Design Secrets from the Pros: Tips from an Expert Exhibition Stand Builder

Design Secrets from the Pros: Tips from an Expert Exhibition Stand Builder


The design of your stand is one of the most important things you can do to get granted leads, no matter how much experience you have with expos or how new you are to visit them. Your spot needs to stand out from the others and get people’s attention in this competitive industry where people are constantly being bombarded with ads. Although, a good design isn’t just about how it looks; it’s also about creating a positive experience. Specialists who set up expos know that people use more than just their eyes. They use all of their senses. You should engage people in your brand right away when they walk up to your stand with sounds, sights, interactive demos, and more. These tips will help you make sure your space is carefully designed with the best exhibition stand builder to attract, engage, and convert qualified leads, whether you want to improve your current stand or build a new one from scratch. A data-driven, multisensory approach is vital if you want people to remember your company long after the show floor.

How Important It Is for Stand Design to Appeal to More than Just One Sense

While sight is undoubtedly the primary sense, we use to take in information at exhibitions, a good exhibition stand builder understands that visitors experience the world with their entire bodies. To cut through the visual clutter and truly captivate potential customers, exhibitors must find creative ways to appeal to the senses beyond just the eyes alone.

Touch is One of the Strongest Memory Anchors

Various studies have shown the sense of touch to be a mighty memory anchor. When people can physically interact with product samples or informative graphics, it helps cement related messaging in their minds. Some stand builders have capitalised on this by incorporating interactive demos, 3D models, and sample materials. The tactile element creates a more immersive, engaging experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Scent Creates an Associative Link

Similar to how certain smells can instantly trigger nostalgic memories, the sense of smell can also be strategically used to tie a brand to positive emotions and impressions. Some savvy exhibitors have experimented with scenting their stands through scented brochures or product samples, discreet diffusers, or even branded scented giveaways. The subtle sensory cue is an unconscious reminder of the brand long after visitors leave the show floor.

Taste Cultivates Direct Product Engagement

Of course, allowing visitors to taste a product literally is one of the most impactful sensory experiences and a great way to drive real engagement. Food, beverage, and cosmetic companies have long understood the power of sampling to help buyers visualise actual usage scenarios. But other industries are increasingly experimenting with taste, too, through small consumable samples, from pharmaceuticals to manufacturing components.

Optimising the Multi-Sensory Experience

The most memorable and effective stands consider how to optimise this multi-sensory, immersive experience through careful planning of each design element. Exhibitors must thoughtfully incorporate engaging visuals, interactive demos, strategic scents, atmospheric sounds, and tastes to reinforce those touchpoints. When done skillfully, this multi-pronged sensory strategy ensures the brand stays top of mind long after the show ends.

Engaging the Auditory Sense Through Atmospheric Sound

While it’s important not to overwhelm the senses, well-placed audio can be a powerful tool for exhibition storytelling. Many builders opt to include short, looping video or audio presentations that provide an energetic, informative backdrop without being intrusive. For example, a technology company may play the sounds of devices powering on and demo videos playing to represent the experience of using their products.

Tactile Interactivity Reinforces Messaging

When people can physically interact with product samples or informative graphics, it helps cement related messaging in their minds long-term. Some stand builders have capitalised on this concept by incorporating hands-on displays, 3D models, and sample materials. For instance, a furniture company may provide textures of different fabric options to feel. The tactile element creates a more immersive, engaging experience that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

Strategic Scents Create Associative Brand Links

Similar to how certain smells can instantly trigger nostalgic memories, the sense of smell can also be strategically used to tie a brand to positive emotions and impressions. Some savvy exhibitors have experimented with scenting their stands through scented brochures or product samples, discreet diffusers, or even branded scented giveaways. The subtle sensory cue is an unconscious reminder of the brand long after visitors leave the show floor. To conclude, a cohesive, carefully planned sensory strategy ensures the brand makes a captivating impression that drives top-of-mind awareness and authentic engagement with potential customers. Crafting this all-enveloping brand experience will set any exhibitor apart from competitors and help them achieve their exhibition goals.

Reflections on the Process of Designing Stands for Particular Industries

Every industry faces unique challenges when it comes to exhibition marketing. This section will reflect on the distinct considerations and approaches in designing stands tailored to different industries.

1. Technology Companies: Focus on Product Demonstration

Cutting-edge tech and software companies need exhibition stands that showcase their innovative solutions in an engaging, interactive way. The main objective is often to educate attendees and generate proof of concept by allowing hands-on experimentation. Open floor plans with spacious demo areas are ideal.  Interactive kiosks, product trials, and immersive visuals are standard inclusions. It’s also important to address any installation or IT requirements early. Overall, technology exhibitions aim to bring new concepts to life.

