Best Practices for Your Trade Show Exhibit Floor Plan

We’ve talked before about how to measure ROI for your trade show booth, as well as how to design an effective booth and use it to maximize ROI and human interaction

Today, we’d like to dive a little deeper into the geographic aspects of your booth, including location and layout. In this post, we’ll share with you how to optimize your floor plan for better engagement and, ultimately, ROI.



Choosing an Exhibition Location

You’ve heard the saying before, “Location. Location. Location.” The same is valid for trade shows. Regardless of how beautiful your booth design, or how strong your marketing plan, a booth that’s hard to find or crowded by bigger displays, will not prove to be fruitful. 

We recommend taking the time to view the venue beforehand so you can access the prime real estate in advance. Here are a few things to look for.

Where are the lighting fixtures?

Where are the entry points?

Where are bathrooms or other possibly distracting features?

You will want to make sure your booth is in a well-lit, highly trafficked area but not so close to distractions that visitors may miss your exhibit entirely. 

Also, the event sponsor should have a map of vendor locations (for businesses who have already registered) that you should look at before choosing your location. Ideally, you will not want to be next to a direct competitor, nor will you want to be overshadowed by one.


Determining Your Trade Show Booth Layout

According to Exhibitor Magazine the six most frequently used booth layouts are:

The Axis Layout

In this layout, products and graphics are displayed around a main central structure that attendees walk around.

The Centerpiece Layout

Similar to the Axis layout, a centerpiece structure serves as a single focal point for the exhibit. The difference, however, is that the rest of the layout is open.

The Fortress Layout

This is an immersive exhibit, walled off to outsiders. It is intended for demonstrating to and meeting with visitors in a private space.

The Plaza Layout

Unlike the Fortress layout, the Plaza layout is a completely open space with various design features and structures.

The Theater Layout

As its name indicates, this layout is conducive to presentations and demonstrations. It might feature a raised platform and a seating area.

The Conglomeration Layout

This is essentially a customized layout that includes many elements in different locations.

The layout you choose will depend upon your goals as well as the activities you plan for the exhibition. And as our next point will explain, you may need to adjust as you go.


How to Be Sure Your Chosen Layout is Optimal

Even if you go into your first trade show with a plan that is well thought out, you may need or want to change it up depending on how it’s performing. This is a common practice because, after all, rarely do exhibitors get it perfect the first time. 

That’s why we invented FastSensor

FastSensor is our proprietary machine-learning software that helps businesses maximize experiential marketing tactics that boost engagement and ROI for trade shows. Our technology maps the visitor journey so you can see the most frequently traveled paths, peak traffic times, and the most commonly used entry and exit points so you can optimize your layout for greater impact with visitors. 


In addition, our tool can show you where visitors are spending most of their time, which aspects of your booth are getting the most engagement, and which are under-performing. 

With this knowledge, you can change up your layout to put the stronger displays where the most traffic is and move your weaker displays to areas that receive less traffic. 

And our technology doesn’t end with your layout. You can also use these insights to better position your sales representatives and make sure your booth is fully staffed during peak traffic times. 


To ensure your layout is optimal, FastSensor provides you with conversion analytics that measures the total number of passerbys against those who stopped to engage with your booth (unique visitors). FastSensor reports also provide insights into the visitors behavior profile (engagers and browsers), and the most visited zones within your booth. That way, you know whether changes to your layout have produced a significant impact or if you need to continue to tweak your layout.

With FastSensor, you can continuously adjust until optimal results are achieved. 

Trade show exhibitions and booth design are a costly undertaking for any organization. You have to be sure you’re following best practices for your exhibit and getting the most out of your investment. 


We can help you exhibit confidently, knowing every cent of your investment is going to good use. Contact us today so we can make your next trade show the best performing yet. 


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