For many event planners, planning an exhibition means making sure the overall event is set up well. That means:
- Ensuring both human and vehicular traffic flows smoothly
- Facilities are working well
- Exhibition booths, signage, and Wi-Fi are set up professionally
- Event promotions are bringing in people to the event
And that’s where their responsibility ends. But the best event planners go a step further. They take the job of driving attendees to booths on their shoulders, and make sure exhibitors get a bang for their buck – by pushing visitors to their booths, products, and services.
So, just how can you successfully drive large numbers of attendees to your exhibitors’ event booths? Here are a few recommendations from the pros.
1. A good map
You may be surprised at how many event organisers skip (or totally forget about) this important tool. Always give your attendees a good overview of the booths that are available at your event, and be sure to organise the layout of your information well.
This way, both exhibitors and attendees will thank you. After all, we’ve all been to exhibitions, walked around, and gone home – before realising that we missed a booth that we would’ve loved to visit, only because it was lost amidst a massive event hall.
2. Good signage
When your exhibition hall gets crowded, attendees may get lost in the excitement and simply be drawn to the areas with the loudest noise and most activity going on – this means that booths nearer your stage or activity areas will get more traffic, while other booths may miss out on the action.
A surprisingly simple way of ensuring visitors don’t miss a thing, is with well-placed signage. By looking up, visitors should be able to tell which part of the exhibition hall they’re currently in, and where they would want to go (based on where your signs are pointing them towards).
3. Sufficient staff
Also, be sure to have an ample number of staff members walking your event floor. They don’t have to specifically be event guides, but can double up as guides/information sources, directing lost but eager visitors toward areas and booths that will interest them.
4. Get attendees excited for specific booths before the event
If you’ve been keeping track of your event participants and their interests, you can send them specific emails (and electronic direct mailers) to inform them of the booths they will want to keep a lookout for.
Help participants create their own checklist of “must visit” booths, and tell them specifically where these booths are going to be located. Your event attendees, and booth owners, will thank you for the effort.
5. Use the “live” nature of social media to your advantage
Be on the hunt for booths that are either missing out on the action, or have exciting promotions that more visitors need to know about – then shout about them. On the event ground, an enthusiastic callout via the venue’s announcement system will do the trick.
And to reach people further away (i.e. anyone who’s thinking of visiting your exhibition, or stepped away for lunch), give these booths a shout out on social media. The more people talk about these booths online, the most physical bodies you’ll see visiting these booths, in real life.