Branding Tips and Advice for Exhibition Design

A crucial part of running a successful business is ensuring your products or services are marketed in the best way possible for your potential customers. As a small or medium company, a way to ensure this is to exhibit at trade shows and exhibitions. Not only can you meet any new and potential customers face-to-face to sell your product, but you can also make connections and do some serious networking.

Branding Tips and Advice for Exhibition Design
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, March 10, 2023

The very nature of exhibiting can be daunting, as it can be tricky knowing where to begin. From the initial planning and preparation stage to the best ways to effectively brand your products and services, we’ve compiled a guide to help you where it matters. Check out these branding tips for successful exhibition design.

Set your intentions

Firstly, it’s essential to work out what you’re trying to showcase to potential customers at a trade show. To do this, it’s a good idea to think about your business's values or aims. Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you seeking to gain more leads?
  • Do you hope to find other companies or businesses to make connections or partner up with?
  • Is your purpose to sell your product or service to existing customers or to sell to new ones?

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you can use the outcomes to determine the goal for your brand exhibition and how best to promote your branding accordingly. This will form the ideas needed to design your promotional materials for the exhibition.

Plan for your brand exhibition

One of the first things you will want to do is book your space at the exhibition, and there are a few things you’ll need to bear in mind. Initially, you will want to consider the position of your stand and how many potential customers and businesses will be able to see this at the brand exhibition.

Once you have this finalised, you can then consider the logistics, such as how many roller banners, flyers, business cards and larger graphics you anticipate for the exhibition. A crucial part of your planning should be to research various printing companies so that you can get a range of quotes together for the branding promotion materials.

Another important aspect of your exhibition design will be to consider the number of staff members you’ll need, not only to man your own brand’s stand but also to be a spokesperson for your business.

Promote, promote, promote

Pre-trade show events, as you are going to promote your business, it’s key to advertise that you will be attending and to give yourself enough time to send out reminders and ‘save the dates’. Look for a timeline of 3-6 months in advance to send these out. This is important so that customers can find a way to interact with you.

For the event, whichever space you end up going with, you’ll want to ensure your brand stands out at the trade show. One of the most simple ways you can do this is to draw people in. Encourage potential new customers to come over to your stand and start a conversation. This is also helpful for brand activation. Here are some ways in which you can encourage customers to visit your particular stand:

  • Competitions
  • Demonstrations
  • Activities.

Product demonstrations, talks, and competitions are among the most popular ways to attract visitors. These types of engagement activities can encourage other trade show visitors to stop and see why so many people might have gathered around your stand.

It’s crucial to include a clear call to action on any of your promotional branding materials. This shouldn't just include take away flyers, leaflets or business cards, but should also be reflected in your roller banners and larger graphics. 

Remember, plenty of existing and potential customers will be taking photographs to share with other potential customers. So make it clear exactly what your goal of the day is going to be and relate the call to action on your visuals.

B2B Software Exhibition Design

Example of an B2B exhibition for More4apps, designed by WithBrand

Impact and memorability is key

If engaging activities, such as competitions or brand giveaways are going to be a focal part of your brand exhibition, then it’s imperative to make these memorable.

Consider your brand’s audience and make sure this appeals to the target customer. As well as making sure your stand is attractive and well-designed to catch the eye of your potential customers, you’ll likely want to think of an exhibition competition or giveaway that entices visitors to your stand as well as ideas to engage with them for longer periods of time so that they turn into potential leads.

If you are thinking of offering giveaways or competitions as part of your exhibition, think about your audience and make it appealing to them. You could try some classic ideas for brand engagement, such as the below:

  • How many sweets are in the jar?

    This particular exhibition competition is super simple to set up and creates a friendly competitive atmosphere among attendees. All you need to do is fill a jar with a variety of sweets and ask visitors to guess how many sweets are in the jar. To capture the answer, make a sheet where you ask any visitors to provide their name, email address and their guess for a chance to win. You’ve then gained a list of email addresses for email marketing purposes.

  • Hold a raffle

    Much like a classic raffle contest, but rather than selling raffle tickets, you hand them out to prospective customers and then ask them to revisit your stand at a specific time to draw the raffle.

  • Branding merchandise

    The ideal items for ultimate brand promotion. Think tote bags, pens, pin badges, stickers. Essentially, any item that won’t cost your business a fortune to invest in, but can increase attraction to your stand and encourage people to talk about your brand, is a winning strategy.

B2B Exhibition Design

Example of an B2B exhibition for Eaton Inc. designed by WithBrand

A large number of people at brand exhibitions will appreciate an interactive competition and giveaway, and it will help to footfall and a buzz around your brand.

Here at Withbrand, we understand the importance of exceptional exhibition design and have worked with a host of innovative companies to increase engagement and participation.

One such example is the work we did with global power management company and technology leader, Eaton, to help develop their marketing solutions. From advertising campaigns to ebooks, infographics, brochures, and more importantly, their trade show exhibition designs, we adopted and utilised highly creative strategies to ensure a connective experience with the end consumer.

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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