Sustainable exhibition stands 🌱

Sustainable exhibition stands 🌱

At Graphic Mill, we are acutely aware of how irresponsible some practitioners in our industry can be. The number of single-use stands that we see thrown out after a two-day show is simply frightening. To fight against this, we’re continually implementing simple practices to reduce our carbon footprint, whilst adopting new and innovative construction techniques and materials which illustrates to even the most concerned of our clients that we take our responsibility to the planet seriously. 

How much do exhibition stands cost? 💰

How much do exhibition stands cost? 💰

In this post, I’ll be cutting through the sales talk, side-stepping the marketing hooks, and hopping off the fence to give you a straight-talking answer to the one question I’m asked more than any other – how much are exhibition stands?

Accessible exhibiting – making your trade show stand inclusive to everyone 👍

Accessible exhibiting – making your trade show stand inclusive to everyone 👍

Read on to discover how to design an accessible trade show stand, and in doing so, opening up your business to a wider audience.

If you’ve exhibited in the past, you’ll already know just how impactful trade shows can be for growing your business. It’s a rare opportunity to place your brand centre stage in a hall jammed packed with your target audience. Besides providing an excellent ROI, it also brings an industry together under one roof, building camaraderie and allowing meaningful connections to be made and invaluable knowledge shared.

This said, as exhibitors our show experience can only be as good as the experience of our visitors. For this reason, it’s our duty to ensure that everyone can access and benefit from what our stand has to offer, no matter their level of physical ability.

At Graphic Mill, we understand the importance of designing accessible trade show stands, allowing you to purchase a stand that permits inclusivity and opens possibilities for all clients, whilst also strengthening your brand reputation. To achieve this, there’s a set of fundamental rules we try to adhere to.

Designing an accessible trade show stand

We first study how our clients and visitors to their stand intend on using it. For example, is the main function of the stand to provide a meeting space with tables, bars and seating, or is the stand to utilise screens which people can position themselves around and watch presentations from? With this knowledge in mind, we can then look to design a layout that gives the appropriate spacing between furniture and other stand elements, whilst leaving ample room for wheelchair accessibility or those who simply aren’t able to navigate tight spaces. With raised sub flooring often being featured on stands, we also make sure sturdy trim is installed, providing ramped access up to the stand. This is a frequently overlooked consideration, but one we insist upon implementing when designing an accessible trade show stand.

Another area which is often overlooked when designing an accessible trade show stand, is how well lit it is. When discussing lighting with a client, it’s usually with the sole aim of providing a beautifully illuminated space that stands out amongst competitors. The other benefit of professionally lighting your stand is that you ensure there aren’t any dim spots. This ensures that those with compromised sight have an easier experience when reading display graphics and navigating around the stand. This ease of navigation can also be improved by keeping the walk ways free of clutter such as coats, bags, drinks, giveaways and literature. To help our clients in achieving this, we look to integrate clever storage at every opportunity. This might include hidden cupboard space behind your counter, or a walk in cupboard which houses shelving and coat hooks.

Further Considerations

I previously mentioned sub-flooring and the importance of ramped trim to allow wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties safe access to your stand. The main benefit of a subfloor is the ability it gives you to neatly hide the cabling from lights, chargers and other powered stand elements. By running said cables directly under the floor, it eliminates the need to have them running over your floor and the resulting trip hazards.

One final consideration when designing an accessible trade show stand, is how your AV (audio and visuals) can be enjoyed by those who are hard of hearing and have a visual impairment. We always promote going ‘big and bold’ with your wall graphics, but you should also make sure any screen based presentation or software demo has the ability to be viewed in an enlarged format, specifically allowing any text to be read in a larger size. Headphones should also be made available to allow those who may otherwise struggle to hear your content over the din of a busy exhibition hall appreciate your content.

By carefully considering the above, you can really open up your exhibition stand to be enjoyed by a wider audience. It also shines a light on your business and how you’re making positives strides towards inclusivity.

How to maximise your trade show ROI 👆

How to maximise your trade show ROI 👆

No matter the size of your business, exhibiting at trade shows can be a significant investment yet one with huge potential for your growth. When committing to a trade show, it’s important to consider the below points on how to maximise your return on investment.

Get the right stand builders

Every business has a different budget, and a quality stand building company will look to maximise the potential of that budget.

