Writing the perfect exhibition stand brief

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If you’ve been tasked with writing the perfect exhibition stand brief, don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as sounds. Invest time at this stage, provide you exhibition stand builder with the following information and the process will be much simpler and smoother.


Tell your exhibition stand creator who you are and about the products you sell or the services you provide. Tell them about your values, how long you’ve been established, whether you trade internationally or just within a specific region. Also describe your typical client – who they are, what they do, are they a CEO or a small business owner and what do they look for when doing business. The more you can tell them, the better.


What is the name of the event you’re about to attend, the dates that it’s open and where it’s going to be located. You should also explain to them whether this stand is for a single event or if your company intends to use it at multiple trade shows. It’s vital that you provide your stand builder with the key dates, usually when you want the proposal and suggested design submitted to you. Make sure that you set a realistic deadline, usually 7 to 10 days.


You should tell your exhibition stand contractor why you are participating in this particular event and ultimately what you want to get out of it. Do you want to make direct sales or perhaps launch a new product or service? Perhaps you simply want to create brand awareness, in which case are you the new kid on the block who wants to blow the competition out of the water or an industry legend looking to exude confidence and authority?


It’s important that your exhibition stand design team to understand the purpose of the stand and who it will need to appeal to. Describe the general demographics of your typical prospect. To help you, ask the event organiser for a break-down of last years’ visitors and use the information to decide on strategies for technology, branding, textures, colours and a whole range of other trends.


Never the easiest part of designing and building the perfect exhibition stand but it is probably the most important. If you are accurate and honest from the outset, it will save time, effort and frustration at a later date and you’ll get a cost based on your exact needs.


There are 101 questions relating to the technical aspects of your stand. What space and configuration have you booked? Will your stand be standard booth, linear booth, perimeter wall booth, peninsula booth or island booth? Will it be open on one, two, three or four sides? Do you require a private meeting area or storage? What type of flooring do you want – standard flooring, carpeted flooring, raised platform? Are you going to have any product displays, demonstrations or a visitor experiences? What services will you require – power, water, water, telephone, internet) Do you require audio-visual or multimedia equipment such as display screens, video walls etc? Do you want to incorporate disabled access? Any decent exhibition stand builder will talk you through all the options.


Now, we move on to the personality of your exhibition stand. Your exhibition stand should be an extension of any media, advertising or branding that exists. Remember, design is subjective, so it would be worthwhile finding images of at least three exhibition stands that you like. You must answer questions like what graphics do you want to use and what form will they take? Do you want full wall prints or light boxes? What colours will you be using and I what proportion? Do you want any logos, images or text on the graphics panels? It would help the stand builder get a feel for your company if you could supply them with a copy of your brochure or some marketing material.


If you’ve exhibited before, tell your stand designer about your previous experiences of exhibiting at trade shows. What worked in the design of your last stand and what didn’t? Have you seen other stands either at exhibitions, in magazines or online that you like? Do you have any ideas that you’d like to explore?


Are you having any pieces of equipment or machinery on the stand that will require heavy lifting equipment? What will happen to your stand at the end of the show? As well as building the stand, do you want your exhibition stand builder to include the cost of dismantling, transporting and storing of your stand in their quotation?


Don’t be afraid to ask your exhibition stand builder any questions you have. If you’re not sure that you understand something, don’t be afraid to ask. A good contractor will be used to answering all sorts of questions in an easy-to-digest way. And if you don’t, you can be sure that they’ll have a whole list of searching questions for you.

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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