If you’re planning to book at a stand at an exhibition – what’s the best location and layout? Richard Edwards of Quatreus has booked dozens and designed 100s of stands and here are his top five tips for choosing the best location and layout for your stand:
Tip #1: Get a floor plan before you start
It is essential to get a floor plan of the exhibition centre before you start planning anything else to do with your stand. Your stand has to fit the location, not the other way around.
If possible, it is also good idea to gather any previous years’ floor plans for the exhibition. You can then identify any patterns, such as certain industries grouping together, or recurring refreshment areas that will help to guarantee heavy footfall.
Tip #2: Choosing side, corner or island
Most exhibition venues will give you an option of placing your stand at the side, on a corner or on an island in the middle part of the venue. Each of these locations has benefits and drawbacks:
– Side – Most stands at an exhibition are at the sides, making it easy to design a reusable stand for this space. However, this position can make it more difficult to get noticed as other stands will inevitably block the view.
– Corner – Corner spaces can help deliver a greater footfall to your exhibition stand, because people tend to walk along a side and pause when going around a corner, leading most of the visitors directly to your stand. However, once the exhibition gets busy, corner stands can get forgotten about.
– Island – Stands that sit somewhere in the middle of an exhibition venue can prove very effective in delivering footfall. But, make sure you anticipate the main entry point so that you can angle your branding and other stand features to greet new visitors.
Tip #3: Choose your neighbours carefully
The stands featured nearby your own can have a great effect on the success of your stand.
– Industry ‘swamp’ – If all of your neighbours are from the same industry then they might detract away from your stand and overwhelm visitors.
– Industry leaders – Placing your stand near an industry leader will attract people to visit your stand as well – proximity has a subtle psychological effect of making the two companies seem linked.
– Complimentary neighbours – Placing your exhibition stand near a complementary stand can also have some great benefits since you can both refer visitors to each other’s stands.
Tip #4: Spread your arms
If you have multiple arms to your business then it may be worth allocating each their own exhibition space in different areas of the exhibition. There are two benefits to this:
– Greater brand awareness – With two or three different stands all connected to the same company, your brand awareness at the exhibition will be much higher
– Improved targeting – By separating out the different arms of your business you can position each in locations that will attract the most relevant footfall.
Tip #5: Making the most of what you have
It is essential that prior to the design phase, you discover any exhibitor limitations on your stand, for example power supply, height and floor space. The only way to stand out is to get creative within these limitations – not to limit your creativity.
For example, BT needed an exhibition stand to fit within a very tight floor space with limited power supply. So Quatreus looked at the aspects it could use in the design; height, and soft light. They designed and built a canopy of stretched material, which refracted low-wattage lighting to create a spectacular result visible all the way from the exhibition entrance.
The key is to plan your stand in advance. Don’t book a space without thinking about what you want to achieve at the exhibition and who you want to attract. Design around any limitations – don’t give in to them!. Whatever space you have to play with there are endless creative things you can do to attract attention – the key is in solid planning and great design.
About the Author
Richard Edwards, Director, Quatreus Ltd. Quatreus specialises in creating face to face experiences that strengthen relationships and improve communication – for both internal and external audiences. Activities include customer facing events and activities, exhibitions, trade-shows, road-shows and interactive experience centres, as well as conferences, AGMs, and staff and stakeholder engagement programmes. For more information see: www.quatreus.com