Killer exhibition stand design ideas for 2019
Posted by Tom Oakes
Exhibition stand design is an area of the industry that’s constantly changing.
Technologies evolve. Research drives new ideas. And experience shows us what’s working and what isn’t—the trends that help us capture interest at the event and get those leads. Which means it’s essential for you to stay up-to-date with the latest thinking in order to maximise your exhibition ROI.
What should you be on the lookout for in 2019? Here are the killer exhibition stand design ideas we think will be making a big impression…
Stand out by creating a little suspense
Nearly half of all exhibition attendees think an eye-catching stand is the most effective method of getting their attention. Yet while other exhibitors will be focused on showcasing their products or services in ways as big and bold as you can imagine, why not be surprising—and do the opposite?
A stand that creates suspense, by hiding products from the general flow of visitors, will automatically offer a point of difference to everything else visitors will experience that day. Making them take action to see “what’s behind the curtain” will stir excitement and generate buzz, bringing you a whole audience of attendees you might not otherwise have reached. (Just make sure the experience they have once they engage with you is a worthy pay-off.)
An exhibition stand for a more personal visitor experience
‘Festivalisation’ is one of those terms that seems meaningless, but might actually provide some useful direction once you understand it. Because, these days, events are becoming more of a festival experience—where visitors expect to be entertained as much as educated, and increasingly require a ‘show around the show floor’.
Your exhibition stand design needs to reflect this need for a more personal, interactive and entertaining experience. Going digital is a no-brainer, but be careful not to overwhelm visitors with an avalanche of technologies. Keep it simple and try to engage them directly wherever possible, whether that be through social media feeds, interactive displays or giveaways.
Stand designs that showcase green initiatives
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a way of thinking designed to minimise our impact on the planet, and it’s becoming recognised as being critical for future generations. With the environmentally conscious millennial and post-millennial generations now increasingly in the economic driving seats, this means visitors at your exhibitions will be on the lookout for any sign that you’re environmentally friendly.
Does this mean you need to start selling vegan sausage rolls? Not really (unless you want to take on Greggs), but rather it’s about taking a design approach which minimises environmental impact. Reused/repurposed materials (wooden pallets are increasingly popular) and renewable energies could be trends we see more of, while providing access to recycling and composting bins (or incentives for using them) could bring in passing attendees you might never normally have a chance to speak with.
Allowing visitors to build their own exhibition stand
Many exhibition stands are traditionally inflexible. Built to a rigid design, they have been created to provide a specific space for staff and attendees to exist in.
But what if you could offer attendees the ability to change that?
A modular exhibition stand design made up of movable blocks, walls, dividers and seating could create a fun, interactive experience for visitors—inviting them to create the space they want to interact with you in. Not only would this be relatively cost effective, it could also give you the chance to constantly adjust the space for different exhibitions and try new layouts to see what works and what isn’t as effective.
Storytelling as part of the design
Telling stories is a big part of modern marketing, yet we don’t see this approach employed often enough on the exhibition floor. Which is a shame given that storytelling is a proven and effective way of engaging people and creating a memorable experience they can’t help but take home with them.
Using stories in your product presentations is one way to achieve this, but why not push the idea further? Incorporate the approach in your stand design by taking visitors on a journey through your space with a beginning, middle and end. Provide an experience though messaging and atmospheric techniques that trigger certain senses and emotions at various stages of the story—and leave your visitors dying to know what comes next. Do this and they’ll want to make your business part of their own story.
Virtual reality is fast becoming a staple of the exhibition floor and if you can work it into your design then you’ll be impressing those 53% of people who buy from VR-showcasing companies.
Again it’s all about the experience. Can you demonstrate a product more easily in a VR setting? Can you create a memorable experience for the visitor that they will be able to take away and reflect on later? Investigate ways of personalising this experience as much as possible and you’ll be sure to connect with all those who give it a go.
Create a social stand with a selfie space
Social media is where a lot of us live these days. So it make sense to design an exhibition stand that caters to the more socially minded.
Providing space for visitors to have a little fun by taking (and posting) selfies will not only draw them in, but will also push your brand out across social in the backgrounds of their photos and videos. And all for very little cost.