How much booth space do you need?

How much booth space do you need?

How Much Is Enough?

Bigger booths often have a bigger impact. While it’s true that people are more likely to visit and remember the giant booths at a trade show, many companies don’t have the budget to reserve those colossal booths. So how much booth space can you afford, both in terms of dollars and total capacity?

Booth space requirements hinge upon several factors: your trade show objectives, the product or service you’re selling, how you plan to generate leads, and the way you wish to conduct business at your exhibit.

In terms of objectives, your space needs will be dictated by your specific reasons for attending the show. Will you be emphasizing company awareness? Introducing a new product? Recruiting new partners? Or perhaps gaining press or publicity? Different show objectives will demand different activities, and hence contrasting space requirements.

If necessary, select only a few of your top products or services based on those you want to actively market at the show. Emphasizing a few products enables your company to display and sell more effectively, without weakening your impact with a variety of products or services that demand multiple marketing strategies. Visitors can easily be overwhelmed by a myriad of messages. Keep your selling strategies at a minimum to reduce your overall booth space requirements.

After selecting the total number of products or services, calculate how much space is needed to effectively display them at your booth. How much square footage is required for each item? What are the space demands of any associated hardware? Remember to include other space requirements for your exhibit, including computer stations, tables, kiosks, banners, signage, other display components, comfortable chairs for visitors (not staff), kiosks, and any other accessories that are desirable for promoting your product or service, and for interacting with visitors. These exhibit “properties” generally fill about half of the booth space.

Next, allow for a minimum of 50 square feet for each staff member working at your exhibit. How do you determine a sufficient number of representatives per shift? Estimate how many visitors you anticipate to stop at your booth. This estimate can be calculated by reviewing the size of the trade show, and by the extent of your promotional activities prior to and during the event. Alternatively, you can simply reserve approximately 30% of the booth area for your staff members.

Examine your trade show budget. Be realistic and determine how much you can allocate toward your booth space fee. At this point it’s important to study your trade show objectives, in terms of leads and sales generated, to calculate your return on investment.

Now you can review each of the above factors, calculate your overall space requirements, and compare that number to your trade show budget. Some compromise may be necessary; however, remember that you need a balanced décor. Your booth space has to be used symmetrically and spread evenly instead of concentrating in only one area. Visitors need enough space to comfortably move about and examine your products or services. Remove all physical and psychological barriers to make your exhibit more attractive and inviting to prospective clients.

Size isn’t everything. Even with a small booth space, your company can still effectively use graphics, colour, lighting, a welcoming layout, and a clear, strong message to attract visitors. But first be certain about your overall objectives, the products or services you intend to sell, how you plan to generate leads, and the way you will conduct business at your booth. With these established goals in mind, you can more accurately calculate your space requirements. And as long as your staff and exhibit visitors both feel relaxed and well-received, the prospects for meaningful dialogue can be greatly enhanced.