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

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