When you have something to show at an exhibition or conference, you will want as much control as possible over the way you present yourself.
Unfortunately, there are certain parts of your presentation that will be out of your control – the location of your exhibition stand, the facilities available at the venue in question, and, crucially, the amount of space you will actually have at your disposal.
A small booth might place some limits on the kinds of displays possible. Regardless, you can still make a great impression on your audience with a bit of creativity and ingenuity.
Firstly, one of the best ways you can sidestep the problem of fitting everything you want to into the space available is by investing in a shell scheme ahead of time. Shell schemes consist of numerous display modules that can be deployed in an almost limitless number of arrangements and layouts. As such, they can always be made to fill whatever space you are given, whether it be larger or smaller than expected, or irregularly shaped.
If you don’t have a shell scheme with you, or want to know how to use it to best effect, there are other techniques you can use to subtly draw the eye and divert visitors towards your stand, away from more cramped ones at the same venue. (Because if you have to contend with a small space, so does everybody else on the day – you really just have to handle it better than the majority of other delegates, even if what your setup is not as perfect as you’d like!)
Avoid trying to pack everything you have into your booth without regard for the need to economise on space. It’d be better to use half the resources that you planned, but do it widely, than try to pile everything up and appear sloppy. Focus on clean, uncomplicated designs – an uncluttered tabletop with a plain tablecloth will look inviting.
Try to work out just two or three main ‘draws’ – elements of your display that should stand out to casual observers. This may include a well-known logo, an informative poster, a competition, a mascot, or whatever it may be. Place them front and centre and anything else can be de-emphasised or even left in the van.
If possible, use lighting to draw attention to your stand and specific parts of it. For example, you could ensure that items and posters at the back of your stand aren’t shrouded in darkness. It might be worth bringing portable lights to shows for this purpose – even if you rarely use them, you may find you rely on them sometime.
Finally, once you’re set up, do make sure you inspect your stand from a range of distances and angles, including the ones from which you expect the most people to approach your stand. You don’t have to love working in a small space, but it could be a really good opportunity to eliminate clutter and stand out from the crowd!