How To Exhibit Safely And Effectively When Events Re-Open

Published on 10/08/2020

This is an example of how a trade show stand can be made safer both for the stand team and visitors. The design includes entry and exit points; barriers to walk-on entry; a one way system around the stand; screens to impart information; wipeable graphics; sanitising stations and meeting spaces wide enough to maintain safe distancing.


When trade shows reopen their doors in October, it won’t be business as usual.

It can’t be because, and quite rightly so, there are concerns and therefore precautions to be taken to protect the safety of exhibitors and visitors and the suppliers who work in the halls building and supplying stands. 

One of the significant challenges event organisers must overcome will be a lack of confidence among visitors. 

Visitors need to believe they have no reason to fear attending an event.

Exhibitors will need convincing that although it's assumed attendances will be smaller, exhibiting can still be a paying proposition. 

They too, will have concerns surrounding staff safety.  
 

Concerning the first point;

Although attendances are likely to be lower at the restart, those attending will be serious buyers. 

So exhibiting, particularly for businesses who rely on trade shows for leads, will still be worthwhile.
 

Moving to the second point; 

As you can imagine, the trade associations whose members organise, house and build exhibitions have been working flat-out to prove to government officials that trade shows will operate safely.

Collectively they have produced the “All Secure Standard.”

This document aids member organisations when thinking about handling COVID-19 considerations in their risk assessments. 

It helps to determine the necessary controls specific to their event. 

Precautions fall under four “Cornerstones.”

  1. Protect & Detect 
  2. Social Distancing 
  3. Cleaning & Hygiene
  4. Communication 

To give you an idea of the content within the document, below is an extract from Cornerstone 1: Protect & Detect. It highlights a policy for show organisers to consider if they foresee a risk with overcrowding at their event.  
 


What: Staggered Admission 

How: Some event formats could be divided into time slots across the days of their occurrence. Show organisers provide the ability to facilitate visitors’ attendance during a designated time slot in order to evenly spread the attendance to allow adherence to social distancing guidelines and minimise contacts. Controls over the maximum number of visitors can also be set. 

Why: By staggering admission each audience can enjoy a safer and more seamless experience. Our exhibitors can enjoy full, productive days throughout the event. Our visitors can plan their time in advance and have the option to reduce their costs and travel if desired. Predictable and traceable audience patterns also gives us better insights into attendee flow, a key piece of feedback often expressed. 


 

Video shows how the organisers of World Travel Market are reassuring visitors 

You might also want to view this video, produced by the organisers of World Travel Market. It explains to visitors the steps taken to ensure a safe visit for the event that will be held this November. 

It’s a policy that other organisers will be following in a similar way depending on the size and location of their events. 
 

As a stand design and build business, we too have re-examined our design policies.

Our focus has been on two aspects we think will make for safer exhibiting;

  1. Redesigning stands to be safe working environments for exhibitors and visitors
  2. Dramatically reducing the number of staff required to make an exhibition stand work.
     

The result is the Safe Stand Solution. 

It encompasses the following elements;

  • Defined entry and exit points on each stand - sanitising stations at the entrance and exit and in meeting areas 
  • One-way progress through a stand with barriers to the front to stop visitors walking-on and breaking safety procedures 
  • Desks in meeting areas large enough to ensure a 1-1.5m gap during discussions
  • Along the display route, high-impact and wipeable graphic displays (printed or digital) will tell some of the product stories that salespeople would typically handle
  • Staffed information pods, with perspex protection screens, can be placed along the stand route or at the exit point. Placement will depend on the size of the stand 

This image shows how we have adapted a 9m x 3m stand to be safer to visit and work within.  The same principles apply to stands of different shapes and sizes.
 



By applying these principles, we have helped one of our clients reduce staffing on their stand by thirty people in two events in Germany this coming October and November.

This reduction has dramatically reduced management concerns about staff safety which was the number one issue our client had to address.

And by removing the costs associated with those thirty staff members at each of the two events, exhibiting spend can be justified at proven events even with lower visitor numbers attending. 

 

 

The Safe Stand Solution can be applied to small stands too as shown in the illustration above.  All of the principle safety elements seen in the larger stands are incorporated into this design. 


