2020 Event Trend #2: Reimagine The Expo
If you’re receiving feedback from attendees that the exhibit hall has become repetitive, while at the same time hearing from exhibitors that the traffic has waned, you’re not alone. Here are a few ways we’ve worked with clients this year to reimagine the hall:
Eliminate the Walk of Shame
A simple change can be the layout of the floor plan. Instead of aisles upon aisles that are predictable, choose a circular floor plan. The circle opens up the lines of visibility and eliminates the less desirable ‘rear corner’ or ‘back row’ feel of certain spots.
The circle plan also provides an opportunity to create a ‘hub’ as a prime spot for gathering. Whether an interactive lounge, a theater/demo stage, or your booth featuring meet-&-greets, attendees will walk through the exhibits to get to the center of activity.
Suffering from a shrinking exhibit hall? Take the bold step to get rid of it altogether and create stations throughout the event space. Create by-the-day kiosks with technology and place them outside of the education sessions. Exhibitors or sponsors with a product or service that relates to the education session can buy the space for a day or the whole week so they can guarantee they’ll hit the right attendees.
Small demo stages near seating and networking areas are another great way to put exhibitors front and center with hands-on learning experiences.
Don’t forget the coffee or smoothie lounges! Exhibitors can set-up in the lounge and share their products or services through conversation over a hot cup of java or a refreshing beverage.
Embrace the Community
You have endless access to an ever-changing exhibit hall! Bring a little bit of the location into the hall by having an area for local artisans, purveyors, or other service providers to introduce their products to your audience. Not only will attendees be able to peruse for a souvenir, but it also provides an opportunity for smaller industry-related providers to join the excitement if the cost for travel was an issue in the past.Yes, there may be some fancy footwork that needs to be done with the venue to allow outside food & beverage, but we’ve seen clients be successful in this ask. Don’t forget to add the local musician or performance troupe for an added layer of entertainment that will keep the attendees hanging out longer.