Writen by guest blogger, Kendra Smith, a2z Project Manager
Ask yourself this question. While you are developing your floor plan, do you take your exhibitors’ thoughts, opinions, and feelings into consideration?
Developing an effective floor plan requires careful consideration of several factors including booth sizes, location of columns, utility hook-ups, safety and security, flexibility, the overall attendee and exhibitor experience and much, much more. Taking these key elements into account before the floor plan is drawn will prevent a lot of headache down the road for you and your general service contractor. While most of the elements listed above are tangible and accessible by the facility event manager and GSC, it is the Exhibit Manager’s responsibility to know what your attendees and exhibitors need in an industry that is constantly changing.
Exhibitor surveys are a great mechanism for collecting important feedback about the exhibitor experience at your event and how to improve it for future events. This information should be used when doing a SWOT analysis of previous floor plans, even if your event is in the same facility each year. You should limit the survey to no more than 10 questions to keep it easy for your exhibitors. If your response rate has been low in the past, you may want to consider passing them out onsite, during the last day of the show. Offering an incentive, such as a gift card or raffle prize, is also a good way to increase the response rate.
Here are some specific survey questions we have gathered from our clients that you should consider using:
Allow room for additional comments so exhibitors can eleaborate on their experience.
Including your key exhibitors during the initial site visit is also a good way to collect valuable input for your floor plan design. Familiarization with the products, services and specific needs of your exhibitors is important. Booth sizes and types, utilities and other services are all factors to consider. Your key exhibitors will gladly offer this information to you during (and after) the site visit.
The bottom line is, creating a positive selling environment for your exhibitors will result in a productive marketplace for attendee-exhibitor interactions. Feel free to share your experiences with incorporating exhibitor feedback into your floor plan design.