Larger Island Booth Space VS Smaller Island Booths with Double Decks

Today we’re taking a look at adding booth space, and if adding space with a double deck trade show booth or if reserving a larger booth space is the better way to go. On the surface, both of these seem like a simple question of adding square footage on a second level versus adding square footage on the floor level.

One would think you could simply compare the square foot cost of getting a larger booth space against the additional cost of adding a double deck structure to your custom island booth design. However it’s much more complex than that.

Exhibitors that would pull the trigger on having a double deck structure integrated into their booth design have different motivation than companies that would gravitate towards a larger booth space.

Here’s what matters:

Double decks don’t exactly double your booth space. Adding a double deck structure sacrifices as much, if not more, of the usable space at the floor level, instead of opening your space up. What you’re really achieving is elevating part of your existing booth space. Double deck can also limit what you can do with overhead signage, and the install dismantle costs more.

But double decks do create an impressive commanding presence and view across the show floor. If you’re an established market leader and you’ve transitioned from hunting for new customers to maintaining customers, then a double deck could be a great VIP lounge or meeting space to make your loyal customers feel special.

If you also happen to be in an industry where you can name 6 to 10 buyers that control large portion of your sales then a double deck could really be helpful. Being invited up to the deck is seen as a privilege. Taking a meeting on the deck overlooking the show floor makes a powerful statement.

You can probably see that by contrast, adding booth space by opting for a larger island booth might be the better solution if you’re a newer exhibitor building your client base, or if maintaining your client base has nothing to do with pleasing a handful of heavy hitter buyers.

Choosing to add booth space by increasing your floor space allows you to create a more open and inviting booth layout where new prospects can come and investigate who you are, what you do, and how you might be a fit for them. On any given large trade show floor the heavy hitter buyers might be browsing the show floor on their way to their meeting at a double deck trade show booth. It certainly makes sense that they’re more likely to engage in an open and inviting larger island booth than they are to engage a competitor with an intimidating double deck.

It’s fair to mention that if money were no object the overall best solution could be a much larger open island booth that also happens to have a double deck designed into in one corner. However, companies that can afford this don’t represent the majority of exhibitors.

So with a little deeper look, it’s easy to see that booth options have a purpose depending on the company you are and where you’re at in building your brand and customer base or maintaining it.

Unique Larger Booth Challenges

For companies familiar with exhibiting in a larger booth space, they know some challenges that the rest of the exhibitors don’t really deal with as much. Most companies that jump from an in-line into an island booth space, go with a smaller island that might be 20 x 20 or 20 x 30 booth size. Most shows have a good quantity of these two very common booth sizes.

The larger booth sizes are less plentiful but also less predictable in what will be offered by the show. For example, if you have a booth designed and built perfectly for a 50 x 50 booth space, you may not be able to secure a 50 x 50 booth space at the show. By the time it’s your turn to pick, there might only be smaller or larger booths available, but not exactly what you’re looking for.

This is where renting your larger island booth space becomes a great strategy. When you choose a rental partner that specializes in trade show rental booths, you’re also getting tremendous flexibility do adapt your larger booth design to any future booth spaces you reserve, with double deck rentals or without.

Renting a larger island booth can be like having your own warehouse, filled with options you can pick and choose to freshen your look or tailor to a specific booth space. Renting a larger island booth is by far the best way to go big and even land heavy hitters without it costing you the farm.

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Quick two minute video.