Visitors by appointment 

Another essential element exhibitors should consider is the role that appointment setting will play when trade shows return in October.  

Offering buyers appointment slots for stand visits is one more way to build confidence around the idea of trade show visits being safe. 

It’s why marked entrances and arrival points on stands are vital. 

They feature in all our current designs for stands destined for autumn 2020 events.  
 

Appointment setting pre-show is a marketing opportunity 

Appointment setting provides an ideal reason to contact your clients and top prospects. 

Indeed, not all will agree to visit the event you contact them about but knowing why they have decided "no" is useful. Common reasons will provide insight into how positive or not, particular groups of buyers are feeling.

Better yet, if you are following-up email invitations by phone, your sales team can engage in a sales conversation. 

When making your diary bookings allow for the fact that there will a small number of cancellations; things do crop-up. 

Also, this way of working doesn’t mean that you can’t have walk-up visitors entering your stand. Appointment setting is one way to ensure safe numbers are maintained at all times. 

If your stand is busy, you can ask visitors to return during a quieter period using your bookings calendar as the guide.
 


FAQ’s re the Safe Stand Solution 

Do these new stand designs cost more?

Not usually because we are building with standard components. Where extra costs arise as in utilising more digital screens than usual, costs reduce due to the savings made in stand staffing. 

Is this a purchase or rental scheme?

Safe Stands are available for hire or purchase. For companies that purchase a stand, all of the components can be added to as and when required. It's a modular stand system so it can expand very quickly. 

Who will assemble the stand? 

Our experienced building team will assemble the stand for you whether you hire or buy. 

If you buy a stand from us, we will show you how to build it so that you and your team can do this at future events without assistance. 

You always have the option to hire our build team if that is more convenient.

Is extra time needed for building and breaking-down these stands?

No. 

Do we need any special permission or approval from the show organiser for our stand?

No; you will submit details of your design in the usual way. 

Will you provide a risk assessment and method statements?

Yes, we will liaise directly with the organisers and provide all the paperwork they require for us being on site, building and breaking down your stand.

How do these stands reduce the number of people needed to work on them?

Staff numbers reduce because we use graphics and digital screens to do some of the work typically handled by your sales team. 

The use of a one-way system on the stand also steers visitors to staffed information pods where they can obtain further  information and register their interest.   

What happens if the show we intend to exhibit at is cancelled or postponed? 

If the show postpones and new dates are published, (and you still plan to exhibit), we will allocate any monies paid to your stand to the new dates. 

If a show cancels with no future dates published, we will refund any monies paid. 


Can you help us create safe spaces within our office or factory buildings? Yes, we can. See this page for details. 


 

If you think this solution can work for your business, let’s have a conversation. 
 

To discuss an upcoming event, call 01702 662 111 or email [email protected] 

Alternatively, complete the form on this page.
 

Now is the time to start rebuilding your sales enquiries and contracts. We would be delighted to help in any way we can. 

