Tracy is a freelance writer. In his articles, he shares ideas and strategies on how to save money and to keep a good budget.
Does size matter? When it comes to an exhibition stand, is it the bigger the better or can you get just as good an outcome with a more modest stand? This is a question many businesses will be asking when planning their next event, are large stands worth the money they cost?
At around £300 per square metre, booking a large space at an exhibition is a significant investment, especially for a smaller company. Then you’ve got to have a large stand to fill it and enough staff to man it. So will a larger stand pay for itself in terms of more sales? Here we look at the pros and cons.
Advantages of a bigger stand
1.More space means more visitors
Exhibition stands can only hold a certain amount of people and too many crowds may mean missing out on potential customers as they get fed up and leave. A smaller stand may cause queues which will put some visitors off. Having a larger stand will enable you to receive more visitors and give them space to breathe. Exhibition halls can be crowded places so providing an oasis of calm in a spacious stand will be very appealing to visitors.
Your stand may be in a position where it can provide a shortcut for visitors moving around the hall, this will enable you to grab more attention as they pass through.
2. More space to showcase products
You will have to compromise on what you can demonstrate on a small stand as there will be limited space. A larger stand gives you a lot more room to play with. You will have the space to demonstrate and display more products.
Maybe you can make it more interactive which will attract more visitors. Virtual Reality is increasingly being used by exhibitors keen to show the latest tech. This requires space for people to wave their arms and move around without bumping into things. Offering up the latest technology will provide a draw to your stand.
3. More space for meetings
To get the most from an exhibition, it’s a good idea to use your attendance as an opportunity to meet with prospects and customers who may be attending. Emailing them prior to the event will enable you to arrange meetings on the stand.
Having a larger stand will give you the space to sit down with them and talk properly without being buffeted by crowds. This might simply be an area located out of the foot flow or it could be an entirely separate room—somewhere that enables you to remove all possible distractions. This will enable you to close deals without being interrupted by other visitors.
4. Opportunity for multiple product launches
Exhibitions are the perfect opportunity to launch new products in front of a captive audience. Having a large stand will allow you to divide it into different areas. This will come in handy if you are launching more than one product at the event. You will be able to have one area for one product and another for the other. This will be more cost-effective and efficient than having 2 stands. You may also be able to reuse the stand’s 2 areas separately for future events if you want to focus on the one product.
5. Greater brand awareness
One of the benefits of exhibiting is the chance to present your brand to the market. All your competitors will be there too so you want to stand out from them. Having a larger stand than them is a good way to do this. It says to everyone ‘here I am, and I’m doing so well I can afford this huge stand’. A bigger stand will make you difficult to miss, so give you greater recognition.
Disadvantages of a big stand
The main disadvantage of a large stand is the cost. You may have a set budget for the exhibition and paying a lot for the space will eat into it. This may leave you less money to design an eye-catching stand which is probably more important than a large empty space. The design of your stand is what will attract the attention of visitors, so you need to have the budget to buy or hire something impressive.
Smaller stands can also create a feeling of intimacy that you won’t get from a larger stand. This may help build a rapport with potential customers, increasing their likelihood of purchasing from you. A large stand may also be intimidating for some visitors with its size and space, so the design needs careful consideration to encourage people in.
There are advantages and disadvantages of booking a large stand at an exhibition. Alan Jenkins of exhibition stand contractor Quadrant2Design said ‘The bigger stands at exhibitions do tend to get more attention and visitors but it’s important to have an eye-catching stand above all else’. The deciding factor will probably be your budget. You need to leave enough to organize a stand, buy promotional items and carry out pre-show marketing. There is no point in booking a huge space and then not having the budget to fill it, you are better off booking a smaller space and designing an impressive stand.