Trade Shows: Designing the Floor Layout
Business

Trade Shows: Designing the Floor Layout

Based on an article by Marketing Charts, the trade show market has a projected annual growth rate of 4.3% from 2018 to 2023. In the U.S., trade shows are a growing source of B2B revenue. Therefore, more event planners are handling trade shows and exhibitions.

If a client were to try their homepage, they would find the event planner’s client testimonials, references, and pictures of events they have handled. Assuming they have organized trade shows, their photographs would show different floor plans.

Layouts are a critical aspect of trade exhibitions. Products and services should stand out to command the attention of upper management, 46 percent of whom attend trade shows regularly.

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Here are some considerations in planning this kind of event.

Using Exhibition Hall Mapping Software

Most event platforms include an exhibition hall mapping software where organizers can choose among templates of commonly used floor plans. Try their homepage to view these templates.

Most trade show layouts show a grouping of booths, with each booth assigned a unique number. There are usually coffee bars, a networking lounge, fun and games area, as well as a media wall.

A media wall is a backdrop where brands, logos, and event slogans are displayed. Participants usually take a pose on the media wall and share their photos on social media. If you want to know more about creating media walls, look for companies selling event branding solutions.

Finalizing the floor plan takes time and collaboration. Therefore, the mapping software should be flexible enough to accommodate frequent changes. The designs should also be shareable so that sponsors, fans, and other event leaders can send their comments.

The final layout, with booth numbers and company names, are shared with attendees and event staff.

Booth Standards

A standard booth in the U.S. measures 10 feet x 10 feet. If a larger space is needed, rentals are in multiples of 10 feet – it goes as, 10 feet x 20 feet or 20 feet x 20 feet.

Typical booth layouts are:

  • Stalls surround linear booths on both of its sides.
  • A corner booth is a linear booth exposed to the aisle area.
  • Peninsula booths are large booths (20 feet x 20 feet) that are open to aisles on three of its sides.
  • Split-island booth is a peninsula booth with its back wall shared with another stall.
  • The island booth is open on all of its four sides. Because of its full exposure, this is the preferred layout but is the most expensive.

Adhering to Health and Safety

Another important aspect is to ensure that the layout allows for quick evacuation in case of emergencies. For this, an event planner has to visit the venue personally. They should also liaise with venue owners about emergency exits and fire evacuation procedures.

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has published a risk assessment and safety checklist for events.

Compliance to the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA provides a helpful guide for organizers to make events accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

These include:

  • Accessible routes to the event
  • Removal of barriers
  • Communication devices for the blind and deaf
  • Assistance by vendors to get food and services
  • Parking spaces and signage

Event planners, in addition to their social and organizational skills, are creative designers too.  Try their homepage and look for samples of their work.