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  • Writer's pictureTeam ESM

Exhibition Stands: How To Be Different

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

In a crowded marketplace how do you stand out from the crowd? Especially if everyone is being clever, has been SMART (see our article on SMART objectives) and knows how to spend their money to avoid the LIE.

The key is to be you. As a company you have been around for some time possibly, and your values have been shaped by your experiences, how your products are relevant and appeal to your customers and the values of the company’s owners (if you’ve just launched this might be all you have). In the same way, we as individuals are defined by the unique characteristics that create our own identities, our businesses are the same.

So ensure you create campaigns that are faithful to you and communicate the values that make you, you. Using displays, graphics, interactive elements and little touches that are consistent with your unique identity will therefore ensure you stand out. In the meantime there are certain things you should think about when considering your exhibition stand design.


Be visible in all the right places. Use lighting to accentuate first of all your products…shelves can be underlit with LED strip really easily nowadays….and then your graphics to ensure the eye is drawn to the information that matters.

  • LED has been a gamechanger, exhibition stands can be well lit without being able to see the lighting because of the recessed nature of LED strips. It is also very cheap and requires little electricity.

  • Backlight your graphics. Most exhibition stand contractors stock LED light-boxes where graphics are printed onto a tension fabric and stitched with a silicon beaded edging strip. This is cheap, and not only displays your graphics in the way most retail environments would use, so your buyers will identify with your space; but it also adds light to your exhibition stand.

  • Classy touches; using LED where it isn’t expected can be aesthetically pleasing and innovative for the right exhibitor

  • Where you put light is as important as how. Use lighting in the right areas to draw attention to key messaging and ensure any lighting which might come with a shell scheme exhibition stand are positioned correctly and aimed where you want them (for example not at seating areas where they might blind delegates)

  • Check for any free issue electrics you may have as a part of your exhibition stand package and make the most of them, whether fluorescent tubes, halogen spots or sockets for powering your own lights.


Graphics can perfectly complement products to make it obvious to delegates and visitors who you are, what you represent and why you are different to other exhibitors. The rule of thumb is that you have seven seconds to catch the attention of passers-by. After seven seconds they have passed by, or are already into your offering and wanting to know more. Visitors don’t stop to think and work you out.

  • IMPACT: Make key messages and imagery clear and highly visible

  • Overall fabric wraps are a cheap and easy way to display large format imagery as an overall backdrop and set the scene. They can be fitted in any number of neat and tidy ways so make sure you ask your exhibition stand designer about them.

  • RECOGNITION: Repeat and reinforce the brand around the stand

  • Keep brand names visible in proximity to each display, use print and cut vinyl to showcase plinths and make use of your Fascia with foamex signage.

  • QUALITY: Treat your branding with care

  • Pride in your brand can be emphasised through use of fretcut 3D lettering, LED rear illuminated lettering, NEON signage, or even freestanding display of built up lettering/initials. In most instances these will be re-useable and a worthwhile investment.


7 Seconds isn’t a lot of time to read lots of text. Be clear about your values, specific about your offering and use imagery that is easily identifiable.

If you want to speak with one of our exhibition stand designers to discuss your next exhibition space, give the team a call on 01474 536 360

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