From Brief to Build: The Complete Guide to Exhibition Stand Design (Part One)
Exhibition stands are a highly effective tool for creating interest and engagement with your brand and products, generating new leads and maximising exposure for your business, and bespoke, eye-catching exhibition stand can make a huge impact at your event. From concept to creation, Identity’s talented team of exhibition stand designers will transform your brief into a reality that exceeds expectations.
In our latest article we have broken down each stage of the exhibition stand design process, with part one focusing on the brief, conceptualisation and initial design steps.
Everything starts with the client brief. Once this has been received it will be digested by Identity’s project kick-off team, who will analyse the requirements closely to make informed decisions about the next steps. The information supplied will then be converted into our internal creative brief, liaising with the client to complete any gaps.
A brainstorming meeting is an effective way of essentially kickstarting the creative process of a project. This will involve senior decision makers from Identity alongside key members of the design and production teams, each of whom will all share different ideas and contribute suggestions from their unique design approach.
While the meeting takes place, scamps and sketches often manifest on flipcharts or sketchbooks, which will be taken away to then progress further by one or two designers.
During a brainstorming session, many aspects of the client and their project is discussed, including:
- All elements of the creative brief
- Company background and values
- Brand identity
- Target audience
- The location of event
- Competitor analysis
- Previous stand designs
- Current trends
Illustration, Scamps & Sketches
The next step after the initial brainstorming session, would be for the designers to illustrate and flesh out the concepts. Basic illustration can be used in various ways throughout the project.
During the concept stage, illustration helps to develop design ideas without committing too much time to any single concept. Scamps and sketches are a great and quick way to walk not only the client, but the internal team through initial thoughts early on for further thoughts and progress.
Detailed illustrations (which may come along further into a project), can be used as an alternative to 3D design. It’s a great method of showing the client the design proposal and is often the desired form of visualisation for the project.
Alongside design rationale – sketches and illustrations can really help a client understand the justification behind a design, as well as visualising customers and interactions within the environment.
Conceptualising ideas is usually a personal approach for any designer. Depending on their preference, some may sketch, some may think things through methodically and others may dive in and start modelling. Some useful techniques for conceptualising include:
- Mood boards
- Loose sketches
- 3D modelling
- Photoshop compositing
Design ideas can come from all sorts of inspiration from aesthetics to functionality. Everything leads to one goal though: fulfilling the client’s brief and ensuring that the attendees/public will understand their brand message. The design concepts must make sure that it creates an overall positive outcome for customers to experience.
When putting pen to paper as they say, it is important to thoroughly understand and know the client, and research is the main factor. Before creating any concepts, the designers must be clear on what the message is, the overall experience to be had, the product or service to be sold and any other key KPI’s the client wants to succeed from this project. When creating the design concepts, always keep the client in mind. The result should always reflect your client and their brand.
Another important aspect to remember is the functional layout of the design idea. Always focus on how the attendees will navigate around your stand, making sure that the design ideas will use the most effective and easiest layout option, to offer the best possible exhibition stand experience.
A consistent brand identity gives people confidence and helps form stronger relationships. If a business doesn’t already have a brand identity, our experienced design team can help to create one.
Before designing a stand, our designers will consult with the client to ascertain event objectives and messages they want to convey. This could be to gain brand awareness and understand the company’s core values, product launches and any demonstrations, keeping the aim: to automatically leave a positive perception of the brand for passers-by in mind. This may be the difference between whether they decide to stop at the stand or not.
The stand will need bold strong graphics to catch everyone’s attention. These will attract more people to stop and find out more. The stand shouldn’t look too busy that it turns away visitors but it’s also not great if the clients display is bare and uninteresting. To make a lasting impression, make sure the stand reflects the company and use stunning, high quality images.
Here are some key tips on how to effectively display branding during an exhibition:
- Ensure the exhibition design is in-line with brand guidelines and is consistent with the marketing materials
- Use a maximum of six to 10 words for the main messaging. If it takes more than three seconds to read, there is too much text
- Position text at eye-level
- Use large, captivating, well-cropped strong images – less is more
- Text must be a minimum of 4-inches tall. Type should be a minimum of 1-inch tall for every 3 feet you step away from it
- Use serif or sans-serif styles fonts. Decorative fonts are hard to read, a maximum of 2 fonts should be used on any stand
- Ensure that there is a sharp contrast with text and the background – this is vital in order to have a full effect
- Talk benefits and attendees will listen. Benefit statements are key. Attendees want to know what’s in it for them
- Make sure any promotional giveaways are relevant to the brand
Rendering is a vital part of designing, as this gives a visual representation of how an exhibition stand would look like. As the rendered visuals are static they therefore need to be created at the best angle possible, so that the client has a clear understanding idea of what the stand would look like.
It is also advisable to provide close-up views from different angles and features of the stand. Make sure that there are renders that are taken from eye level as this provides the perceptive of the exhibition stand as it would be on the day.
Ensure that the colours, lighting and materials are all set properly and, as much as possible, are reflective of the intended stand design. In post-production, designers will use Photoshop to enhance the renders to add the lighting effects to replicate the exhibition environment.
To conclude on part one, this detailed breakdown is a clear version of the first half of the design process our design team will take to create a bold and bespoke exhibition stand. Part two will feature the second half of the process, leading all the way up to pitching the finished exhibition stand concepts.
If you are interested in how Identity can assist you at your next live event, please contact us by calling 01323 469111 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.