Exhibitor Manual

Online exhibition guide. D is for …

Your complete Exhibitor Manual and online exhibition guide – from exhibition stand design to event strategy.

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Data Capture

“It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

These are not the words of a modern business tactician. Rather, they were uttered by Sherlock Holmes, as written by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1886.

Unlike the great detective, you have much more than a notebook and magnifying glass available to capture and analyse data collected at events.

Data capture mechanisms include smart badges, mobile apps, beacons with digital “handshakes”, card swipes, and contact forms.


Demonstrations gained a bad name in days gone by when they were synonymous with “snake oil” potions at wild west medicine shows, complete with music, acrobatics, and miraculous curing.

But few know that the original snake oil did have healing qualities and it was made from the fats and oils extracted from the Chinese water snake.

The true benefits of your own products and services can be demonstrated to great effect during exhibitions, especially when they are one of the main reasons that people attend.

It makes sense to set aside a dedicated demonstration area on your stand if space allows and / or arrange to present a workshop session for attendees.


The most iconic designs of the last 100 years include the red telephone box, the Bic ballpoint pen, and the Apple iPhone. As Steve Jobs said: “It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

How the design of your exhibition stand works is the key to achieving the greatest success. By that, we mean:

  • The impact the stand design has on visitors.
  • Features that allow people to experience products.
  • The floor layout and access points.
  • The location of different areas like hospitality.
  • Prominent features with the “wow” factor.
  • Enhancement of the visitors’ experience of your brand.

Your exhibition activity will be most effective if your stand design combines the form and functionality that will attract and engage customers.


You’ve just spent a few days on an exhibition stand. No matter how successful the show has been, you’re most likely tired and possibly a little emotional. The last thing you really want to be concerned about is dismantling the stand.

So, make sure your stand provider is also taking full responsibility for everything it takes to dismantle the display, remove it, and deliver it to its next destination or to storage facilities.


The verb “display” means to show or exhibit; make visible. And that is the fundamental reason for having a stand at an event.

Yet, it’s not unusual to walk down an aisle at an exhibition and wonder what some of the attendees are showing or hoping to make visible!

When planning and reviewing the layout and design of your exhibition stand, take a step back and ask yourself the questions:

  • Is my business offering clear?
  • Are the products or services obvious?
  • Can my main messages be quickly digested?

If the answers are not quickly positive, modify the design until they are.

Dress Code

Debrett’s is the recognised authority in British etiquette in the UK and offers the highest level of knowledge and expertise in etiquette for dress codes.

It does not offer advice specifically related to attire for exhibitions but does say that, for men …

“Lounge suits are worn for most business events. Dark suits are also correct for flat racing, other than events such as Ascot. They may be worn at dinner parties, especially when people come directly from the office, but are less acceptable at country dinner parties.”

And …

“For daytime events, women should wear a day dress, trouser suit, or skirt and jacket or coat. The overall impression is not quite so formal as when the dress code is morning dress. A neat, tailored look is best for business, with length on or just below the knee. A pretty print and a looser and longer silhouette work best in the country.”

It is also recommended that you have a dress code for your event team. For example, that may include each wearing clothing with your company branding. Or perhaps dark suits (unless you’re at Ascot!) and shirts of the same colour.

The main objective is to dress appropriately for your target market and be recognisable as team members representing your business.


A survey of more than 2000 UK adults found that nine percent will usually only attend a business-related event if alcohol is available.

While that may not be useful as the sole reason to serve drinks, the provision of hospitality can make the difference when trying to gain a competitive advantage.

Also see Beer.

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