Trade shows provide you with a fantastic opportunity to present your brand in person to interested customers. While everyone wants a trade show to have a good turnout, overcrowding can also be an issue. When the traffic density, measured as the number of attendees per 100 square feet, gets above 5, it becomes increasingly difficult to have engaging and productive conversations.
It is generally a good idea for trade show participants to understand the potential problems that excessive crowding can cause and have a plan ready to help them deal with the situation should it arise.
The Problem of Overcrowding
At a trade show, you want to keep visitors moving in and out. You want to greet them, make a great impression and capture a potential lead. When visitors linger, or when you have so many people in your booth that it just looks like a massive crowd, you can end up deterring more people from coming to explore your booth. No one wants to dive into an overcrowded display that just looks like chaos, no matter how appealing the actual product, design and branding efforts might be. Controlling the crowd is an important part of trade show success.
How to Manage the Crowd at Your Booth
Fortunately, there are steps you can take that can help you better manage your booth visitors and even use the heavy crowds at the trade show to your advantage. The ability to keep a simple trade show booth is the heart of these steps. Here are a few ways to make it happen:
Pay Attention to Your Design
- The design of your trade show booth is critical. It is best to avoid excessive decorations or design that will make the space feel crowded or too busy, which will only make it appear less appealing as the people begin to arrive. Instead, focus on having one central element that will help attract people’s attention as they arrive at the booth. While keeping in mind the desire for a more simplified approach, you also need to make sure the designs are strong and clear to maximize their effectiveness for the audience. Do not create something that is overwhelming, instead focus on making sure that customers can immediately determine what it is that you do.
Do Not Have Too Many Staff Members Taking Up Space
- A well informed, trained staff can be a fantastic asset when it comes to communicating effectively with your booth visitors, but too many people milling around can also contribute to crowding issues and make the display less appealing. Instead, choose a few key employees that will best perform in the role, keeping it proportionate to the size of your booth. Have the staff members wear branded uniforms so they are easily identifiable and make sure that they are prepared to answer questions and move people along to avoid unnecessary congestion.
Provide a Crowd-Friendly Layout
- Rather than inviting people just to come up and crowd around your booth, create a layout that encourages people to move through your display. Have a starting point and an ending point so that people can easily absorb your intended message as they walk along. This will help control the crowds while still getting your message in front of the maximum number of people.
Be Minimalistic About Handouts
Handouts are an effective means of communicating with your tradeshow attendees long after they leave your booth, but you do not want to give out too many materials. Excessive materials will only overwhelm people and can slow down the flow of traffic through your display. It is best to stick to just one handout and make sure that single handout really counts. Keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Include a business card to make contacting you simple.
- Know what you want to say to your visitors and communicate in an easy way that does not require much effort for your potential customers.
- Think about what make your booth memorable and touch upon those points in the handout.
- Know what your customers are interested in and make sure the handout addresses these needs, not just what you want to tell people.
- Include strong visuals to help capture attention.
A successful trade show requires careful preparation and consideration. It also means preparing for potentially unforeseen circumstances, such as large crowds during the show. If more people than you expected show up, make sure that you have the capacity to adequately handle the crowds while still communicating effectively with those who come to your display. Keep the above ideas in mind and make sure your creative trade show booth is ready for the show.