Here at Graphic Mill, we pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to provide an unparalleled level of quality no matter how much you have to spend, or how challenging your requirements are.

A well designed stand should do a lot of the hard graft for you, making it easy to sell and promote your product or service on both a practical level, as well as an aesthetic one.

Pre trade show marketing

In the lead up to a show, you have the opportunity to create some buzz around the event and your presence there. Many of your current or future clients might already be planning to attend, so reach out and let them know your stand number.

Encourage them to book in a time slot to meet one of your sales reps, meaning you create leads before the show even begins.

If you’re offering a promotion specific to that show, now is also the time to start shouting about it. Giving people a reason to visit your stand ahead of time will only increase your traffic on the day!

Set measurable goals

Like with any investment, you want a means of measuring its success, and therefore its viability in the future.

General goals might include the growth of your mailing list, traffic to your website, social media followers, or simply overall profits in the months following on from the event. More specific goals could include the traction a certain product or service, which you push at a trade show, receives afterwards.

If the numbers don’t meet expectations, it doesn’t necessarily mean that exhibiting isn’t right for your business. It could simply mean that the ways in which you went about it needs reviewing. This is where honest feedback from your sales team, customers, and even your stand builders can be invaluable.

How are you going to draw a crowd?

In addition to the allure of your stand, it’s commonplace to think outside the box when it comes to engaging potential customers. Free giveaways from food and drink, to branded products such as water bottles and notebooks give you a conversation starter. The beauty of branded merchandise is that if nothing else, a customer walks away with a branded product which keeps your name relevant in their minds.

It can also be fun to introduce an interactive element to your stand. This can take the shape of many different games from which customers can compete for high scores or win prizes. Arcade machines, dance mats, sport simulators, spin-the-wheel and basketball hoops, are all examples of such eye-catching inclusions.

Think about how this freebie or interactive elements links to your brand – giving away donuts at a cosmetic show will likely only dilute your brand message, whilst arcade machines on a stand promoting an outdoor lifestyle, may only confuse the customer.

Also, don’t scrimp on your marketing material. If you’re spending good money to be at the show, investing in a high level stand, and have put time into staff training, it’s important to print brochures, leaflet and other hand-outs which are going to tie into the same feel of quality you’re trying to portray.

Follow up leads and gather feedback

In the days following your show, it’s important to follow up any created leads and contacts made during the event whilst their interaction with your brand is still fresh in their minds. Often these are quality leads as they are customers you’ve had the rare opportunity to meet face-to-face, allowing them to demo your service or product and strike up meaningful relationships. With this in mind, show them how much they’re valued by not leaving it weeks before reaching out. Check out our advice on increasing your lead generation at trade shows.

As mentioned before, gathering as much feedback as possible is critical for truly understanding the success of your show and what discussions need to be had for future improvements to your ROI. Straight after the show is a great time to orchestrate this. Feedback should come from a range of sources, from the sales team to the end consumer. Don’t forget to debrief your stand builders. It might be that they also have recommendations on how to further maximise the potential of your stand.

How to increase your lead generation at trade shows 📈

How to increase your lead generation at trade shows 📈

When committing a large part of your marketing budget to a trade show, you want to ensure that the potential of your ROI is realised by maximising your lead generation. Below, we’ve compiled a few ways in which you can increase your lead generation at your next show.

Hire a barcode scanner

A simple and hassle-free means of capturing information is essential for exploiting lead opportunities. Many of the larger exhibition venues will offer exhibitors the rental of a barcode scanner. This device allows you to scan a barcode which each visitor has displayed on their visitor pass. This automatically provides you with their contact details to use after the event. It’s sure quicker than asking client to fill out a contact form!

Train your current staff or hire sales representatives

You can exhibit the best product or service in the world, and purchase the best stand at the show, but if your event team aren’t properly prepped, you’re not going to make the impression you want. Before the show, make a clear decision on the message, tone of voice and sales approach you want your team to adopt. Do you want them to be proactive in drawing visitors to your stand, or for them to adopt a more relaxed approach? Should they take on a high-energy demeanour, or a slightly more reserved and professional manner? Discussing these questions prior to the show can really help ensure that your brand is accurately represented, and a better quality of lead is drawn to your stand. Consider also hiring specialist sales reps for the duration of your show. Once armed with a bit of product knowledge, you can let them loose on your stand and let their experience and sales know-how generate leads whilst you monitor progress in the background.

