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Helpful Tips for a Safe Exhibiting Experience

Times have changed, and we are all learning to adjust to new safety guidelines and procedures to help keep our teams, clients and attendees safe and healthy. Fostering an environment where everyone feels comfortable and knows their personal well-being is a priority leads to a successful booth experience. No matter the size of your booth space, there’s a myriad of opportunities to create a welcoming environment while adhering to safety mitigation requirements. 

  • Consider a host counter at the key booth access point with plexiglass that is flush to the counter on three sides. The host can control traffic into the booth to observe density guidelines, as well as connecting the attendee to the right booth personnel or information.
  • Design your booth with the “attendee journey” in mind. Highlight the entrance and exit points and provide floor directional signage to direct attendees through the booth.
  • Consider scheduling appointments to your booth to control and moderate crowd density.
  • If you have space to set up queues within your booth, include spacing signage at 6’ increments.
  • Select furniture purposefully and choose upholstery that is easy to clean.
  • Maximize open space within the booth and minimize structures without purpose or the use of too much furniture.
  • Provide hand sanitizer stations near the booth entrance.
  • Be prepared with extra disposable face masks for attendees that might need one.
  • Minimize attendee touchpoints and wipe down any hard surfaces after each visitor.
  • Minimize touch screens, use of pens, and anything else that encourages contact.
  • Provide single-use pens in case the attendee needs to make notes. Brand the pens with your company logo and encourage attendees to take the pen with them.
  • If you have an island booth, take advantage of opportunities to message on the exterior of the booth, giving guests something to view while waiting to enter the booth. Provide a setback from the edge of your booth to exterior walls to give space to view messages or stage lines to enter the booth.
  • Develop targeted electronic marketing materials utilizing QR codes for easy sharing at the booth based on an attendee’s particular area of interest.
  • Spend time training your staff on proper safety protocols, such as no handshaking or other physical contact with attendees or co-workers, recommend an elbow bump or air high-five.
  • Provide your booth staff with matching face masks, branded with the company logo or product. Masks should be comfortable and fit well so they can be worn all day without the need for constant adjusting.

About the Author

Julia Smith, CEM, CTA is Senior Vice President of Exhibition Sales at GES, where she has been collaborating with exhibition clients for more than 32 years. She is a past President of ESCA and a past Chairperson of IAEE, and is currently serving on the Events Industry Council's COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force.

Profile Photo of Julia Smith