Tag Archives: exhibitions

The BIG question – to rent or buy your exhibition gear?

Brandstand_Buy NowClients often ask us if they should  buy or rent their exhibition gear – for many it can be a big investment and a tricky conversation to have with the company accountant! Exhibition stands can be one of the largest chunks of marketing spend, but unlike mass market advertising your audience is far more likely to make a purchase (88% of all visitors to any event are personally involved in buying the products or services on offer). Arguably then, your exhibition stand can provide the best ROI of any form of marketing.

Your ‘rent or buy’ decision really comes down to how often you think you’re going to use the gear once you have it. Renting is a great option if you’re only going to use the gear once and you’re dipping your toe very gently into the world of exhibitions. Generally, we find that renting is about a 1/3 of the buy price, so if you’re going to use the gear more than 3 times, its going to be the expensive option! If you’re serious about exhibiting and think you will be attending more than one show a year for 2-3 years, plus have other uses for certain items, then the value you’ll get from purchasing far outweighs the price.

Brandstand_Massey SuperWall fabric exhibition kitThe exhibition stand solutions we create for our clients tend to consist of a number of modular, component parts. Each component can be used separately or as part of the overall solution. This means it can be used in many different scenarios. Right now you might be only thinking about that big exhibition, but what about when you want to brand a small room for a sales conference, or have been invited to sponsor an event and want to make sure you have some good company branding?  Then you’ll be glad you bought that kit and have it on stand-by in storage.

Your stand solution could comprise of a wall, a branded table and some pull-up banners. Together they create an entire stand, but separately they can create a sampling table in-store, a pull up banner in your reception area and another for that sales conference. Suddenly your initial investment delivers real value when compared with several rental costs.

In the old days, exhibition gear took up a lot of space and was hard to store. Companies didn’t want the hassle, so they rented! These days the gear is completely different. It all folds down to almost nothing. Displays tend to be fabric and the sub-structures comprised of lightweight aluminium. They’re washable too so it’s easy to keep them looking brand new.

By purchasing a complete solution you can be sure you’re getting what you want, and what you need. Surely this is better than simply getting what is available at the time of your need? When you’re budgeting for an exhibition, consider the Rule of Thirds – a third on space, a third on build and a third on marketing, planning, hotels, staff costs etc.

In our experience rental gear can often look a bit tired – it’s sent out week after week, getting bashed about, dirty and scratched. Is this how you want your brand to be seen? If cost is an issue, then talk to your display company about what you want and the budget you have – it’s a waste of everyone’s time if they try to sell you a Maserati when you’re only in the market for a Mini.

Let’s think about that company accountant again for a minute! Consider splitting out the various elements of your stand across various budgets – perhaps all the hardware can be purchased as a CAPEX expense, whilst the graphics sit under a marketing budget. And perhaps the stand staffing costs and lead follow up could be financed from sales, for instance.

By purchasing your stand we can help you stand out from the crowd – we can create a complete solution that includes bespoke elements that sit perfectly with other off-the-shelf items. You’ll know that your stand is a one-off – is unique, just like your brand and offers your audience a more unique experience.

Lighting up your world | event lighting tips


There are some that say proper lighting can increase awareness of your stand by 30-50%. Remember that  that the shell-scheme lighting that comes with your stand package is usually pretty basic and intended as a starting point; it’s unlikely to differentiate your stand from the others. Many exhibitors overlook the importance of lighting, but imagine going to a theatre only lit by fluorescent lights, or to a rock concert with only a couple of down lights. Lighting makes a huge difference.

Well thought out lighting can be a very effective way to help increase traffic to your stand and ensure your message is clearly expressed. Use it to highlight key messages and displays, but also use it to add atmosphere. In a crowded, competitive exhibition hall you’d be surprised how much impact you can create with good lighting.

Top Tip

Don’t judge your lighting by looking at your stand from 10m away. It’s better to get in there, walk around your stand and actually experience it.

Tricks of the Trade

Using angled light boxes at the entrance to your stand can attract people in to your stand. Using coloured lights can often create a certain aura or tone that separates you from the other exhibitors, whilst also re-enforcing some of your brand messages.  Consider a chilled, ice product that uses lights with a blue hue to convey their story.

Your decisions around lighting should be made with your audience in mind. A young crowd will expect a more daring approach compared to an older, more traditional audience. But beware sensory overload – you don’t want to drive people away after you have worked hard to draw them in!

Types of Lighting

We found some really useful tips from Kaitlin Colston, on her hello endless.com blog,  which we’d like to share with you.


Spotlights are brilliant for providing a focus on key messages and drawing attention to products. Use them to create a ‘hero’ element within your stand whilst also creating light and shadow thereby giving visitors a more

dynamic and dramatic visual experience.

Soft Lamps

Use soft lamps  and more ambient light sources when you want to create a warm inviting atmosphere, that encourages your visitors to relax and talk.


