We've all done it. You want to pull out all the stops for your show until you try to squeeze it all in. Your once vast 10'x10' begins to feel teeny-tiny.
Before you jump to a 10'x20' upgrade, here's 5 guaranteed ways to create more zen in your 10x10.
1. Create Engagement Zones
Consider how you will be interacting with your audience. Create a strategy with your goals in mind and build engagement zones inside your booth around those goals.
For instance, if you invite customers into your space, will you require a meeting space to sign a contract? Do you require locking storage for personal belongings? Do you plan on using a monitor or tablet for presentations? Have you thought about a giveaway or raffle? Make a checklist to understand your must-haves and nice-to-haves in your planning phase.
2. Think Like a Host
Imagine you are invited to someone's home for dinner, only to stand at the doorstep without being invited inside. In the same way, if you are inviting customers to visit your booth space, they will arrive with certain expectations. When you sit behind the complimentary table and use it as a desk, you create that same doorstep impression to your visitors - there is a better way.
Open up your space and invite your visitors to join you by using a cocktail table or podium with bar seating in place of the usual supplied table. Bar seating will elevate you to eye-level, putting you in a power position. Trust us when we say you will feel more confident with high seating rather than the low chairs provided by the show.
When you think open-concept, your space will feel larger, your attendees will likely stay for longer and listen to your brand story. In our experience, visitors who are welcomed inside a booth space are more likely to remember you after the show.
3. Avoid Clutter
A tidy space creates a great first impression, and who doesn't want to look organized, capable and professional? So how do you keep a booth space clutter-free as the day progresses?
If your supplies will not fit behind your backwall and you need to keep the complimentary table, simply position the table to the side of your booth to keep an open-concept feel.
Avoid laying out loose swag and collateral. Use clear labelled storage bins to organize your swag and include a dedicated bin to stow odds and ends so your counters don't become a catch-all. If the show doesn't provide you with a trash bin, consider bringing your own with plenty of garbage bags.
Remember to be realistic. Booth accessories such as literature holders, monitor stands and banner stands are great functional additions to your booth; but may take up more space than you bargained for. If you want to retain functionality, consider a back wall with built-in features like the Contour to house these components and free up floor space.
4. Staff for Success
Limit your staff members to 1-2 people per 100 SF. That means a 10'x10' should have a maximum of two people inside the booth at any time. As a rule of thumb, plan for 1/3 - 1/2 of unobstructed floor space for a more enjoyable show experience for you and your visitors.
If you have more staff attending the show, consider having 1-2 members walking the show floor to engage attendees and invite them to visit your booth space. Create invites or incentives with your booth number to give away during the show to help your sales staff direct more traffic to your booth space.
5. Know Your Endgame
If your strategy is purely to gain brand awareness and your primary goal is to outshine your competition, then less is more. Strip down your booth to only include the essentials with knowledgeable and engaging staff members.
If your goal is to generate leads and foster new connections, then a memorable brand experience is critical. Consider integrating digital marketing into your strategy, use QR codes, digital sign-up forms, and train your sales staff so they understand the process. You may need a backwall that houses specific features to help you deliver these goals with a clear call to action in your messaging.
The Final Word
We know you don't have a lot of time for articles, so here's a quick rundown:
Create functional engagement zones around each of your goals
Just because the table and chairs are free doesn't mean they provide value. Position your furniture to welcome visitors - think like a host and create an open concept.
Get organized and stow away clutter to create a great first impression.
Avoid overstaffing. A 10'x10' should have 1-2 staff members. Additional staff members can be on rotation, networking and creating connections during the event to direct traffic back to the booth space.
Start out how you want to end up. Never lose sight of your end game.
There's a lot that goes into trade show planning and execution. At the end of the day, quality interactions with memorable brand experiences drive higher conversions; knowing how to get there takes experience. If this is something you want to achieve, we can help you get there.