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  • Adam Grey

Exhibition Stands - Is bigger always better?

When it comes to exhibitions, everyone wants to make a big impact, but while extra floor space is often desirable, it can prove costly and focusing on the design within that space is a far more important aspect.

Our designers have years of experience and know the keys to making the most of a smaller space. This expertise is invaluable for those companies with smaller budgets, who still want a lot of bang for their buck.

Here they share with us some of the key ideas for making a big impact with a smaller stand.

Another dimension

Exhibition spaces are sold by the square metre from a 2d floorplan. It’s quite common for exhibitors to look at their stand designs in 2d because of this and forget about all that wonderful space above just crying out to be filled.

Every good designer will know to check with the venue and find out about any height or suspension restrictions. Exhibition halls generally have a large amount of scope for building upwards and seizing upon this opportunity can make your smaller booth tower over the competition.

Truphone stand design
Our Truphone stand design took advantage of the ability to suspend items from the venue ceiling, creating much more visibility across the hall

Beacon in the dark

I think it was a great man* who once said “if you can’t be bigger, be brighter”, the same applies to exhibition stands. Just as a tiny firefly in a dark wood is immediately noticeable, a bright stand with professional and modern lighting will attract attention no matter the size of the stand.

Brand coloured LEDs, lightboxes, dynamic lighting, highlighted lines and graphics….Light is a design material just as important as any other, and the smaller the stand, the more important it becomes.

The bold and the beautiful

If you don’t have the size to make an impact, make up for it in boldness. A smaller stand is going to have a smaller area for graphics, so make sure you’re fitting as much fire as possible into that space.

Bright and bold graphics look GREAT on a smaller design, helping to catch the eye of attendees from across the hall and can often result in a unique look on the exhibition floor.

Yospace trade show stand design
Bright and bold graphics helped Yospace create a huge impact from a smaller footprint

Structure your space

The way you structure your space can have a major impact on how large it appears. A 3m x 3m cube with 3 walls and a lot of furniture will looked cramped, but the same space with an open plan and imbedded features is going to look far more expansive. A minimalist, uncluttered approach is the way forward.

Cambridge Consultants - Custom exhibition build
Our custom booth design for Cambridge Consultants incorporated a space efficient meeting room, keeping the open stand clear while enabling private discussions

That’s my stand design sorted, but what else can I do?

Just as you need a good design to make the most of the space you have available, you need to make sure your actions are maximising your event potential:

  • Marketing – Don’t leave it till the last minute. Devise a complete marketing plan way in advance of the event to reach out to the right people and draw them to you at the show.

  • Attendee lists – If they won’t come to you, go to them! Lots of shows have lists of attendees and ways of getting in touch with them before the event, use them!

  • Giveaways and gimmicks – Give your stand a unique selling point. Having something exciting and unusual will attract visitors, leave an impression and have them talking about your business. Whether it’s a competition or awesome swag, event staff or cool tech, do something unique.

  • Proactivity – You don’t have to drag visitors off the exhibition floor (please don’t do that!), but when you’re exhibiting from a small space it’s vitally important to get proactive and move outside of those confines. Have some staff take a walk around the hall to mingle (play fair and don’t inhibit other exhibitors), perhaps wear bold and branded clothing, suddenly your small stand is making a big appearance everywhere.

  • Joint Ventures – If you have business partners with the right synergy for you and the event, why not consider splitting the costs and co-exhibiting?

So before looking at a larger plot on the exhibition floor, consider first the stand that you will be putting in that space and get help from an expert designer who can maximise its potential.

Don’t forget to check out our other blog posts for tips on how to avoid common exhibition mistakes, and the key stages to any exhibition your company should be completing.

*That great man was me, 10 minutes ago.

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