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Creative Ideas for Exhibition Stands

Creative Ideas for Exhibition Stands

How can you design exhibition stands that are guaranteed to generate leads, facilitate networking and make a lasting impact on attendees?

With exhibitions and events being some of the most fast-paced, highly-competitive environments around, standing out from the crowd is of central importance. This isn’t always straightforward, though, with things like budget restraints, tight deadlines and supply chain issues making it hard for brands to present themselves effectively.

The only solution is to get creative by thinking outside the box and exploring fresh approaches to designing exhibition stands that are equipped to support your brand as it works to attract as much attention as possible. Still unsure? Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered with a list of unique, tried-and-tested ways in which to design exhibition stands that are guaranteed to make an impact.

Interactive Technologies


Beacons use Bluetooth signals to send instant messages and notifications to exhibition attendees whose mobile devices have their Bluetooth enabled and are in close proximity to the beacon itself. They are set to transform the way in which brands interact with exhibition visitors by enabling them to engage more accurately and more immediately than ever before.

Beacons can be used to enhance the effectiveness of tradeshow stands in the following ways:

You can be clever in your use of beacon technology, in a number of ways. Firstly, by adding a beacon around each of the products or services you’re promoting on the stand, visitors will see multiple messages appear in their notification centre. Also, by keeping beacons in your jacket pocket, you can carry them around the exhibition hall and reach an even greater number of people.

QR codes

Whilst some people still prefer to receive hard copies of brochures, data sheets and technical information, the ease of having a downloadable copy is undeniable, especially at a trade show when visitors will be given a tote bag filled with flyers on each stand. 

You can set up QR codes for a huge range of applications, from simply visiting your website to downloading brochures and signing up to mailing lists. Our advice with this would be to make sure you’re offering the visitor value in exchange for their data – such as entering a competition if they register.

Augmented Reality

With the rise of the Oculus Rift as well as competitor technologies developed by Google, Samsung and PlayStation, the world of virtual reality is closer to consumers than ever before. Augmented Reality (AR) provides exhibitors with the chance to impress visitors with the latest technology and potentially save money.

We mention saving money because for many exhibitors, demonstrating and transporting their products can be costly. For some brands, such as aviation companies, it’s simply not possible. Instead of trying to display physical products at the Defence and Security Exhibition, Airbus created VR pods in which visitors could sit down, put on a headset and get taken on a journey through their latest products and developments. 

Image source: Behance

This is still an incredible opportunity, and one of the most truly interactive exhibition ideas, for businesses on a smaller scale, as it means they can provide visitors with a sense of perspective when demonstrating their products. By seeing how a product or service you provide relates to them, in the scenario they’re used to, it’s much easier to sell. 

Social Media

Social media is now an integral part of the marketing strategies for businesses in all sectors, including exhibitions. The use of hashtags and trending topics can greatly increase the amount of engagement with an exhibition stand.

Social media is also an invaluable networking tool. With LinkedIn having over 800 million members worldwide, integrating a brand’s presence on the platform directly into the design of its exhibition stand is an effective way of enhancing awareness and starting conversations.

Design Features

Lighting Displays

As part of our exhibition design blog, we come across truly creative ideas for exhibition stands, with inspirational lighting designs, that aren’t difficult or expensive to implement. Environmental psychologists, Kaplan & Kaplan, carried out in-depth research into lighting displays and discovered that businesses should be looking to hit the sweet spot of low familiarity (unique lighting styles) and high preference (visually compelling lighting styles).

Creating a lighting display can seem more complex than it actually is. We’ve included some examples below of some incredibly effective displays that use linear-style controlled lighting, or familiar lighting techniques used in a different way (vertically, for example). 

Illuminated wave structure above Adidas’ event space at the London Marathon.

Intriguing Product Displays

Creating a product display that stands out can be the difference between engaging a visitor and them passing by. 

When exhibiting recently at EuroShop, we used Magnetik displays to enable us to place promotional material on the outside of the stand that was seemingly floating without any obvious fixtures to the outside of the lightbox. Magnetik actually uses a perforated back panel that allows clips to hook into place, holding displays literature holders in front of an illuminated graphic. 

Magnetik shelving at Tom Dixon Studio’s London showroom.

Not only was the display eye-catching, but it also took the pressure off visitors who wanted to collect information, resulting in more leads following the show. 


Gamification goes beyond putting an electric buzzer on your stand. All of the gimmicks have been done before, yet people are still naturally competitive, therefore utilising gamification can result in one of the most interactive exhibition ideas, teaching visitors about your product and promoting engagement.

The best and most creative ideas for exhibition stands are often the simplest, such as industry-focused quizzes that test knowledge about specific products or concepts that can create competition within your target audience. The ideal scenario is that your gamification engages visitors with an end goal in mind that isn’t an exhibition standard – such as an iPad. Offer visitors something that’s both cost-effective for you to provide and worthwhile for visitor-winning – it could be their own personalised version of your product, which long-term could make them buy into your business as a result.


To learn more about how to create show-stopping exhibition stands that incorporate interactive elements and eye-catching design schemes, speak with our team here. We have over 30 years of experience in working alongside exhibitors and event organisers to design and build stands that succeed in capturing leads and generating sales.