Is big beautiful? The Pros and Cons of Large Exhibition Stands
Posted by Tom Oakes
Go big or go home?
That’s the question a lot of businesses have to ask themselves when preparing for their next exhibition. Not only do you have to consider a whole host of details, such as layout, campaign branding, and materials, but the issue of size is always a tricky one.
Are large exhibition stands worth the money they cost? We’d argue – YES – but we understand why people might be hesitant, because it seems like it could be all about ego, when it fact there are also many practical reasons to go bigger.
Here’s a quick and easy breakdown as to why you might want to consider a large exhibition stand in future (as well as a few issues you need to bear in mind).
Practical advantages of going big with large exhibition stands
More space means more visitors
The nature of these events means that exhibition stands at venues have limited capacity to hold visitors. You have to be creative with your use of space. You have to compromise on what products you can showcase, as well as how much time you can spend with individuals in order to keep the foot traffic moving.
Opting for a larger stand means you have far more room to play with. Not only does it potentially give you greater visitor capacity (depending on the layout, of course), but it can also offer a welcome oasis of space and room to breathe—always highly sought after at those particularly busy events. You could even offer up some space as a shortcut for attendees to move through your stand from A to B, enabling you a better chance of capturing the attention of random passers-by.
Room for the latest tech (including VR)
We’ve previously talked about how virtual reality (VR) is making waves in exhibitions, allowing brands to offer hands-on demonstrations of products or concepts that would otherwise be difficult to show off. The problem is that VR requires space. Even if the user is sitting, they need to be able to move their arms and lean around, while standing VR users need significant clear space away from the crowds and other objects.
Large exhibition stands give you the opportunity to use this type of technology to its fullest potential. It allows you to give visitors the space they need to fully enjoy the experience without any health and safety issues. And being able to offer the latest tech, such as VR, also gives your stand a bigger draw for those more competitive events.
Cost-effective for multiple product launches
Some brands have multiple campaigns at work simultaneously and may well be launching more than one product at a single event. Having a larger exhibition stand allows them to do both at the same time in a cost-effective and efficient manner, saving money on what would otherwise be two separate stands.
Creating a large, dual stand that can be adaptable/separated also means that you can create different styles for each section, aligning with each product or campaign perfectly, while allowing you to reuse them together or individually in future.
Space to talk quietly with serious customers
It’s always difficult trying to hold a conversation in the middle of a crowd. And when it comes to those more serious visitors to your stand, it can be frustrating seeing opportunities to make them customers slip by in the chaos.
Large exhibition stands give you the chance to set aside room for quiet or serious discussions with attendees about your offering. This might simply be an area located out of the foot flow or it could be an entirely separate room—somewhere that enables you to remove all possible distractions to make your sale.
Bigger brand awareness
We mentioned ‘ego’ above and, yes, there is some merit in going for a large stand at an exhibition to help draw the crowds.
These events are chaotic. There will be people who have come to visit you specifically, but a lot of the time you are working hard to grab the attention of as many people as possible.
Having a large exhibition stand gives you more chance of increasing your brand awareness on the venue floor. It makes you harder to be missed. It gives you the opportunity to go bold with your marketing. And it can ensure that you get the maximum exposure possible—which, if your design has been properly thought through, should enable you to get exactly what you need out of the event.
The drawbacks of having larger exhibition stands
There are, of course, some drawbacks to having a larger stand.
For starters, they can eat into your exhibition budget more than a smaller display, not only through the build but also securing the venue space. This might then leave you with less money to spend on marketing to your target audience through email, pre-show promotions, and post-show follow-ups.
Bigger stands also have the potential to intimidate some visitors with their size and space And unless your design is spot-on, you can also lose that intimate, personable feeling that a lot of visitors look for when approaching a stand wanting to talk to someone.
Yet bigger upfront costs could also result in bigger sales at the event, while a lot of people can also be put off by smaller stands where they have to fight to see what’s on show. As we discussed above, larger stands also have more opportunity to create spaces for those more quiet, discreet conversations between your staff and potential customers. So, really, it’s all down to the stand design—which makes it imperative you get the support of a great exhibition design team from the start.
Big isn’t always best, but it can be beautiful
Sure, sometimes big isn’t always best. But while at face value you could be forgiven for thinking that large exhibition stands (up to the 20m x 20m mark) are costly, cumbersome and cannot possibly deliver a good return on your event investment, you’d be wrong.
Your focus should be on creating an exhibition stand that works for the audience at the venue and the offering you’ll be taking with you. Which means that sometimes you will need that extra space to showcase separate products in a joint launch. Or you might need to ensure there is plenty of room for visitors to browse. Or it might be simply about making a statement for maximum brand awareness.
As long as you have a good design team behind you, making sure you’re creating a look and feel that’s going to work for both you and your customers, you can put your trust in them to deliver a large exhibition stand that will maximise your event success.