When it comes to choosing where to put a booth, there are only three things that matter. Location, Location, Location! When it comes to your booth, everything else comes in second. Whether you are looking to have a 100 square foot booth or a 50,000 square foot booth, if you don’t have a good location, you won’t get the traffic you want.

When you go to sign up for your trade show and choose a booth you already know that certain areas of the convention are better than others. You also know that some areas are more expensive than others. That is because some areas pretty much guarantee good traffic while other areas simply don’t.

The question is, how do you know which locations are prime real estate and which should be avoided?

Exhibitors who don’t know or can’t tell the difference can certainly sabotage their trade show efforts by choosing booth space in the wrong places. Don’t let that happen to you! Check out the seven secrets below for selecting a great booth location.

1. The Entrance Is A Great Place To Start

When the trade show floor opens, attendees are usually wide awake, motivated, and excited to be there. That’s the perfect time to reach out to them, as they tend to be more receptive. Exhibiting near the convention hall entrance puts you in a great position. Not only are attendees most likely to see your booth, but they’ll also be more likely to remember their experience with your brand.

2. Avoid The Competition

There’s seldom any advantage to setting up your trade show booth next to, or across the aisle from your competitors. It may seem like a good idea, after all, if attendees find that your competition is unable to meet their needs or budget, they can just walk next door where you’ll be waiting for them.

But that’s rarely how things turn out. Instead, attendees roam in information-gathering mode. Exceptions aside, they’re not there to commit. Most will take your marketing collateral, as well as your competition’s, back home to evaluate who can best help them. Another factor to think about: you don’t want your competitor’s exhibit booth to make a better impression on attendees than your own. Setting up side-by-side or across the aisle makes such comparisons inevitable.

3. Talk To The Trade Show

This is one of the easiest steps you can take to identify great locations for your booth on the show floor. Simply get in touch with the person tasked with managing the show. He or she should be able to highlight the best spaces in the venue and describe how those spaces are distributed among exhibitors. Every show works a bit differently, but contacting the show manager may reveal an opportunity you can take advantage of to secure a great spot.

4. Avoid The Bathrooms

This is a slightly controversial position.  At first glance, this may seem like a great idea and a lot of experienced exhibitors like to rent space near the venue’s restrooms. The logic is that most attendees will need to visit that area at some point during the day. Why not take advantage of the high-volume traffic and exposure? Well, as someone who has attended a lot of trade shows, I can tell you this does not work nearly as well as you think. First, the timing is terrible as no one is visiting the restroom thinking about your products and services. Second, trade show floors are large and so people tend to have to walk a long distance to use the restroom, by the time they get there aren’t looking around to see what around them, so even if they were interested in what you have to offer, they didn’t see you. Finally, the restrooms carry a certain “ambiance” that may reflect poorly on nearby booths.

5. Don’t Under Estimate The Value Of The Right Traffic

Traffic is what makes or breaks your trade show. However, not all traffic is created equal. A lot of trade shows split their floors up by product type or category. This can lead to some areas having less traffic than others, but the traffic you will get is higher quality and more likely to convert. This is because the traffic you will get is more likely to be interested in what you have to say. Don’t fight this, it is a good thing. I have seen many companies that decided to pay a little more to be placed in a different category. Almost all of those companies ended up doing poorly.

6. Sign Early

The majority of space selection is done many months in advance of the event. Often the floor plan for next year’s event is being plotted and assigned during the current show. Be sure you know when the space draw is taking place and arrive well in advance of your scheduled time. This will allow you to survey the spots still available. It’s a good idea to select at least three options as some of the spaces can be sold as you are waiting to reserve and place a deposit.

The best time to start thinking about your exhibit location is early in the exhibit buying process. If you need advice on selecting your booth space, contact us today!