Nine factors for a perfect trade fair stand.
What makes a good and successful trade fair design? A difficult question that certainly cannot be answered outright. There are many and individual factors that play a role here. However, there are of course reference points for the best possible visual design in terms of effectiveness and meaning of colour, form, space and motion. A dissertation published in the Marketing Management department of the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management has investigated some of these factors.
The architecture and colour design of the stand should be brand-specific and distinctive. A well-thought-out and adjustable lighting concept should be included. The structure of the stand should facilitate simple orientation and provide the greatest possible clarity. The space design should take peak visiting times and quiet periods into account. Decorative objects and/or exhibits should fit in with the design concept of the stand and should not be hidden when a lot of visitors are present. Informational elements should be arranged in a well-considered manner. Bulky, broad, high information terminals that block people's view to the centre of the stand are sometimes perceived by visitors as unpleasant barriers. The theme of the stand and of the brand should be quickly apparent when passing and ensure an easy introduction. Highly visible experience and action areas integrated in the stand, which enable visitors to get actively involved, attract greater attention.
People act as attention-magnets and consideration should, therefore, be paid to employees' appearance and impact.
Photography: BEHRENDT & RAUSCH FOTOGRAFIE GbR
Summary: “Trade fair stands with a competitive edge offer – from a purely visual perspective – mainly large, bright, open spaces that are clearly organised and which make use of photos and large print.”
Some of the aspects have an obvious effect. Yet the complex issue in goodtrade fair design and in some of the points mentioned, is that they are subjective. When in fact is architecture “brand-specific” and “distinctive”? Just because a firm's employees think the theme will be understood quickly, does not necessarily mean that it will be by other people! There is no easily applied magic formula. Experience and expertise help in assessing trade fair design as objectively as possible according to the above criteria. One reason why firms should listen to the experts more often!
The study offers interesting scientific results concerning stand visitors' perceptions and, thus, useful reference points for questioning stand architecture and trade fair design and optimising it on a specific basis!
Under the title “Brand-Appropriate Design of Live-Communication Tools – Examining the Perception and Effectiveness of Trade Fair Stands” Dr Beatrice Ermer of the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management has undertaken empirical investigations (questionnaire and eye tracking), alongside literature analysis, for a company in the energy industry. She lists nine elements as the influencing factors of a good and brand-appropriate trade fair stand.
The dissertation was published by Springer Gabler Verlag in June 2014 as the 49th volume in the Innovative Brand Management series:
Ermer, Beatrice - Brand-Appropriate Design of Live-Communication Tools:
Examining the Perception and Effectiveness of Trade Fair Stands
Volume 49 - 2014, 388 p. / ISBN 978-3-658-04810-5 available as a paperback or e-book.