Event managers will tell you that preparing for an exhibition is stressful, you have to deal with stakeholders at the business, show organisers, design agencies and stand builders to name a few. So how do you find the best exhibition stand build partner?
The design and build element should be the easy part, if you have a great partner. In this post we want to publish a few points that will help make things easier when it comes to choosing an exhibition stand design and build company.
Exhibition stand designers will perform miracles if marketers invest time in not just briefing, but ensuring the event strategy is developed in collaboration with the designers and stand builders. Designers may want ‘skyhooks’, however it’s the stand builders job to be creative in the production process. Nothing is impossible; it’s a simple case of a creative build approach, illusions and budgets.
Need a cantilevered structure or one that appears like it’s floating? Not a problem, its possible – just look at how Audi has achieved these “impossible” feats at their Consumer Electronics Show booth in Las Vegas.
Audi exhibition stand at CES 2010
Audii exhibition stand at CES 2014
So how do you know which stand design and build company to work with? Who will go above and beyond the expected and make your life less stressful as a marketing or event manager? The first steps should always be to see how a particular stand builder or company is presenting themselves online. There are no excuses in today’s digital and social world where companies can’t share what is happening behind the scenes, giving a glimpse into their facilities and equipment. Look out for the size of their workshops. How organised do they look? What equipment do they have in-house? Have they got a CNC machine, a spray paint booth? Do they have a well-organised onsite storage facility? Have they produced many small or big stands? Can they handle a double decker? Who trusts them, which clients have they designed and built work for?
There is a lot of valuable information online and across social media, many good contractors will have been vetted by previous clients, and in many cases will have been through a procurement process. These are all good and reassuring signs that you have a potential partner who is more than capable and someone you can trust.
Once you have done some homework, meet the company by visiting them or at least invite them to see you. They could be the best company on paper however if there is no chemistry then it’s not going to be a collaborative process. Look beyond credential presentations when you do meet and explore if your potential partner has a design or work flow approach? Do they have design logic or are they random in their approach to projects? What will you expect to see at presentation stage? Will it be a creative narrative, hand sketches or 3D rendered visuals? Note there is not a “one size fits all” approach to this, you need to understand what you are expecting to see and get clarity and reassurance that’s what will be delivered.
From the presentation expect more than just subjective visuals. How did the company conceptualise their design proposal? What mechanisms have they used to explain the design? Have they provided an idea of costings and did they produce a project plan?
Remember in some cases you may not initially love a design but your personalities connected, and you have trust in the companies approach. This is more important than design alone. In these cases we always aski the designers to work on an alterative concept or refine the existing one, after all it’s the overall package and relationship you should be investing in. and not selecting a design and build exhibition company on design alone.
For more information on how to find the best exhibition stand design partner or learn more about how we think, approach projects and tackle creative and build challenges come and say hello here: firstname.lastname@example.org