How techniques and design can grab attention at exhibitions

Learn how to grab people's attention and attract the right sort of visitors

Whether a stand is custom built or simply a shell scheme structure, there are fundamental approaches to design that can either attract or repel visitors.

The key points in exhibiting are:

  • To be noticed
  • To attract the right people to the stand

There have been many studies that suggest that visitors have less than three seconds in which to notice a stand, understand what it is offering and make a decision as to whether or not to visit.

Among all the visual clutter of an exhibition, it is, therefore, vital to create an impact like the exhibitor in our photo provided by Melville Exhibition Services. There are several techniques for doing this:

Use large graphicsFill walls with a large, dramatic image that helps to tell the story of what can be done for the visitor.

Use heightBuilding high costs nothing but may make the stand visible from a distance. Many exhibitions have height limits or require safety certificates for structures over a certain height, so check those limits first.

Use movementMoving objects such as working models, video animation, changing lights and so on will catch the eye but it is important to ensure that they are relevant to the desired message.

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Now you have their attention

Having caught the eye of visitors it is important to entice them onto the stand. The use of stand design is important to achieve this. The graphics, possibly including a basic text message, should describe what the company is offering and why a visitor will benefit from meeting representatives. The use of a prominent company logo can only have an impact if visitors recognise it.

The stand should be as open as possible and have an atmosphere that is comfortable for the visitor. There should be no barriers across the entrance to the stand such as raised flooring or desks, the ideal environment is one in which the visitor feels that the territory is a neutral meeting place – not an incursion into someone else’s property.

Many exhibitors, for example, pay for carpeting and this can deter visitors who recognise it as defining a boundary.

The stand design may, however, be aimed at creating a brand image. For example a luxury hotel chain may want a deep carpet rather than the hall’s carpet squares, so a compromise between the design and function might be required.


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