Functionality Over Elegance? Discover What’s Most Effective at an Exhibition?

Image by dcegroup via Flickr
Image by dcegroup via Flickr

You are in the process of planning the design of your stand for the upcoming exhibition when it hits you. What if we can’t pull this off? What if this idea isn’t practical enough? Or on the other end of the spectrum, what if there is way too much detail in the design that the stands no longer that practical?

There may be many questions racing through that creative mind of yours but it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of practicality over elegance and vice versa. When it comes to creating the perfect exhibition stand for your brand, it is crucial to strike the right mix of both creativity and practicality to deliver a well-rounded design.

Functionality may make the stand easier to move around in and more comfortable for your prospective customers. The practical element will also give you more room to play with different accessories and gadgets too.

On the other hand, when exhibition stands are elegant, the initial visual impact on the passer-by will be much stronger and more memorable. Having a fancy backdrop with beautiful ornaments and accessories will look visually appealing but when it comes down to showing customers around your booth and talking them through the selling points of your brand, the question is – will it tell the story you want it to? Or will it seem futile in the end?

Maybe it captures the essence of your brand perfectly, in which case you may want to opt with elegant.

These are all things you will want to weigh up in the decision process of designing your exhibition stand. Thinking about the following elements will help you decide exactly how practical and how elegant you want your exhibition stand to be.

Consider the size and shape of your space

Your little plot of land for the duration of the exhibition will be the home of your brand and showcase all of your proudest USP’s. You want to carefully consider therefore the dimensions of the space you have so you can show-off these elements with ease and finesse. Check the floor plan and measurements to ensure you have enough room for several people to be in your stand at one time. Also, depending on the space you have, the signage, banners and accessories you incorporate should not overpower the design but should complement it.

What do you want customers to take away from your stand?

Think about the message you want your exhibition stand to send out to people. Considering the purpose of why you are there in the first place is a good starting point and this can direct whether you should choose the functional or more elegant route. When you think about the essence of your company and what it offers consumers, you will know which design will suit your stand best. For example, if your brand offers organic products, it would be good to use eco-friendly materials in your design.

Choose your display items carefully

Due to the small amount of space you have to play with, you will need to think about the design you have and select the products which link closely to your goals of being at the exhibition. What do you want potential customers to see? Considering the type of audience the exhibition will attract, which products will go best in your booth?

Be practical about your exhibition stands space

No matter how elegant your design may be, it is essential that you opt with practicality when it comes down to space. Due to the limited room you have, you must carefully work out how much room will be required for your staff to move around comfortably and customers to roam freely. Then you should also calculate any extra room for giveaways and any marketing materials.

What about the visuals?

Looking at different colour schemes will greatly impact the look and feel of your exhibition stand. Depending on what sort of vibe you want to create and your past branding, paying attention to the colours you use will potentially draw eyes towards or away from your stand. This is a great topic to discuss with your contracted designer.

So as you can see, functionality and elegance both serve their place in exhibition stands but it’s important to note that one should never overpower the other. Too much functionality and the stand loses its personality and finesse. Too much elegance and your clients will get bored quickly!

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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