UNDERSTANDING THE FLOW OF FOOT TRAFFIC AT YOUR TRADE SHOW

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UNDERSTANDING THE FLOW OF FOOT TRAFFIC AT YOUR TRADE SHOW

One of the most important considerations when preparing to exhibit and one which you should be prepared to budget accordingly for, is where your exhibition stand will be on the trade show floor. To adopt the oft used real estate mantra, it is all about; “Location, Location, Location”. Just like real estate, the importance of your location is paramount. It will determine how many people walk past your stand and in turn how many people stop at your stand.

A tradeshow creates an extremely intensified sales arena where numerous companies from the same business sector all vie for the attention of a large amount of people in a short space of time. Due to the high concentration of influential customers with genuine purchase power they are also highly lucrative business forums. That is why much time and money has been spent analysing people behaviour in such an environment.

One of the things that has been scrutinised is human traffic flow; where people enter and exit, where high traffic areas are, which way people naturally walk around a room etc. Studies have shown for instance that people generally follow a pattern; such as turning right* upon entering the main exhibit hall. They will also look to their right before turning left and converge toward the centre of the hall.

An article in Exhibitor Magazine identifies five traffic patterns called: The Triangle, The Rule of Right Turns, The Wide Aisles, The Bull’s-Eye, and The Zoom Zone. In short, these patterns suggest you should avoid the front corners of the show hall, assume attendees veer to the right, be aware that traffic is highest along the wide, main aisles and the best locations are dead centre or up front at the main entrance.

Based on results from these studies, certain locations on the trade show floor are more highly sought after than others. Behaviour will also depend on timing. For example, visitors entering a show for the first time will be full of enthusiasm and more willing to stop and engage with vendors so positioning yourself near the entrance (*preferably on the right) is a good manouever. On the flip side, people leaving the show may have been there for hours, tired on their feet and a ‘bit over the whole thing!’ so near an exit – not such a good strategy.

‘Up front’ being one of the most sought after locations means it will also be the hardest to obtain and probably the most costly. Trade show organisers are well aware of the value of the best location spots so they will charge you accordingly. It is essential to book your space as early as possible to give yourself a good chance at getting one of the prime locations.

What if you miss out on the choice location? … or if you want to save a little, maybe you can try and find a spot where there is some natural congestion toward the back of the hall, or position yourself next to one of the known ‘big players’. You’ll pick up the stragglers when their stand gets congested.

Another influence on the way people move in and around your stand will be its orientation and layout. A large peninsula stand centrally located will have more chance of getting access to all visitors compared to a smaller stand up against a back wall. Also having a floor space where people can walk through such as a corner stand will increase your traffic too. Naturally open and inviting spaces will have more incidental visitors than closed stands.

So when organising your next trade show, consider location, size and orientation as well as just a great design for your exhibition stand.

For more invaluable information and help with your next exhibit, call Exhibitionco today on  02 9972 1900.