There are a lot of elements you need to balance when designing an exhibition stand. Visuals, functionality, layout, staffing… there’s a lot to juggle, making it all too easy to overlook something critical.

In the 30 years we’ve been working with event stands, there are a few mistakes we’ve seen rookie stand designers make time and time again. Most of these can end up dooming a stand before the event hall doors even open, so it’s vital you know what they are and how you can avoid them.

We’ve listed five of the biggest ones to watch out for below. Read on to discover how you can avoid them when working on your next stand!

1. Not having a clear goal in mind

Making your event stand successful is hard when you don’t have a clear idea of what success looks like. If you’re going with a broad goal like “getting the business’s name out there,” you’ll likely find yourself lacking direction during the design phase, then struggling to gauge how well your stand did once the event is over.

Instead, think carefully about what you want to achieve with your stand. Are you looking to generate leads, showcase new products, or build brand awareness? Once you know that, you can define a more concrete goal – for example, “achieve a 12.5% ROI” or “gather at least 150 leads”. This will give you a much better idea of what to aim for and allow you to measure your stand’s performance more precisely.

2. Not having clear messaging

Of course, having a clear goal is useless if your stand isn’t designed to achieve it. One common mistake new designers make is focusing on aesthetics over messaging – a sleek, stylish booth is easy on the eyes, but it won’t drive much action if no one knows what it’s there for.

Instead, focus first on bold, consistent messaging that pushes people towards your defined goal, whether that’s gathering leads or making sales. If you want people to use a lead capture app, for example, use clear visual cues like signs and lighting to encourage visitors to use it. This avoids confusion and makes it much easier to meet your defined goal.

3. Not having the right sized space

Choosing the right sized space to rent out isn’t as easy as it sounds. A lot of people choose to rent out a smaller space to save money, only to end up with a cramped stand that leaves their visitors feeling crowded and scares them off from engaging with them any further.

That’s not to say that bigger is always better. Renting an area that’s too big might leave you with large, empty gaps that look cold and unwelcoming – and you’ll end up spending a lot more than you needed to.

To make sure your space fits just right, think about all the elements you want to include, including both structural components and display pieces. Figure out how much space each element needs, then use those measurements to create a blueprint for your stand’s layout. This way, you can avoid any issues with too much or too little space and create a welcoming setup for your audience.

4. Not using high-quality materials

Nothing turns off a visitor faster than a stand that seems a gentle breeze away from toppling over. Using low-quality materials not only gives your stand a cheap and flimsy look, making your business appear less professional, but it could also pose a health and safety risk in the worst-case scenario.

You can avoid this by using high-quality components in every part of your stand, from the wall panels to the tech you showcase. While the initial cost might be a bit higher, the increased number of visitors drawn in by your stand’s impressive appearance will quickly make up for it. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your stand is both eye-catching and safe to use.

5. Not adapting to your audience

Once you’ve nailed down a fantastic event stand design, it can be tempting to reuse it for all your future events. After all, why fix what’s not broken?

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out the way you’d hoped. Even if your target audience is generally the same, every event brings its own unique crowd. Using a stand that succeeded at one event may perform poorly at another, simply due to differences in the attendees’ interests, demographics, and more.

So, you should adapt your stand to your event, do some detective work first. Get to know your audience – what are their backgrounds? What are their priorities? For example, if you’re heading to an event in an area where one language is more dominant, make sure your stand uses that language more prominently.

By tailoring your approach like this, you’ll be able to create a connection that resonates with the people at that specific event.

Top-level exhibition stands, designed by the best in the business

At Extreme Group, we believe in taking a thoughtful, case-by-case approach to every stand we design. We use our years of expertise to avoid the pitfalls we’ve mentioned above and design exhibition stands that engage attendees, spark conversations, and achieve success – stands that become an asset, instead of a liability.

By combining decades of on-the-ground sales insight with premium-quality materials, workmanship, and designs, we’re able to create one-of-a-kind exhibitions that accomplish whichever goal you’re aiming for. We also offer full management and logistics services, so no matter what stand services you’re in need of, you can count on us to take care of it.

Ready to get started? Book a consultation online or call us on 01202 620550 today!