Exhibit space, when planned effectively, can make the difference between simple trade show presence and a truly successful marketing endeavor. Visual interest draws customers into the exhibit while efficiently planned space keeps them comfortable and attentive to the message.

exhibit space planning

Keep these elements top-of-mind when developing your trade show exhibit strategy:

Pay attention to the focal point(s)

For most small to medium-sized booths, the back wall is the main focal point. Keep it simple yet impactful. It is possible to create additional interest with a freestanding focal point, as long as it is not disruptive to the flow of traffic. Attract visitors from all over the trade show with focal elements seen from various distances.

Keep the traffic flowing

An effective booth space will invite traffic in from multiple spots and allow attendees to move through logically and comfortably. It should not be overly cramped. A 10×10 space should not have more than two staff people at a time. A good rule of thumb is to add one staff member per additional 10 feet of space. Therefore, a 20×20 exhibit space could have four staff members to greet and converse with attendees.

View the exhibit space from their eyes

The trade show exhibit space should appeal to your target audience. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Walk through the space. Does it grab attention? Does the flow make sense? Is the information easily available? Is the space cramped or roomy? Does it invite a conversation?

Choose early – location helps

In addition to design and flow of the exhibit space, take care to secure a great location. Strategize the location far in advance and select preferred exhibit locations as early as possible. At some point, attendees will seek out food areas and restrooms, so space nearby can increase eyes to your trade show space. Space in close proximity to major sponsors can be beneficial. Avoid adjacency to competitors. An extremely congested area could draw attention away from your exhibit, conversations, and presentations. So, try to pinpoint locations with high visibility and without very thick crowds or excess noise.