Trade Show Exhibit Traffic Flow - Let It Flow!

Trade Show Exhibit Traffic Flow - Let It Flow!

Ever been to an Apple Store on a moderately busy day (honestly, when AREN'T they busy)?

Your first glance through the open entry way and the glass windows reveals what appears to be FAR to many patrons to possibly accomplish anything in that little store - no matter how big the store actually is! But, knowing that the reward for pushing inside is the shiny new trinket of goodness, which will soon be yours, you take a deep breath and enter.

If you aren't familiar with the process, you're pleasantly surprised to be immediately met (just inside the entry) by one or more of Apple's blue t-shirt clad greeters. Not only are they polite and friendly, but you are quite efficiently either assigned to a sale person who can help you or quickly added to a digital queue for the next available associate. While you wait, you're free to browse the store.

Inside, what looked like complete chaos from the other side of the glass, is actually a well-oiled and orchestrated machine. Patrons are assisted by an amply staffed crew of well-informed Apple associates that seem all too eager to educate and please.

By the time you leave the store, shiny new trinket in-hand, you're typically a bigger fan of the brand, than before your visit, and you're slightly in awe of how they pull it all off!

So many things going on in a rather tight space, yet they are staffed well, you can still focus on and get your hands on demo products, attend a learning workshop or simply browse. All of this with 150 other gadget fiends seeking the same experience. Impressive.

So, what can we learn from their approach that will help out on the trade show floor?

Exhibit Traffic Flow Starts with Design and Layout

Just like the Apple Store, traffic flow and how booth attendees enter, move through and exit your exhibit must be planned for. This takes place while you're working with your trade show company to design and construct your booth.

Initial planning must take into consideration how visitors will enter and exit your exhibit. Whether there will be multiple points of entry and exit or a single entry like Apple? How will sales staff or greeters be positioned to draw in, welcome and direct traffic? Answering these questions first is critical to what happens once prospects are on the inside.

A good trade show exhibit company (hint, hint) will be well-versed in assisting you with planning the design of your trade show exhibit and taking traffic flow. In most cases, a model of the exhibit will be built to better demonstrate, not only the overall structure of the booth but also, how attendees may be directed and moved through your exhibit.

This early planning and demonstration is just as important for your trade show exhibit as it was for the architects and interior designers who conceived the Apple Stores' floor plans.

Moveable Structures and Furnishings Create Flow & Quite Space

Of course not all components of your trade show exhibit are actually part of the installed structure. Like tables and kiosks at the Apple Store, your trade show exhibit will most certainly include tables, kiosks, podiums and meeting areas complete with tables, chairs and couches.

These areas & components need to be planned and positioned with the same care as the design of the overall framework of your exhibit. Meeting areas should be out of the way, to create focused quiet space, where business can be done. Enough breathing room and buffer needs to be created around these areas to minimize distraction and maximize the comfort of those in meetings.

In addition, positioning POP displays and product displays should be done in a manner that facilitates a natural flow of traffic through the booth and minimizes chaos. Your sales team will thank you!

Graphics and Displays Help to Create and Direct Booth Traffic

Your exhibit will likely be adorned with beautiful photography and images, which represent your brand and products. These same graphics should also be designed with traffic flow in-mind.

Likely, it will make sense to create trade show graphics which lead your visitors through your booth in a sequential order that builds on your brand's story. Create compelling reasons for your visitors to move from one station or area to the next, while becoming a bigger fan along the way!

Your Sales Team and Booth Attendants Must Do the Heavy Lifting

As the smiling greeter in the blue shirt, helped put you at ease on your gadget quest, positioning greeters and sales persons at strategic positions throughout your booth is key to traffic flow and success. For a busy exhibit, having staff at key entry & exit points will help to not only attract attendees into your booth, but get them started on the path you've designed OR direct them to an appropriate sales person.

In addition, planning for where interior associates will be positioned to engage visitors is not only critical to traffic flow but also your sales process.

Long before the show opens, your sales staff should be made familiar with the booth layout, what they're individual roles will be and how they will support traffic flow. Without them leading the way and directing visitors, chaos will soon follow.

A Word About Personal Space

People enjoy having a certain buffer of personal space. They just do.

It's probably a little different from person to person, but at the end of the day, we all draw a line. Keep this in mind when your booth is full and plan for how to create enough elbow room for each person. This is best handled by having a natural flow to your exhibit.

If you can keep visitors moving along the same path, at a similar rate - even a crowded show floor can offer all-important personal space!

Like to learn more about successfully planning the layout and design of your trade show exhibit. DesignShop has the skills, expertise and Team to help you along your path to success.

Oh, and next time you peek in the window at the Apple Store and feel a little overwhelmed - take a deep breath and get in there. Just like me,  a shiny little nugget goodness awaits!

DesignShop. We're Your Team.

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"Thank you so much for pulling LIGHTFAIR together for us this year! The booth looked amazing and we couldn’t have done it without all of your hard work and dedication to the project. "

Lesley Matt, Director of MarketingTCP Lighting

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