I recently read through Rachel Wimberly’s blog post A Show Floor With Style and Flavor and had an idea or two myself. Wimberly states:
Iâ€™ve been to shows where I thought it didnâ€™t work. For example, at ASAE & The Center for Assn. Leadershipâ€™s meeting last year at Chicagoâ€™s McCormick Place, the showfloor was only open for a few short hours, and lunch was served at exactly the same time.
Obviously, the planners at these conventions were not thinking or planning with the exhibitors in mind. I think that a separate planning stage needs to be planned for the exhibitor and show floor in mind. How can we get the attendees to funnel through the exhibitors so they can garner more leads? This should be part of every planners agenda. In the above instance, the main time period for the exhibitors to show their wares was during the lunch hour. When lunch is served people are not looking forward to hitting the booths, at least I’m not I would rather listen to my stomach.
Rachel goes on to give a better example:
Secondly, Richard Harper, Mandalayâ€™s vice president of sales and marketing, said they made a distinct choice to go with a higher-end food product that was served in stands dotted here and there right on the showfloor. People ate and mingled and raved about the food, which included gourmet sandwiches and exotic salad selections. I, for one, happily ate my way though the exhibits.
This is an example of thinking through what was necessary to get the 4300 attendees to pay attention to the exhibit booths and reward them for so doing. Planners must make these types of adjustments to make sure their exhibitors can justify the huge expenses laid out for the booths. This will also help you sale return exhibitors for the next show you host.
I think that if you make the exhibition floor rewarding to the attendees it would be a benefit. In fact I recently attended a convention where they played bingo for prizes. if attendees would get stamped from each vendor they had a chance to win prizes. Some of the prizes were awesome, think 50″ plasma TV. I also like the idea of food and mingling. Why not had food stations next to the exhibitor or perhaps even better the beer! What is your idea for getting people to participate in the show floor? I would love to share your ideas on Convention Insider.