Meeting areas on your stand

If your product or service can be better understood by holding conversations with potential leads, talk to your stand designer about incorporating a dedicated meeting area into your stand. At Graphic Mill, we understand that a stand needs to be as functional as it is attractive. This is why we offer a range of options to help brands better connect with their clients. This can include quieter and more intimate seating areas, or more casual standing bars where coffee can be served and future relationships built.

Regular presentations to draw a crowd

There’s nothing like a crowded stand to generate interest. By conducting hourly presentations to detail your product or service, you can create intrigue, anticipation, and expose your brand to a larger audience than you might if trying to peak the interest of one visitor at a time. Graphic Mill can help to provide everything you need to make this happen – on your stand, we’ll build a raised stage so you’re seen, professional PA system so you’re clearly heard, and seating area so your audience are comfortable.

Incentives and giveaways

At most trade shows, you can’t move for free water bottles, note books, tote bags and sweet treats. Harnessing the power of the free has always been a cheap but effective way of incentivising visitors to interact with your stand. Being able to offer something to passers by can also be a great conversation starter and potential lead generator. Introducing games, from spin-the-wheels, arcade machines and fairground games such as whack-a-mole, can also be a great tool to draw attention to your stand and give visitors a memorable experience to help your brand stay at the forefront of their minds. Such games and interactive experiences can all be built or hired straight from Graphic Mill. Check out our guide to the best giveaways for your exhibition stand.

Find the best way of demoing your service or product

This is an obvious yet often overlooked consideration. Think about how you’re going to best show visitors what it is that makes your product or service worth investing in. At Graphic Mill, we specialise in drawing a focus to your unique selling points and helping to make your brand shine. This may be through the use of interactive AV, beautifully lit displays, demo stations, or any number of other creative solutions.

Get started with a free creative exhibition stand design

We’ll start with a 30 minute video call then you can leave it to us.

Our talented exhibition architects will create a custom exhibition stand design for you. We’ll then work with you to refine the design until you are 100% happy.

All stand designs come with a competitive quote with full breakdown of the project.

Prefer a call or email? You can reach us on

+44 (0)800 4647974 or [email protected]

Upcoming Events

You’ll find us at these upcoming shows.
Event not listed? Get in touch to see if we can help.

Sept – Dec 23

🍷 Speciality & Fine Food Fair – 11-12 Sept

👩‍⚕️ HETT Show – 26-27 Sept

🍫 Lunch! Show – 27-28 Sept

🍝 Casual Dining Show – 27-28 Sept 

🏠 Homebuild & Renovating Show – 22-24 Sept

🍷 Low2NoBev – 2-4 Oct

🎈 Employee Benefits Live – 3-4 Oct Last few spaces!

📱 Restaurant & Bar Tech Live – 10-11 Oct Last few spaces!

🥡 Restaurant & Takeaway Innovations – 10-11 Oct Last few spaces!

🧪 Lab Innovations – 1-2 Nov Last few spaces!

☕ Manchester Coffee Festival – 18-19 Nov  Last few spaces!

🌱 Plant-Based World Europe – 15-16 Nov Last few spaces!

💼 The Business Show – 22-23 Nov Last few spaces!

💻 Women of Silicon Roundabout – 22-23 Nov Now booking

💧 Floodex – 22-23 Nov Now booking

🔬 IDSc – Nov Now booking

Jan – Apr 24

✏ Bett Exhibition – 24-26 Jan

🍽 Food Drink Operations – 22-23 Jan

🍬 ISM Show – 28-31 Jan

👩‍⚕️ Digital Health Rewired – 12-13 Mar

🍷 Northern Restaurant & Bar – 12-13 Mar

💊 Future Health Innovations – Mar 

🍕 International Food & Drink IFE – 25-27 Mar

🍽 HRC Exhibition – 25-27 Mar

♿ Naidex Show – 20-21 Mar

💄 In-Cosmetics Global – 16-18 Apr

🌱 NOPEX – 14-15 Apr

☕ London Coffee Festival – 2024

🍫 National Convenience Show – 29 Apr – 1 May

👩‍🌾 Farm Shop and Deli Show – 29 Apr – 1 May

May – Aug 24

💻 Learning Technologies –

🚆 Railtex

💼 Accountex London

🏋️‍♀️ Elevate Show

🌮 Taste of London

🔐 Infosec Show

🍹 Imbibe Live