At a tradeshow, booth location can be beneficial or it can be harmful. One way to be sure you've got the best location possible is to survey all the parameters that can go into selecting your booth space.
Here are some considerations that can help you prepare to go about selecting the best possible booth location for your company.
1. Do you really want to do this alone?
Your business has stockholders; a board of directors; a CEO, CMO, CFO; vice-presidents; and directors. But the onus is on you to select one of the most valuable tools in the marketing toolbox. Don't go it alone. It's patently unfair to make a critical business decision of many thousands of dollars by yourself. Get others involved: your boss, his/her boss, your peers. They will all have insights, recommendations, and preferences.
Make a list of the most likely questions you can think of. Competitors, up front, further back, big guy, etc. Get input on those questions. Weight those answers and give yourself a total. It will help you represent the requirements of your company in the five minutes you get to select next year's booth space.
Considering these variables up front lets you manage expectations way before the selection process.
2. There are no absolutes
Every show has its own particular method for assigning booth space. These are among the most common schemes:
- The points method. This approach is based on weighted points for booth size, seniority (number of years at the show), and support of the show (what other spend will you allocate to the show in sponsorships?)
- Indication of preference order. Here, the hosting association makes final selection.
- Assigned spaces
- First buy, first pick. This approach is usually for new shows.