If there is one thing all trade show buyers know, it’s that walking a show can be a real pain. Wearing sensible shoes is a must, but standing up and walking all day can be exhausting and wearing on joints and hips. And to make matters worse, buyers often carry bags to fill with exhibitor brochures, which tend to get heavier as they make their way through the show.
Exhibitors working a show all day also need relief, as standing in one spot is far more tiring than walking. Lower back pain is a common side effect of standing for long periods of time. You need energy and a fresh attitude each day to make the most of your show. Make sure your booth provides the comfort you need to do just that.
1. Some artists use low-pile rolled carpet as a floorcovering, but this gives little relief from hard floors without any padding underneath. Many times this is the cheapest way to go.
2. An area rug, if thick enough, and with a pad, can be more comfortable, but often come in patterns that may not work in your booth. Plus, these must be rolled and can be so heavy that they are impractical.
3. Rubber flooring is a good option, being highly cushioned and shock absorbent. These floors hold up well and have other benefits, too. They’re waterproof and flame retardant, and come in interlocking modular tiles that assemble in minutes. They also have safety borders to prevent tripping. Prices on these tiles vary, but average around $3.00 per square foot.
4. Carpet tiles can also come shaped in interlocking squares for trade show use. Made of a closed-cell EVA foam rubber, they are lightweight and won’t take up the space of a rolled carpet. Boxes of these tiles are easily packed into a van or shipped to a show. They come in a variety of colors, and are about the same price as interlocking rubber flooring.
5. Anti-fatigue mats help relieve leg, back and neck pain, and come in a variety of sizes, so they can be placed behind a display to stand on when working with customers. This can be an ideal solution for jewelers or others who have display fixtures near the front of the booth. Some anti-fatigue mats are made of dense rubber, while others are gel-filled. They may have a nonslip or carpet top, and some have tapered edges to reduce tripping. Mats designed for commercial use tend to give the best support.
Other Comfort Options:
Another way to stay more comfortable in your booth is to bring two pairs of shoes with you to the show. One should have a medium heel, and the other should be flat. Change your shoes periodically. This helps to relieve the pressure that a single pair of shoes can exert on your feet when standing for extended periods.
Offer your buyers a break by providing a seat in your booth space for them. This is really appreciated by trade show attendees who may be older or have health problems that make walking more difficult. It’s one way to help them relax, while giving you an opportunity to present your work.
Want more great booth tips? Check out ABI faculty member Bruce Baker’s helpful CD “Booth Display and Merchandising” available on this website.