How to Create a Successful Exhibition Stand Plan

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‘How long in advance should I plan my exhibition stand?’ is a common question posed to Clip by clients!

In the world of trade shows and exhibitions, the decision to invest in a new stand is not one to be taken lightly, and time needs to be on your side before your first event to ensure your business gets the very best out of your events.

We’re here to ensure you get the most out of your stand for future events – in this blog we share the benefits of investing in a new exhibition stand, why it’s important to create an exhibition plan, and what type of exhibition stand would be suitable for your business.

1. First things first: Why invest in a new exhibition stand?

Investing in a new exhibition stand and planning can bring about several benefits for your company, enhancing your brand presence and optimising your overall success at exhibitions and trade shows.

What are the key advantages of having a new exhibition stand?

Increased visibility – First impressions matter! You are more likely to grab the attention of attendees and become far more memorable after the event with a stand that is fresh and innovative. You can find some top tips on this in our blog on how to attract visitors to your stand.

Alignment with company goals – A new stand allows you to align your physical presence to new company achievements, initiatives, and products, which in turn showcases growth and company success.

A competitive edge – Outshine your competitors with professionalism, attention to detail, and the integration of the latest trends and technology.

Once you’ve established how a new stand can enhance your brand presence and optimise your next event, the next step is your event plan.

2. Your exhibition stand plan – what should you consider?

9-12 months before the event, start creating a solid exhibition plan. By planning with plenty of time to spare, you can make smart choices about your physical exhibition presence and event marketing, to ensure everything aligns with your company objectives.

While you are creating an exhibition stand plan, you should consider the following:

  • Strategy– Research and identify which exhibitions suit your brand and target market. Think about – how each event will complement your company goals and sales strategy.
  • Budget – Understand your trade show budget, and how can you optimise this effectively for your projected ROI.
  • Objectives – Establish all your objectives, be it logistics, quantifiable aims, or communication. Read more about communication in our blog, How to Communicate a Message Effectively.
  • Your exhibition space – Study the floor plans and potential traffic flow to identify the best stand space that suits your needs and budget – it’s all about location! Don’t forget to register and reserve quickly to secure your spot.
  • Exhibition stand –Once you’ve established what stand space you require, it’s important to next understand what type of exhibition stand would be best for your company goals!

3. Which exhibition stand should you go for?

6-9 months before the event is the best time to establish how you want your brand to be presented at the exhibition.

Are you a small brand dipping your toes into exhibiting, and want to establish your physical presence first before you commit the following year? Or are you a company looking to make a more customised statement, and need some additional space for demonstrations?

Whatever your needs and time restraints, there are two exhibition stand types that we at Clip would recommend; stands such as shell-scheme and space only.

Let’s delve into these a bit deeper – how different these exhibition stands are and how long it takes to be created.

What is a Space-only exhibition stand?

As the name suggests, with space only you are booking only the floor space, and you will need to provide the stand structure itself, floor covering, and book your electrical sockets.

There are more questions that need to be answered if you opt for a space-only stand space, such as, how large do you want your plot? And how do you want to lay out your stand to make the biggest splash in the exhibition hall?

If you work with an exhibition stand specialist, you get the benefit of their experience and knowledge to help you stand out.

However, you need more time to conceptualise, design and custom build an exhibition stand that fits your event space and wows your audience, compared to a shell-scheme.

We recommend you start your custom space-only exhibition stand journey 4-6 months before your first event.

What is a Shell-Scheme exhibition stand?

If you have opted for a shell-scheme exhibition stand, you will have booked a predetermined space with a blank canvas structure to work with. Typically, a shell-scheme will include carpet, lighting, and electrical supply for however you want to personalise your space.

Whilst this type of stand offers panels to attach graphics to, this approach makes it difficult for you to stand out from your competitors in the hall.

As a result, many brands often opt to use more high-impact stand systems such as self-build stands and lightboxes to ensure they have a point of difference over their competitors.

At Clip, we suggest a timeline for shell-scheme stands is around 2-4 weeks from idea to finished product, but look to start the process a couple of months before the exhibition so there is no unnecessary rush or stress.

4. Post Exhibition stand planning: The results

There are only positives to planning a new exhibition stand in advance!

Once you have all your ducks in a row – your strategy, objectives, stand design and space – you are setting your business up for a successful season of exhibition events, without the stress of last-minute decisions and misaligned messaging.

At Clip, whichever stand type you go for, we can make your design ideas a reality! If you have any questions or are looking to start your new exhibition stand journey, don’t hesitate to contact our exhibition stand specialists – we’re here to help you choose the perfect solution for your business.