How to Design an Engaging Showfloor with Event Technology

September 9, 2019

You just got your approved layout for your next event…now what? Looking at a sea of 10-by-10-foot booths can be daunting for any show manager. How are you supposed to know what worked and what didn’t when this year’s event isn’t for another month? How can you design a floor plan to show your exhibitors there are truly no “bad booths” and drive attendee traffic to every corner of the exhibit hall? Here are a few tips.

Secure anchor exhibitors early.

Anchor exhibitors are your most recognizable brands — the real traffic-drivers to areas of your show. To help support other exhibitors’ goals, use your anchor exhibitors to create traffic hub areas on the showfloor by strategically placing them throughout your floor plan. Once you’ve placed your anchor exhibitors, use your floor plan management tool to create other breakout areas to help spread attendees throughout your showfloor. 

Securing your anchor exhibitors can be challenging, but having on-site booth sales with a configurable floor plan helps accelerate this process. Strong booth creation and manipulation functionalities within floor plan management allows a booth sales representative to create custom booths on the fly. Your floor plan tool gives you the ability to adapt to your most important exhibitors’ needs in real time.

Create and promote themed spaces on the showfloor.

Creating themed areas on your floor plan is simple: Just mark locations within your floor plan management tool and determine the theme for the space. Creating these areas allows you to control the movement of attendees at your show and create a natural path throughout the exhibitors.

When you create these spaces using your floor plan management tool, leverage the distance measurement and layering functionalities. If a themed area needs at least 70 feet of space and access to electricity and water, for example, you can rely on floor plan management technology to find the perfect location on your showfloor.

But, it’s not enough to just create new zones; you also need to promote them. Take advantage of your mobile app and send push notifications to draw attendees to these sessions. You can also use your event website and online contracting to further promote the events at the venue. Use your digital tools to secure early sign-ups and leverage those numbers during booth sales.

Optimize low-traffic booths.

No exhibitor wants to get stuck in the back, but not everyone can get the perfect location. It’s important to add value for exhibitors that are likely to see less traffic due to distance or obstacles.

Offering digital extras to certain booths, like a premium digital package or an exhibitor directory upgrade, can help offset a perceived poor location. This works in tandem with your mobile exhibitor directory and floor plan to highlight these exhibitors. As attendees navigate the showfloor using the mobile app, digital upgrades help these exhibitors stick out among the better placed competition.


Kristen Skibbe is a senior project manager with Personify, specializing in strategic technology implementation for events, trade shows and conferences.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
HERE, hosting responsible meetings and caring for our communities are top priorities. Through its 'Focused on What Matters: Embracing Humanity and Protecting the Planet' philosophy, MGM Resorts commits to creating a more sustainable future, while striving to make an impact in the lives of employees, guests, and the communities in which it operates. Water Stewardship Efforts MGM Resorts understands the importance of using water efficiently, especially in the desert destination of Las Vegas. Conserving water has always been part of the mission, but MGM Resorts has expanded its ambition into water stewardship. In 2022, MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle signed the CEO Water Mandate—a UN Global Compact initiative mobilizing business leaders to advance water stewardship. MGM Resorts International was the first gaming company to take this important step. MGM Resorts replaced 200,000 square feet of real grass with drought-tolerant landscaping in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts pledges to reduce water withdrawal intensity by 33% by 2025 and by 35% by 2030. From 2007-2021, use of more than 5.6 billion gallons of water was avoided because of conservation efforts. Caring for One Another MGM Resorts’ Food Donations Program collects and preserves unserved food from conventions held at MGM Resorts properties, then safely donates to food insecure people in the community. Since the program’s launch in 2016, more than 3.7 million meals toward a 2025 goal of 5 million meals have been donated into the community. Donations include: Unserved perishable prepared foods from events Perishable unprepared food from MGM Resorts’ kitchens Nonperishable food items from minibars and warehouses The collaboration with Southern Nevada’s primary food bank, Three Square, has developed the infrastructure needed to safely collect, transport, and store food from MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas, reducing food waste while serving the community. Fostering Diversity and Inclusion To MGM Resorts, a diverse and talented workforce is essential to success. By cultivating innovative strategies that consider multiple perspectives and viewpoints, the company creates an inclusive workplace culture that benefits its employees and community. MGM Resorts takes pride in being a welcoming home for veterans, individuals with disabilities, people from diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ community members, and more. This commitment to inclusion is reflected in the company's recruitment and hiring practices and its social responsibility initiatives. From the workplace to the community, MGM Resorts' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion remains unwavering, and its efforts continue to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all. MGM Resorts understands its responsibility to contribute to the social and economic progress of the communities in which it operates. HERE, we embrace humanity.