Planning and Logistics

DESIGN AND ETIQUETTE FOR TRADE SHOWS IN THE POST-COVID-19 ERA

Published on May 19, 2020 1:35:22 PM

 

source: exhibitoronline.com

 

PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND SOCIAL ETIQUETTE

Teaching proper trade show etiquette to your booth staff is a must if you want to keep attendees engaged in your booth and gain quality leads. Properly greeting, understanding expectations, and keeping attendees engaged are all highly important and will impact your exhibiting results.

Since COVID-19 has brought on what’s now globally known as ‘social distancing,’ the rules of etiquette are already shifting to a new norm. We want to discuss with you how some etiquette expectations may shift moving forward once trade shows can be back up and running.

 

 

1. Greeting Attendees

It’s important for your booth staff to stand and greet attendees warmly at the front of your booth. Pre-COVID-19, we would have recommended creating an area at the entrance of your booth that doesn’t feel like a barrier for passing attendees. However, people may now feel more comfortable feeling like they have control over the distance they keep from others.

 

counters

 

Rather than having a completely wide open entrance, a better option may be to put your staff at or near a small entrance counter. This way, they still seem approachable, but not so ‘in your face’ to the passing attendees. A great option for a streamline counter is the Skyline Rally Counter. This counter can be used as a workstation, demo station, or product display stand. You’ll also be able to incorporate your graphics, which is a great way to stand out as people pass through aisles and aisles of booths.

 

open booth design

#1 GUIDE YOUR PEOPLE TO YOUR BOOTH - REMEMBER THE 6' SPATIAL DIFFERENCE. ESTABLISH A GRADUAL TRAFFIC FLOW OF MOVING IN AND MOVING OUT

 

It will be important for your booth staff to stay behind the counter and let the attendee be the judge of if they’d like to step inside your booth, rather than feeling uncomfortably coaxed in

A great form of etiquette to teach your booth staff when greeting visitors is to ask an open-ended question instead of a yes or no question. This makes it easier to start a conversation rather than an attendee answering ‘no’ and moving right along. Or, your staff could opt for something like, ‘Let me show you XYZ about our company.” Once again, this gets the conversation moving quicker than yes and no answers and also draws attention much sooner.

 

HOW TO CREATE FACE TO FACE CONVERSATION

 

open isle booth design

#2 KEEP YOUR ISLES OPEN - IN THE IMMEDIATE POST-COVID-19 ERA EVERY ATTENDEE IS A DECISION MAKER. DON'T LET FLEETING ATTENDEES SLIP THROUGH YOUR FINGERS

 

To keep people from gathering in one small area, make your exhibit easy to navigate. An easy to navigate exhibit leads to good traffic flow and engagement. You won’t have to worry about people being congregated in one area because that’s the only ‘best seat in the house.’ There are a lot of ways to guide attendees seamlessly through your booth without them feeling like the space is too tight.

 

 

THE IMPERATIVES OF SOCIAL LISTENING

 

 

2. Attendee Engagement

You want your booth staff to be well trained so they’re able to captivate and keep attendees in your booth. With COVID-19 making it difficult to get too personal with attendees, make sure your staff knows how to be engaging without being overly engaging.

 

To start, avoiding unnecessary contact, such as handshakes, may just become the new norm. Shaking hands will be a hard habit to break, but one route for your booth staff to go is to let booth guests guide this interaction. If they don’t reach out for a handshake, leave it at that and know that both sides are in agreement and understanding of the situation. A tilt of the head could be a simple replacement, or the eastern style of bringing two hands together close to your heart acknowledges mutual respect and well-being.

 

open floor plan

#3 HAVE AN OPEN FLOOR PLAN. USE VINYL SURFACE AND VINYL FLOOR PLAND FOR EASY CLEAN UP. HAVE EXTRA MASKS AND GLOVES AVAILABLE FOR ATTENDEES

 

However, if an attendee does reach out for a handshake, it could feel rude to resist, making things awkward from that moment on. Rather than ignoring their handshake or awkwardly trying to explain why you’d rather not shake their hand, simply move forward with the handshake. Remember to keep hand sanitizer on standby for instances when you do come in contact with attendees. A great way to show that you care about your booth guests will be making hand sanitizer accessible throughout your exhibit.

 

 

#4 DESIGN YOUR BOOTH FOR ATTENDEE COUNT AT ANY GIVEN TIME — DESIGN YOUR BOOTH FOR FORMIDABLE INTERACTION. FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON RETAINING THE ATTENTION OF YOUR ATTENDEES. FOCUS ON QUALITY NOT QUANTITY

 

Another important trade show etiquette tip is to teach your staff to be professional, approachable, helpful, proactive, and enthusiastic. It’s important that they’re knowledgeable on your company and its products and services so that they’re able to answer any questions that come up. You also want to feel confident that they’re able to represent your organization in the most positive light. Making sure all of these bases are hit will ensure that your staff is able to be engaging and useful to prospects.

Proper etiquette for engaging and friendly body language includes smiling and making eye contact, not crossing arms, keeping hands out of pockets, not leaning against booth walls or furniture, avoiding sitting down unless sitting with a client who wants to sit and giving full attention to attendees rather than chatting with colleagues.

