Now that you've organised most of the peripheral aspects of exhibiting it's time to get down to the nitty gritty, designing  an exhibition stand. It's the creative aspect of exhibiting, but don't let that fool you. Designing an exhibition stand that is functional and aesthetically pleasing is hard. It is often done by someone who has the time to ensure that a quality stand is produced. Ensuring that your stand is going to be the right concept for your brand is no easy feat. Below you will read about all of the steps involved in designing a function stand that is aesthetically pleasing.  

Functional Aspects of Designing an Exhibition Stand

1. Concept: The concept of your exhibition stand is incredibly important. The best way to plan the concept of your stand is to think about the functional aspects of your stand. Do you want your stand to display products? Are you a service based business who needs to have conversations with prospects? Will you be doing something interactive such as holding a cooking experience? These are really important considerations in the way that your stand with be created. This step involves analysing what your brand is trying to represent with your exhibition stand. It's important to gather the colour schemes before you move beyond the concept stage. What are the colours of your branding? You should understand how these colours may play a role in the stand and concept with other items that you want to include in your stand. Once you have your overall concept, you can start planning the foundations of your stand.

2. Floor: There are two main options for flooring – carpet or raised floor. These options come in many different colour variations. Sometimes, you won’t get a choice in your flooring and it’s important to understand this. Raised floor is required if you need 3 phase power, if you require a large volume of power to the stand (but not 3 phase power), and if you need water access on the stand. It is not negotiable that these requirements will trigger the need for raised flooring. The type of floor and the colour will be dictated by the concept that you established in step 1. While raised flooring is expensive, it creates a nicer looking finish for your stand and can be used even if there is no functional reason. You can choose a raised floor purely because it looks better than carpet. If you are looking to stand out at the exhibition this is the recommended option.

3. Walls: The organiser can limit how high the walls on your stand are. Sometimes this limit is clearly stated in your exhibitor manual, other times the limit exists because anything over a prescribed height attracts the need for an engineering certificate. The colour of the wall is usually dictated by what other things you have on the stand, as well as what suits your branding. Curved walls are a great feature but can be difficult to build. If you wanted to have curved features on your stand, you need to have access to a workshop where you have space to work. It is important to consider how you will build a stand when creating a stand. If you create something that looks amazing, but you’re not sure how it will be built, it might not be built the way you had designed it. When we create a design, our whole team works together to also make sure that the design we present to a client can be confidently built by our team. This ensures that the design we present is the stand we will produce, with no changes. If you design something that looks fantastic, but you can't explain how it should be built to a stand builder, or you haven't considered how it will be built, chances are you'll be disappointed with the finished product. The stand builder will most likely have to change the design so that they are able to build the stand. 

4. Rigging/Support: Sometimes, a stand will require rigging to support the structure. Other times rigging is purely for aesthetic purposes. It is important to remember that rigging is an expensive item to have on a stand. If you want to avoid having rigging on your stand then you will ideally create a stand that doesn’t require rigging to support it. If you are struggling to understand what will require rigging and what won’t, it is best to consult with a stand builder. If you really want to stand out though, rigging is a great way to achieve this. It gives your stand the greatest chance of being seen by a wide range of visitors in the exhibition area.

5. Furniture: Furniture needs are usually dictated by what you want your stand to achieve. If you need to have conversations with your prospects you will need to have tables and chairs. If you need to process sales you need to have a counter. Working out the concept of your stand will help you identify the furniture that you will need to have on the stand. Finding the right furniture for your stand is also important. Having furniture that suits your branding and concept messaging is important. If you have a counter, it is worth considering whether you can put your logo on the counter, optimising your branding.

6. Lights: Lights might seem like a really easy thing to put on a stand. But choosing the right lights is important. How will you affix the lights to the stand? How will you power the lights? You want to make sure that your lights are LEDs, no one wants to be changing a light in the middle of an exhibition. You have better things to do, like selling!

7. AV Requirements: AV is a great way to demonstrate what your company does before people approach your stand. It can also be a great way to draw people to your stand. Visitors are likely to watch a compelling video presentation. But have you factored in a TV to your design so far? Which wall will it sit on and how does that flow with the rest of the stand? Have you also considered how you will capture leads? This is commonly done using a laptop or a tablet. Where will you keep these items? Do you need lockable storage for these items?  These are basic AV requirements, without considering any interactive elements you might have on your stand. Basic interactive elements are things like VR goggles and more advanced interactive elements could be a game or an escape room. These more advanced interactions should really be considered when you are planning the concept of your stand. They should be attached to a goal that you are trying to achieve. For example most interactive elements are designed to attract more visitors to the stand. Often there is a need for a prospect to give their email address or have their entry ticket scanned before they can engage with the interactive element. In these examples the goal would be to increase the number of leads that are being attained from exhibiting, and having an interactive element supports this goal. 

8. Logo: Your logo is an important aspect of branding for your exhibition stand. Your logo can be present on the stand in a multitude of ways and you should really consider which best represents your brand. There is a variety of materials you can use for your logo, whether you use acrylic or go for a wooden look and have the logo cut out using a CNC machine. This step involves bringing your logo to life. There are many different ways you can achieve this, but a designer will find some great answers quicker than you might be able to research them.

9. Graphics: There are many opportunities to use graphics on an exhibition stand. There are several different types of materials that graphics can be printed on to that will enhance the desired effects of the stand. If you are using graphics as evidence of what your business does or for educational purposes there are strict guidelines you should adhere to  that will ensure that your graphics are easily read by prospects. An exhibition designer spends a lot of time researching what are the best materials for graphics, considering the different applications and longevity as well as colour-lasting effects.

Lastly, to accomplish all of this, you need great design software. You don't just need one particular type of software, our designer uses a wide range. This ensures that there are excellent quality renders, that the constructions plans can easily be created, that the design can be understood. It is a greater expense to investigate and install this wide range of software than it is to engage a designer to create a stand for you. 

 Ready to work out the costs of your stand?

BEWARE! The next page may shock you. It can seem like designing and organising your own exhibition stand will save you money. In reality, it just gives you a headache. It takes a lot of time and research to find the latest and greatest products, which is why it is strongly recommended that you speak with a reputable stand builder to discuss your exhibition needs. Click the button to move to the next page and see what the cost of your exhibition stand will be.

Cost of an Exhibition Stand