How to create an effective exhibition stand


Exhibiting at a trade show can bring in many benefits to a business, from increased brand awareness to generating qualified leads. But it is also a significant investment in time and money for a small business. Thus, you want to make sure the exhibition is a success and generates a good return on investment (ROI). For that to happen, you need an effective exhibition stand. So what makes a good exhibition stand? Here is an outline for the main features.

1. Space

Obviously, if you have the budget, a bigger stand will generally bring you more attention than a smaller one. However, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Don’t make the mistake of blowing your whole budget on a large space, then not having enough to put in it. A large empty stand can be intimidating for visitors.

Exhibiting is all about creating intimacy. If you have a large space, you need a large stand and plenty of staff to create a more intimate feel and make visitors feel comfortable. This is often more budget-friendly to achieve in a smaller space.

Make sure you allow enough space for visitors to mingle and relax in. Providing seating areas is a good idea, exhibitions are tiring and people will welcome the chance to sit down for a few minutes.



2. Design

A sleek, uncluttered, modern feel will always give the best impression. Ensure your branding is large enough to be visible from across the hall. If you are including images, they too should be big enough to be seen from a distance. Remember there will be people and furniture obscuring the lower part of the stand so keep images and branding to the top. 

Avoid having too much text, it will make the stand look busy and people won’t bother to read it. Limit the text to a punchy strapline that visitors will remember and save other information for your brochure. 

Being taller than your competitors is a good way to stand out. Check the maximum height allowed by the organisers and consider having hanging graphics or high-level branding.

Don’t forget the flooring, incorporating a photo-floor can finish a standoff well rather than just having the standard carpet tiles.



3. Products

Having products on your stand that visitors can see and touch is a good way to encourage sales, people like to actually experience a product before purchasing it. But, don’t overcrowd your stand with endless items, just a select few on display is enough. Giving product demonstrations if appropriate is another effective sales technique. Nevertheless, try to give them a more intimate feel by giving them to just a few people at a time rather than a big crowd.



4. Lighting

Ensure your stand is lit up well and not just by the exhibition strip lights. Incorporating LED spotlights to highlight specific areas of your stand adds an extra dimension. Consider using coloured lights for extra effect. Make use of backlit product display cases within your stand or have lit up plinths. If used properly, lighting can create a specific mood or ambience on your stand.

5. People

Choose your staff carefully and make sure they are fully trained in demonstrating and talking about your products. There is nothing more off-putting to visitors than seeing bored looking staff on their phones or talking amongst themselves. Your staff should have the ability to communicate well with visitors and qualify leads effectively. Don’t overcrowd your stand with lots of company executives, this again will put visitors off, but have enough to fill the stand and allow for breaks. Make sure personal items are hidden from view and ban eating on the stand.

6. Technology

When you have the budget, incorporating technology into your stand can be a way of drawing in visitors. People like to have something to interact with, so having iPads or audio visual equipment is a good idea. Allowing people to enter their own details onto an iPad can be an easier way of taking information too.

Why not experiment with virtual reality games? This will create a memorable experience for your visitors and keep them engaged for longer. You could make the game available as an app after the show. 

7. Promotional items

Giveaways are standard features of exhibitions. But they are popular and make a good addition to your stand. Rather than resorting to the usual pens, try to think of something that people will find useful and keep with them. A reusable coffee cup for instance or a memory stick.


To gain the maximum return when exhibiting it is important to have an effective exhibition stand. Paying attention to the space, the design, your staff, the technology used and your promotional items will help you achieve a good ROI. For help designing your next exhibition stand call us on 0800 019 2141 or email

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