How to order an exhibition stand - a mini guide
HOW TO ORDER AN EXHIBITION STAND - A MINI GUIDE
Trade fairs and exhibitions are considered to be some of the most effective marketing tools around and that is why trade fair are important. They are not only a useful aid in establishing or maintaining contact with business partners, but are also an excellent space to present and promote new products and services, as well as further establish the company's reputation; both domestically and internationally. In addition, they also provide an excellent opportunity to learn what competitors have to offer, and stay up to date with new trends on the market. Hence, the significance of trade fairs cannot be overestimated, and it is no wonder that so many companies perceive participation in such events as a great opportunity for self-promotion and -development. This leads us to the following questions: How to plan an exhibition stand? How to create an exhibition stand? and How to run an exhibition stand? We will be answering these later on in the article.
WHAT’S THE POINT?
Choosing a trade fair event is not an easy task, and should always be in accordance with the company's marketing goals. It is also important to define at least an approximate budget framework; keeping in mind that trade fair expenses consist of many different elements.
The first step to take, even before making a decision to participate in any trade fair event, local or international, should be to define the goals that the company aims to reach through it's participation in the fair event.
Clearly defined goals are the key to choosing the right trade fair, both in terms of its subject matter and location (locally or abroad).
HOW TO PLAN AN EXHIBITION STAND - let’s start
The decision to participate has been made, but you must be aware that this is only where the real preparations begin. The first and most important step now is to apply for participation in the trade fair. Typically, trade fair exhibitors will facilitate online applications using various types of application forms. The timing of your application is crucial. Some trade fairs, especially international ones, will accept registrations up to 2 years in advance. This is worth keeping in mind, as early-bird applications may substantially influence the size and location of your stand. The earlier you apply, the greater the chances of securing a more favourable location of your exhibition stand at the fair.
In the next part of this post, we will be focusing on the subjects that are most applicable to our company's area of expertise; i.e. the design and construction of your stand at the fair. However, it should be kept in mind that the preparation of the design for your stand is only one of many steps necessary in organising a presentation at a fair – the preparations also include many other tasks; such as: printing advertising material and catalogues, issuing invitations and admission tickets, booking parking slots, organising transport and accommodation for the team operating on site during the event, and many others (exhibition stand activities, catering, support staff, cleaning at the fair, etc.).
WHO TO EXPOSE WITH?
The trade fair market in Poland consists of almost 5,000 exhibition stand builders, who also offer various other fair-related services, such as logistics, rental of furniture and RTV equipment, production of graphics, or hiring auxiliary staff (hostesses, security staff, etc.).
When it comes to the construction of the exhibition stand, there are usually several options available:
- designing and constructing a stand on your own,
- getting it done through the fair organiser,
- entrusting an external company with the design and construction your stand (so-called exhibition stand agency or a stand building company).
In a situation where you need to keep the construction price low, making the exhibition stand on your own or ordering it from the organiser is the best solution. Most organisers will provide you with the option of renting a turn-key solution in system or modular construction, but the appearance of such stands is standardised. Depending on the organiser however, customisation may be possible, but this will always come at an additional cost.
Given the complexity of preparing exhibition stands, even in their most basic form, it is best to entrust the design and build to a dedicated exhibition stand company, which will guide you through all stages of the project's preparation and implementation. They will also provide you with professional advice and assistance in all organisational and technical matters.
HOW TO CREATE AN EXHIBITION STAND – step by step
Deciding to build an exhibition stand with a dedicated external company, the first step is usually to prepare the design for your exhibition stand. Professional companies, ours included, have entire design departments specialised only in stand construction; they know the specificity of each fair, and are able to select the best materials to use in the construction of your stand to make it optimally suited to a given location. They are also up to date when it comes to the latest trends. This allows for an individual and innovative approach to each project; guaranteeing solutions which are visually attractive, safe, and most importantly, solutions which will perfectly fulfil their role as an element in the company's marketing strategy. Just compare e.g. the Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin with the International Trade Fair for Home Textiles in Frankfurt am Main, or with the glass and fenestration industry events – these events all have completely different characteristics, thus the visual presentation required for the display of products differs greatly between each fair.
A common question that exhibitors ask themselves at this stage is how much does the exhibition stand design cost? This is an individual matter, which depends on the company, and also differs between each individual arrangement. At Expo-Instal, the preparation of the initial fair stand design, as well as three subsequent corrections, are always free of charge.
Before starting work on an exhibition stand project, it is necessary to collect as much information as possible in order to get to know the exhibitor's expectations of their exhibition booth. You may be unsure what a standard enquiry should contain (especially if you are participating in a fair for the first time) so for your convenience, we have compiled a list of the most important aspects to take into account:
- name of the planned exhibition,
- floorplan with your exhibition stand location, and it's dimensions and placement within the hall,
- preferred type of stand construction (a list of stand types can be found below),
- plans for the interior of the exhibition stand, e.g. storage room, space for talks (in the open space area/conference rooms/VIP lounges), reception / bar counter, etc.,
- information about the products you will have on display (their quantity, size, preferred manner of presentation – all this information is significant and may determine the layout and appearance of the stand),
- preferences regarding colour, graphics, furniture, and AV equipment,
- a file with your logo in vector format, e.g. pdf, cdr, or ai,
- budget guideline for the construction.
