As you scroll through your work calendar, you’ll probably notice that exhibitions are major events throughout your year. Whether it’s a local trade show or an international industry event, it’s the time when you can get away from behind your laptop and talk to your audience one on one, in person.
You might think you have a good routine for how to get the most out of exhibitions. However, when was the last time you thought about your exhibition stand design? Do you use the same banners and assets every year? Is it time for a change?
Let’s face it. Most exhibition registrations are not cheap. But the potential to make great connections and increase sales is undeniable. So why not invest a little more time and money building a high quality bespoke exhibition stand to get an even better return?
First things first
Before we dive into the details of exhibition stand design, the most critical thing to think about is your target audience. As a brand, you need to be confident and clear about who your customers are. Will the right people be at the exhibition? Are you speaking to them in the right way?
Promotion for large exhibitions usually starts a year in advance, as soon as one event has ended. That year is an unmissable opportunity to connect with your audience. Refine your messaging and find out exactly what they want to see from you as a brand.
When designing a stand for an exhibition, the visitor experience needs to be front and centre. But creating a design that’s both functional and inviting for people attending can be a tricky balance. Here are some of the mistakes you might be making with your exhibition stand design.
1. Inconsistent marketing materials
Before, during and after an exhibition your customers face an information overload. Make sure that your brand doesn’t get overlooked as people walk the aisles. Keep all your social media posts, email invitations, flyers, posters, and even staff t-shirts consistent with strong and clear branding. Something recognisable in amongst the noise of an exhibition hall.
And remember to keep that thread running through any follow-up marketing as well!
2. Missing social media moments
Your brand shouldn’t just stay inside the temporary walls of your exhibition stand. Make sure that your social media handles and custom hashtag are clearly displayed so your customers and colleagues can engage with you on social media long after they’ve left your corner of the exhibition hall. You can encourage social sharing with a competition or quirky photo booth selfie area.
3. Poor location
If you don’t get your registration in early, you could find yourself in the farthest corner of the exhibition space. Don’t take an insular view of your booth and it’s design – make sure you get a prime spot by signing up early. Once you know your location, you’ll have the freedom to make sure your stand design works with the rate of foot traffic and the flow of the space.
4. Uninviting layout
How do you create an exhibition stand design that will attract visitors, encouraging them to break their flow and interact with you and your displays? Your booth needs to maximise floor space and should be open, inviting and free from physical barriers keeping people in the aisle. Whether it’s comfy chillout seating or an interactive display, find your style. Get people to step over the invisible threshold so you can start a conversation.
5. No stand-up banners
Stand-up banners are an exhibition show essential. Not only are they the perfect way to show lots of information about your brand or product, but they’re also space-saving and practical too. You can hide away unsightly boxes and bags behind them and create a better flow by positioning banners strategically.
6. Forgettable visitor experience
You might have the best product or service on the market, but if your exhibition stand design is boring and unoriginal, you won’t see the success you deserve. How will you make them stop in their tracks when every other booth is trying to do the same thing? Invite your customers in with an interactive element to your stand. Whether it’s a product demo or a fun activity, make sure your stand is welcoming and shows your personality.
7. Information overload
An exhibition might be one of the rare occasions when you get the opportunity to talk to your audience face to face. It may be tempting to throw as much information as possible at your customers as soon as they enter your booth but try to think about the customers’ overall exhibition experience and avoid a busy stand design with too much information. Keep things simple, and they will be more likely to remember your pitch.
8. Not investing in the best exhibition stand design
Exhibitions are competitive. A great product and a winning smile alone won’t cut it in the ruthless exhibition hall. Whether you have space only or a shell scheme, the best way to prepare for a successful exhibition is by working with an experienced design team to create a stand with an eye-catching design that incorporates all your branding and messaging in a clever, practical and memorable way.