How to select floor plan software
We assume you are using an interactive floor plan software for your event. If you are not, you are leaving money on the table. From automated booth sales, to featured listings sales and floor plan ads, interactive plans can generate significant revenue. Not to mention that both exhibitors and attendees would prefer to see and search the live floor plan, not a week-old unsearchable PDF.
But how do you select the best floor plan software? We will give you an easy-to-follow guide that makes your selection a snap.
Start by defining the floor plan features that are important to you. We have combined the list below, but your priorities may be different.
- The floor plan has to look and feel great. Your clients will associate the floor plan with your company. It should add value to your event website, not take away from it.
- It has to look equally good, and be easy to use, on mobile phones. Every year, more and more people are using phones where previously they've been using computers to access the floor plan. Now, most of your attendees will use floor plans on their phones only.
- It has to provide basic floor plan functionality which allows the user to find an exhibitor, find a booth, find all exhibitors in a specific category, see exhibitor's profile along with their location, or bookmark a booth.
- It has to assist in the booth sales process. The floor plan has to clearly display available booths with their sizes and prices. Ideally, there should be a "Buy" button displayed and payments can be processed.
- It should allow exhibitors to manage their profiles themselves.
- It should offer a floor plan designer allowing you to make basic modifications like adding, deleting, and merging booths.
- It should have an easy-to-use control panel to manage exhibitors, assign them to booths, and get statistics.
- It should be reasonably priced and demonstrate how you can generate revenue that far outweighs the expense.
Do not be persuaded by salesmen that any other feature is important unless you clearly see its benefits. Many offers are overblown with obscure features that are impossible to use. Keep your focus.
Your second step — generate the list of floor plan software providers you want to check. Below we have combined the list of all the currently relevant floor plan software providers.
Next — go to the providers' web sites and see the demo of their floor plans. Even better if they show you the live examples of their latest work. If they are not available just shoot them a short email asking for the latest examples of their floor plans. To save time, do not engage in deeper discussions at this stage. Note how responsive the providers are to your request — this can be a good indicator of the customer support quality you'll get in the future.
Look at the examples from the user's point of view. Does it look great? Is it intuitive and easy to use? How usable is it on the phone? Is it fast and responsive? Do you want this to become a part of your event website? Does it perform the basic functions you've listed?
After that you will probably have 2-3 leaders selected. Call them to have an online demo to check out the rest of the features and pricing. Keep the list of your requested features and rate each of the selected providers on every item. Sum the totals — you have yourself a winner!
The whole process should take a few hours, but at the end of the day you've selected the floor plan software provider that is objectively the best for your event!