Designing your stand – how to get started

Are you looking to promote a product? Target leads? Shout about your brand? Whatever your reason for exhibiting, it still comes down to design. How will you stand out from the crowd and make the biggest ROI?

With a slick design, that’s how.

But if you don’t know what that means in terms of your exhibition space, then fear not, because here’s our quick guide on how to get started.


Start with the basics


Before you get carried away researching what other companies are doing, think about how you feel, or more specifically, how your company feels. Do you feel corporate? Cool? Trendy? Take your cues from there.

Now that you’ve got your feel, you need to think about the functionality. Are you showcasing a new product? Is your aim to generate new leads? Or are you selling right then and there?

The function of your stand will help you to tell your story, and it’s important that your message doesn’t get lost. One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is to revert to a corporate-looking stand by putting some graphics on a wall and leaving it there.


Questions answered, what’s next?


With the function and feel sorted, your stand should have already started to take shape. For example a trendy company looking to generate new leads will probably want to keep the space open for their energetic sales people to do their thing.

A corporate company planning on holding one-to-one meetings may want to split the stand in two, depending on your floor space, with a front-of-house area to draw people in, and somewhere more private/comfortable to sit down and chat.

And a cool company selling on the day will need their setup to reflect a pop-up shop. You need a clear purchase area as well as clear signage that reflects your brand.


Don’t forget to consider your audience


While a consumer event should be more fun and engaging, a B2B show will likely be more mute with strong, simple messaging. If this is your first time exhibiting at this particular show, then ask your account handler for advice on the vibe. Who usually attends, and what usually goes down well?

Remember while with some shows a big, bright colourful stand can make an impact, at another, a big crisp, white stand would get the most attention. Know what works, and make it better.


Now it’s time to have some fun


You have a rough idea of how you want your stand to work, but you’ve still got a blank canvas to play with. Everyone has brand guidelines which dictate your tone, look and colour, but exhibition spaces aren’t usually in the guidelines, so you have a chance to have some fun with it.

Try to pull your brand as far as possible, remember this is your chance to meet your audience in a live environment, so put your best foot forward and make it an enjoyable space to be in.

The treatment, feel, textiles and materials all need to be considered at once. Start thinking about how you physically want it to look. An exhibition stand doesn’t just have to be painted walls and laminate, there’s no reason why you can’t use interesting, tactile materials. Adding unique objects, colour and texture is a simple way to stand out from the crowd.


Be relevantly random


By this we mean using materials and/design that attracts attention for being different, but still ties in with your brand or product. For example if you’re a skate brand, you could have a wall made of wheels. Or a brand that’s style is full of colour may decide to build a wall out of lego.


Get your message out there


You’ve got the floor, now what are you going to say? Think carefully now, as you don’t want to turn your space into a giant powerpoint presentation, think of it more as the equivalent to an elevator pitch. Remove the clutter and get straight to the point.

How you say it, however, will depend on your audience. If it’s a b2b event, then strong, simple messaging is vital. If it’s a consumer event then you can be more fun and engaging. Regardless of your stand size, whether you’ve got a 3m shell scheme wall or a 15m double-decker, it all comes down to good graphics and crisp, strong messaging.


And finally the tech…


We live in a digital world, but if you haven’t got anything worthy of showing, don’t! Just putting your website up will not suffice, but if you have something compelling to showcase on your screen then this will be a great addition to your stand. And the beauty of this is screens are a lot more flexible than graphics.


So there you have it.

Still stuck on what to do with your space? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out. In the meantime, check out these top 7 mistakes exhibitors make.