Est. 1995, Oaks Exhibitions is the go-to for bespoke and modular exhibition stand design & build

What Should You Include In An Exhibition Stand Design Brief?

At Oaks Exhibitions, we have certainly heard our fair share of stand design briefs, but what is the difference between a good design brief and a great one? We will share our top tips to help you get the best possible outcome from your stand builder and to make sure you are 100% happy with your finished exhibition stand.

If you are investing your precious Marketing Budget into a yearly event schedule, then you really need to plan each of the events perfectly. No matter what size and duration of the event, beforehand you need to set out your objectives… What is it all for? Whether you are looking to grow the business through new clients, or launching a new product or service you need to make sure your stand at each event reflects your marketing objectives.

So where do we start?

Ask yourself the question, “Why are we as a business attending this event, and what do we want to achieve from our time here?’ Talk to your internal team and get their opinions, each Director or Manager will have their own agenda. The Sales Team might want to meet existing clients, the Business Development Team will want to speak to potential new clients, the Purchasing team may want to catch up with suppliers or meet new suppliers, the Design team may want to showcase their new product or service. Together you need to establish what the main objectives are and turn this into a design brief for your Stand Builder.

From here you need to arrange a meeting with your stand builder and their designer to talk them through your Exhibition Stand Design Brief. To get a full picture of the business the designer may ask you about the following aspects of your business:

Event details, stand size, type

The conversation really should start here. The exhibition team needs to know when the event is taking place, to ensure a successful show the sooner you speak to your exhibition team the better, if you leave things till the last minute then you will limit the amount of help your team can give you, it may also limit the creativity of the stand design.

Give them all of the stand details, stand reference, what size and kind of space you have booked – Is it a shell scheme or is it a space only. This information will help the team advise you on the type of stand you need for the show.

Your company background and future plans

Whether it is your first project with your exhibition team or your tenth, you need to make sure they remember what your company stands for, where you have come from and what your future plans are. As an extension of your team you want to represent your business at the show as much as your internal team, fill the team in on what the bigger picture is for your business over the coming months.

What are the show objectives?

Yes you need to have some! Why are you attending that specific exhibition, you really need more of a reason than you just always have! An event is a reason to have something to shout about, whether it is launching a new product or service, or entertaining your top clients. You need to make sure it is not wasted time or money.

Launching a new product?

If you are launching a tangible product then you need to make this is the star of the show! Your exhibition team should ensure that this new edition to your catalogue is visible from all angles, seen from a distance and obvious that this is your brand new product! They might elevate using levels or a pedestal, they could even suspend or wall mount it. That obviously depends on what the product is and its weight and size. If you are a company selling combine harvesters then suspending it from the ceiling would not be a smart move!

Service based business?

If you are a service based business, then how can you encourage visitors onto your stand? How about having some interactive elements? If you are selling SAS then allow your visitors to have a go, try it out! Another fun way to get people to visit your stand is to hold a competition or a prize draw.

Let’s get together…

Are you planning on holding meetings on your stand? Then makes you have space to sit and chat, it could be as simple as a table and a couple of chairs at one end of your stand. It could be a separate glazed meeting room with AV capabilities. If you have several members of your team attending from different areas of the business, then you may need more than 1 meeting area. Exhibition halls can be noisy places, make sure your meeting area has some level of privacy, this could be a simple screen.

Keep it clean!

Exhibition stand rule 101… Make sure your stand looks neat and tidy. Stand staff have a habit of cluttering a stand with their coats, laptops and personal items. If you have a team then make sure you have a storage area to out these items. On a small stand this could be a simple cupboard or a couple of baskets and a coat stand! If you have the space then a walk in cupboard is a godsend for keeping your stand clean and clutter free.

Would you like a coffee?

Of course your client would like a FOC tea or coffee! Exhibitions are hard on the feet, allow your visitor to take the weight off and relax with a drink, it might just make the difference. Refreshments require space and planning, coffee machines require water and electricity. You also need to have a safe but accessible place to put them. If you offer cold drinks, then you might consider having a fridge on your stand. Make sure you factor this into your design, nobody wants to see boxes piled up in the corner.. Remember to keep your stand tidy!

Keep it on brand

Make sure your exhibition design team have your brand guidelines (if you have them). If you don’t then they will need at the very least your high resolution logo. From here your designer should be able to pull together a design that represents your brand perfectly.

If you have considered the above when you set your Exhibition Design Brief, then you are already paving the way to ensure a successful and well attended show! Planning is key (as well as working with the right Exhibition Design Company!). We can certainly help you make the right choice there!

If you are planning an event this year maybe we could help? Contact the Oaks Exhibitions team on 01484 644 368 or email us on

How Can I Make My Exhibition Stand… STAND OUT?!

With an impressive 83% of attendees at trade shows having the ability to buy, and corresponding 79% ready to commit purchase decisions for their business (Source: Trade Show Insights Magazine). Then exhibitions and trade shows should still be a key component of a company’s marketing strategy.

If the exhibition is the perfect place for you to market your products and services with an aim to meet potential new clients, then it is very likely your competitors will be at the same show! So, how do you make your stand… stand out?

Start with YOUR Story

Forget the bland sales messages, special offer graphics and boring brand messages. Focus on telling visitors your story. This is unique to you, and can only be told by you. Story narratives are immersive, they require engagement from the part of the listener (in this case our delegate). From here, you can talk them through your story, bringing them up to current day.

We work with a Hospital Manufacturing Company and they are over 100 years old, so have had quite a few versions of their products. For one of their shows, we put together – 100 Years in Healthcare, showcasing how their products had changed over the years, leading up to current day and (yes you guessed it) their brand new product launched at the show. It really got visitors talking and making their way over to the stand.

