Education prevails on the tradeshow floor

Tradeshows are a vital component to any organization’s event as a purveyor of marketing initiatives. The show floor nurtures an ideal bonding environment where meaningful networking connections regularly flourish. To achieve ongoing tradeshow success, there must be common value to vendor and attendee. While you strive to facilitate what are ultimately favorable conditions to achieve progress, this question lingers: how do you continue to drive the flow of traffic, plus keep attendees on the show floor?

Basic routines can assist with this process. Among these are calculated placements of food and beverage stations. Proven, time-tested strategies complement simplicity of where refreshments are situated. A report by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research found that two-thirds simply want to learn as the primary motivation for attending the event. Half of these attendees ranked “some form of learning experience” as the most essential element among the 10 most important tradeshow needs.

Planners have taken note of the desire to learn. More organizations create small, educational theaters on the tradeshow floor so attendees can view sessions at their discretion. This helps fulfill an attendees desire to learn and keeps them on the floor longer. The result? More satisfied exhibitors.

The American Society of Association Executives created mini sessions in the corners of the exhibit hall to aid traffic flow to these areas. The Institute of Food Technologists installed a Plexiglass wall to host short sessions in the middle of the tradeshow floor. Attendees could still see other booths they wanted to check out while in the session. This also heightened value of booths located closer to the mini-theater for exhibitors.

Observe these lessons when your group plays host to these sessions (via well respected third-party meeting planning firm Velvet Chainsaw):

  • Theater design should be small/informal; seating for 30-50 with room for people to stand in back
  • Short, 15-minute content; don’t expect to hold attendees’ attention too long. Times programmed with sessions repeated (different times and days).
  • Organizations seek theater sponsors to offset the monetary cost.

We encourage you to talk with your Rogers venue to see about possibly including education on your tradeshow floor.

If you have any questions about any of these ideas, I encourage you to reach out to me or check out one of the additional resources below. Written by Luke Wiggins, Meetings & Conventions Sales Manager, Visit Rogers. 479-619-3191

Designing education theaters on the trade show floor

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