People like to sit. Especially at exhibitions where they will have been standing up all day, and would love nothing better than parking themselves on a plush sofa somewhere and putting their feet up for half an hour.
Your exhibition team is going to need to take the weight off now and again too.
And of course, you’ll need some desk space and seating for customers and prospects dropping in to discuss business, negotiate, and buy.
Suddenly your spacious corner stand is feeling a little crowded and people are tripping over bags, outstaying their welcome, and generally getting between your stand and your audience. So how do you avoid this? You should recognise the importance of on-stand furniture, and understand how to choose the right chairs, tables, desks and counters for your purposes.
And it’s the purpose of your exhibition presence that should determine everything about it, including the often overlooked choice of furniture. You need to consider how much furniture you are going to need, what its function is, and where it should be placed.
Of course, it’s impossible to boil down everything we know about exhibition furniture into three simple rules, so that’s exactly what we’ve done below.
Let us know in the comments which rules we’ve missed out, and tell us why it’s ok to break these ones!
Rule 1 – Don’t obscure your graphics.
It’s no use splashing out a fortune on informative, fancy graphics if you plonk a reception desk in front of them. You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, don’t give them a reason to walk on by. Either lower your furniture, use less of it, find somewhere else for it, or raise the relevant graphics above the furniture’s ‘skyline’.
Rule 2 – Make your furniture efficient.
Pick furniture that can be used for more than one function or that can be stacked/flatpacked when not in use. This is really handy at the best of times, but it’s pretty much essential for smaller stands where space is at a premium.
For example, three stacking chairs can be placed anywhere when needed, and stored in the space required for one when not; some sofas come with a substantial amount of built-in storage for coats, bags, laptops, lunch boxes etc., and modular tables can be moved and reconfigured on demand, working as a display stand in the morning, and a coffee table in the afternoon. Use your imagination, and think laterally!
Rule 3 – Don’t pick furniture because it’s kooky, lurid, or appeals to your sense of style.
Form must follow function, and your tastes will be different to that of other people. Pick the furniture that will work for its living first, then focus on making sure it isn’t at odds with any of your palettes or style books.
Of course, if giant lime beanbags and inflatable pink armchairs actually do echo your brand values and logo colours, then you should definitely use them. But for the rest of us, the furniture shouldn’t be the biggest “wow” factor on your stand – you should be.