How to make the most of a small exhibition stand

Not everyone can afford an all-singing all-dancing exhibition stand. But just because you have a small stand doesn’t mean you can’t pack a punch. You don’t need to spend thousands of pounds to make your presence felt. You just need to be clever. If space is at a premium it focusses the mind and forces you to think about the layout, the lighting, the furniture and making the most out of what you’ve got.

Plan your exhibition stand

Long before you go to your exhibition, you should be planning your space. First, draw up an accurate scale layout. Then, make a list of all necessary pieces of furniture such as desks, chairs etc. Use the space intelligently. Without cramming everything into one corner, open the space up and make it look inviting. Small stands won’t allow for unnecessary equipment and everything you take or hire must serve a vital purpose, so think carefully about what you want to achieve at the exhibition.

Use furniture intelligently

You want to create a feeling of space and to give visitors as much room to move around as possible, so you don’t want your stand cluttered with excess pieces of furniture. There are an increasing number of manufacturers and retailers of modular, multipurpose and intelligent furniture including tables and chairs that sit neatly together, head-level storage, counters with bar stools with storage fitted underneath, displays with integrated digital display screens, sofas with storage underneath, stackable seating which can be stored to one side when not in use, overhead branding and banner displays.

Be bold with your graphics

If you only have a small exhibition space, how can make sure that you get noticed? The first step is to be imaginative with your stand graphics. Without making them too busy, use the walls to promote your brand and brand colour. The main colours should create a feeling of space without being too stark, be bold without being too garish or in-your-face. You could use high-level branding to rise up above the stand or hang branded suspended banners from the ceiling or gantries to attract attention from across the exhibition hall.

Get your lighting right

You’ve taken the effort to make your exhibition stand as attractive, informative and intriguing as possible in order to pull in delegates and customers, so to make sure that you raise awareness of your brand, product, graphics or key message, it’s vital that you get the lighting right. In an exhibition hall crammed with visitors and competing exhibition stands, you need to be smart with your lighting. Exhibition stand lighting should be subtle and effective, a floodlight to cause an overall positive mood whilst spotlights highlight particular aspects whether a newly-launched product or an eye-catching graphic. And, if you can, always opt for LED lighting. They use less energy, last longer, don’t get hot (you’ll be grateful in a small space)and are more environmentally-friendly.

Smart man with glasses in black and whiteTom Rigby, Author

For over 20 years, Tom Rigbyhas helped businesses across the UK to find their voice and communicate their messages, in print and online, whether they want to generate sales, attract customers, inform stakeholders, educate the public or persuade them to join a cause. He is a published author and occasional contributor to a number of publications. www.tomrigby.com

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