If the budget allows, GO BIG!

You know they say bigger isn’t always better? Well when it comes to exhibiting a large and well designed stand, really does make the difference.  Large stands have much more visible impact, often these stands are central in the hall, so can be seen down the main aisles (as they often straddle 2 / 3 aisles). It also gives you the opportunity to have a ceiling mounted banner which again increases the exhibition stands visibility in the hall. These large exhibition stands are bespoke builds, designed and built by specialists exhibition design companies. If you want to be talked about at the exhibition by the visitors and the other exhibitors… go big!

Give Delegates A Reason to Drop By!

When you take part in a 3-5 day trade show, you need to feel comfortable on your stand. You will be spending a lot of time here so it needs to work for you. Your exhibition stand also needs to work for your visitors. Treat your stand as if it was your home and make it a welcoming place for your visitors to want to spend time and feel relaxed.

Seating plays a big part in this, if you can take the weight off for a short period of time and offer your visitors a seat then do it. Whilst they are there if you can, offer them a coffee or a cold drink. Most stands come with electric points now and as long as your coffee machine is PAC tested then you can have one on your stand. Simple creature comforts will ensure a pleasant and memorable experience for your visitors.

Take the opportunity whilst sitting to chat with your visitor, ask them questions, enjoy your time with them and hopefully they remember you and your company. You never know you might have just met a future customer.

The Element of Surprise!

Quite often the busiest stands at exhibitions have a unique pull. This could be a rooftop bar, food and drink offering, F1 simulator or even a VIP guest! (Yes we have done it all!). So think out of the box. The element of surprise can be achieved at most budgets. We have had clients with smaller budgets hire butlers in the buff and magicians to attract attention. One of our larger clients had a replica size F-15 fighter jet on their stand, that you could actually get into! This attracted quite the queue.

Best in Show…Offer!

We know we said, don’t plaster offers all over the front of your stand, but we didn’t say don’t offer any. A promotion or sales offer is the perfect quick win for a successful show. If you sell small, tangible products, then quite often these items can be purchased at the show (unless the organisers have rules around purchasing). If they do, then extend the offer to a week after the show ends, to ensure a peak in sales directly related to the show. Quite often at Interior design and home styling exhibitions the exhibitors sell off the products on the stand at a reduced rate on the last day. This allows them to make a quick profit from the show, as well as take less home!


This should be a no brainer, however how many exhibitions have you visited and the exhibitors on the stand doesn’t even look sideways at you? They have unfortunately decided to catch up on their emails, or take a phone call. We cannot express how important it is to engage with as many visitors to the show as possible. These people are here specifically to find new suppliers. We have already mentioned that an impressive 83% of attendees at trade shows have the ability to buy, and a staggering 79% ready to commit purchase decisions for their business.

Your exhibition team is your secret weapon: the difference between leaving an event with a half-full database of cold leads or a calendar full of prospect meetings.

In many cases businesses send their product experts, because they obviously know everything about the products or services, it is important to have these people here. However it is as important to have staff that have had some kind of hospitality training, or are just fantastic at initial meetings and engaging conversation. So as well as your experts, send your most hospitable, friendly and welcoming staff and allow this team to deliver visitors to the experts.

Make sure your staff are fully briefed before the start of the show on the following:

  • Establish the show objectives. Why are you there? Is it a new product launch, are you looking for new customers? Is it for Export purposes etc etc.
  • Are the show staff fully trained on your products and or services being promoted at the show? Can they talk in length about your business, the history, the ethos?
  • Do they know when they should be there, have the rotas been arranged?
  • Is everyone presentable? Well turned out?
  • Set up daily debriefs. Who spoke to who, any good opportunities arisen that day? What are the plans for the next day?

At Oaks Exhibitions, we have over 20 years experience and expertise doing just this. Our main objective at any exhibition is to make sure your business stands out, by creating show stopping stands, that capture attention. Our team will work closely with you and the event organisers to ensure a successful and worthwhile exhibition, Interested in getting started?

If you are planning an event this year maybe we could help? Contact the Oaks Exhibitions team on 01484 644 368 or email us on

The top 8 questions to ask your exhibition stand builder

Never be hesitant to ask a supplier questions. They shouldn’t mind, and they should be able to answer every question you have.

You’re about to spend your marketing budget on what can be a big investment, so it makes sense to have all the information you need to make a decision to suit your business.

Here are the top questions we recommend asking your stand builder:

  1. How long they’ve been in business – it’s not the be all and end all, but you’d like to know what experience they have in this area.
  2. What qualifications they have – again, this may not be super important to you, but you’d like to ask if the team working on your stand are builders, graphic designers and the like.
  3. Ask to see their portfolio and price ranges – a reputable company will be able to show you past stands that they’ve created and will be able to show you what you get based on your budget.
  4. Read reviews and testimonials – as with any company you’re looking to work with; it’s a good idea to read reviews and testimonials from past clients to hear opinions of the consumers.
  5. What does their service involve – you may want your exhibition stand builder to do the whole lot (design, build, installation, storage etc.) so make sure you ask them the level of service they provide to make sure they’re going to suit what you’re looking to do.
  6. Find out about their briefing process – this is super important as you want to make sure your builder is onboard with your vision and will take the time to talk through everything with you.
  7. Will they fit in with your budget and timing – if you’ve got a set budget or an event coming up quickly, you’ll need to make sure your company can fit in with this.
  8. Ask if they have in house designers and Factory – This is really important to ask as many stand builders don’t provide this service and outsource it. This ultimately means they’re factoring in additional margins on your costing and it may become more expensive than companies who provide this service. 

If you are planning an event this year maybe we could help? Contact the Oaks Exhibitions team on 01484 644 368 or email us on