Essential Elements of Exhibition Design

Essential Elements of Exhibition Design


Exhibitions and trade shows are a big investment in your brand. Whether opting for a large footprint with fully bespoke design, or a shell scheme solution that better suits a smaller budget, your investment should lead to a measurable return. In order to do so, your exhibition stand needs to:

  • represent your brand identity to full affect
  • communicate your key message through delivering a customer journey
  • stand out from the crowd and attract an audience

To help you achieve the above, we’ve put together a list of essential elements for exhibition design that apply regardless of the size of your budget.

Start with a clear message in mind

There’s no point investing in an exhibition presence without a definite message to communicate, so use this as the starting point for your exhibition design. Before you even book your space, ask yourself what your goals are and what messages you need to put across in order to achieve them.

Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes – how can what you’re offering improve their lives or add value to their business? The answer to this question will influence your message and impact all aspects of your exhibition design – from the space you book to the technology you incorporate.

Once you have your message in mind, use it across all of your marketing efforts, from physical handouts to your in-person sales pitch, and communicate it clearly to your stand designer. The most important element of any exhibition stand, no matter how big or small, is a clear and consistent message.

Make creative use of your space

When it comes to successful exhibition design, it’s not about the allocated space but more about how effectively that space is utilised. Increasingly, in the age of experiential marketing, attendees arrive looking for an experience, so it’s important you make creative use of your space to offer them one.

If your budget stretches to a fully bespoke stand you have the opportunity to create a customer journey that is truly unique to your brand; one that moves visitors through a carefully thought out space. If your budget and subsequent footprint are less, consider how you can offer that journey on a smaller scale. Can you make use of height? Can you incorporate the floor? Can you build in smart storage solutions to maximise the space available?

There are multiple design tricks that enable you to make effective use of space no matter the dimensions and any good exhibition designer should do just that, always referring back to your objectives and the experience you are looking to offer your visitors.

Adopt consistent and simplistic design

Whether you are an established company or a start-up business, to achieve a strong identity you need to implement a set of brand guidelines. Use of colour, fonts, logos, images; your strategy should be well documented to ensure consistency across all of your marketing efforts. Use these guidelines as a blueprint for your exhibition stand design.

Be sure not to go overboard. Your stand will be one amongst many and any good designer knows that the key to standing out in a crowd is to keep it simple yet eye-catching. Your chosen fonts should be clear, bold and easy to read – if an attendee can’t decipher your wording from a distance, it’s not going to grab their attention. Keep strap lines to a minimum –short and straight to the point. Attendees have limited time and it’s important that you capture some of it. Refer back to your messaging and ask yourself how you can communicate this clearly in as few words as possible.

Incorporate relevant AV solutions and event technology

One of the most effective visual tricks you can use to grab attention is clever use of lighting. A good stand designer will understand how to use lighting for maximum impact and, more importantly, how to use it to enhance your space in support of your message. Good use of lighting will not only help you stand out from the crowd but also help to create your desired atmosphere. If required, this can be complimented by the use of sound, be it background music, sound effects or loudspeaker announcements.

Then there’s technology. Much like the size of your footprint, your adoption of technology will be decided by your budget. But whatever you choose to incorporate, it should be there for a reason and not for technologies sake. Your chosen tech could be anything from handheld devices or display screens for videos and presentations, to some of the more innovative solutions appearing on the exhibition scene, such as augmented reality or RFID technology. Whatever you use, it should offer your visitors an enhanced experience and the opportunity to connect with your brand on a deeper level. Used well, some technologies can also offer great benefits for analysis, helping you to improve your future exhibition techniques.

For ideas on how to effectively incorporate technology into your exhibition stand, see our post; 5 Tech Trends for Engaging Exhibitions.

Whatever your exhibition offering, careful planning in the early stages will help to create a level of attendee engagement that not only ensures your message is heard, but that it leaves a lasting impression.


The Presentation Group offer a range of exhibition services from shell scheme solutions to fully bespoke design and build. Contact us today to find out how we can help take your brand to the next level.

© The Presentation Group Ltd 2018  |  Terms & Conditions