2. Medical Equipment Manufacturers: Prioritise Privacy and Compliance

Due to regulations and sensitivity around health data, medical equipment stands for discreet, private spaces. Demonstrations involving patient information, cadavers, or live procedures require fully enclosed rooms. Compliance with industry standards is a top priority, too.  The design process examines electrical, safety, and cleanliness needs. Signage should be clear yet discreet. While open areas showcase devices, closed rooms allow in-depth discussions and evaluations away from crowds. Functionality and discretion are watchwords in this field.

3. B2B Manufacturing Companies: Convey Expertise Through Education

For manufacturers selling to other businesses, exhibition stands commonly adopt a conference-style setup. The goal is to demonstrate extensive industry knowledge and technical proficiency to procurement teams. Interactive learning zones, seminar spaces, and product literature distribution areas feature prominently.  Displays showcase the entire production process, capabilities, certifications, and success stories. Networking is supported through lounge seating and catering. Overall, the design aims to position the company as a trusted solutions partner and industry leader.

4. Creative & Design Firms: Evoke Imagination with Visual Flair

Agencies’ marketing services like branding, architecture, and advertising leverage exhibition stand as creative showcases. Bold, imaginative designs grab attention and reflect the company’s aesthetic capabilities. Interactive digital displays, multimedia presentations, and artistic models bring concepts to life.  Materials are chosen for visual and tactile appeal over functionality. Open spaces encourage brainstorming. The objective is to inspire clients with new perspectives and fuel prospective projects, so visual drama and imagination are high priorities.

5. Educational Institutions: Inspire the Next Generation

For universities, colleges, and training programs, exhibition stands showcase innovative courses and cutting-edge research to attract prospective students. Interactive displays bring curriculums to life through simulations, demonstrations, and multimedia. Sample projects display the calibre of work.  Brochures and staff are on hand to provide program details and answer questions. Open floor plans encourage mingling, and lounge areas support discussions. The atmosphere aims to be inspiring and accessible and highlight career opportunities. Stands showcase the institution as a learning, discovery and career development centre.

6. Non-Profit Organisations: Spread Awareness Through Engagement

Nonprofits leverage exhibitions to spread their mission and recruit volunteers/donors. Emotional, impactful visuals coupled with engaging staff promote their cause. Interactive activities that let attendees “experience” the work impact awareness and fundraising. Open areas encourage networking between supporters.  Literature and staff educate on specific initiatives and ways to get involved through donations or volunteering. The overarching goal is to spark understanding and action through personal connections and compelling advocacy. Overall designs aim to be approachable and inspire support. We hope these reflections on customising stand design for different industries provide helpful insights. The key is understanding each sector’s unique objectives and constraints to craft the right solution. With the right approach, exhibition stands can be highly effective marketing tools.

Common Questions Are Addressed by an Experienced Exhibition Stand Builder

Whether you’re a seasoned exhibition veteran or just starting out in the world of exhibitions, questions always arise around stand design, logistics, and maximising ROI. In this section, we’ll address some of the most common questions an exhibition stand builder receives – directly from the perspective of an industry expert.

  • What Size Stand Should I Book?

One of the most fundamental – and essential – decisions exhibitors face is choosing the right size stand. As the saying goes, having too much space is better than not enough. Booking a stand that feels cramped will negatively impact the visitor experience and hamper your ability to showcase products and host meetings. When sizing up, it’s critical to consider your current needs and your company’s growth projections. Will you launch any new products or services requiring demonstration areas in the coming year? Are you aiming to increase sales leads by 10-20%? These kinds of goals should factor into your square footage calculation. Remember to account for necessary furnishings, too – you’ll need room for branding, product displays, literature racks, meeting seating, storage, and more. We always tell clients to estimate they need about 25% more space than their initial instincts. It’s better to have room for expansion or unexpected needs than to turn visitors away due to overcrowding.

  • How Can I Attract Visitors to My Stand?

Getting buyers to your booth is half the battle. The key is promoting your presence both before and during the show through strategic outreach. In the months leading up to the exhibition, use your website, email campaigns, and social media to announce your participation and tease any new offerings visitors can see.  Encourage people to schedule meetings at your stand in advance. Then, onsite, make sure your company name and booth number are prominently displayed with clear signage throughout the exhibition hall and on any show maps/apps. Once at your stand, keep traffic flowing with compelling visuals in your windows and banners overhead.  Have engaging demos or presentations running on a loop to attract passersby. Offer small giveaways to entice people to stop – branded merchandise, samples, or free consultations work well. And make sure to greet visitors with a smile and brochures about your offerings. A friendly welcome can turn a curious onlooker into a qualified lead.

  • What Should I Feature on Our Stand?

