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10 reasons your exhibition stand isn’t working

18 Sep 2018 Exhibitions
10 reasons your exhibition stand isn’t working

If you want to make the right impression, you’ll need an exhibition stand that attracts visitors and starts conversations. But how can you make sure that your display doesn’t let you down on the day?

With over 30 years’ experience designing and building eye-catching exhibition stands, here are ten things we’d encourage you to avoid at your next tradeshow.

1. Not establishing your objectives up front

At Apex, we have an innovative three-step approach to designing every exhibition stand. And, before we do anything else, we make sure you understand why you’re attending a particular exhibition in the first place. It’s not good enough to exhibit just because your competitors are doing so, or because you attend every year.

If you’re not sure what your objectives are, or what your customers want, we can work with you to figure this out.

2. Booking a duff space

It doesn’t matter how good your stand looks if nobody sees it. So making sure you get a great space in the hall is essential to your trade show success. At Apex, we can advise on likely delegate traffic flow, and assess any features of the building that might affect you on the day.

If it’s too late and you are stuck with a stand in a bad space, we can also devise some innovate and quirky features to make it work for you.

3. Buying the wrong type of stand

When it comes to maximising your exhibition presence, the first step is to choose the right stand for you. So what are your options?

  • Custom built stand. If you want to make a big impact and put the competition in the shade, you’ll need a stand that not only has the elusive wow factor, but one that also represents your brand, and is designed specifically around your products and services. Find out more about custom built stands
  • Modular stand. Apex modular solutions are a long way from ‘off the peg’ designs that look like everyone else’s. We have developed innovative ways of using different media and re-usable components. And, with lightweight alloys, tensioned fabrics and hi-tech plastics all used to produce contemporary and high-quality stands, you can adapt and re-configure for many different shows and hall spaces. Find out more about modular stands
  • Self-build stand. We supply good quality portable displays in a range of sizes, and we can also design and print the associated graphics. We will cleverly design your stand to make it look unique, but keep it simple so you can build it yourself. And reconfigure it for future shows. Find out more about self-build stands.

4. Forgetting the basics

Exhibiting isn’t just about what happens on the day. There is an immense effort that goes into preparing for tradeshows. So, as well as thinking about what your exhibition stand will look like, you also need to consider the broader logistics. For example:

  • Have you received your ‘Approval to Build’ notice (having submitted the correct plans and H&S documentation)?
  • Do you have all the AV equipment ordered and tested?
  • Have you confirmed that services such as electrics and internet will be in place if needed?
  • Have you arranged travel, accommodation and parking for everyone attending the exhibition?
  • Have you arranged time for setup and dismantling (and confirmed with the venue)?

5. Not doing the maths

Today, return on investment (ROI) is crucial. To find out what you need to make your exhibition presence a success, set out how much the exhibition is costing you to attend, and attach a monetary value to each new customer/lead. Doing this will help you see the tangible value of your exhibitions and help you decide whether to reinvest in the show next year.

However, when buying an exhibition stand, rather than focusing on the up-front expense it pays to consider the whole life cost. For example, if you invest in a reusable exhibition stand that you can take to five different events, the amount you have to make from each tradeshow to deliver ROI can be significantly reduced.

6. Just focusing on aesthetics

Having a great looking stand is an essential first step to exhibition success. But successful exhibition stand design is about more than just looking good. You also have to attract and retain visitors ahead of your competitors.

What’s more, there is no point in getting people to your exhibition stand if there's no incentive for them to talk to you once there. So, no matter how good your stand looks, all your effort could go to waste if it’s not a catalyst for conversations.

7. Investing in the wrong things

Integrating technology and exciting features into your next exhibition stand design could provide that much-needed return on investment. And, the good news is that there is an abundance of tech and creative ideas available to help you achieve your objectives.

But make sure everything you do relates back to your original goals. Even if every single attendee pops past to check out your free chocolates or clever game, this won’t help your business if that’s the only thing they take away from your stand.

8. Forgetting the promotion

To attract and engage visitors start promoting your event long before the show starts. To do this, you can use social media and bespoke content to demonstrate what people can expect at your stand. On the day, be sure to keep the momentum going with great incentives and giveaways.

9. Not thinking about lead generation

Technology exists that captures leads and integrates them into your CRM systems. Make sure you use it if you want to stop worrying about the hard sell and focus on generating beneficial conversations with more prospects at the event.

However, to avoid hefty fines, the way you collect, store, and share and use this information must be 100% compliant with new data protection rules.

10. Choosing the wrong exhibition stand company

When it comes to guaranteeing a winning exhibition presence, the right partner is vital. At Apex, as well as creating eye-catching exhibition stands, we also remove the stress, boost footfall and make your tradeshows a success. We also help you to win customers and give you a return on your investment, whatever your budget.

To find out more contact us today, or give us a call on + 44 (0)1625 429370 to discuss your requirements in more depth. 

Pete Forse

Pete is the Exhibitions Director here at Apex. He has one clear business objective – to produce memorable exhibition stands that add real value to our customers’ brands. With a background in event production - spanning 30 years in places as far flung as Rio and Manila (and quite often the NEC!) - Pete brings his experience to the task of making exhibition visitors stop and take notice. Like everyone at Apex, he is driven by the excitement of this challenge, and the vision that we can make a long-term difference for our clients. To find out more about how Pete and the Apex team can help you, give us a call on 01625 429370 today!