Choosing a Show and Selecting Booth Space

So, you want to exhibit at a show? How do you decide which one? Well, start with your customers. They will tell you which shows they like to attend.  Trade publications publish industry calendars that list every show of importance and the factors to consider, such as number of attendees, dates, locations, etc. Your vendors are helpful with ideas also. Most industries have at least two major shows that everyone attends.

Questions to consider when searching for that perfect show are:

  • How many people will attend, who are they and what do they buy?
  • Does the show’s attendee base match my target market?
  • How many of these attendees matter to me?
  • How much will it cost to reach them?

Compare shows and make informed decisions based on these factors.

Space? How much should I have? That depends on a number of factors.

First, how many salespeople will be working the booth? Typically, each salesperson is given 25 to 50 square feet of space. Next, how much product will you be displaying? Will you need room for a conference area, demos, and storage? Finally, how many clients and prospective customers do you expect? The ultimate goal when choosing exhibit space is to have room for all visitors without too much additional space.

Example: If you expect 100 visitors per day at your booth, and the show runs for 5 hours each day, this calculates to 20 visitors per hour. Assuming each salesperson can serve 5 people each hour, you will need 4 salespeople in the booth at peak hours. This means you will need 100 to 200 square feet of space plus space for products, demos, conference and storage.

Remember, the goal is to accommodate all visitors without waiting and without over crowding, but too much space can make it look like nothing’s going on in there!

How do you choose your exhibit space at a show?

First determine what is available to your company. It is important to know that show management gives priority to repeat exhibitors and larger exhibitors, so a smaller, new company may have limited booth space choices.

Go over the floor plan carefully, keeping in mind the following desirable locations:

  • Near the center of the hall
  • Near industry leaders
  • Near rest rooms and restaurants
  • On aisles leading to meeting rooms

Areas to avoid include:

  • Behind barriers such as walls and columns
  • Areas with low light
  • Dead-end aisles
  • Near freight entrances and utility sources
  • Extreme corners of the exhibit hall
  • Aisles farthest from the center

Highlight your three most desirable spaces, check availability and book your space now!


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