It’s easy to think that the bigger the stand you have, the more you will stand out in grand exhibition halls. However, when it comes to exhibitions, that isn’t necessarily true. A small exhibition stand with friendly, well-designed with knowledgeable staff will attract more visitors than an untidy space with unwelcoming staff who are relying on an imposing space to do the work for them.
As we come out of lockdown, you might be planning future events and looking for ideas but are constrained by budgetary considerations and fretting about the size of the space you have been allocated. When it comes to exhibitions, there are lots of ways you can add value to even the smallest of stands so that you can stand out and connect with your audience.
10 ideas to make the most of your small exhibition stand
1. Choose your events wisely
There is absolutely no point in attending exhibition events that aren’t a good match for your company and brand. This might seem like an obvious point, but you might be surprised how many exhibitors don’t research the type of events they are booking, going for maximum coverage as opposed to researching the audience to check compatibility.
Planning is essential to ensure you target the right audiences to promote your brand. It is also a good idea to find out who else might be exhibiting to see if you are the right fit for the market.
2. Pick the right spot
Ensure you research the exhibition venue properly to book a space that will generate the most footfall. You don’t want to be tucked underneath a stairway, behind a food outlet or anywhere out of the way of the main traffic. Don’t forget to use all the booth space available to you.
3. Make a lasting impression
Treat your shell stand as a blank canvas to create an appealing and memorable display to entice visitors. Often with large spaces, exhibitors simply rely on the size of their branding and display to do the talking but with smaller space you can be creative and use more imaginative displays that work much better to help you stand out to visitors. You can experiment with different materials and graphics or VR to create an exciting display. Don’t go too text heavy either as this can put people off.
4. Maintain a tidy stand
Less is more here! Don’t overfill your stand so visitors are confused about what you are promoting. A clear, uncluttered exhibition stand will better showcase the products and services you want to promote. It’s a good idea to keep your display tidy – keep extra brochures, stationary, gift bags etc. tidied away in boxes underneath a table so they don’t ruin your display. You’d be surprised at how many exhibitions stands we have encountered where brochures are left scattered about and drinks abandoned by delegates are perched on counters.
5. Make the best use of lighting
Clever lighting can enhance your display and make your products and brand a focal point. It can make a smaller thing appear larger and pack a punch particularly when you make good use of colour to wow your visitors.
6. Make the best use of your staff
Ensure your staff have a particular focus when working the stand – i.e., one person in charge of greeting customers, one person to assist with any tech such as VR or games you might have on your stand and one to keep the display tidy and organised. Keep your staff numbers low and don’t have too many people milling around talking as this can be off-putting or intimidating to visitors. An open and friendly approach will generate far more footfall and result in more brand awareness and ultimately, sales. Create buzz with humour as opposed to a hard-hitting sales approach.
7. Use exciting technology wisely as an incentive to visit your stand
A well-place piece of tech, for example a VR experience or game will entice visitors and make your exhibition space look exciting. It’s important to tie in the experience to your brand in some way so that visitors gain an understanding of your business as well as having fun!
8. Don’t create barriers
This might seem like an obvious point again but it’s important to practice a walk-through before visitors arrive to ensure they can easily access your stand and exhibition and that there are no barriers or obstacles such as boxes of leaflets or coffee tables in their way. Ensure that visitors can easily access your materials too by placing information at different heights.
9. Think about the visitor experience
It’s important to think about the visitor experience as if you are new to your business. It should be easy for people to see what you do and what your brand means. Does your stand entice them in? How will they associate your brand? Have you made a connection with them? Did they find you friendly and helpful? Will they remember you after the event? Do they have contact information? How will you follow up? These are important questions to ask. Remember that people connect to people rather than things so if you give them a good all-round experience, they are far more likely to remember your brand and buy your products.
10. Enticing visitors in doesn’t have to be expensive!
We’ve mentioned exciting tech in point seven above but what if you don’t have the budget for that? Competitions are always a popular idea and can generate a real buzz around your brand. Don’t forget to offer some sort of refreshments – free coffee and sweets are always a winner! It doesn’t have to be expensive.
Think carefully about goodie bags and pack them with useful items that delegates will actually use and will help them to remember your brand. Another important point with goodie bags is to be mindful of plastic and your carbon footprint. You don’t want to spend money on tacky plastic gifts that will just be thrown away and nor do you want your brand associated with a company that doesn’t care about the planet whether or not that is a primary focus.
Let your small exhibition stand make a big impression!
We hope you found our 10 ideas for how to make the most of your small exhibition stand useful. For more ideas on different types of exhibition stands or, to talk about how we can help you with your small exhibition stand, contact us
get your free exhibition stand design today
David Hennessy is our Managing Director and co-founder of Motive Exhibitions. Based in St Neots we help businesses across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire exhibit across the UK and beyond.