Trade show booth location

Trade show booth location

Trade Show Booths Are Like Real Estate: Location, Location, Location

The success of your trade show booth location rests upon the amount of traffic you can attract and retain. Prime booth locations can be proportional to the potential number of leads and sales achieved at the show. Where are the prime booth locations, and what position pitfalls should your company avoid?

High-traffic areas have always been sought after by exhibitors: main aisles, entrances (without being too close to the entrance), ends of rows, and corner spaces to attract traffic from intersecting aisles are all highly-desirable locations. Also seek out locations that are two or three booths up the main entrance aisle. Did you know that the right side of the aisle, when entering from the main doorway, is more advantageous than the left aisle?

Try to locate your booth along the major route to seminar rooms, if seminars will be prominently featured at the show. Also consider locations that are near, but not adjacent to, food service centres and restrooms. Granted, these are high-traffic areas; however, attendees have their own personal agenda when visiting the concessions or restrooms, and your booth will not rank high on their priority list. Furthermore, you may find attendees loitering in front of your booth as they finish their meal, blocking other attendees from reaching your booth staff.

Search for less congestion within expected high-traffic areas. Congestion can actually hurt your lead and sales prospects at a show, as it may be challenging to initiate meaningful conversations with potential customers. For example, entrances and exits are notoriously crowded and chaotic, and attendees may fail to even notice your booth if it’s located adjacent to the door.
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Trade shows and body language

When someone approaches your trade show booth, can you tell what they are thinking? As a trade show exhibitor, your observation skills are critical to determining high-quality sales prospects. Knowing how to read and interpret body language at trade shows will help you identify prospective visitors, and avoid the time-wasters.

Body, head and facial gestures all send signals, and are powerful indicators of how you may approach and engage prospective clients. Consider the following telltale gestures:

Body posture:

  • Leaning back with closed arms means not interested
  • Leaning back with open arms signals contemplation and careful interest
  • Leaning forward with closed arms is potentially aggressive
  • Leaning forward with open arms displays interest and concurrence

Head position:

  • Neutral position is an open attitude
  • Tilted down can be disapproving and judgmental
  • Tilted back is a sign of a superior attitude
  • Tilted to one side signals interest

Facial gestures:

  • Rubbing eyes is deceitful and secretive
  • Rolling eyes denotes a dismissive and superior attitude
  • Peering over glasses suggests scrutiny and a critical manner
  • Hands or fingers blocking mouth can signal deceit
  • Stroking the chin means contemplation and assessment
  • Rubbing the nose suggests a dislike of the subject

Direct eye contact is a sign of real interest. Visitors who avoid eye contact are disinterested, uncomfortable or distracted. Waylaying these visitors will likely only upset them. Watch for visitors who are fidgeting with their hands or objects – restlessness is a sign of boredom and your booth staff will benefit from pausing to see what the visitor is really thinking. Ask some open-ended questions to help engage these prospects. Palm rubbing, on the other hand, is definitely a positive sign of eagerness and anticipation, and it is incumbent upon your staff to maintain the momentum. Perhaps this visitor was the recipient of your pre-show marketing efforts, and is already keenly interested in your company.

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