Seeing your exhibition stand brief translated into a 3d concept or animated flythrough is exciting but how can you tell if the designs are going to provide the desired result for your business? We’ve spent a great deal of time observing the performance of exhibition stands. Here are some useful strategies that guide our thinking when developing concepts and can be used by you to assess the effectiveness of your design.
Making a big impact over and above that of the other stands in the hall is always top of any design brief. Whether the final solution be bold and creative, sleek and subtle, funky and originative – a cohesive and imaginative exhibition stand that is visible throughout the hall will always attract visitors. Exhibitions are live events therefore creating a sense of drama and a real buzz around them is key.
Interesting and thought provoking features and product displays, merchandising, giveaways, catering (everyone loves a free coffee!), audio visual displays, cutting edge technology and/or interactives can be a real draw. Using the airspace above the stand for high level branding will ensure that your stand is visible from all directions. Get the balance right and visitors will be pulled towards your stand rather than those surrounding it giving you a head start.
Creating the right environment
Creating an environment that fits with your brand, meets your objectives captures the imagination of your target market and blows your competition out of the water is key to the success of your exhibition stand. Creating an exceptional experience for your visitors means gaining a thorough understanding of both their mind set and your business to ensure that your vision is translated across the 3d environment in a way that your visitors can relate to. For example a sleek and minimal exhibition stand featuring little colour would sit very well for a pharmaceutical company at a show aimed at medical professionals but wouldn’t work so well for an electronics giant promoting themselves at consumer focused technology show.
A relaxed urban style stand environment built out of salvaged materials with a non staged appearance (incidentally a very difficult look to achieve!) would work well at a fashion or home event aimed at brand savvy consumers but would not work at all for an aero engine manufacturer promoting themselves to industry professionals at an international aerospace show.
Capturing the imagination of a gamer at a gaming event might mean building a fully contained environment which will immerse visitor senses with dramatic sound effects, smells and textures whilst restricting light levels whereas appealing to a car fanatic at an Auto event might mean creating an awe inspiring ambience using bright lighting to recreate natural daylight, open space, inspirational music, high tech materials and lifestyle graphics.
Your brand and visitors have personality and it is important that this is conveyed effectively. Design detailing and the use of colour, materials, lighting can make or break a design.
It is essential therefore that your designer puts significant effort into researching these key areas before formulating the design scheme. Designing an effective environment is not about the personal preferences of the designer themselves but is entirely about answering the brief and fulfilling the aims and objectives of the client, a point that often gets missed! Creating a great environment, pitched just right, will enhance the experience of your visitors. If they leave with a positive experience they will be more likely to remember it, return to it, talk / think about it and view the products or services that it was promoting in a positive light.
We often see stand hostesses sat at reception counters focused on their mobile phones, sales staff huddled in a corner chatting away between themselves entirely unaware of the potential customers surrounding them and worse still demotivated staff sat in the lounge area eating lunch in full view. The effect of a positive staff experience of the stand should not be underestimated. Provide your staff with an environment that they’re proud to be a part of and they will sell your products and services with enthusiasm and a smile on their face. People buy from people so visitor experience of your staff will directly influence perception of your company and sales.
Messaging should be consistent across your stand, company literature and press material. Make sure all your marketing messages are prepared in advance of the event in order to ensure that you communicate clearly who you are, what you do and what your business is about.
Gaining a thorough understanding the journeys that staff and guests will take through the space is important. Good exhibition stand design is about creating a space that works well for the business that it is promoting, their staff and visitors to the stand alike, ensuring free and unhindered movement in all the right places to provide an open and inviting environment that encourages interaction. An essential part of this process is ensuring that health and safety and DDA regulations are well considered and adhered to, these vary from country to country. Ask your designer to explain the regulations to you to ensure that you are fully compliant and that your customers are reassured that their needs have been considered.
Would you like to reuse the stand components at other events? If so consider whether the materials, shapes and forms that have been used within the design are likely to last the test of time. A skilled and experienced stand builder will be worth their weight in gold as they will specify and manufacture well engineered flexible and reconfigurable components, transporting and storing them with reuse in mind.