Use up-lights to create atmosphere and provide some perimeter lighting to create depth and interest. If you have a colour theme, then consider using the up-lights to emphasise and compliment your theme. Up-lights are an effective way to create that ‘WOW’ factor.


A gobo is a beam of light with a metal stencil over it that creates a pattern. They can project any pattern or design or company logo. Project gobo’s onto walls, ceilings and floors to add visual interest and create a dynamic atmosphere.



Light shows

Grab attention with a light show where a number of lights constantly move or flash in a repeating sequence. This can be a dramatic way to herald an awards ceremony or speeches – a dramatic way to quieten a crowd and build excitement.


Electrics and Current Draw

Working out your electrical needs can be really hard. You’re expected to know what you want when you book your stand, but things change and you may need to make changes when you enter the exhibition hall. Suddenly everyone’s talking amps and volts and none of it seems to make any sense! At Brandstand, we understand lighting and we understand electrics. Let us help you define a lighting scheme and then work out how much power you need on your stand. Our service-led approach means we can complete the paperwork for you and work with the exhibition organisers to ensure your stand is perfect.

We have a full range of LED lighting so we can reduce your amps consumption and keep the on-site electricians happy. We also stock a wide range of other lighting options to make sure we create the effect you want.



10 Tips for Eco Friendly Exhibiting

eco exhibiting with BrandstandHopefully everyone understands the importance of taking care of the planet we live on, in order to guarantee a wonderful future for our kids, and their families. When you’re buying household goods, most brands will jump in and tell you they’re eco-friendly at the very first opportunity! Now that makes life much easier – you can make your buying decisions quickly.

But how about when you’re buying goods for your company/business? Do you care as much then about being eco-friendly? Do you feel the pressure to buy cheaply or do you know that saving the planet is the last thing your boss cares about?

Its really hard to do the right thing sometimes, but we’ve put together a few tips on how to make sure your exhibitions, events, conferences and trade shows are as kind on the planet as they can be.

Tip #1 | Materials

Take a look at the materials being used in your stand construction. Often fabric displays like these are much kinder to the environment as they require fewer processes in their production and the material itself is often more natural. We also use recyclable aluminium in our framing and extrusions. At Brandstand, we’re upfront about our eco commitment and you’ll find details here

Tip #2 | Graphics Printing

dye sublimation fabric prating process

This is how it works

Make sure the graphics printing is ‘dye sublimated’. Not only does this process create more realistic, more impactful graphics, but the process is also more eco-friendly because it uses heat to vaporise the dye and permeate the surface it is covering. There are no VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which are often associated with solvent printing and the inks are water-based. This infusion also means the dye fades much less than in other processes. So basically, it’s a win win situation!

For more detailed information on this, take a look here.

Tip #3 | Stand Waste

Think about the waste you create on the stand and how it is disposed of. Are you serving drinks and nibbles? Consider eco friendly cups, disposable bamboo plates and cutlery too. Take a look here for more details.

Tip #4 | Staff Uniforms

It easy to forget about the uniforms that your stand staff might be wearing. Try to source eco-friendly gear that uses natural fibres. And if it’s being printed, consider the process used. It may be better to embroider, which is kinder on the environment, lasts longer and often looks a little more ‘premium’.

Tip #5 | Re-use

When creating a stand solution, think about the future and how elements might be used in different ways at other events, conferences, trade shows etc. This means you get the very most out of your investment. Many of the exhibition systems these days can be fitted together in different ways to give you heaps of display options. At Brandstand, we always ask lots of questions about what you need now AND what you need in the future so that we can provide a solution that works for a number of different occasions (and perhaps not just the one you’re thinking about right now – it’s called ‘customer service’ ).

Tip #6 | Reduce

Find clever ways to get your message across, that don’t use paper. Giving someone a leaflet has a pretty low engagement factor so why not get them to a touch screen so that they interact with your brand. How about a QR code on a business card, so they can research your product later? If you must use leaflets, then print on eco-friendly stock wherever possible.

Tip #7 | Freight

reduce freight costs

Light stands are easier to move around!

Big heavy stands take a lot of fuel to move around! The new fabric exhibition systems are really light and can be packed down into small bags. This means that your staff can transport the gear in their cars rather than adding a freight truck into the mix. Less fuel, less cars on the road, less chance of your gear NOT turning up!



Tip #8 | Lighting

We all know what a difference good lighting can make, but consider LED and low energy lighting solutions which not only deliver great effects but also suck less juice. This means your stand requires less load, and the event electrician will have a smile on his/her face!

Tip #9 | Suppliers

Ask the event organisers about their eco policies as well as the companies that are supplying your stands. How do they work in their own production facilities? How do they dispose of waste in their warehouses and production facilities?

car pooling at exhibitions to reduce carbon footprint

Fill a car!

Tip #10 | Car Pooling

No doubt you have various people working on your stand. Encourage car pooling by limiting the number of parking passes you give out. Less cars on the road, less fuel – it’s all good.