7 exhibition stand ideas for a big summer of events in 2018
Posted by Tom Oakes
The weather’s been so good in the UK recently you’d be forgiven for thinking that summer had already been and gone. Yet the good news is that it’s only just getting started—which means we’re in for a wonderful season of big summer events.
Want some ideas about how to stand out from the competitors and engage those sweltering crowds? Here are our top 7 exhibition stand ideas to get you the best return on your investment.
1. Think outside of the box for a fresh, eye-catching stand
We’re still seeing too many people confine their exhibition stand design ideas to boxes. It’s time to think outside those four walls if you want to show off your stand and get visitors engaged. Work with your designer to dream up something different and unexpected so people remember you, and make sure you open up those stuffy spaces to keep the look fresh and the crowds flowing. Whether it’s inside, outside, or a portable exhibition stand, make it unique and fun and you’ll be onto a winner.
2. Pay attention to the latest style trends
We’re still champions of the holistic approach to designing exhibition stands in line with your overall marketing. They are, after all, an extension of your brand and are designed to boost brand awareness. But that doesn’t mean you can’t explore previously unused materials, textures and colours in keeping with the latest style trends. Keep an eye on other summer stands to see what’s drawing in people, and why, then pinch the ideas for yourself (perhaps using cool colours or even water features for that summer vibe). The look and feel of any successful brand will likely evolve with time as it grows, so it makes sense to you allow your stand designs the freedom to do the same.
3. Free Wi-Fi offers something useful
It sounds simple, but offering free Wi-Fi is a major draw for attendees. Your stand is where many people might experience your products or services for the first time. It’s also where key decisions could be made. So there will be a lot of jumping onto phones or tablets to do a little research, contact colleagues, or make appointments in cloud-based calendars. Don’t let non-existent reception or patchy venue Wi-Fi get in the way of you making a sale. A recent survey by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) found that 81% of attendees said free Wi-Fi was important to their exhibition experience—so give them what they want and they’ll love you for it.
4. Attract people with charging stations
Free Wi-Fi topped the CEIR survey’s list for most important factor of an exhibition experience, but close behind was the availability of charging stations to power up mobile devices. A huge 71% of people stated this was important to them, and we’d suggest that it’s going to be important to you too. Because providing a power station and a place to take it easy for a few minutes and cool off means not only will you attract a wider audience, but you’ll also have the chance to put your products and services in front of them for the duration of their stay at your stand. You might not have their undivided attention (they’ll probably be on their mobile devices), but a little clever marketing could distract them enough to get your message across. And, if you’re lucky, they might even share what they see on whatever social media platform they’re scrolling through to pass the time.
5. Touchscreen technology can help with generating leads
Touchscreen technology is now commonplace in our world, yet we’re still seeing exhibition stand designs missing this opportunity to take engagement with attendees to another level. Having an interactive app for visitors to play with (at their pace) could help them learn more about your offering through games, pictures, videos, or quizzes. Using touchscreens to capture details is also cleaner than scribbling down information on bits of papers and removes the need to be that terrifying person wandering around with a clipboard. Plus it makes lead generation a far more relaxing experience, by allowing people to offer up their own details, as and when it suits them, arguably making it a more enticing prospect and giving you far warmer leads than if you badgered them into signing up.
6. Virtual Reality can be a major draw at competitive trade shows
VR isn’t yet as common as touchscreens, but it’s never been easier to incorporate this astonishing technology into your exhibition stand to stand out from competitors and draw the crowds. Thanks to home market adoption through Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR—and smartphone-using Google Cardboard—people have now had a taste of what’s on offer and the opportunity is there for exhibitors to capitalise. You could create a multi-sensory experience for visitors to showcase your product or services or perhaps even take them through a virtual showroom that in reality would have cost you thousands to build, but now offers unlimited space. You will also be able to offer practical demonstrations that might otherwise have not been possible. The opportunities are endless.
7. Be smart with your lighting displays
A well-thought out lighting display can work wonders for your exhibition return on investment. It sounds so simple, yet once again we’re not seeing enough of it from stand designs. And with so much choice on offer, to meet a variety of needs and budgets, there’s really no excuse because there’s something for everyone. Use it to attract attention through the crowds; to highlight certain products or messages, and draw visitors on a journey through your stand; or to create just the right type of atmosphere for your brand offering. It’s not just confined to the main stand either and can be used to bring exhibition backdrop stands, banner stands, and advertising stands to life too.