Winning the battle for attention
Before getting into the detail of how to design exhibition space, it is worth emphasising that your overall goal should be to capture and maintain visitors’ attention. It is said that the average attention span these days is between 30 seconds and three minutes, so you don’t have long to make a good impression.
The big challenge of exhibiting at a trade event is the sheer amount of competition present nearby. It is not much fun standing around an empty display, while watching visitor after visitor being drawn away to an attention-grabbing demonstration a few metres away.
Ultimately, the success of any exhibition event comes down to leads generated. Drive your design strategy with that goal front of mind.
How to design exhibition space: planning is key
Planning is crucial when it comes to designing an exhibition space. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and multiple moving parts need to come together before completion.
One of the main decisions you will be faced with is whether or not to design a bespoke exhibition stand for the space allocated. On the plus side, this will enable you to make maximum use of that space, and to present a coherent design to visitors.
On the other hand, you will be sacrificing the portability of modular designs such as Octanorm, which can be pulled apart and reconfigured for venue after venue. If you are only attending one major industry event in 12 months, the former option might suit your purpose. If you are exhibiting in multiple locations throughout the year, modular exhibition stands might make more sense.
Once you’ve made up your mind, you can look more specifically at the style of exhibition stand you need, as well as equipment, furniture and storage.
Working with colour, light and movement
Once you’ve finalised the ‘bones’ of your exhibition stand, the real fun begins. Designing eye-catching graphics for banners and signage, choosing materials to add texture and playing with lighting options will open your eyes to the possibilities.
It is important that you work with a graphic design studio that has exhibition space experience. As stated at the beginning of this article, having a strong visual impact can make all the difference when it comes to capturing leads.
Video displays have been around for a long time, but new technology has expanded the scope for visitor engagement. From apps which use augmented reality (AR) to bring your displays to life, to fully immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences, there are so many exciting opportunities for making your stand the star of the event.
Going beyond looks
A common mistake when thinking about how to design exhibition space is to focus only on outward appearance. Always remember that your goal is to collect leads, and if people are overwhelmed, confused or uncomfortable, they may stay away even if they are inwardly impressed. It is a good idea to include in your plans a pleasant place where visitors can sit and chat, perhaps away from the bright lights and noisy animations.
For more guidance on how to design exhibition space, check out these six creative ideas for exhibition stands.
Did you know that Nebrak offers a turnkey solution for planning, designing and installing exhibition stands? With an in-house graphics studio and a network of the highest quality material suppliers, we can take the stress and guesswork out of your upcoming expo.