Number One – Failing to consider the size plot they booked

There needs to be a balance between the practical implications of the space available and the visual impact required to get you noticed.

For example, a Shell Scheme with three sides but only one roller banner popped into a corner will look lacklustre. Equally the same space rammed with a load of display structures will take up the small floor space available making it too overcrowded to be approachable or practical.

It’s all about the right system, in the right space.

Number Two – Not being clear on why they are at the event

Like any marketing and sales activity that requires investment, a clear goal must be decided on what you hope to achieve and the activities that will get you there.

For example, If you are launching a product, then product demo spaces, promotional reels (via TV screens) and product display areas will all need accommodating.

If you are service based and your objective is to undertake market research vis surveys and networking, then integrated technology to capture data may need working in. An area to meet and greet may be required. Perhaps the offer of hospitality is a tactic to get visitors to stay and complete a survey. This will require a space for seating, a coffee machine, tables or even a fridge.

Number Three – Not thinking about the bigger picture

Following on from the previous point is general functionality. Consider what purposes the display needs to fulfil outside of it being used on the day.

Does your display need to be multipurpose, with some elements being used back at the office when it’s not part of an exhibition display?

Or perhaps you have a few events lined up and therefore it needs to be adaptable for varying future layouts.

Maybe you have one big event a year and want high impact but easy build, breakdown and minimal storage requirements.

Number Four –  What Resources do you have/need

This is another key practicality to consider.

Do you have a team of sales people that can man all the areas of your exhibition stand?

What is your experience in setting up an exhibition display? Are you hands on or hands off?

Do you have anyone who can help you with the transport of the stand or dressing it on the day?

What options do you have for storage?

Number Five – Not having a clear budget

Yes, we are finally at the sharp end of this post.

For some reason, the budget always seems to be the awkward conversation. But it’s actually a simple formula to understand.

The bigger the display, the more bespoke elements included and the larger the resources required will cost you more than a smaller display, with simpler layout and less resources requiring to build, transport, breakdown and store.

Just as you will hopefully have a very clear idea on the space you have, the reason you are at the event, what the stand needs to do and what help you have to pull off the event; it’s essential you allocate a realistic budget for your stand to be designed, produced, transported, built, dressed and stored.

Avoid asking for a quote based on vague ideas of what you want. Look at what you need first, then go from there.

Number Six – Misunderstanding the value of their event

Where you place value for the event and how much you feel you got back in relation to the outlay of money and resources, the important Return On Investment is different for each business.

Many businesses are there to sell and measuring the bottom line will determine if their event yielded sufficient ROI. However, for some business, exposure, brand awareness or market research is their objective for being there and they will need to find alternative ways to measure the success of those activities to decide what the ROI of the event is.

You need to decide what warrants investment and commit. For example, if you are at an event to promote brand awareness, but are sitting on a tiny, visually underwhelming stand that gets overlooked, you can’t be surprised at a poor ROI. You need to be prepared to invest properly in the aspects of your event that will help you achieve your goals and sometimes that will be a really fantastic display.

Equally, a visually stunning stand with all the networking space and demos you could want, won’t help you generate sales if you don’t have the right staff on there to engage the visitors.

Ensuring good ROI for your event is about being realistic and focussed on all the points we’ve mentioned, having a clear idea of what you value, a plan for what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. Tangible ways of measuring the success and realistic budgets for investing.