Best Practices for Dealing with Trade Show Neighbors

By February 24, 2014Trade Show Tips

Unfortunately, trade show managers are not always able to secure their ideal booth locations in the conference hall. Some lucky exhibitors will have their booths set up in a prime area toward the front of the hall entrance, but others might find themselves stuck next to a direct competitor or a booth with distracting features like loud music. Neighboring booths could have a significant impact on a firm's trade show success, so it is important for directors to know the best event solutions for planning their exhibits with regard to adjacent booths.

Plan ahead of time
When companies begin their trade show planning well ahead of the event date, they can allocate more time toward researching the booths that will be surrounding them. Firms can use their findings to strategize based on their neighbors. For example, if managers find that they will be next to a competing brand, they could make greater efforts to emphasize the uniqueness of their organization, which might help to bring attendees to their booth instead of their competitor's.

Select your location wisely
In many trade shows, booth location is out of a company's control. Host associations might organize their floor setups with each industry in its own area, and some shows use a lottery system in which businesses are located randomly. Trade shows that allow retailers to select their own location offer trade show managers a valuable opportunity for maximizing their lead capture results.  

If participants are able to pick their space on the floor, they may want to choose a spot that places them next to ideal booths. According to Associations Now, some trade show directors select their booth location based on other exhibitors who have a "good buzz," or are engaged with the same target audience.

Companies may not want to place themselves next to competitors, but they could benefit from setting up next to brands with a display style that complements their own, noted Xibit Solutions. When exhibitors are surrounded by similar booth displays, they might draw the attention of prospective customers who are attracted to exhibits of that particular style.

Survey nearby booths before the event begins
Retailers should be constantly revising their trade show strategies, even on the day of the event. As exhibitors are setting up their booths, company representatives should observe the types of businesses that will be surrounding them. Trade Show Display Depot advised managers to make adjustments that will bring more attention if they perceive that their booth may be overshadowed by their neighbors' exhibits. This could include changing the placement of a poster or sign so that it will be more easily noticed by attendees.

However, businesses should keep in mind that there are often trade show policies that prohibit exhibitors from blocking other booths. As such, retailers must be sure to adjust their booths in a way that will not break any convention rules or annoy their neighbors.

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