Trade Show Booths #4: Making a Livable Exhibit Booth
There are two sides of making a livable exhibit booth for a trade show. The first is making it livable for any guests at your booth – these are your potential customers. The second, and just as important, is making it livable for your booth staff.
First and foremost, if you are going to have sound system, please observe some basic manners. Aim your speakers at the interior of your booth, so that customers who are interested in your product can hear the speakers. Aiming your speakers “out” will irritate the vendors in other booths, and may cause them to do the same. Soon, everyone will be cranking up the speakers to “shatter skyscraper” levels and none of you will be getting any benefit from them, as the people walking the show will avoid you like the plague.
If your product presentation requires interpersonal interaction, like a book presentation, or a technical demo by a live human being, consider asking the show to have a “Quiet Zone” of booths where speaker systems are not allowed. It is amazing how much happier your customers will be when they don’t have to shout to be heard.
On a related note, if you’re using a video display system, please direct it so that a customer has to be within your booth to see and hear it. While not as bad as a dueling speaker war scenario, dueling video displays are almost as bad. And, while it’s almost impossible to have a full 32 hours of video that doesn’t repeat, for the sanity of your booth workers, please change your video presentation every two hours. Nothing comes closer to convention hell than being stuck in a booth while the same 22 minute video presentation loops over, and over, and over and over for 8 hours a day, for four days.
While you are making the booth more livable, consider having some sling couches in the area for tired convention-goers to put up their feet. Having a cooler full of bottled water, or a water cooler and cups, is also worthwhile. For your booth personnel, spend the money on the interlocking foam or carpet squares. Standing on a concrete floor for 8 hours a day for 4 days straight will cause anyone’s feet to hurt, and if your booth monkeys are hurting, it will show in their presentation, and impact the impression you make on your customers.