Exhibition Displays: Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts for Exhibition Success

Adam Singleton asked:

When taking part in an exhibition there are many factors to consider; from which literature holder or stand to use, through to the products that should be on show. Many organisations devise a plan for an exhibition and re-use that plan at subsequent exhibitions. However with so many variables to consider, a new plan should be developed for every exhibition.

In order to develop this successful plan, the following is a distilled list of the top Do’s and Don’ts you need to consider.


1) Researching and looking into the history of an exhibition helps in understanding the number of visitors that are likely to attend. Understanding the location can help in weighing up parking, plot size and maximum amount of visitors that are to be expected..

2) Planning in advance gives an upper hand against potential competition. Understanding which products to take, how much stock to have and how many literature holders are needed in order to meet demands can be crucial in creating a buzz. It is advisable to plan nine months in advance as you may need to order exhibition equipment beforehand and plan for any possible changes.

3) Setting achievable goals is a great motivator and in doing this it is possible to judge performance and make changes to any plans for next time. Potential goals could be seeing how many sales can be generated and even the amount of literature to make available to visitors on brochure holders.

4) Being creative can be very advantageous as finding a unique display that is customer friendly can give a competitive edge. Having a competition, creating a memorable exhibition stand and having eye catching literature holders can enhance a company’s exhibition ratings dramatically and boost brand identity.

5) Listening is a final “do” that can seem obvious, but a lot of people forget to do this! By listening to customers’ needs and wants, it helps you decide what to say next. Talking about your products or services may scare off potential customers whereas being polite, offering out literature from your brochure holders and understanding what customers want can provide key information.


1) Don’t be afraid to ask questions at an exhibition, as the knowledge gained from one person may help define a company’s exhibition plan of the future. Ask competitors where they got their banner stands or floor-standing literature holders from, as every contact you get may help in finding your future exhibition kit.

2) Never use negative body language (e.g. folded arms, frowning), excessive terminology or sound too sales-orientated as this can scare customers away and taint your reputation as an industry expert, or remove any hope of a future business relationship. When talking to a visitor, assess their level of understanding on the product or service and use words and terminology accordingly.

3) Don’t rely solely on the products or services you have on display to sell themselves. Train staff on the product and correct exhibition etiquette in order to sell the product or service more effectively. Eating and using a mobile phone while at the stand is a big turn off for visitors; make sure staff steps away from the stand to do this.

4) Do not use competitions if everyone else is doing one. Finding an attraction that is new and exciting, and appeals to the audience can be more of a motivator than any competition can be. Hiring professional events staff to hand out drinks or some entertainment can boost visitors’ experience at the stand and will be remembered more than any competition.

5) Do not forget that literature is king. Visitors can feel intimidated by talking to people at exhibitions and will prefer to read about a product or service through literature available on a literature holder. This is also beneficial as the more literature holders you have, the more literature there is that gets taken home and looked at again.

All of the above statements – regardless of being do’s or don’ts – all come down to communication. According to a recent survey by exhibition display equipment supplier, Displaysense, 78% of exhibition visitors are in attendance to purchase on the day; and whether communicating through speech, literature, research or body language, a purchasing decision can be made before even saying hello. And with 61% of visitors preferring to read about a product, it is important to have a literature holder that can fulfil the demand of your potential customers.

The above isn’t an exhaustive list of the do’s and don’ts to ensure you have a good exhibition season but it should help you kick start your planning.

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