Modern, perfectly curated galleries; repurposed churches and industrial spaces. Riverside walks, even Tube stations. These are all potential canvasses - spaces in which to exhibit, and share products, art or a commercial message. Venues play a huge part in making the impact of exhibitions significant, but they are just one core element among a number of critical factors that events managers must consider if they want their exhibition to reach the desired audience.
Finding somewhere unique
It really does all start with the venue. Don’t hesitate to imagine something new. Transform a church space for an art exhibition venue, or bring an Olympic scale to proceedings with a unique statement setting. The venue, as well as the content, will be one of the headline draws for prospective guests - so don’t let it go to waste.
It may seem old hat by now, but event mapping is a crucial consideration when finding a venue. Mapping is fundamental to a well-planned, successful event. Understanding the key principles and shortcuts that can streamline the user experience within your setting is critical to your exhibition reaching the biggest audience.
Devise simple routes in, through and out of the exhibition space, with clearly signposted access to members of staff and facilities. WiFi passwords and key visitor information should be clearly displayed at highly visible positions throughout. Identify your key exhibit early and build the space and experience around it - there’s nothing worse than a headline ‘act’ being stuck in a side room. Mapping is about safety and simplicity, of course - but it’s also about maximising impact.
Find the tech innovators in your sector - the more visual the better - and ask them how they can transform your event with installations. Whether your tone is corporate or creative, there’s so much potential for to turn your exhibition into a collection of ‘experiences’. Celebrations of tomorrow like charity think tank Nesta’s FutureFest seek to embrace hands-on ‘play’ through exhibiting the technologies of the future, but there’s no reason that a less forward-thinking event can’t engage with interactivity too.
Your digital offer has to be totally ship-shape too. We all know that images are a great way to engage people via social, but there are so many ways to take it further. Apps like Boomerang add motion and dynamism to your Twitter or Instagram feeds, whereas live feeds will keep those unable to attend happy and engaged.
Embracing sustainability and keeping to principles of eco-friendly events management is not difficult - but it’s not as widespread as it should be. Even large-scale events that pride themselves on their green credentials take shortcuts. An exhibition venue and plan that is as carbon-neutral as possible demands that sustainability questions are asked at every stage of the planning process. Our introduction to sustainable events management can help you with the primary considerations, but there are so many smaller aspects to consider.
Only by embracing the principles of sustainability from day one can you achieve something truly green - from refreshment sourcing to energy usage, let sustainability drive your decision-making.
Have you noticed any other emerging trends in the events and exhibitions sector? Let us know! Looking for an exhibition centre in the UK? Our venues offer scale and style - talk to our team to find out more.