Having a functional layout is one of the necessities of any trade show booth, yet it is also one of the most overlooked basics in a design. It is surprisingly easy to focus on what you’ll put on the walls rather than where you’ll put the walls themselves. If you don’t spend the time on the original layout, what you put on those walls is completely irrelevant. Visitors need to feel comfortable in your trade show display before they will be able to focus on anything else.
Step 1: Leave As Many Entry Points To Your Trade Show Display As Possible
This tip is rather straightforward. You want to draw people in, so you want to ensure that they can come in wherever it is possible. Essentially, you should have every entrance point available, and only block off places where you know other exhibits will be stationed. This may not be as simple in practice as it is in theory: you are not guaranteed a corner spot at every convention, and so a modular booth may be a good idea. If you have exhibits on either side, your exhibit should be three sided. If you’re on a corner, you’ll want to have two sides only. Flexibility is key.
Step 2: Ensure Enough Space For Easy Movement
You can populate the space in the middle of your exhibit with consoles or other items. It doesn’t have to be all open; in fact, defining the space somewhat is a good idea. However, always make sure that you have sufficient space between anything that could be considered a blockade. As a general rule of thumb, no two solid objects should be closer than 36 inches. Thirty six inches is the standard width for a doorway in America, so it is the absolute minimum. Remember that a door is designed for just one person passing through it; when you’ve got a large mass of people visiting your exhibit, you’ll certainly want more room.
Step 3: Define Your Open Trade Show Booth Space Intelligently
Following the guidelines above, you can start filling in the rest of your design. You may want to have computer terminals or other items in the middle of your exhibit. The main concern here is to ensure that they are neither too high nor too low. Too high, and they will make the design feel enclosed and overbearing, making visitors uncomfortable. Too low, and visitors won’t notice them. They’ll be bumped into, ignored, and possibly damaged. The perfect height is a variable number, dependent on your industry and your particular design. However, your trade show booth should never have any surfaces lower than your visitors’ abdomen unless specifically manned by staff. Anything in your trade show booth meant to be of use to visitors alone should hit just below the chest, allowing them to read and write on it with ease.
Step 4: Get A Scale Map Of The Layout
After deciding on a draft layout, take the time to render it to scale. Get a scale crowd as well and see how the crowd maneuvers in the hypothetical trade show display. It may seem like a time drain now, but it’s better to learn of problems before anything is manufactured than to be surprised later on.
Source by Chris A. Harmen