This site outlines some of the tricks retailers use to control traffic flow through their stores. Might there be something here that tradeshow organizers could riff off of to manage flow on the floor? For example:
- Some customers, particularly men, tend to simply shop for what they want, walking down an aisle grabbing what they want, turning back and walking the way they came, this is called the 'Boomerang Effect'. In order to maximise shopper and produce contact time, shops therefore place major items and brands in the middle of aisles ensuring that from any direction the customer has to walk the furthest to reach them.
Upon walking through the Transition Zone most customers will veer to the right (US research). Some think it is because the majority of people are right handed. You will therefore find a prominent display just to the right after the Transition Zone. - As most people are right handed, you will also find that merchandise a store is trying to promote will be positioned just to the right of major items to that it is within easy and natural reach.
Using the lines between laminate flooring, or carpet patterns shops often try to guide you around as they wish. WH Smiths on Oxford Street in London has a giant arrow cut into the carpet with laminate floor guiding you straight to the centre of the store. Niketown also uses this idea with lines across the floor silently ushering people.
Is there something there you could work with? I think so.