Maximize Your Trade Show Floor Plan | Ungerboeck | Ungerboeck

Ungerboeck is now Momentus Technologies. Learn more at

skip to main content
People checking out tradeshow booth

Maximize Your Trade Show Floor Plan

The most successful trade shows are marketplaces where sellers can do business with targeted buyers. With a well-designed floor plan, you make it possible for all kinds of different business opportunities to happen at your trade show. Finding the right balance of vendors with big, expensive booths and vendors with smaller booths while still setting aside prime locations for featured partners can have a huge impact on potential transactions. And business transactions aside, there’s also safety to consider when creating your space thanks to the post-pandemic world we now live in.

Everything hinges on your floor plan. Understand the goals of your potential exhibitors and offer them a space that sets them up for a successful show.

People walking aisles of trade show

Trade Show Booth Layout

One thing that’s crucial to know is how your floor plan dictates the layout of exhibitor booths. Booth layout impacts everything from foot traffic to how long people stay. And in the post-pandemic era, you also need to think about how attendees access your show since high-interest booths can cause traffic jams (more on that below).

Sound complex? No doubt there’s a lot to consider beyond where the booths go. The best place to start is by getting familiar with the six most widely used trade show booth layouts. Exhibitor Online gives a detailed rundown of each one, but here’s the gist:

  • The Axis. The main message is most prominent with supporting messages arranged around it.
  • The Centerpiece. One key message is featured with multiple access points that encourage walkups.
  • The Fortress. An immersive space with few access points that implies invitation-only exclusivity.
  • The Theater. Best suited for presentations, with a singular focus on a central stage area.
  • The Conglomeration. Numerous elements arranged for exploration, keeping people there longer.
  • The Plaza. An open floor plan with several access points that supports multi-tier messaging.

Each option has its pros and cons. The Centerpiece, for example, is excellent for shining a spotlight on one main focal point. However, without ancillary messaging, people will likely spend less time in the space and exhibitors will have to work harder to engage with prospects. As a trade show organizer, you need to know what exhibitors are looking for.

Featured brands or partners should have access to booth spots with prominent visibility and the most ROI potential. Things to consider when choosing the best locations range from avoiding entrances to being situated close to competitors (yes, really).

No matter what layout you go with, it’s always a good idea to provide space for breakout sessions. Networking is the top reason why people attend trade shows. Give them access to quiet areas for private business meetings. Make sure there are plenty of power outlets and charging stations.

Eagle eye view of trade show floor

Digital Signage

It’s not just for vendor booths. Organizers can also use digital signs and graphics to help optimize their floor plans.

They’re essential for displaying digital brochures, videos, and brand details next to exhibitor booths. They let potential customers submit contact information directly to vendors. And what trade show would be complete without a social wall? Digital signage makes all of that possible.

Use them throughout your space to make it easy for attendees and exhibitors to connect with each other. Place digital information kiosks and billboards at entrances, exits, and elevators so people can find their own way around. You can even offer downloadable maps, vendor guides, and marketing collateral using QR codes.

Digital signs can also let you change messaging from show to show, day to day, or session to session. And since the pandemic is still a reality, digital signs are a useful tool for quickly communicating important COVID-related information like sudden schedule changes or public health guidelines.

Digital signage solutions from Ungerboeck can make your trade show’s communication transformation seamless. It simplifies the process of prepping your displays so you can get up and running quickly and efficiently.

Digital signage at a trade show

Social Distancing

COVID-19 changed the entire events industry, but exhibitions and trade shows were among the hardest hit. Although large-scale onsite events are coming back, they’re only reopening with strict health protocols in place. For exhibition organizers designing a floor plan, social distancing is the number one health guideline you’ll need to follow.

Study your floor plan closely. Are there any areas with bottleneck potential? If so, you’ll need to space things out to avoid a crush of people trying to see the same thing at the same time. Make sure aisles between booths are wide enough. Arranging booths in quads is a great way to avoid congestion because it creates cross aisles.

Indicate directions for foot traffic. You can set up signs, put tape on the floor, or assign a staff member to help direct the flow – whatever works best for your floor plan. Clearly indicating foot traffic direction can also help vendors select the best booth space for their business objectives.

And if your venue allows, it’s always best to have multiple entrances and exits instead of a single area. Multiple doorways let people come and go without causing bottlenecks and can help your staff manage crowds as they scan tickets or perform health checks.

Make sure to tell people about every health-related precaution you’re taking and protocol you’re following on your event website, in your marketing materials, and on your social media channels. By doing this, you’re sending a message to both vendors and guests that your show is safe to attend in person.

Purposeful trade show floor planning starts with understanding the goals of your exhibitors. Once you know what they’re trying to accomplish by attending your show, you can build a floor plan that supports their success and keeps all attendees safe.

Floorplan checklist event management software



When designing an event floor plan, try to anticipate which booths will be busiest and plan accordingly. For safety reasons, you want to avoid bottlenecks of people. Aisles need to be wide enough for large groups of people, and booths should be spaced out accordingly. Feature sponsors in prominent areas.