With much of business being conducted online today, exhibiting at a trade show offers a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with customers and prospects. To do so, trade show exhibitors must first entice attendees to visit their booth. Candy in a bowl on the reception counter has long been a staple for passively attracting attention, but today’s attendees are looking for a greater level of excitement as they choose which exhibits to visit. Offering food draws people into a custom trade show exhibit and, at the same time, creates an atmosphere of hospitality that attendees will remember long after the last crumb is consumed.
But beware, some venues or show organizers have strict rules and regulations for exhibitors to follow, regardless if they own it or went for trade show booth rental services. So before you start selecting the food to serve, here are three factors to keep in mind as you plan the exhibit experience for your guests.
1. Consider Your Booth Space
During the design phase of your booth, consider how the area for food service will fit into the overall booth footprint, particularly noting any potential obstruction to the flow as guests navigate other areas of the booth. You are there to discuss your company and its products with customers and prospects. Facilitating those conversations must be top priority once a guest enters the exhibit.
If a food station overwhelms the space or guests form a line that impedes access to product areas, show objectives could be hard to meet. Same would be true if a food station blocks easy access to an interactive engagement or a graphic display with important messaging.
When choosing what to serve, make sure you understand serving requirements for optimal enjoyment. Is heating or cooling required? If so, what are the electrical requirements in the booth to accommodate the process? Where in the booth should the electrical outlet drops be placed? Will the show’s rules or regulations allow this modification to your space? Even if allowed, requesting the appropriate power access must be completed within a certain time frame before the show opens. There could be additional charges with such requests, so make sure these expenses are added to the show’s budget to avoid surprises after the show is over.
2. Order Extra Food
Most show organizers will provide a forecast of the number of attendees expected, of which exhibitors will determine the percentage of visitors expected within the exhibit. But that attendee number is an estimate until all registrations are completed. Given that it will be difficult to order extras on the day of the event, it is recommended that exhibitors order 15 to 20 percent more food than the estimated visitor number would indicate to make sure they do not run out.
3. Serve Food that is Easy to Eat & Smells Delicious
Rarely do you see attendees at a trade show walking empty-handed. Even if they have carry bags from the show organizer or a sponsoring exhibitor, it is crucial that the food you serve is easy to consume. Also, to appeal to multiple senses, consider food that smells inviting as attendees approach the booth. Before the show, experiment with what you are thinking of serving to make sure no unpleasant odors linger over your exhibit. Also, avoid messy foods that require utensils. Tackling a plate of spaghetti is complicated enough at a dining table. Finger foods such as mini hamburgers or fruit tartlets are an option, as is the consistent favorite – cookies warmed in a portable oven. The aroma is guaranteed to draw a crowd to your booth.
Create a Trade Show Booth that Easily Accommodates Hospitality
Creating a trade show booth that includes a food station in addition to all of the necessary information about the company can be a challenge. That’s why Exhibitus is here. As a trusted, award-winning full-service exhibit house, we have the capabilities to design an amazing exhibit that meets all of your needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.