are buying a 50-foot by 100-foot large exhibit for your B2B company or a 10x10 space for your first show, the principles are the same.

  1. Get the right location.
  2. Choose the right size booth for you.
  3. Understand how much you are paying.

Getting the right location. Look at the venue plan for the show you are attending. Watch how traffice flows from left to right, front to back. Most North Americans come in the front door and go to the right. They then snake back and forth, up and down each aisle until they have covered the floor. See where your competitors and partners are. Avoid restrooms and consider being near prize stages or food concessions. Corner booths may cost a premium (see number 3 below) but usually are more apt to be seen as traffic flows.

Choosing the right size booth for you. If you are just starting out or are new to your industry, a 10x10 may work. However, if you are the leader in your segment or industry, consider bigger: 10x20, 20x20 islands or whatever will fit with your strategy. Consider the show, the presence at the show by your competitors and partners, what you can afford to buy, fill and service.

Understanding how much you are paying. Let’s face it, shows are an expensive proposition. You will pay a per square foot charge plus a premium for a corner booth (or for each corner of the booth). But this is just the beginning. The space cost is for a bare piece of concrete. You now have to rent or buy a booth, carpet and graphics to go on top of it; order and pay for the services; promote the show and gather leads; and send, train and keep your staff in the booth for the duration of the show. Your space cost is less than 50% of your total cost.

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