Blogs

10th Sep 2020
How to reduce your trade show risk
learn more
7th Sep 2020
Beginning the journey of a thousand miles…
learn more
19th Aug 2020
Hybrid events are on the rise
learn more
22nd Jul 2020
At last, some good news for exhibitors
learn more
11th Jun 2020
Covid-19 Social Distancing Solutions
learn more
1st Jun 2020
Furlough: Fix: Focus
learn more
18th May 2020
A positive commercial step you can take during lockdown 
learn more
30th Jan 2020
Sustainable exhibiting: Recyclable stand structure components
learn more
6th Dec 2019
Sustainable exhibiting displays: Lightboxes
learn more
22nd Nov 2019
A message from Design-on-Sea
learn more
21st Oct 2019
You’ll wonder why you stuck with that trade show stand for so long
learn more
16th Jul 2019
The best way to obtain and use client testimonials
learn more
10th Jul 2019
Trade shows: Still the proven route to building enquiries and sales quickly
learn more
3rd Jun 2019
Thinking about your exhibition stand as sales equipment
learn more
14th May 2019
The Pros and Cons of Shell Scheme
learn more
3rd May 2019
Now is the time to be planning for that show in the autumn
learn more
25th Apr 2019
PowerPoint is amazing: Here’s how you can make the most of this 
excellent presentation tool
learn more
5th Apr 2019
Is your trade show stand a good ambassador for your business?
learn more
29th Mar 2019
How to transform a shell scheme stand
learn more
26th Mar 2019
5 ways to transform your exhibiting results without spending lots of money
learn more
18th Mar 2019
Two new displays that are attracting a lot of client interest
learn more
24th Jan 2019
One Of The Fastest And Surest Ways To Improve Trade Show Performance
learn more
17th Dec 2018
5 Trade Show Myths That Can Seriously Hurt Your Sales
learn more
10th Dec 2018
Exhibiting Trends For The Year Ahead
learn more
10th Dec 2018
3 FAQ's about exhibiting on small stands
learn more
24th Aug 2018
The Versaform Sales Story
learn more
6th Aug 2018
Transforming event spaces to transform exhibiting and event results
learn more
8th May 2018
An exclusive invitation from the IET: Bits and Bytes at Savoy Place
learn more
11th Dec 2017
Give your event display a professional edge: hire a promotions team!
learn more
27th Nov 2017
Six handy tips to maximise the life of your exhibition graphics
learn more
13th Nov 2017
Sales mistakes made on stand: Are you guilty?
learn more
2nd Nov 2017
Drum roll please...for our brand-new website launch!
learn more
13th Oct 2017
When size really does matter: making the most of a large exhibition space
learn more
29th Sep 2017
Give that ugly shell scheme a makeover! Simple tips to stand out at your next event
learn more
15th Sep 2017
Working the glow factor - why you should use a lightbox at your next event!
learn more
8th Sep 2017
Are you ready for GDPR?
learn more
1st Sep 2017
Take your business on holiday this Autumn!
learn more
25th Aug 2017
Boost your eco-credentials (along with your business) - choose a Versaform stand!
learn more
18th Aug 2017
Get a Head Start On The Competition: Plan For Your Next Exhibition!
learn more
11th Aug 2017
Why You Should Hire a Custom Exhibition Stand This Autumn
learn more
4th Aug 2017
Dressing for Success Part Two - over to you!
learn more
27th Jul 2017
How to Buy an Exhibition Stand: Five Essential Tips
learn more
24th Jul 2017
Dressing for success - eye-catching event branding outside the exhibition hall
learn more
19th Jul 2017
Grow your business with a portable display stand!
learn more
14th Jul 2017
Location, location, location! How to select the perfect spot for your stand
learn more
7th Jul 2017
Get people talking: Simple Social Media Tips for Your Next #Event!
learn more
23rd Jun 2017
Big Ideas: How to Make the Most of a Small Exhibition Space
learn more
8th Jun 2017
Everything You Wanted to Know About Exhibition Stand Graphics (but were afraid to ask!)
learn more
2nd Jun 2017
Come and say hello at the BNC Summer Show!
learn more
31st May 2017
Don't miss our Great Stand Giveaways! How to stay in visitors' minds long after your event
learn more
19th May 2017
How to attract and engage your visitors
learn more
12th May 2017
A Handy Exhibition Venue Guide... Old Billingsgate
learn more
8th May 2017
Renting or Buying...Which Display Stand Option is Best for Your Business?
learn more
28th Apr 2017
A Handy Venue Guide to the Business Design Centre
learn more
25th Apr 2017
A Handy Venue Guide to Olympia London
learn more
18th Apr 2017
A Handy Venue Guide to ExCeL London
learn more
3rd Apr 2017
Why Guardian Exhibition and Display is Your Only Choice for Your Next Event!
learn more
27th Mar 2017
Why you should Embrace Gamification into your Exhibition Stand
learn more
17th Mar 2017
10 Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Exhibition Stand Space
learn more
10th Mar 2017
12 Reasons Why Companies Fail at Exhibitions
learn more
2nd Mar 2017
A Marketing Manager's essential exhibition checklist.
learn more
24th Feb 2017
Our Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for Designing your Exhibition Stand!
learn more
16th Feb 2017
Why Exhibitions Should be Part of Your Marketing Plans for 2017
learn more
14th Feb 2017
How to Deliver a Memorable Experience at your next Exhibition
learn more