How to Plan for your Next Exhibition Stand

When planning for your next event, there are a lot of things to consider. Such as how you want your stand to look, who is going to man it and how you’re going to grab attention. Just like an iceberg, the show itself is just the tip, bobbing above the surface. Most of the work to have a successful show is done behind the scenes – but perhaps not always underwater.

Exhibition stand design

DB Group exhibition stand
photo credit: International Transport Forum / Flickr

One of the most important things to think about before the event is how you want your exhibition stand to look. It’s the part that should grab attention from visitors and should raise brand awareness from a distance.

Make sure you follow your brand style to use complementary colours to grab attention and reinforce your brand. For example, you could choose an exhibition stand supplied by Marler Haley or any other popular suppliers, such as banner stands, printed tablecloths or bigger displays such as pop up stands to display your graphics. These can grab attention from afar and are robust enough to use at later events.

Remember to assemble your stand before the event to check that you’re comfortable with the assembly process and also that everything is in good working order.

Pick one take away message

Project showcase in exhibition
photo credit: The Open University / Flickr

What do you want people to take away from your stand? Space is at a premium on any sized exhibition stand so it’s important to focus on one key message. This helps to make your message stronger and more powerful.

Whether that’s focusing on a small range of your best selling products rather than taking everything, or focusing on what’s new and exciting.

Exhibitions are busy places, so make it easier for visitors to be drawn to your stand – although you’re proud of everything you do, keeping it simple can help to entice people on-stand. If they’re interested in your wider range then you can always have iPads available to show them your website, or brochures with a full range to order.


Trade show staff giving explanation
photo credit: IAVM WHQ / Flickr

After you’ve decided what you want your stand to look like and what you’ll be taking, the next important thing to consider is who you want to staff your stand. You’ll want to take enough people that your visitors can be talked to without waiting a long time, but also not too many that your stand has more people than space!

You’ll also want to make sure that your staff are fully trained on your products and services so that they can answer any questions and be seen as experts.

Before the event, make sure you hold a pre-show briefing to tell people about the stand, what you’re taking and the expectations you’ve set for them.

It’s also a really good idea to incentivise your staff to perform well – such as a bottle of champagne for the person who generates the most leads.


Your exhibition stand is the face of your company.  That said, you need to make sure that the stand fully represent your brand, products and services.  Stand design only won’t do you any good; you should approach your exhibition participation in the holistic point of view, which mean that not only your exhibition stand design, but also your staff should be exceptional in delivering your brand message.

Good luck in your event planning endeavor!