 

LEARN THE POWER POSTURE

 

 

 

3. Minding Attendees’ Space

A new form of etiquette that will likely be far more relevant post-COVID-19 trade shows is being careful not to overstep boundaries. Giving others enough space to feel comfortable will be an important aspect of exhibiting for everyone on the show floor.

Something you might want to incorporate in your exhibit to ensure that people don’t feel crowded and anxious is designated standing areas. You may have seen markings at your checkout area in your local grocery stores to keep shoppers in each aisle at a respective distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This idea could be similarly used in your booth to ensure that people don’t feel too overcrowded.

 

UPSIZE YOUR BOOTH

#5 IF YOU CAN, GO FOR A BIGGER MEETING SPACE AND MEMORABLE INTERACTION. AGAIN, TAKE YOUR ATTENDEES SERIOUSLY.

 

Another way to keep your exhibit from feeling crowded is by making sure that your booth space is large enough. Paying attention to previous shows is a pretty good indicator of whether or not your booth has felt a little crowded in the past. If you’ve continued to grow as a business since your last trade show, consider a larger booth space that allows for more traffic and more quality interactions with prospects. A bigger booth helps disperse people amongst your exhibit with different features in different areas. For example, kiosks could be included on two separate sides, some seating in another corner, and product demonstrations in another area.

See how South Korea is doing trade shows in the ppst-COVID19 era. Click on the image below.

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 6.37.10 AM

 

There will be plenty of changes to look out for once COVID-19 passes and trade shows are back in action. With these changes impacting trade show etiquette especially, be sure that your booth staff is up to date on the latest social expectations. Also, consider your booth space and how it plays a role in allowing people to feel at a safe distance from one another. Skyline Bay Area is looking forward to being back at a place of normalcy and can’t wait to help you succeed in your future trade shows!

Read more: Why trade shows are crucial to economic growth. https://www.globalgovernmentforum.com/restarting-the-economy-why-trade-shows-matter-and-how-to-make-them-safe/?

Topics: Trade show marketers, Trade Show Marketing, booth design, coronavirus, booth design in the post COVID19 era

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source: exhibitoronline.com
 
SENTIMENTS EXPRESSED
 
 
BOOTH NAVIGATION IN POST COVID-19 TRADE SHOW EXHIBITING


A booth that is hard to navigate may distract potential customers from your main goal of winning them over. To create a polished design that appeals to your booth guests, you’ll need a floor plan that allows for good traffic flow and engagement. We’ve outlined a couple of tips that will help you keep your floor plan effortless to navigate.

 

 

icon-event

 

 

#1 GUIDE YOUR PEOPLE TO YOUR BOOTH

One of the most important things to keep in mind when planning for good booth flow is to create a visual pathway. This can help people see exactly where it makes sense for them to walk, and it helps you point them toward the things you want them to see. Highlighting certain products, promotions, or company information is effective for you and will make your guests’ experience effortless, making it a win-win. Visual pathways can be created by using lighting, special flooring, entry points, and exit points. This way, no one will have to search for information and become frustrated with you when they can’t find it.

 
 
 icon-island
 
 
 
 
#2 KEEP YOUR ISLES OPEN
 
One trick that may help you see a dramatic increase in booth traffic is to make your booth open to the aisles. Many exhibitors block themselves off from people passing by. This is a less effective way of engaging people and something to avoid. Don’t let fleeting trade show attendees slip through your fingers. Keep your counters and desks to the sides and back of your booth to allow people to feel less intimidated when your booth staff is not blocked off and easily step inside. Having a modular inline display is a great option for keeping your booth open to aisles.
 
 
 
 
icon-portable
 
 
 
 
#3 HAVE AN OPEN FLOOR PLAN. THINK ABOUT DOING TWO - 10x20, INSTEAD OF ONE ISLAND.

Creating an open floor plan that is easy to navigate helps your booth guests focus on your message. Making your display less of an obstacle course and more of an unobstructed area to easily roam takes planning. Pay attention to keeping different aspects far enough apart that people are able to interact with them separately and not become distracted by too many things at once. Also, be sure that people can easily get from one area to another without having to swerve around multiple elements just to get there. A custom island exhibit is great for keeping things open and flowing and should be able to give you the space you need.

 
 
icon-event
 
 
#4 DESIGN YOUR BOOTH FOR ATTENDEE COUNT AT ANY GIVEN TIME
 
 
When you are designing your booth, predict how many guests you expect to have at a time based on the popularity of the trade show and your previous booth traffic. Considering how busy your booth will be will help you decide what size is best to ensure everyone has enough room. If you attended last year and it felt a little tight, consider upgrading to a larger booth space. Keeping this in mind will help the flow of the booth as you’ll avoid it feeling too crammed. Lots of people in your booth is a great thing! Just make sure everyone has enough room to feel comfortable.
 
 
 
 
icon-customlinear
 
 
 
#5 MAKE SURE YOUR BOOTH IS BIG ENOUGH
 
Given the physical distancing etiquette in place, it may be necessary to up-size your booth based on your goals. If there are multiple products you are presenting, give yourself enough room to keep them spread out in your booth. Those interested will be able to focus on each product with intent rather than being distracted by too many people in one place looking at multiple things.
 
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MORE SENTIMENTS EXPRESSED BY EXHIBITORS
 
 
 
 
 
 source: exhibitoronline.com