Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What Conventions Have in Common With Grocery Stores

Product placement isn’t just a grocery store trick. There’s a science behind the layout of your supermarket aisle, and for a good tech team, there’s a science behind setting up your convention booth.

When you walk out of the grocery store with twice as much food as you intended to buy, you’ve fallen victim to some simple tricks. Maybe your kids convinced you to buy a box of fruit loops, or you grabbed an expensive “healthy” snack from the top shelf, or that bag of chips at the end of the aisle practically fell in your cart.

That’s all by design. Grocery stores place sugary cereals at the eye level of young children, and they place healthy options up high where adults see them. Then high-margin items lure you from the ends of the aisles, making silent, subtle sales pitches to you.

Trade shows play by the same rules. That’s why there’s a huge premium for a booth on the end of an aisle.

Many exhibitors think they’ll make a big splash at a convention because they brought a monitor or an iPad to show a video about their product. They'll set the screen on their table and think they’re good to go.

But when they pack up to go home they realize they didn’t get nearly the traffic or leads they hoped for.

Screen placement is often the culprit.

Why? Picture a convention hall, its aisles crowded with people. At one time, how many of them can watch a video on a screen set on a table? Not many.

When we set up a monitor we use a floor stand, and we place the center of the screen at a height of six inches above the average male’s eye level (5’10”). That way when people are walking down the aisle, the monitor reaches above the head of most attendees. This means that if someone stops to watch a video (or interact with a touchscreen), other attendees can still see the screen and be drawn to the booth.

If you've got a great video, slideshow, or touchscreen interface, make sure people see it. Sometimes it's a matter of inches that can make or break your sales.

John Dubielak Rentfusion
John Dubielak is the Vice President of Operations for Rentfusion, which offers AV rentals, computer rentals, and all manner of equipment for meeting planners, tradeshows, convention hosts, exhibitors and event planners nationwide. Follow Rentfusion on Twitter at @rentfusion and on Linkedin