When designing your stand’s content, highlight your unique value propositions through demonstrations, visuals, and collateral. What problems do you solve for customers? What benefits do your products or services deliver? How can you simplify complex topics into easy-to-understand formats? For product-based companies, hands-on demos that let visitors “experience the difference” are highly impactful. Consider interactive touchscreens, sample products, mockups, and multimedia presentations. Meanwhile, service providers should illustrate their expertise and process through infographics, case studies, and staff on hand to discuss projects. Don’t neglect printed materials, either. Have concise, benefits-led brochures and leave-behinds available to reinforce your messaging. And be sure to feature customer testimonials and success stories prominently – social proof is very persuasive. The goal is to give visitors just enough compelling information to remember you as the solution to their needs.

  • How Do I Follow Up With Leads?

Following up promptly after the show is critical for converting leads into sales. Too many exhibitors consider this phase an afterthought when it should be a carefully planned process. In the days following the event, be sure to send a personalised email to all leads thanking them for their interest and briefly re-capping your discussion. Include any promised next steps, such as a product sample or consultation. Then, develop a drip email campaign to nurture prospects with relevant content, promotions, and calls to action over the following months. In addition to digital follow-ups, remember traditional outreach, too. Make follow-up calls within a week to check in and answer any other questions that may have come up. Send handwritten thank-you cards for high-potential contacts. And continue building relationships through in-person meetings whenever possible. Taking a multichannel, long-term approach to follow-ups is critical for converting the show’s hype into real ROI. Exhibiting is an investment – ensure you maximise its benefits long after the booths come down.

  • How Can I Make the Most of My Stand Space?

Now that you’ve sized up appropriately, it’s time to think strategically about layout and design. Here are some tips for maximising the functionality and impact of your booth space:

  • Flow and Placement: Consider where visitors will enter your stand and their natural flow patterns. Position your welcome/reception area accordingly. Then, place your most impactful displays – like new product demos – in high-traffic areas with ample room to gather.
  • Zoning: Divide your space into clear zones for different activities. For example, have a demonstration zone, a meeting zone with comfortable seating, a literature/merchandise zone, and an open floor space for mingling. Define areas with floor graphics, plants, or furniture.
  • Ergonomics: Make sure all display elements like monitors, interactive screens, and brochure racks are at comfortable viewing heights and reach. Don’t clutter walkways or obscure sightlines. Proper lighting is also crucial for visibility and ambience.
  • Branding: Consistent theming carries your company’s image and messaging throughout the stand. Use banners, graphics, floor decals, and even scents to reinforce your brand identity visually and experientially.
  • Call to Actions: Place clear prompts where you want visitors to stop – things like “Watch Demo”, “Schedule Meeting”, or “Enter to Win”—track engagement metrics to optimise what’s working.
  • Comfort: Provide ample seating for meetings and breaks. Consider amenities like charging stations, refreshments, games/activities, and music/videos playing to encourage lingering.

With smart layout and design, you can turn even a small space into a memorable brand experience that keeps visitors engaged and generates quality leads. 

  • How Can I Optimise the Staffing of My Stand?

Managing personnel is another crucial aspect of exhibition planning. Here are a few tips: Clearly define roles and responsibilities. Designate greeters, product specialists, notetakers for meetings, and floaters as needed. Make sure staff know their focus areas.

  • Schedule shifts strategically. Staff levels should vary throughout each day and factor in anticipated traffic patterns. Ensure coverage during all open hours.
  • Limit staff idle time. Have activities like demos, games or giveaways to keep staff engaged between visitor interactions. Rotate jobs to avoid boredom.
  • Provide training. Before the show, brief all staff on your key messages, value props, demo protocols, and lead qualification process. Roleplay common scenarios.
  • Incentivize performance. Consider compensation structures tied to lead/appointment goals. Give small prizes to top performers each day.
  • Monitor engagement. Check in regularly to ensure staff are smiling, making eye contact, and warmly welcoming all visitors. Address any issues promptly.
  • Collect feedback. Debrief with staff daily and after the show to identify what went well and opportunities for improvement next time.

With the proper training, incentives and management, your team becomes a powerful asset for driving traffic and high-quality conversations at your stand. 


In the end, knowing your goals, target market, and inventive ways to appeal to all the senses are necessary for a good show stand design. If you want to make your idea a memorable brand experience at the next show, an expert solution like SOL GmbH can help. Whether you need a unique stand, a modular package, or a virtual event solution, design and production experts will work closely with you to meet and exceed your business goals.

Also Read: Transform Your Exhibition Stand with Virtual Reality Experiences

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About Us

SOL Gmbh is a large format exhibition stand design and build agency. We are experts in custom built exhibition stands, portable displays for promotions and activations as well as modular display stands for conventions and conferences. From building complex expo stands to customising small display kits, we can serve you anywhere in Europe.

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