tradeshow display

Trade Show Booth Design Tips: Floorplan First!

You’re investing in a new tradeshow booth, and it has to deliver on many different levels. It has to look stunning, drawing visitors from across a crowded room. It has to tell a story about your brand, products and services. And it has to make relationship building easy. After all, face-to-face marketing is the #1 reason to exhibit at trade shows, right?

Designing a new trade show exhibit can be exciting. But before you look at cool designs, finishes and technologies, you should accomplish one important task that might not feel as fun: You have to get the floorplan right.

It isn’t glamorous. It can be time-consuming. But the payoff is a booth that delivers on your investment by really working for you.

It’s about storytelling. The floorplan lets you plot out how you want visitors to experience your content. Think about building their knowledge and interest as they make their way through your space.

It’s about flow. Design your space so people can move comfortably through it. Avoid bottlenecks, and eliminate confusion with clear entrances and exits. Ensure that gathering areas are big enough to handle peak capacity. Pro tip: Tape out the floorplan in a large room, and physically experience it to see how it feels and find unexpected traffic snarls.

It’s about creating a great experience for your audience. When visitors are comfortable, when they can tell an experience has been well thought-out, they feel taken care of.

It’s about setting your team up for success. Decide how you want your reps to interact with guests, then create spaces that facilitate. If you’re selling, for example, your floorplan might place your team at the end, after guests have had an opportunity to learn about your innovations. Or you might place huddle spaces strategically throughout the booth for one-on-one conversations.

It’s the foundation of a beautiful design. Stunning shapes, impressive tech, beautiful materials… all these will be layered onto of a core experience that can be enabled and enhanced by your designers’ creativity.

At MPG, we tell clients the floorplan is often the hardest part of the process. Once we get it right, our designers are free to work their magic, while we can be confident the final product will not only look amazing, but successfully deliver on our client’s objectives.

To learn more about how MPG can help design your next trade show booth, contact us today.

Booth Envy – Is It Time for a New Tradeshow Exhibit?

MPG and IGE Group created this stunning new booth to replace an older property for P&G's Home Away from Home at the BlogHer convention.

MPG and IGE created this stunning new booth to replace an older property for P&G’s Home Away from Home at BlogHer.

If you’ve been exhibiting at trade shows for any length of time, then you know the feeling: There, across the show floor, is a gorgeous new booth. Its elegant design, engaging presentations and drool-worthy technology make your exhibit look shabby and outdated in comparison.

At least, that’s how it feels to you. With a few updates, your current trade show booth might have some life left in it. Or, your hunch that it’s time to build something new could be correct. Here are 5 ways to tell.

1.       You’ve outgrown your current booth.

Perhaps your business has expanded, giving you more products or brands to showcase. Or maybe attendance has boomed at the trade shows where you exhibit. If space makes it impossible for you to accomplish what you need and want to do, or if your booth is so crowded that it creates a less-than-stellar guest experience, then consider getting something new. While bigger is better, it’s still a good idea to have your designer create a modular strategy so you can scale down at smaller shows.

2.       The wear and tear is impossible to hide.

Every trade show exhibit will eventually show its age. And occasionally, as with one of our clients whose booth was damaged in Super Storm Sandy, stuff happens that’s beyond your control. If you’re no longer able to cover the scratches and scuffs, it’s time to put that old exhibit out to pasture.

3.       Your current booth is too expensive to ship and assemble.

Trade show displays made of older, heavier materials can be more costly to ship and put together. If you exhibit at a lot of shows, it might be worth making the up-front investment in something that will be lighter and easier to haul around. Sometimes, the money to design and build a new booth can be taken from a budget separate from the one that covers the expenses of individual shows.

4.       You’re being outpaced by your competitors.

Everyone needs to put their best foot forward at a trade show, and for some brands and companies, it’s vital to look like a leader. The size of your booth, the quality of the design, the general impression it makes on the show floor speak volumes to attendees before they ever set foot in your space. If you really do appear smaller and shabbier than the competition, it might be time to step up your game and leave them with booth envy.

5.       You need more flexibility.

Your trade show exhibit was created around a certain set of activities, but now you want to shake things up and try something new. If your current design makes this all but impossible, then look into something that gives you more options. A good designer can help craft a space that allows you to evolve year after year.

Want to see what one of our clients did to combat booth envy? Check out what MPG and IGE did for Crest + Oral-B.

The new Crest + Oral-B Experience debuted at the American Dental Association convention in New Orleans, and it’s getting rave reviews!