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Monty's Bakehouse Exhibition for WTCE 2016 stand design by DMN

Stand design, just how do you get it right?

With over 85 million visits to UK exhibitions and events, bringing your brand to life is a hugely competitive business.

How can you ensure that your stand will, well…stand out?

Can you get away with just any old stand? In our experience, definitely not. When it comes to exhibiting the right design is crucial to give you that edge and to do credit to your brand that has been carefully nurtured.

It has to have and do everything you need it to, to allow you to achieve your objectives. But exactly how do you do this?

Where to begin

It may sound overly simple, but clear your head and start with the basics.

  • Why are you attending this show?
  • What are your objectives?
  • Who are your target audiences?

Then there are the more practical questions…

  • How much space do you need?
  • Do you need storage and/or a welfare area for staff?
  • Do you need meeting areas/seating areas?

Answering these questions will save a lot of time later.

So let’s start with these basics and how to get them right:

Finding a Contractor

With these questions answered, it is time to reach out and brief a contractor.

It goes without saying that not all contractors are the same. Here are a few guidelines that should help you narrow down your shortlist. Ensure they:

  • Are an ESSA member.
  • Offer full project management.
  • Have an internal design team.
  • Have insurances of at least £10 million for both Public and Employer Liability.

Briefing a Contractor

A good brief saves so much time for both you and for the contractor. Try to ensure that the following is included.

  • Background information on your company and brand: Where do you come from and where are you going. A good contractor will want to know as much as possible about your business.
  • Your objectives.
  • Your prior experiences of exhibiting; what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past.
  • What do you want your visitors to leave thinking and feeling? What does success look like
  • Sketch layout of products and broad areas you would like to include
  • Budget: We build stands from £2,000 to £1million. Clear budget guidelines will focus the mind of your contractor at this stage.
  • Set deadlines for Questions and give a response date. Be wary of the companies that do not ask questions!
  • If you can, allow for a live pitch rather than asking for emailed submissions. You are spending a lot of money here, don’t you want to meet the recipients?
  • Put together a simple mood board with design influences that appeal to you.

Enjoy the Journey

Once you have appointed your supplier, you should ensure that you have a good project plan in place to make the journey to your event as smooth and as efficient as possible.

  • Ask your supplier to put together a project timeline.
  • Agree project meeting dates at the outset and stick to them!
  • Endeavour to visit the build facility at least once. Ideally, this needs to be close enough to the event to see your assets in a developed state, but far enough out to make changes if necessary.
  • Ensure that your project manager will be available on site.
  • Agree a handover process and time.
  • Put in a date for a thorough de-brief and use this to inform your briefing process for the following year.