Live events, large gatherings, exhibitions, and tradeshows—once a permanent fixture in the promotional space—and now a new endeavor distributors and consumers alike are learning to navigate in our “new normal” post COVID reality. While in-person events were put on hold for some time in 2020, the new year looks to be a promising one with hundreds of events already booked and reserved on this year’s calendar. With brighter days on the horizon, it is of the utmost importance that we do everything we can to ensure a safe and successful transition back into in-person events. With that responsibility in mind, we wanted to give you a few of the “do’s and don’ts” you should consider when planning your next exhibition, tradeshow, or live event.
This year when creating your exhibition space, we want to encourage you to place emphasis on the space. In an effort to encourage social distancing venues are trending towards larger booths. This option may not be feasible for all, as additional booth space means higher costs. But what you can do is ensure maximum space in your exhibit area with a strategic layout plan. Make sure that your points of interest, ie: demonstration setups, consultation counters, and interactive booths have ample space to maintain safe social distancing amongst guests and attendees.
Another effective way to maintain space at your exhibit is by way of literally dividing the floor. This could be with branded floor decals or carpet tape. You could even go a step further by including interlocking floor mats of various colors and designs—dividing your space into quadrants. These new integrations not only help with safety by creating space, but also encourage better flow and more interaction with your attendees.
By now we are all familiar with proper protocol and safety in regard to person-to-person contact. Keeping direct contact to a minimum is strongly advised but not always easily achieved in large group settings. Luckily there are a few things that you can do to help you stand out and keep not only guests safe but your team as well. Be sure to sanitize commonly touched surfaces throughout the day. It helps to have a schedule or best practices in place prior to the event in order to ensure this responsibility is carried out. Talk with your team ahead of time about your sanitization and best practices.
PPE doesn’t have to be ‘sterile’ either! Get creative with custom face masks for your team and branded PPE products as a giveaway option for your guests . All giveaway items should be pre-packaged in a sealed and protective case. Go the extra mile with completely custom packaging options , or simply opt for a more economic, one-time use, option . In 2021 booth side pickup is not only available, but encouraged!
Amidst all the new rules and guidelines, it can be easy to forget the main reason for your exhibition and/ or event and that is YOUR BRAND. Do not forget to find ways to stand out! Low-risk branding investments such as custom print displays, banners, backdrops, and pop-ups bring your space to life and best of all, involve zero interaction with patrons. You should absolutely be leveraging these types of fixtures for your space as they encourage and embody a “look but don’t touch” policy.
Speaking of zero contact, DO NOT SLEEP ON DIGITAL. Scanners, bar codes, and NFC technology will be your best friend in this new tradeshow era. Not only does it encourage interaction and conversation between exhibitors and attendees, but it allows for a safe exchange of information, fewer physical touches between patrons, and a safe and streamlined prospecting process. Best of all, continue to update your guests throughout your event with new information and content via digital platform updates.