Planning Trade Show Exhibits During the Pandemic

The COVID pandemic may be finally showing signs of ending…or maybe not. Although no one can be sure of what might be lurking in the future, there are three things that are certain: one, the public has come to expect health precautions to be in place; two, people are resuming their normal lives; and three, trade shows are coming back strong.

Here’s how to design your trade show exhibits to help your visitors feel safe and comfortable during the pandemic and beyond.

Booth Planning

For the foreseeable future, planning your trade show exhibit will entail consideration of not only customer expectations, but also exhibit venue rules and regulations. These will differ from place to place, but some general recommendations apply.

The easiest way to approach exhibit planning during the pandemic is to hold the event outdoors if possible. If hosting your booth outside is not an option, there are a few aspects you should consider when planning indoor exhibits.

One major consideration is social distancing. Your booth design should include plenty of room for your visitors to keep their distance from each other. A good rule of thumb is to allow 28 square feet per person or a 20 x 20-foot space for 14 visitors. You may not choose to enforce social distancing, but at least you’re providing the space to do so.

If you’re hosting seminars or demonstrations where guests will be seated, you might also have to schedule more of them to accommodate smaller groups of attendees. You’ll want to provide fewer chairs so that you can place them at least six feet apart. You should also provide larger tables to display products and promotional materials so people can maintain their space.

Traffic Control

Do you remember the arrows that were taped to the aisle floors in big box retail stores? Well, you don’t have to go that far (unless you want to), but you do need to think about the flow of traffic around your booth to aid in social distancing.

Design your trade show exhibits using tables and other elements to create barriers to direct foot traffic through an intuitive one-way pattern around your displays. You’ll want to create a clear entryway, viewing circuit, and exit path. This helps to prevent people from bunching up in one area and encourages people to come into your booth rather than remain outside on the perimeter.

Attendee Expectations

As mentioned above, trade shows are making a comeback, but they’re not up to full strength yet. Although people are getting back to their normal routines, they’re still wary of public venues where there will be large crowds. Your job is to make them feel comfortable and safe when they’re visiting the trade show and your booth.

You can get started long before the show begins. When you’re creating social media posts announcing your company’s presence at the show, make sure to include details about the health safety measures and precautions you’re using at your booth, as well as the safety protocols that will be in place at the venue itself. You could also send a personal email to your regular customers highlighting the same details.

Safety Protocols

You’re already familiar with most of the safety measures you can incorporate in your trade show exhibits. You’ll want to have plenty of hand sanitizer placed at convenient locations around your booth along with paper towels. Having free masks available is a nice touch, especially if you invest in ones with your logo emblazoned on the front. You can also set up plexiglass screens to separate display points.

How to Make Your Trade Show Exhibit a Success

The pandemic has been tough for trade shows and exhibitors, but it has also opened up some opportunities. With less exhibitors attending, at least initially, you have a chance to expand your booth design and maybe move into a coveted space that hasn’t been available before. It’s a good time to reinvent your trade show exhibit.
GraphicColor Exhibits is ready to help you design the perfect trade show display. Contact us today for more information.

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