Your biggest decision will be choosing your exhibition stand design, so start the process 4 - 6 months before your show date.

Before you decide what to buy or rent and from whom, consider the following:
• What is the history and reputation of the supplier?
• Do they offer the type of product, design service, field service and product guarantee required to create your ideal exhibition stand?
• Is the stand easy to transport and assemble?
• What are the on-going costs, and will it be economical to expand, reconfigure or refurbish for future shows?
• Are rental options available?

Your budget will dictate the type, size and make of stand you can afford. Consider your company image and how you want to be portrayed – quality, high-tech, established, contemporary, sporty or traditional? Shape, colour and design will help create the right image.

Pick a display that will best utilise your space and set you apart from your competitors. Keep in mind your audience.
• The display should say who you are, what you do, and the benefits of your product/service in just a few seconds.
• Exhibition stand design is a specialised field and should be undertaken by a professional organisation with experience in this field.
• You should prepare a detailed written brief that clearly states your objectives.
• Your corporate image and identity should be prominently featured.
• Avoid unnecessary physical barriers – you want visitors to access your stand easily and to feel comfortable.
• Demonstrations and presentations create movement – and movement attracts visitors.
• Be aware of the physiological effects of colour.
• Make sure you are within exhibition requirements for dimensions.
• Signs and displays should be placed high as visitors and furniture can block your message.
• Keep text on graphics to a minimum – pictures and visual imagery work best with succinct and punchy text.
• Use height – most organisers will allow you to build to 4m high. Some will allow you to go to 6m and/or to suspend overhead signage. You’ll need to supply structural drawings (small fee) for approval and to use riggers for overhead signs.
• Ensure staff are readily identifiable.
• Also, think about your accessories for the stand such as furniture, storage space, and lighting.

Remember - your goal is to create an inviting design and clear message. Ask yourself: 'Would I stop to visit this stand?'

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The Exhibitor Manual is the official guide to everything you need to know about participating at your chosen show. It contains all the rules and regulations, order forms for show services, contractor information, build up and break down dates, accommodation and hospitality information, registration and access information and promotion details.

Read the manual carefully and look for deadlines to register for electricity, cleaning, etc., as many of these items will require late fees to be paid if the deadline is missed and this could throw your budget off the mark. Order more than you need for electrics and try not to miss anything out – ordering additional on-site services will cost you heavily.

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