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How to Design an Exhibition Stand to Make People Stop & Stare

The long-awaited business expo is finally here! You’ve spent hours practicing your winning smile in the bathroom mirror. You’re dressed to kill, your hair is immaculate, and your posture is perfect. So why is nobody visiting your stand? Why is everybody walking straight past without even glancing in your direction? Why are crowds gathering at every other stand, when all you seem to be able to attract is tumbleweeds?

It might be because – and there’s no polite way of saying this – your stand is terrible. It’s vague. It’s boring. It’s repellent.

Exhibition stand design for success

So what can you do to fix it? How do you put together a stand that’s sure to win you tonnes of new leads at every conference or exhibition you attend?

The trick is to make your stall stand out. Make it impossible to ignore. Make it the sort of place that delegates actually want to visit.

It’s easier said than done, we know. That’s why we’ve put together this short guide to making a good exhibition stand.

Don’t Go In Without a Plan

We’ve already written about how to prepare for an exhibition. The months leading up to the exhibition should be spent honing your strategy, and this strategy should directly inform the design of your stall.

Ask yourself – what do I want to get out of this exhibition? Once you define your goals, your exhibition stand can be tailored to help you achieve them. For example, if you want to use the exhibition to promote a particular product or service, make this product or service the sole focus of your exhibition stall.

Make Clarity Your Priority

We’ve seen it happen hundreds of times: A delegate walks up to an exhibition stand, takes a long hard look at the various graphics and buzzwords, and asks: “So what exactly do you do?”

If your stand doesn’t immediately communicate who you are and what you do, then you might as well go home. There might be hundreds of people at the exhibition who want and need what you’re offering. So who knows how many potential leads you’re missing out on simply through not making yourself clear?

So avoid the buzzwords, the hashtags, the vague mission statements and the generic stock photography, and instead focus on clarity. Looking at your stand, anyone should be able to tell, in a matter of seconds:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • What sort of product or service you’re offering
  • How this product or service will benefit anyone who uses it

Feed These Ideas into Your Design

So your exhibition stand should give a clear idea of who you are, and it should be tailored to help you achieve your specific business objectives.

But what other considerations should go into your stand design?

First of all, as well as sending out a strong message, your stand needs to reflect your brand identity. Do you want to present yourself as innovative and forward thinking? Then go for a striking contemporary look, with lots of clean lines and steel. Or perhaps you want to come across as earthy, with strong green credentials? In which case, you might be better going for more of a rustic look.Exhibition pop-up stand for trade shows

Second, consider your target audience. It’s hardly an exact science, but bright colours tend to appeal to younger audience, while muted and prestigious colours are more likely to attract mature business professionals.

Your design needs to be adapted to suit your display equipment. Something that looks good on a display stand, for instance, won’t necessarily look good on a hop-up stand.

Finally, you need to take into consideration the space you’ve been given. How big is your pitch? Sure, you might only have room for a simple stand and counter. But if you’ve been given a lot of space to play with, use it! We’ve seen businesses create stunning immersive experiences, with extensive interactive multimedia elements.

Which brings us to…

Be Prepared to Go All Out

We’ve previously written about the sort of things you can bring to exhibitions to make your day easier and to create a strong and lasting impression.

Bowls of sweets and branded swag almost always work. But if you want to have any success, there’s no room for half-measures.

Make things as good as your budget will allow. For example, if you’ve taken the trouble to bring a screen to your stand, don’t just display a bland PowerPoint presentation. Instead, consider investing in a professionally-produced video, one that shows off your brand, your products, your services and your values in the best possible light.

Remember That Your Stand Can Only Take You So Far

A well-designed exhibition stand will attract the attention of delegates and communicate your brand values, and the specific benefits your offering.

But it won’t generate any leads.

As soon as your stand has piqued the curiosity of a delegate and encouraged them to wander over, its work is done. Your work, though, is just getting started.

It’s now that your carefully-planned winning smile will really come into play.

The best way to network at trade shows and business exhibitions is an extensive subject in itself. But suffice to say that your sales pitch must reflect the message you’re sending out with your stand.

So for example, if you’re using your stand to promote a specific product or service, be prepared to answer any question your leads might possibly have about that product or service.

If you want any more pointers on how to prepare for your next trade show, why not get in touch?

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses from a range of sectors to be at their very best at trade exhibitions. To find out what we can do for you, call us on 0116 255 4640, or email sales@ral-display.co.uk.

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