Top tips for maximizing your event space when hosting an exhibition.

The Yorkshire Event Centre is one of the most versatile exhibition centres in Harrogate and has event spaces and exhibition halls of varying sizes to suit many different requirements. However, we understand that budgetary restraints often dictate that a smaller venue is required, or you are expecting a healthy amount of visitors to an exhibition and space restrictions are an issue. Furthermore, there are important health and safety regulations which control the number of people allowed in rooms of a certain size, and also how much space is required for walkways and to enable access to fire doors and emergency exits.

In such instances there are parameters that you can put in place to utilise the space available more effectively, but they do require some pre-planning and confirmation in advance on certain variables.

Many exhibition stalls, exhibits, banners and demo equipment come in large transportation packaging which are not required during the course of the exhibition itself. If these can be stored off-site in vehicles or external storage it enables more space in and around stalls for access and the movement of people.

Signing-in and catering
Often there is a requirement to sign-in to an exhibition or to receive an introduction pack, also there are usually tea and coffee facilities or other food and refreshments; such facilities, while necessary, often cause queues and delays. If these could be carried out in a room separate to the main exhibition hall it would create more space for the main purpose of the exhibition and allow a more functional flow of people, rather than causing bottlenecks.

Limit the number of stallholders
Sometimes less is more, and while you need to maximise the purpose of the exhibition, it may be beneficial to have one or two less stallholders and exhibits if it means the ones that remain can be seen easier and better utilised. This is a difficult one to judge but is a factor to consider when assessing how much space is available.

Limit a stallholder’s footprint
It is common practice to allow a stallholder only a specific area in which to set up and exhibit their products or services. They should not encroach over this boundary and this then allows you to plan how many stallholders you can accommodate in your event space to ensure safe access for the public.

Avoid dead space
If the footprint you are allowing stallholders is a uniform shape and size, this should allow you to avoid ‘dead space’ occurring, whereby two stalls back onto each other, or stand side-by-side, but leave an area of space that neither are utilising. This can also occur at the end of a row of stalls, leaving dead space next to a wall, for example. Whether you have a large capacity venue or a smaller event space you should be able to design a floor layout so that access to stalls, doors, walkways and emergency exits is possible without such crucial, wasted space being created.

Use outdoor areas where possible
Of course this is dependent on the weather and the design of the event venue, but if it is possible and safe to extend an exhibition hall outside you should look at doing this. External areas might only be used for refreshments and networking rather than for a permanent stall location, but it does ease the pressure inside the exhibition venue and creates more space.