If you’re a corporate event marketer preparing for your next trade show, you’re probably thinking about “location, location, location!”  While it’s true that having the “best” location should be a top priority for successful trade show engagement, recognize how that may look different for each event. Of course, every event marketer wants to be front and center; but considering other locations in the exhibit hall might yield a higher ROI.  

Here are three critical factors you’ll want to consider when planning your booth location:

1. Understand your onsite engagement strategy

The best location on the showroom floor depends entirely on your goals. If your main objective is brand awareness, your priority is to ensure your graphics are highly visible. Ideally, this would be on a billboard or header in high-traffic areas, such as near the entrance, the bathroom, or the food court, and displayed in a prominent, high location.  

If your booth operates in tandem with an off-the-floor meeting center, that can leave a long gap between the time attendees first encounter your product and the time they embark on the journey to the meeting center (IF they make it there!).  

Consider branded giveaway items that can be traded for a small reward when brought to the meeting place, giving them an incentive for the meeting while gaining a branding opportunity.

Lastly, you’ll want to determine HOW you want the attendees to engage. If your goal is a high-volume turnout, you’ll want your booth near the event hotspots with high-flowing traffic.  

But sometimes, less is more, and your strategy might work best with a more intimate approach. In this case, select a booth space further away from areas where there’s more likely to be a lot of noise.

2. What’s the trade show agenda and floor plan layout?

The area near reception, or the exhibit hall entrance, has always been considered the top real estate on the trade show floor. But instead of just defaulting to the strategy EVERYONE is going for, make sure you’re aware of the new trends used by the trade show association.  

We’ve recently seen the rise of trade show management placing interactive activations throughout the show floor. These installations have no brand association, but if you can nab a space near these hot spots, you can redirect the resources usually spent on attention-grabbing components onto other strategies.  

Some trade shows will have stages placed throughout the exhibit hall. If keynote speakers or presentations are taking the stage, you must plan your strategy around that. Don’t plan any special demonstrations when a popular speaker might be on, and be ready to take advantage of grabbing the attention of the retreating crowd once the speaker has finished.  

Another component to be aware of is the construction of the building. Your exhibit house should be familiar with these constructs BEFORE you start designing your booth concept because of physical obstructions that may affect sightlines. Remember, what may appear as a tiny marking on the map, can be a substantial visible obstruction in reality.  

If pillars will block a particular area of the booth, or if safety regulations prevent you from being able to decorate, don’t waste valuable resources on graphics for that area.

3. Create lasting impact beyond the show floor

Booth location is only part of effective trade show engagement. So you’re confident in your booth location and trade show engagement strategy, but drawing attendees in is only half the battle.  

How can you create a LASTING impact?  

It’s not just about exposing attendees to your brand but creating an entire experience. Hold a dinner for potential clients who displayed a significant interest and consider providing a shuttle for transportation with a fun, brand-related theme. If an off-location experience isn’t possible, send mailers out to attendees pre-show and have them receive a gift for bringing it in. This favorable exchange will reward the guest and draw the attention of curious bystanders.  


Booth location is a top priority, but consider that the popular anchor points aren’t always better. Don’t get too absorbed in what your competitors are doing or lost on focal points that may not transfer from conception to reality. If you follow the steps to stay true to your strategy, you’ll be sure to walk away from the show with a stash of leads and interest.

The right exhibit partner can inform and educate you and your team on creating the best location strategies for your brand goals. Contact us today to get started on your next event!

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