The Design Brief.

08/03/17 Posted By: Anthony Smith

What makes a good design brief?

The Design Brief

There are many guides available already on this subject, we thought we’d add our opinion to the mix!


First off, the timing. Whilst we’re always ready to ‘react’ the best results are delivered when there is time for us to consider the best solution. In the ideal world, 2 -3 weeks from receipt of your brief gives us plenty of time to familiarise ourselves with your company & brand before combining it with your show objectives. At this stage a copy of the exhibition floor plan and regulations are essential, so we can ensure we design the best orientation and also conform with the regulations before we start.


Your show objectives should form the core of your brief. Consider why you are attending & what you are looking to achieve. A show objective of generating leads is much different from launching a new product, how the stand functions can have a massive impact on the effectiveness of your objectives. Some common examples of show objectives are as follows:


• To generate new business opportunities. This can either be a lead generation exercise or to actively close business on the stand – two quite different takes on the ‘same’ objective!

Lead generation would generally need a space that enables a quick turn-around of visitors, but to close business could take more time – maybe even require semi private or private areas. For lead generation simple clear graphics may do the job, for longer discussion product, samples or demonstrations could be required.


• Meeting existing clients. Again there are different sub categories – hospitality to cement relationships or using the platform to potentially cross-sell into other parts of the business? How you intend to interact will define how the stand feels.


• Product Launch. An exhibition is a great place to launch a new product or service. Coupled with the right pre-show marketing, the actual reveal at an event can be very powerful. Not only reaching many of your clients in one go, there will be a huge amount of trade press coverage in attendance.


• The Flag Waving exercise. Often a combination new and existing business, this is your chance to tell the industry or market place where you are, what you are offering and what you are great at. Taking elements from the new and existing objectives, you can combine quick turn arounds, longer meeting and demonstrations in one go.


OK, so now you have established why you are going, the next step is to consider what lasting message do you want your clients to take away from the stand? Generally speaking, you only have a few seconds for visitors to the show to look at your stand and decide if they will stop at your booth or the next one along. A clear, precise message will go a long way to determining this outcome. If this message can be conveyed to us, along with all relevant company logos, any images you wish to use and corporate guidelines (if applicable), this will go a long way in helping us understand you fully.


Next up, what physical items are required… and why? A store? Reception desk? A bar area or a nice big TV Screen – all common requests, if we can understand what each is being used for then we assess where they sit on the stand or if they are required at all.


Many clients have seen features at shows themselves before, knowing you have a liking for arches or overhead banners (for example) or an aversion to them will also go a long way to achieving the result you are looking for.


Most importantly, a brief synopsis of the products you are showing or the demonstrations you are doing – what they do, how they work, physical sizes, power, internet or PC/Mac requirements – all essential to getting the layout just right. Don’t be afraid to tell us too much about your product or service – this is at the heart of how the stand will come to life.


Finally, Budget. For us to deliver the right spec, it’s important to understand how much you have allocated. We know there is a temptation to withhold the budget for many reasons, but that’s the subject of a whole other blog….


And don’t forget – if you need assistance, always ask!


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