Business Tools

7 Tips for a Successful Show

  If you have less than 1,000 lbs. of total drayage, Freeman will help you unload your equipment and transport it to your booth space.
Depending on your budget, there are many options when it comes to booth design at the 2011 SEMA Show, said Jeff Pressman, CEM, ConvExx president, in his “Best Practices in Booth Design” seminar at the recent SEMA Exhibitor Summit in Las Vegas.

Choose a Design: There are different types of booths. An island booth is surrounded on all four sides by aisles. The space can be utilized however you want, but exhibits can only be up to 16 ft. tall. If you park a vehicle in the booth, make sure it is located 10 in. from the aisle. Peninsula booths are similar to split-island booths, only split islands are two peninsulas back-to-back. There are no line-of-sight rules for peninsula booths this year so exhibitors can utilize the entire space, meaning the entire back wall can now be used up to 16-ft. high. Make note that linear booths directly behind peninsula booths can now possibly have a full side wall and may not be visible from the nearby cross aisle. This may change some exhibitors’ opinions on which spaces to reserve and how to design their space. The rule for linear booths remains the same, where the maximum height at the back of the booth is 8.3 ft.

Grab the Buyers’ Attention:
First, take into consideration the cost of building the booth and shipping it to Las Vegas. Freeman is available to consult with you and help you save money. When planning your booth design, ask yourself the following questions: How will you communicate your message? What is your objective? Who are you trying to attract to your booth? What is your message? With 2,000 exhibitors over 2 million sq. ft., keep in mind each potential buyer has just seconds to spend with each exhibitor, so you must grab their attention fast.

Do it Yourself or Outsource?: After you have decided on your booth design, make the decision of whether to build it yourself or outsource. If you have less than 1,000 lbs. of total drayage, Freeman will help you unload your equipment and transport it to your booth space if you bring it yourself.

Display in the Right Section: There are 12 Show sections. Make sure you display in the right section so buyers can find you. “It’s oftentimes found to be a myth that being by the front door is the best location because attendees aren’t in the right mind frame as soon as they walk through the door,” Pressman said. “They aren’t ready to do business until they’ve walked through the aisles. If you do the right branding so that everyone knows you’re in the back, you’ll have a great Show. Booth swipes have proven that exhibitors in the back of the hall oftentimes get more traffic than those in the front.”

Generate Visibility: Hanging signs must be hung at least 10 ft. away from your neighbor. Size limitations of signs are 8 ft. tall, but they can be hung at any height. Hanging signs generate great visibility but beware of the costs involved. Signs must be hung before booths are built. Linear booths are not permitted hanging signs unless you are on the perimeter of the building. Be sure to send in your Exhibit Space Design Notification and Hanging Sign forms so ConvExx knows exactly what you plan to put in your booth and everything meets the guidelines. Avoid last-minute changes or required alterations onsite, which can be costly.

Know Your Objective:
Will a model or celebrity appearance draw buyers to your booth? Just because they drive traffic doesn’t make it right for everyone. Lines can actually impede traffic to your booth as well as your neighbor’s. Booth vehicles are a great way to showcase products, but make sure they represent what you’re trying to show.

Show Up Early, Stay Late: Exhibitors can show up at 7:00 a.m., which is two hours before the Show opens. Many people are walking through the exhibit hall beginning at 7:00 a.m. Protect your booth and belongings by arriving early. The Show closes at 5:00 p.m., with many people taking up to 30 minutes to leave the hall. Once again, protect your booth and belongings by staying in your booth after closing, even using the time to have staff meetings to wrap up the day. 

For more information, contact Jeff Pressman at 702/450-7662 ext. 105 or To register for the Show, click here.

To view the Exhibitor Summit video in its entirety, click here.