When you have decided that exhibiting works well for your business, if you have not enlisted the help of an exhibition stand builder yet, then it might make financial sense to now bring one on board. If your exhibition schedule is looking pretty busy (3+ shows per year). You need to consider how you will present your business at each show.
Choosing the right stand builder for your project can be a tricky process. You need to consider a wide range of factors, from cost and design specifications to delivery timescales and assembly capabilities. With so many things to bear in mind, it’s easy to overlook important details that can make or break your event plan.
To ensure you make the best decisions when selecting a trade show partner, read on as we share our top tips for choosing the perfect stand builder for your project.
Go see for yourself…
If you’re looking for the right exhibition stand contractors for your business, start by attending an event. Put on your future exhibitor hat and look around for inspiring stands that standout, stands that can be seen from different areas of the hall and stands that are attracting a crowd. If you see an exhibition stand you like, then speak to the team (ideally the Marketing Manager). They will happily share their stand builder details with you, as they will most likely take the question as a complement! You’ll probably hear the same names cropping up time and time again. Once you have found a few names, then start doing your research.
Arrange a meeting with a couple of companies and see how you get on. Making the right choice is important, once you appoint an exhibition designer and stand builder you start a long and lengthy working relationship. You will be working closely with this team so you need to be able accept them as part of your team. It is important to find out as much as possible about them at your initial meeting, make sure you ask some of the below questions.
How long have they been in business?
Ideally you want a company that has been designing and building stands for a few years at least. This way you can be sure that they have several exhibition stand builds under their belt. If they are relatively new to the business then find out who they worked with previously. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Most exhibition designers and stand builders will give you details of clients they work with, you can then contact them and ask for a reference.
What team do they have in house?
This is an important question to ask. Any established stand builder will have an in-house team ready and waiting to work with you at every point in the process. All of the different elements of a stand design and build require different skills. Within a competent team you should have the following people:
Account manager – This person will know your business inside out, understand your brand and know what your yearly exhibition schedule looks like.
Stand Designer – This person will take a stand brief for each event you are taking part in and work out the stand designs, sizes and what is required for each exhibition. The designer will draw up the stands in 3D software (we use sketchup) so you can see what each stand will look like for each show. The 3D designs can then be signed off by the client, enabling the designer to create construction drawings for the workshop team.
Workshop team – Reputable stand builders should have their own team and manufacturing facility. If a stand builder has their own workshop they are in control of all materials, costs, time scales, detail and finish. They will also have their own skilled team of joiners, electricians and builders. Tread carefully if a stand builder is using a 3rd party for manufacturing, agree all costs and timescales upfront and get it in writing.
Project Manager – On larger stand builds, it is important to have some kind of project manager involved from the stand builders side. This person often works alongside the client and ensures the build process runs perfectly as well as the dismantling after the show.
Logistics – Can they actually get your stand and equipment from A to B? Stand builders should have large vehicles available to transport the sections of your stand to the exhibition halls.
Stand builders – The team that puts the stand together!An exhibition stand company should have their own team that assembles the stands in the halls. This highly skilled team may consist of joiners, electricians and general builders. They will build your stand in time for the exhibition open day and then take the stand down at the end of the show.
Before the meeting check out the company’s website and social media accounts, an active business should be posting regularly. They should also want to show you their best work at your first meeting. A reputable exhibition stand builder will be able to show you past stands that they’ve designed and built as well as show you work they have done based on your budget.
Reviews and Testimonials
Find out the opinions of others. When investing your precious marketing budget in a stand builder, you need to know they have other happy clients willing to share their experience with you. Ask the stand builder to give you contact details for a selection of their other clients, you can then speak with them and ask them about their experience with the team. Word of mouth is everything in this game, and although they might build amazing stands you need to hear that the team is also easy to work with, trustworthy and reliable. You need to be able to class them as an extension to your team.
Do they design, manufacture and build?
This should be a really important element to your decision. Ideally you want a one stop shop for your exhibition builds. Do they do it all? Stand builders that have all of these elements in house generally offer a better service as they are in control of all elements of the process including cost. If the stand builder is outsourcing the manufacturing or the build then ultimately this means they’re factoring in additional margins to your cost and it may become more expensive than companies who provide the full service in house.
Do they offer a variety of stands depending on the type of show?
Not all exhibitions are the same, they can range from small one day events to large scale events that run for several days. Your stand requirement will be differ at each show, for smaller events you may need a simple solution such as a pop up type stand. For medium size shows then a modular stand may be just the ticket. If you are wanting to make a statement and budget is available, then go big with a bespoke build. Flexibility is key when exhibiting and you need to make sure that your chosen stand builder can accommodate your every requirement.
Are they on top of current designs and trends?
As well as the above, you need to be able to count on your exhibition stand company to be ahead of the curve when it comes to trends. Innovation in exhibition stand design is key to stand out and create showstopping stands. You need them to be talking to you about the latest LED trends, furniture styles and also movements in modular. At the end of the day, you want your stand to be the BEST IN SHOW!
At OAKS EXHIBITIONS, we do it all.
Oaks Exhibitions have designed and built bespoke, one-off stands and modular reusable stands at exhibitions across the UK and Europe for over 25 years! Our bespoke stands are made at our fully equipped workshop in Huddersfield and can be delivered and installed anywhere in Europe. We also offer highly flexible, modular/reusable stands which are ideal for multiple, slightly differently sized spaces at different events. So we are pretty well equipped for the job! Talk to us about your event schedule, let us be part of your team!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org