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  • Writer's pictureTeam ESM

Modular Exhibition Stands: How To Make The Most of A Small Exhibition Stand

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Everyone knows the phrase ‘big is beautiful’ and we’ve all walked past exhibition stands that leave us in awe, taking half the hall, 6m high, and most likely out of reach for the typical marketing manager looking to make an impression and engage with their audience at a show.

Rest assured you don’t need the biggest of spaces at a trade show to leave a lasting impression on delegates and if anything, a small, focused but cleverly targeted concept which brings to life a marketing campaign can leave visitors just as impressed as any large stand, therefore driving sales leads into the business and maximising awareness of your products at an enhanced ROI, but also leaving your competition thinking ‘we wish we’d thought of that’.

There are tricks to doing this well. Mainly it’s all about standing out and ensuring you catch peoples eye – here are our top 10 tips for maximising success at your trade show within a smaller space:

1. Be Informed

Make sure you are attending the right events for your target market, and once you are sure you are, familiarise yourself with the hall layout so you can identify which of the smaller spaces have good visibility, and which ones are hidden under a staircase. Understand visitor flow, and where in the hall delegates are going to want to be.

2. Be Inspired

Visit other trade shows and make notes of what you like, don’t like and what stands out – start to get a feel for how much product other companies fit onto their stand, so you can plan how much you can fit on yours. Make sure you communicate your findings to your exhibition stand designer so they can incorporate these into the plans.

3. Be Size Aware

This means two things: Firstly, it means that you need to understand the size of the stand you are looking to book. It goes without saying that most people cannot envisage a 3x3m space – so mark it out on the floor in your office, get people to stand inside the space and you will soon get a feel for what you are working with. The second element to this is to ensure you do not try to squeeze large stand equipment onto a small stand. Your products need space to breathe and your staff need space to move around the stand with your customers, so don’t try to do the equivalent of fitting a Range Rover into a motorcycle parking bay – it won’t have a happy ending! 

4. Be Recognisable

Don’t put your least known brand or product up front and centre. Make sure passers-by recognise your brand, company name or product in order to get them to notice you.

5. Be Different & Memorable

Looking like everyone else, will make you blend in – so try to think differently about your stand and what you want to sell from it. How can you translate your brand essence into your stand design to give customers a full multi-sensory experience?

6. Be Dazzling!

Lighting can increase awareness of your stand by 30-50% so make sure you supplement a shell scheme lighting package and ensure you outshine your competition. Lighting can help form the overall atmosphere of your stand, it can make smaller things appear larger too, so it’s a key aspect to get right.

7. Be Adaptable

A custom exhibition stand build doesn’t mean inflexible. Invest in something that genuinely represents your brand but make it work for you across a range of trade shows. The stand pictured here was built in a way which enabled orientation and size to be altered within certain parameters to re-use across trade shows. By investing in modular exhibition stands the effectiveness of your budget is increased without a compromise to your brand.

8. Be Tidy

Small spaces can look cluttered and messy very quickly, so keep your stand clear of bags, coats, coffee cups and lunch wrappers which will all take up valuable space that would be best used for your marketing materials.

9. Be Strategic

Ensure your stand is manned with the right number of staff. Of course, it would be ideal if everyone on the sales team could attend and meet their own customers, but smaller stands dictate this to be impossible. So free up some space and create a friendly, welcoming environment for your visitors with a key team of knowledgeable staff who can help with a wide variety of queries, and also be diligent enough to feed those leads back into the right people afterwards.

10. Be Creative

Creativity is not just about how your stand looks, it is about how you incentivise Buyers to your stand. Whether you use social media, goodie bags, invitations, competitions or refreshments, know that there will be many other exhibitors all vying for your customers attention, so start your marketing early and keep the program going – including the follow-up after the event.

Small stands do not mean small impact. At ESM, we design, manufacture and build many show stopping small stands and modular exhibition stands each year, our team of highly skilled professionals can make modular pieces, bespoke solutions and use the latest technology to ensure your stand gets noticed. So get in touch and we can help you find a way to maximise your impact at your next event.

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