5 Pro Tips for Choosing the Best Exhibition Stand Space – Straight from The Industry Experts!
When you want to participate in an exhibition or a trade show, the first item of consideration should be – the exhibition stand.
First Rain is a team of the best exhibition stand design, exhibition stall fabrication, and project management professionals, who have made a tremendous impact by designing outstanding stands for brands worldwide.
With several years of experience in this field, we are aware of several “trade secrets”. These are nothing but some essential pointers, which many brands tend to overlook and therefore, do not get the most out of the exhibition participation.
That said, it is time to unveil these so-called secrets, which can contribute to a successful exhibition and help brands ace at trade shows with panache.
Sounds like a good plan? Let’s dig deeper into the details on how to select the best exhibition stand space:
It is All About Booking Right
The exhibition space is always going to be limited. This is the reason why it makes sense to book a stand at the earliest. The bookings are mostly made on a first come, first serve basis. This is both a boon and bane for exhibitors. Boon – when they get to choose a preferred spot and bane when they have to settle for anything less than this. The best exhibition space is a crowd-puller and also provides a broader canvas to experiment with innovative stall design concepts.
The key to getting your hands on the apt space is to book in advance. We would advise you to make stall bookings as early as a year before the exhibition. If you are a regular at any show, make it a point to enquire and make next year’s bookings right after the current one gets over.
It will also allow you to avail early bird access and book the best stand with chosen orientation and size without paying through your nose. So, get ready to book your stand early on by asking the organizers for a floor plan and making your choice without any delay.
Budget for the Stand
Your best bet is always to take part in leading trade shows in your industry and market segment.
Different exhibition stands come with different price tags. One of the main things that add to the stand’s price is the scope and size of the show. That apart, you also need to consider what impact the exhibition can deliver for your business.
Here is how you can determine if a show is going to be impactful or not –
- Get in touch with your associates who had earlier participated in the show
- Check the reports of the exhibitions released every year by the organizers. This will give you some insightful facts and figures
- Dial the number of the exhibitors/participants from the show directory and do a reference check of the show
- Research about the organizers and how reputable are they in the business for successful shows
- Explore the trends on your market about niche shows as this will help you target a focused customer group. This is the most budget-friendly option.
Define your Objectives
Irrespective of the size of your brand, you need to set your exhibition participation objectives clearly. This is essential for the selection of the exhibition stand as well as the design.
Some guidelines to keep in mind –
- When you have multiple products and machinery as exhibits, take into account the floor space, wall space, posters, and branding options.
- Take into consideration the space needed to interact with the booth visitors.
- Depending on your objectives, you may need space for conducting meetings, include a reception space, meeting areas, pantry, and storage space, etc.
- Keep in mind that the customers and staff should be able to move freely while they are at the stand.
- If you are planning something like a VR screening or a lucky draw, then you need to have a space for these activities as these tend to be crowd-pullers. A stage is a good option for this purpose.
- If your exhibition participation objective is just to build brand awareness, then you can do with a smaller stand with limited floor space.
To ascertain which stand will meet your objectives, provide all this information to your exhibition stall design partner, and get their expert opinion on stand selection.
Type of Exhibition Stand
While there are numerous stand types available at various shows and events, go for a type that gives you maximum advantages. Let’s take a look at various types of stands available –
- An island stand – This type of stand is open space from all sides, which gives an inviting look and feel. The visitors can arrive from all sides with zero hassles when it comes to their entry and exit. You also have an option to partially cover the open sides with walls and use it for displays and posters.
- A stand with a back wall – These types of stands are open from three sides. You can use the back wall for your branding as it offers a lot of visibility. At the same time, it does not compromise the openness of the space. However, if you have too many products or posters to display, then this is not the best option for you due to non-availability of walls.
- An inline stall – This stand is a part of a row, sandwiched between two stalls, usually with a single entry/exit point. There are three walls that can be used for product display and branding purposes. The corner stand, at the end of the row, is a variation of an inline stall. It includes two open sides and combines the best of two worlds i.e., openness and product display benefits.
- A tunnel stand – As the name suggests, it will have two parallel sides open, and two parallel sides closed. A least preferred option, you need to go for this only when it is the last resort.
While it is essential to select the type of stand, you also need to consider the shape of the stand, which includes a square and a rectangle. We strongly advise going for the latter for a bigger and better expanse for your display and branding.
Location, Location, Location
When you have taken all the factors mentioned above, the next move will be to narrow down the correct location for the stand. Here are some pointers that will help you get started:
- Traffic pattern in the hall: This includes the entries, the exits, the traffic flow and all the probable routes to the convenience and conference areas. This will help you select the ideal space that suits your requirements. This criterion will also help you plan the entry and exit points for your stand.
- Front of the hall, middle, back: A lot of exhibitors find it tempting to keep their stands next to or near the entrance as they get to optimize space. However, this works when the stands are placed at a distance away from the entrance point. Don’t forget the fact that visitors will tend to walk right into the exhibition and pass these positions, giving many such stalls a miss. Instead, what you can do is visit the show on earlier days, observe visitor patterns and decide for yourself.
- High congregation areas: Usually, there is always going to be a steady influx of people near the cafeteria, meeting rooms, business lounges, conference areas, waiting areas, restrooms, etc. By studying the floor plan, you can get a thorough idea of the same, and you can use the information to select the perfect spot. This will also help you avoid premium rates to be paid for the stands that are near the entrances.
- Obstructions in the floor and ceiling: Keep an eye on the position of the hall pillar, any electric poles, staircases, etc. You can view it in the floor plan or ask the organizers to mark it for you in the plan. A pillar in the stand is an eyesore and it also restricts the display and moving space. Do also take into consideration low hanging ceilings due to the hall design, the air-conditioning ducts, and other constraints as these will prohibit from creating a tall stand.
Some Handy Checklists
That’s all folks. Now that you know the secrets to choose the best exhibition stand space, here are two handy checklists that you can use for your next exhibition.
Exhibition Stand Selection – Checklist
- Visit the previous year show to get a feel for the Exhibition and start planning (Ideally 12 months before the Exhibition Date).
- Contact the organizers, convey your intent of participation and ask for the booking price.
- Decide on your participation
- Decide on the amount of space required
- Decide on the budget you would want to allocate
- Bargain hard with the organizer and block a space
- Request the organizers for the floor plan
- Check for entry/ exits (there may be multiple), mark the high congregation areas like the cafeteria, conference areas, restrooms, and business lounges. Analyze traffic flow.
- Decide on the type & shape of the stand that you want
- Shortlist at least 3 probable options
- Check for obstructions in the hall in all the 3 options
- Get back to the organizer and check on the availability
- Depending on the availability and the final rate being offered close the deal.
Floor Plan– Checklist
Look for these things in your floor plan to help in your exhibition stand selection and design
- Restrooms, Restaurants, Telephones, Water fountains
- Registration area
- Freight doors, elevators, escalators
- Conference locations
- Windows, columns, posts
- Power sources / electrical junction boxes
- Fire protection
- Exhibitor lounges,
- Association lounge,
- Show Manager’s office