16 April 2023

A quick guide
to Exhibition
Stands

Why is exhibition stand design important?


What are the different types of exhibition stand?

When exhibiting, you will probably be limited only by space and budget. But, given the importance of a great-looking stand on the event’s success, you’ll want to maximise both. It’s also important to consider whether this will be for a one-off event, or whether you’ll want to reuse the collateral. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there, with these being some of the most popular solutions:

  • Pop-up stands

As the name suggests, the design of pop-up stands makes them easy to transport and erect in minutes. Made to fit in smaller exhibition spaces and comprising a collapsible frame to which you can attach printed graphic panels, they’re a versatile option when you need a back wall for a show. For a more contemporary look, you can also place a printed fabric covering over the frame.

Designed so that you can easily change the graphics from exhibition to exhibition, these stands are easy to put up and pack away, requiring no tools for assembly, with the graphics attached using magnets.

  • Modular stands

Easy to reconfigure and reusable, modular stands occupy the middle space between a pop-up and a custom-made bespoke stand. Made up of an aluminium frame, you can set them up in different configurations to fit the size available, with additional parts easily added to grow the display. The graphics are usually printed on Foamex boards or fabric and are easily attached to the frame. They’re also simple to erect and can be put up by just two people with no tools required.

Although a more expensive option than a pop-up, their versatility and longevity make them an excellent investment.

Additional embellishments could include LED lighting or TV screens.

  • Bespoke stands

The most expensive option, but the one that gives you exactly what you want, bespoke exhibition stands are custom designed and built for an individual event and offer endless possibilities. This comes with downsides and up. Different from the other stands described here, bespoke stands are difficult to set up and take down. It’s likely they’ll involve wall panels and large structures that require a specialist team to install. They’re also more difficult to adapt for subsequent shows – although some companies will store your stand and rearrange the modular items in different configurations.

The upside is, of course, that you have full control over every element of the stand, from materials, size and additional embellishments.

Exhibition stand or booth?

An exhibition stand (or booth) is a promotional display used to attract attention in an exhibition centre. In the UK, the terms ‘stand’ and ‘booth’ are often used interchangeably, although booth is used more frequently when referring to a shell scheme. Booth is also more common in the US.

What makes a good trade stand?

In a large exhibition hall, it’s easy to get lost amongst hundreds of other stands. As we’ve already seen, 48% of exhibitors believe an eye-catching stand is the most effective method for attracting attendees. But what do you need to include on your stand to make you stand out?

  • Branded elementsYou’ll want your stand to be recognisable and memorable, so make sure your brand is front and centre of your graphics. Angle your logo towards the predominant flow of visitors to attract the most attention.
  • Have a hookGive the show visitors a reason to stop at your stand. This could be the launch of a new product or the offer of a free drink and a sit-down. Once somebody is at your stand, you have the opportunity to find out more about them and their needs.
  • Have tangible elementsHaving something people can play with will entice them in, while a brochure or other takeaway will keep them interested after the event. You can present these on built-in shelving or slat walling, or freestanding elements, such as literature racks or display plinths.
  • Use technology – In the modern age, people want to interact with tech elements. There are many ways to engage your visitors, from video on a television screen to tablets and even interactive countertops.

Given the importance of a great-looking stand on the event’s success, you’ll want to maximise both the available space and your budget


What should be on an exhibition stand graphics?

In a crowded hall, it’s essential that your stand graphics are clear and eye-catching. Because they’re a small element in a large room, it’s essential to consider how attendees will view them from different distances.

  • Engage a visual theme – Depending on your brand and the event you’re attending, a professional, corporate-looking stand may be required. For others, a fun, bright theme may be more appropriate. Think about your audience and tailor your graphics to them.
  • For smaller stands, stick to the basicsyour logo, strapline and an eye-catching graphic. For maximum impact, keep at least 40% empty space to avoid overwhelming the audience or diluting your key messaging.
  • Maximise the most viewed parts – for a medium size stand, the back wall will be the focal point where you’ll want to put most of your information.
  • Content hierarchy for large exhibition stands:
    • Your logo is probably the most visibly recognisable element of your brand identity, so go large with this in a prominent position that can be seen from a long way away. On a floor-to-ceiling stand, this will be up high. Avoid putting any details alongside your logo, as these could get lost.
    • As attendees get closer, it’s a good idea to include your key messaging – a strapline or a headline – that attendees can read from between 10 and 50 feet away. This copy can entice people to your stand.
    • Finally, the details can be fleshed out in smaller text that can be ready up close. This could include more information about your company or its products, including benefits and features. For maximum effect, this information should be at around eye level or slightly higher.

Tips for great looking exhibition stands

  • Use high-resolution graphics that are printed at the correct dimensions to avoid blurring or stretching of the image
  • Make it easy for visitors who don’t know your brand to see what your company does
  • Keep your brand messaging consistent across the stand
  • Use interactive elements to maintain interest

How to work with a graphic designer to design your exhibition stand graphics

Unless you have an in-house team, it’s likely you’ll use an external graphic design agency to create your stand graphics. To help them design an eye-catching stand that attracts attention and reflects your brand, they’ll need a few things from you.

  • Stand type and dimensions – The technical information will help the designer understand the opportunities and limitations of the space, and to design to the correct specifications. This will also allow the designer to create graphics to the right size, resolution and format for the final artwork.
  • Brand guidelines – To ensure the stand conforms to your brand style, your designer will need your brand guidelines to understand your chosen typography, colour palettes and how to use your logo.
  • Chosen theme – As described above, different styles are more appropriate for different companies and situations, so it’s important to impart your vision to your designer so they can help make it a reality.
  • Image and content preferences – Whether you’re using stock imagery or have your own images ready to use, your designer will need to know what content you wish to use, whether that’s product images, illustrations, charts, graphs or marketing copy.
  • Deadline – So they can plan their work and ensure they complete the project on time, the designer will need to know the deadline for your project.

If you don’t already have a stand shell system, your chosen design agency should be able to put you in touch with stand designers. Likewise, they should have links to printers who can print your graphics.


How JDJ Creative can help design your exhibition stands

Based in Cambridge, JDJ Creative has partnered with businesses in a variety of sectors around the world to design their exhibition stand graphics and other marketing collateral. For an informal chat about your upcoming exhibition, please get in contact with our friendly team today at hello@jdjcreative.co.uk or fill in our contact form.

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