Trade shows are busy place; a cacophony of sound, lights…
What springs to mind when planning, designing and creating an effective exhibition stand?
No doubt you will be concentrating all your efforts on making the stand as attractive, informative and intriguing as possible. These are the three things that pull delegates and customers to take a closer look.
In a large exhibition hall, rammed full of people and competing exhibition stands. It is a tough call but there is possibly one thing you could be leaving out – lighting.
Lighting is not usually included in an exhibition package. In most cases, the price you pay is literally for a square of carpet in a larger room, with two or three partition walls, depending on the stands location.
With lighting, you need to be organised. As a footnote, check the instructions of your next exhibition as anything electrical, including spotlight and extension cables will need to have undergone a PAT (Portable Appliance Tested) and carry the suitable label with signature and date of when this was carried out (this is for the UK – for other countries, check their requirements).
Spotlights and Floodlights
The use of a spot or flood light is possibly the easiest ways of lighting an exhibition stand.
Spotlights are designed to be subtle, and can be used to pick out certain features. They are relatively compact and their placement means that they don’t block the view of the important information on your backdrop.
If you need or want larger illumination, choose a floodlight. As the name suggests, the area that is illuminated is a lot bigger, lighting up a larger surface area.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) or Halogen
The second decision for mobile lighting of your exhibition stand is whether to opt for LED lighting of halogen.
Many people and businesses are swapping to LED lighting as this is a more environmental and sustainable option. LEDs don’t waste energy as they don’t create heat which when you are working in the small space afforded by an exhibition stand, is very welcome!
The use of less energy does not make LEDs dim, however. You will find that bright-white LEDs really pack a punch when it comes to luminosity.
LEDS are also the favoured option over halogen as they have a longer life expectancy. LEDs can last 30 times longer than halogen bulbs.
When it comes to using them as part of your exhibition stands, LEDs are also less fragile, are more able to withstand ‘life on the road’. The filaments in halogen bulbs often succumb when bounced around in transit.
Halogen bulbs get hot. You will have to switch them off about 10 minutes before you pack them away which could essentially mean plunging your stand into darkness.
An under-utilised form of lighting is the rope light. We like the idea of rope lights for many reasons;
- The small LED bulbs are encased in plastic tubing, protecting them for accidental damage.
- Rope lights can be bought in various lengths and colours.
- The lighting can be hidden behind items with no worries about fire hazards etc.
- The luminosity of rope lights can be high, meaning that they can form effective up lighting and downlighting, creating a stunning back drop.
Don’t forget to tell the organisers you need an electrical point!
When consider how to light an exhibition stand, you need to understand how to light your stand and how to do this safely.
- Firstly, you will need to ask the event organisers for an electrical point.
- Secondly, try out any lighting features on your stand before you set up at the exhibition itself. Some lights may be too much, dazzling the display so that people are unable to read the information or, if you don’t have enough lighting, it can look like an after-thought.
- Once you have the lighting system set up, take a look at how you are connecting to the electrical point. In most cases, you will need to use a high quality extensions socket. ALWAYS be safe – do not plug extension sockets into other extension sockets.
- And finally, as soon as you have finished with your lights, switch them off!
Lighting your exhibition stand illuminates it, making it noticeable to people as they pass by. You can also use lighting to highlight certain areas of your stand, drawing people’s attention to a certain piece of information.