The Best Exhibition Stands in the World & Why They Work

The Best Exhibition Stands in the World & Why They Work

Creating an exhibition stand that wows an audience is tough, especially when everyone else is trying to do the same thing.

There are thousands of exhibitions happening throughout the world day-to-day, and we’ve been scouring the web for the stands that create an impact.

We’ve categorised them for you as well, so you can get a feel for what could work for your business. Here’s our pick of the best exhibition stands in the world:

Green/Natural Exhibition Stand – Outer Shoes Stand, ABF Franchising Expo 2017, São Paulo, Brazil

Outer Shoes is a Brazilian shoe brand that aims to create unique, contemporary designs that blend the natural and urban worlds.

Staying true to their brand’s purpose, they commissioned designers Kube to create a sustainable, 100% recyclable exhibition stand.

There were two entrances to the stand from the centre and right, as well as a minibar to the left. There were also high tables for quick service and smaller tables for comfort.

Why it works:

  • The stand is made from cardboard and metalon which are both recyclable, although this wouldn’t be apparent to the visitor. 
  • Even though the shoes aren’t the main focal point, the light brings them into focus.
  • The natural green and warm orange tones give the stand a warm, relaxing feel.

Top-tip for green/natural stands: be careful with objects and colours, too much green(ery) could be distracting.

Modular Exhibition Stand – Desktop Metal Stand, FormNext 2018, Frankfurt, Germany

Desktop Metal is a company dedicated to redefining the way manufacturers and engineers produce and manufacture metal parts.

They went to FormNext to show the exhibition audience how this is happening. They wanted to make an impact, and they certainly did that with their two-storey exhibition stand.

The stand was created with a cantilever, which makes it look like it’s free-standing or standing without any major structural support.

Prospects could engage with members of staff on the bottom floor, or walk up the stairs onto the upper deck where there was a comfortable sofa area and small meeting-style rooms.

Why it works:

  • The design was the first of its kind at this event, which was always likely to draw attention.
  • The simple colour palette means the eyes don’t deviate from the design. However, step upstairs and you’re wowed by the intense red and black colour scheme. 
  • There’s an open area for people to mingle with staff members, and the upstairs area was ideal for more ‘serious leads’.

Top-tip for modular stands: remember that a stand needs to function, it isn’t all about what looks good.

Wooden Exhibition Stand – Vitra Stand, Salone del Mobile 2015, Milan, Italy

Vitra is a furniture designer and manufacturer based in Switzerland, the company works with many internationally renowned designers and architects – who design their products and their working premises.

They commissioned Japanese architects Schemata to create their exhibition stand – and they delivered in a true offbeat, quirky fashion.

Schemata created the stand with wooden pallets; they aimed to change the design language of the event and reflect the temporary nature that events hold.

The stand was open which created a welcoming and relaxed environment, as some enclosed stands can create feelings of claustrophobia for staff and visitors.

Why it works

  • It’s natural, industrial theme mixed with contemporary design creates a juxtaposition that draws people in rather than repelling them. The metal support add another layer of contrast to the stand.
  • You can view the stand as you want to see it, there are no hidden areas. But viewers will still see the stand in a different light as they move around it.
  • Similar to the Outer Shoes exhibition stand, this stand also carries the recyclable element.

Top-tip for wooden exhibition stands: ensure it doesn’t get wet and get help handling if you have heavy wood.

Pop-Up Shop Exhibition Stand – Adidas, Shoreditch 2014, London, England

This isn’t an exhibition stand as such, but pop-up shops are becoming popular among retailers wanting to try out new locations and online retailers wanting to create brand awareness in physical locations.

Adidas unveiled their shoebox shop in 2014 in Shoreditch, London as they launched their Stan Smith collection.

The store contained a ‘Stan Yourself’ section which allowed customers to print their face onto the shoe, and a 3D printing station where they could customise their laces.

Adidas didn’t have the competition of 50 other exhibitors at a trade show, but it goes to show what you can achieve with a little flair and creativity.

Why it works

  • It had similar longevity to an exhibition (three days) which created a sense of urgency around the product.
  • It was unexpected. Who’d expect to see that on their journey to work?

Top-tip for pop-up shops: you need to make yourself stand-out, otherwise you’re another store on a busy high-street.

Small Exhibition Stand – Nothin’ But!, NPEW 2019, California, U.S.A

You don’t need the biggest, most expensive stand to make a positive impact at an exhibition, just ask Nothin’ But!

They create snacks that are both healthy and indulgent and are quite transparent about the fact you need a little bit of both to be happy.

The stand was made to showcase the brand and allow visitors to interact with the company easily, which it does.

The freestanding counter resembles a kitchen counter and adds to the foodie-feel.

Why it works

  • It’s simple. Products and a counter are all you need sometimes, unless you’re service-based.
  • The stand is attractive, the branding and design are fun.

Top-tip for small exhibition stands: use your space wisely because you won’t have much of it, cut anything that doesn’t add value.

Fabric Exhibition Stand – Fresh Gourmet, PMA Fresh Summit 2017, California, USA

Fresh gourmet is a food topping producer who provide various toppings for salads, soups and other foods.

The company wanted to establish an identity in the industry and needed a stand that would help them achieve this goal.

The company also wanted to create a space that was bright, edgy and modern, and showcased how their products support fresh produce in-store.

The result was a big rectangular sign to give 360-degree brand awareness, a supermarket shopping aisle product showcase, and ‘fabric walls’ which gave the stand a unique look.

There was also a semi-private conference space and reception on either side of the stand.

Why it works

  • The angled fabric walls provide a unique look while staying with the brand’s modern image.
  • There are clear sections, so the visitor can easily navigate around the structure.
  • The pictures of food give an indicator as to what the company offers, but don’t take you away from their actual product offering.

Top-tip for fabric/textile stands: ensure your fabric works with other materials, there’s nothing worse than finding out you have to change material because of a clash.

What Will You Next Stand Look Like?

As we’ve discussed in this article, there’s a lot more to a top-quality stand than design. Functionality, size, space, and what your company stands for all contribute to the end product.

Before your next event, consider what you want to achieve and work with a company that can deliver it.

Have we missed any? If there’s any type of exhibition stand you want us to analyse, leave a comment below.

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