3 Tips for Making Sure You’re in a High-Traffic Area at Your Next Trade Show

by | Sep 14, 2018 | Business

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You’ve seen the map or the layout of all the booths. You paid a little extra to ensure you had a decent spot. You’ve got a good crew to man the booth and feel like you’ve covered all your bases. Then the trade show starts up, and it’s not long before you realize that “ideal” spot for your booth isn’t so ideal at all.

There’s nothing more deflating than setting up a nice booth, only to find out that your area gets little to no traffic. Of course, there’s no predictor of success as many questions about the trade show oftentimes go unanswered until the official opening. Booths surrounding yours as well as other event activities can have a major impact on the amount of traffic you see.

With that said, you can be proactive when it comes to finding the “perfect” spot through research. Nothing is guaranteed, but you can look for some specifics when trying to find that area that’s going to land you the most traffic.

1) What’s close to your booth?

You should be given a map or layout of all the booths well ahead of time, but don’t assume that organizers are willing to reveal who the other vendors are. (Some do, so it’s still okay to ask!) Instead, stick with the information that organizers CAN tell you: are you close to a food court? How close are you to the entrance? How close to the bathrooms? Are there any non-vendors nearby that might attract a steady amount of traffic? Any area that’s going to have consistent foot traffic is ideal.

2) Where is your competition located?

Depending on the industry, having a booth set up next to or near a similar company’s booth could be good or bad for business. For example, trade show activities are sometimes set up in the same area, so event-goers know where to find them. But competing businesses selling similar products, for example, likely want to differentiate themselves from one another, so it might be better to pick a different area, if possible.

3) Scout it out!

If you have the time, you should check out trade shows in NYC within your own industry. Look for those high-traffic areas. Again, it’s not a given that the same area will be as successful the following year, but you can also gauge the area’s visibility, what it’s close to, etc. In other words, going to other trade shows will arm you with a little more information when signing up for a booth the following year. (And, yes, you should scout out these trade shows you’re interested in at least a year in advance!)

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. So, while the organizers can’t guarantee you success and often can’t or won’t reveal the other businesses set up near you, odds are good that the more expensive booths are priced that way for a reason – because that area traditionally gets more foot traffic. Above all else, work with an organization that sets up booths professionally. Their input will be invaluable.

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