A common difficulty people face, and we know this from experience, is specifying the preferred type of exhibition stand. There are several options to choose from, and each of them will differ in the type of materials used, as well as in price. The following list should help to clear up some of the questions you might have on this subject.
System exhibition stand - this is a type of construction where ready-to-build metal profiles are used (so called exhibition stand frames). These can be combined with each other in strictly defined configurations. Depending on the type, we can obtain straight or rounded shapes of walls and fascias. The profiles can be seen, and the spaces between them are white plates, which can be covered with a coloured foil or any printout from a file provided by the customer. It is the most economical option for building a trade fair stand.
Customised exhibition stand (so-called wooden exhibition stand) - a type of construction which, due to the materials used, can be customised to suit the specific needs of the exhibitor, and allows for unlimited variations of arrangement; giving the stand a unique, individual character. Structures of this type are based on custom-made elements of wood and wood-based panels, laminates, and spray painted elements. Plexiglas, glass, metal and many other materials can also be used in the construction. The only limitation here is the designer's imagination. Due to the type of materials used, stands of this type are more expensive than standard system construction.
Mixed-type exhibition stand - this is a type of construction which combines system and custom elements in various proportions. There can be, for example, a system wall connected with a fascia made of wood; or any other combination that combines those two construction solutions. It is a good way of making the stand more attractive, improving it's visual effect, and adding a twist. At the same time, it helps in optimising the costs.
In all of these cases arises the question of the stand's ownership. Is the exhibition stand for sale or for rent? Unless otherwise agreed upon between the parties, the rule is that the construction is rented to the customer for the duration of the event, and is thus property of the stand builder.
Now, let's look at the development of the exhibition stand construction design (prepared as a 3D model). Depending on the size and complexity of the structure, it may take several months of hard work to map out the concept, make adjustments and agree on the details. The shape and visuals of the stand are, however, only a few of the elements involved in the entire creation process. Simultaneously with the exhibition stand design work, we take care of many technical matters to ensure a safe and uninterrupted operation of the stand during the event. An exhibition stand project that meets the conditions and technical parameters imposed by the organiser, using only certified materials and ordering appropriate technical connections (electricity, water, compressed air, suspension of elements), is as important as the appropriate visual concept. Neglecting any of these elements can cause problems at the realisation stage. That is why it is so important to entrust the work to a professional, experienced team. Expo-Instal, as a trusted stand builder from Poland, offers a comprehensive service – also with regard to all technical issues. We will take care of the project's approval with the organiser, and we will also provide substantial support in ordering connections. Our goal is always to create a space ideally suited to specific needs; functional and safe.
THE DESIGN IS READY... AND WHAT’S NEXT?
Preparation and approval of the exhibition stand design, both by the client and the organiser of the event, opens the next stage, which is the preparation of individual elements that make up the exhibition stand construction. It begins with the preparation of detailed technical drawings along with the specification of materials, which will allow for the appropriate materials to be ordered as needed. All materials are then sent to a carpentry shop, where elements of wall, fascia and other structures are created. Depending on the type of finishing, the components prepared in this way may be pre-painted, or delivered to the paint shop. At the same time, lighting and graphic design are organised, i.e. all kinds of prints on fabrics, banners, foils, 3D signs, and cut-outs from self-adhesive foil. We also provide all kinds of additional equipment, such as furniture and accessories needed in the kitchen or storage room; decorative elements, e.g. flowers and green plants; as well as audio-video equipment (exhibition stand with TV, video wall or LED screen, touch screens, and many more).
Materials prepared in this way must be transported to the event location, where all elements will be assembled. A properly organised logistics process, which also includes efficient and quick unloading of elements at the place of construction, plays a vital role in the schedule of your exhibition stand set-up, which is often very time-limited. An experienced set-up team is also crucial. All of these elements translate to an overall success and our client’s satisfaction.
AND WHAT AFTER THE SHOW?
Full and comprehensive service from the exhibition stand building company also includes it's dismantling after the fair within a period of time strictly defined by the organiser.
In the case of system stands, the structure is dismantled and the metal elements can be reused in other projects. With customised wooden stands however, the situation is different. Some elements, especially movable ones, e.g. counters, can be reused. Other structures, such as walls or fascias, are usually damaged during disassembly and cannot be reused. These items require proper disposal or recycling wherever possible.
Comprehensive preparation of a trade fair presentation that fits in well with the company's marketing strategy is a multi-stage process that requires time and full commitment. It is worth entrusting the organisation to professionals where possible, as they will provide advice and experience at every stage. Expo-Instal, with almost 30 years of experience, offers you it's services as a reliable and trusted exhibition stand builder in Poland and abroad (Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, and many more).
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