4 Reasons Large Trade Show Booths Aren't Always Better

As you plan your upcoming trade shows, you might want to take a long look at the size of your booth space. How much space do you have available? And how much trade show booth space do you need in order to make an impression? That is not to say that you should necessarily rent large trade show booths versus small trade show booths. You do, however, want to rent the right size booth space.

When it comes to trade shows and events, bigger isn’t always better. Sure a 10,000 square-foot exhibit is pretty impressive, but do you really need that much space to make your brand stand out and to reach your target audience? Here are four ways in which a smaller space can make the same or better impact as large trade show booths.


1. Use the extra dollars for pre- and post-show marketing

Exhibiting at trade shows can be very expensive. When you don’t blow your entire marketing budget on large trade show booths, you have more opportunity to reach and market effectively to your target audience. Consider pre-show direct mail marketing, at-show promotions, hospitality events, post-show follow up emails, and more. These marketing initiatives can take your message and brand beyond the show and help turn more prospects into customers.


2. Empty space alienates

Large trade show booths can often be intimidating. You have certainly walked the floors of the larger convention centers and seen  massive exhibits. What was probably intended to be open and airy tends to come off more like wasted space, an empty ghost town. The visitor can feel lost and may have to search for a booth staffer to talk to. Worse, people stop there to get their bearings and are not interested in the exhibitor or their product. Why pay for uninterested attendees to have a place to loiter?


3. Face-to-face intimacy

When you exhibit at a show, your key goal is most likely to generate quality leads from targeted prospects. Sometimes having a smaller space allows for a more intimate conversation, better interaction, and private demonstration of what you have to show. Large group demos are often good to communicate with a lot of people at once, but how many of those people do you approach, or approach you, afterward to discuss it further? Sometimes a smaller, more intimate audience is more effective.


4. Projected number of attendees

Just because 50,000 people attended the show last year, don’t assume that 50,000 or more will be there this year. Get the show organizers to run the numbers for you: number of attendees and total square footage this year (projected) versus last year (actual), and make your decision accordingly. Granted, you get a better rate the earlier you commit to your booth space, but show organizers are usually willing to let you change the size of your space in advance of the show, especially if you have exhibited there before. You can take it further and use the data to determine which of the attendees are targeted prospects for you.


So, when you are designing your next exhibit or choosing your exhibit space, factor in the other ways you can generate success and market your brand without spending your entire show budget on a large trade show booth floor space. Some of these other efforts can pay off more in the long run and allow you a more intimate engagement with your audience.

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