Exhibiting at a trade show can represent a significant investment for a small company.  Not everyone has the budget to spend on a huge exhibition stand.  But just because you have a more modest space, it doesn’t mean you won’t attract attention and make a success of an exhibition.

Here we look at some of the ways to make the best possible impression on visitors, even with a smaller exhibition stand.

  1. Choose the right exhibition

This might sound obvious, but many people exhibit at trade shows just because they think they ought to.  If the event isn’t the right match for your company it will be a waste of time and money.  Check to see the attendees a show attracts and whether they are your target audience.  You can get an idea about this from the internet and the show organiser.  Check to see who else is exhibiting, if all of your competitors are there then chances are you should be too.

  1. Plan your exhibition stand

A smaller stand may require some careful planning to make sure it looks inviting and not cluttered.  Draw out exactly what you are going to put where.  Small exhibition stands don’t allow for unnecessary furniture so work out what is essential and where you are going to put it to make the stand look appealing.  Think about the size of the furniture you use, go for stools and small tables rather than armchairs.

  1. Use your stand cleverly

Rather than having separate literature racks or plinths to display products, you can have these features built into your stand.  Our exhibition stands can include literature holders and lit up display cases, freeing up floorspace.

  1. Be bold with graphics

You will have less of an area with which to get attention, so make the most of it.  Go for bold, large graphics, without being garish.  Make sure your logo is large enough to be read across the hall.  Use light colours to create a feeling of space.  Have high-level branding, towering above your competitors is a good way to get noticed.  A You could have hanging signage or a rotating header if your budget allows.

Check out our full Exhibition Stand Graphic Design Guide

  1. Clever use of lighting

Don’t rely on the strip lighting in the exhibition hall, clever use of lighting can really bring your stand to life.  Use spotlights to highlight certain areas of your stand to draw attention, humans are naturally drawn to light.  You could use coloured lights to create a specific mood, and lighting up your stand will make it appear larger.  Use LED lights which are more environmentally friendly and don’t get hot – you will be grateful for that on a small stand.

See: Exhibition Stand Lighting – A Complete Guide

  1. Keep the stand tidy

So often you see a stand cluttered with brochures, personal items like phones and coffee cups.  This doesn’t make any stand look good, but it is particularly important on a small stand to keep it tidy.  Mess will make it look crowded and unappealing.  Make sure you have somewhere to store personal items, for instance underneath a desk.

  1. Embrace technology

Incorporating technology, such as VR, video walls or a computer game into your small exhibition stand will make it look exciting and entice visitors in.  Try to make it relevant to your products or company.  People like to have something other than a salesperson to interact with.  If you cannot stretch to this, at least have iPads or audio-visual equipment.  Your stand designer should be able to incorporate these into your stand to save space.

  1. Don’t create barriers to entry

Your stand needs to flow well and have space for visitors to move around.  Make sure you don’t have furniture blocking the entrance to it, keep it to the back of the stand.  Integrate as much as you can into the stand so that you don’t have literature racks or product plinths in the way.

  1. Give staff particular roles

Don’t clutter your stand with too many staff, this can be off-putting to visitors.  Make sure they all know what their roles are, maybe one to meet and greet, one to demonstrate products and technology and another to take details and keep the area tidy.  Ensure they don’t stand around chatting amongst themselves or looking at their phones as this will deter visitors.

  1. Offer incentives to visit

Free tea and coffee or sweets are a good incentive to people to visit you, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Offer promotional products, everyone loves a freebie.  But try to make sure it is useful and reflects well on your business.  Useless plastic items that will be thrown away show you are not acting sustainably.  Better to provide something larger like a bamboo coffee cup or memory stick to a select group who are really interested in your products.

Exhibiting at a trade show doesn’t have to cost a fortune and there is a lot you can do with a small stand to still attract attention.  If you don’t plan to attend many exhibitions, it may be cheaper to hire a stand rather than buy it.  With our Free2hire plan you can rent the stand for free, you just pay for the graphic panels and installation.

For more information, call us on 01202 723 500 or email design@quadrant2design.com.