Following is a transcription of the conversation between Sarah Kloepple and Johnson Controls Exhibit and Events Manager Becky Andrzejak featured in The Advantages of a Two-Story Exhibit Booth episode of the Meetings Today Podcast.

Sarah: Hello, everyone. This is Sarah Kloepple, staff writer at BUILDINGS, sister publication of Meetings Today. I’m at AHR 2019 in Atlanta.

I’m talking with Becky Andrzejak of Johnson Controls. We are here today to talk about this crazy new trend of these two-story booths at these expos. They’re impressive. So, Becky, what did it take to put this together, this two-story booth?

 

Becky: I think in a booth of our size, we’re 16,200 square feet here at AHR, we have over 25 of our HVAC brands and products all in one exhibit space. So, we really have the challenge of how do we show all of these products and brands under the Johnson Control’s portfolio?

When you have an exhibit of this size, you’re bringing in this amount of people, this many different booths within one booth, a double-deck structure is really just a natural solution. It allowed us to have space on the bottom of the structure for six in-booth meeting rooms.

Many of our sales reps, project managers and leaders can have a lot of important customer meetings that they’re doing here during the three days of AHR, so it allows them that private space without having to go out to the convention center or find [space] in the very busy lunch areas here at the convention center.

Johnson Controls' Double-Deck Exhibit Booth Second Story Networking at AHR Expo, Credit: Sarah Kloepple​
Johnson Controls' Double-Deck Exhibit Booth Second Story Networking at AHR Expo, Credit: Sarah Kloepple​

This top story [of the Johnson Controls booth] really allows us to do something a little bit more VIP private, so we’re talking with all of our VIP customers, giving them some future insight into the organization, giving them that real VIP treatment, to set the stage for further conversations and deeper meetings with our leaders.

Finally, I think the double-deck structure gives this whole entire booth just a next level presence.

I think selfishly for us too, we positioned it in the center for a very strategic reason, because then you can see all of the 25 brands and products around the perimeter.

As we’re having those higher-level conversations, it really gives them a birds’-eye view of what it’s all about.

Sarah: That’s awesome. So if a meeting planner [or supplier] is considering doing this for a booth for one of their meetings, what are some advantages of getting this built out or disadvantages of that?

Becky: You definitely want to make sure that you have the budget. Any time that you’re building a structure of this size and this capacity, you know, it obviously increases your costs.

However, as we’re doing our VIP experience up here, the return on investment is certainly going to outweigh the cost to do it. Even if the numbers look a little scary at first, just keep in mind the things that you can achieve.

Having our elite customers up here [is important], but also the customer meetings that are taking place downstairs [has value], if you really look at that ROI as a whole, just for the structure alone, it really pays off.

Then, I guess challenges or some other things to consider, everything will have to go through engineering and design, so you’ll have to get approval from the convention center just to make sure everything’s up to spec.

You’ll have to consider weight limits and maximum capacity. There's probably a little bit ... a few more logistics than your standard just kind of one-story booth.

Sarah: Yeah. Have you heard any feedback, maybe from attendees or visitors about the two-story booth?

Becky: Everybody really, really loves it. Again, I think it really provides that presence that we were looking to achieve. I think attendees are really kind of interested--they see a buzz. You can see in our current design, we have a transparent fabric that’s going all the way around. So, again, the idea is that you can see out, but it also provides a level of privacy and kind of gets people wondering, "Well, what’s going on up there? I wanna check it out." Hopefully they’re having those conversations with our reps downstairs to get them access up here.


Johnson Controls' Two-Story Exhibit Booth Ground Floor Meeting Rooms at AHR Expo, Credit: Sarah Kloepple

Sarah: Anything else you wanted to add for meeting planners that you think is good to know about these two-story booths? Or just anything I didn’t bring up?

Becky: I think if you really have the budget and the space to do it, I really think it’s kind of a way to bring your exhibit to the next level, literally. No pun intended.

Sarah: Great. Thanks so much, Becky. This concludes the podcast episode. Thanks everyone for listening.

And make sure to check out our other Meetings Today Podcast episodes.