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Show Pro

07 Dec 2022

How to create a standout stand

In this month’s Show Pro, we look at the elements to consider when designing your exhibition stand to best capture attendees’ attention and achieve ROI.

Leo Lloyd, MD at Leopold Marketing, which has built over 50 stands at the Meetings Show, and JJ Ryan, Co-Founder and Director of Woodfashioners Ltd, a member of industry sustainability body isla, share their top tips for incorporating best practice and sustainable stand design at The Meetings Show 2023.


1) Don’t leave it too late

Lloyd recommends thinking about your stand design as early as possible to leverage the best value products and services.

“Exhibitors should not underestimate the time and skill that a successful exhibition stand design takes to conceptualise and build so starting early ensures a great show and reduces any last-minute stress,” he says.

“Top of the list exhibitors should give consideration as to what they want to get out of being at the show. Are you there to raise awareness of your product? Close a deal? Re-position your brand? Launch a new product or a combination of reasons? The design of your stand will be a key factor in achieving your objectives.”

Ryan agrees that planning early is important and reminds exhibitors to embed sustainability into the concept stage “otherwise you will just be playing catch up and have to make compromises further down the line.”


2) Be creative, but don’t forget about business objectives

Your stand is your shop front, and you should make evert effort to entice buyers to want to speak to you. “Rock up to the show with some battered old pop ups, covered in vacuous text and dull images and buyers will at best walk past you, and at worst form the wrong opinions of your products and services,” warns Lloyd.

Your stand should be a clean, compelling and creative a space that people want to visit and spend time on. Good stand design will increase dwell time leading to more meaningful conversations and ultimately better business wins.

Lloyd adds: “When commissioning a stand design, it can be quite easy to focus on the ‘fun stuff’ - activations, drinks receptions, creative etc. These are all important aspects of being at The Meetings Show but everything should relate back to the overall business aims and be delivered as part of a well-considered project plan.”


3) Incorporate sustainability into your design

It is up to all of us to play our part in being sustainable and support The Meetings Show in its endeavours to reduce the impact of the show. So, make sure you consider sustainability in your stand design, because as Ryan says: “it’s the right thing to do!”

“Not only that but it will likely lead to cost savings, help you generate new business, stay ahead of the curve and regulation, and allow you to think more innovatively about your presence at an exhibition,” he adds.

“One of the best ways to do this is to commission the build of multi-use stand to reduce the number of materials required, and by using compact furniture carbon emissions can be reduced even further,” Lloyd advises.

Use a carbon neutral stand builder, and ditch the swag adds Ryan. “I know it’s a hard one, but why not focus on giving visitors an experience or interaction they won’t forget, not a piece of plastic or other materials that will just end up in landfill.”

Don’t forget about transport – you can reduce Co2 emissions by choosing an exhibition stand supplier that’s local to the expo venue and creating a display that can be transported in a smaller vehicle, which would equate to lower levels of fuel consumption when compared to that of larger, heavy-goods vehicles.

And finally, offset your impact. “If you can’t avoid emissions, then be sure to measure them, everything from build, travel, food, venue etc, and offset it at the end of the show,” says Ryan.

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