Resurgence of the exciting exhibition design

Something exciting is happening in exhibition design. For those who’ve been in the industry as long as us (over 25 years if we’re counting) you’ll notice the tide of change.

For the past six-seven years, exhibition stand designs and briefs have been price led. This is natural and closely related to the peaks and troughs of the recession. As we mentioned recently, 20 years ago budgets were huge and events were a place to have fun, both with the brief and in the final result.

Then recession struck and purse strings were pulled tight. At the same time we became obsessed with buzzwords like “big data”, “analytics” and “ROI”. What happened as a result was one of two scenarios:


The picture pretty effect

This is where five or six agencies are brought in to create a stand design within a specific budget. The best looking design is chosen, built and everyone dusts their hands off – job done.


The pared back approach

This is where agencies are asked to come up with something amazing. The next big thing! Amazing, enticing, never-been-done-before designs are assembled. Only for the budget to be cut at the last minute and it to be pared back to a (much less sparkly) version of the original design.

Of course, these are two generalisations and not the case everywhere but we are certainly glad to see things changing.

As we speak to brands and work on new projects, we’re seeing “experience design” being taken seriously. This is a term used to describe the process where you focus on the human outcome of your design. How does the design make the human interact? Are they engaged with what’s going on, are they satisfied? It ensures that the design is relevant to the experience and fulfils the visitor’s needs. This could be anything from creating the right rooms to relax in to obvious WiFi zones, products that can be played with or staff in the correct positions to answer questions.

In exhibition design this is actually, the only type of design. But when budgets become too restrictive and ability to prove ROI is seen as the biggest concern, it always falls by the wayside.

Today, marketers, CEOs and brand managers are all waking up to the power of creating for experience. These brands want to make a noise. They seek the best results possible and know the type of team it takes to get there.

Client thinking is closer to agency thinking more than ever and we are beginning to work with our clients as one, similar mind.

What this means for us as an agency, is the chance to resurrect our most creative design skills. The freedom to create amazing, award-winning designs that are remembered.

Now who wouldn’t want to do that?

To let our creativity out for your exhibition stand design and do something different speak to 4D today on