How to write a good brief for your stand provider

A comprehensive brief saves you time in the long run and helps ensure that your provider can deliver the best quality proposal and most accurate quote for your project – whether you are briefing your current provider on an upcoming show or putting your requirements out to tender.

It also forms the basis on which to build a great two-way relationship. Remember, you want your requirements met but you can also benefit hugely from your provider’s expertise and experience. The more information you give them, the more they can offer ideas and suggestions aligned with your objectives and goals and help you achieve a successful show.

Here are the key items to include in a good briefing document.

Full details of the show and your stand space

  • Show name, venue and date with a link to the show website
  • Hall and stand number, stand size, orientation, and a copy of the hall floor plan

Your exhibition objectives and goals

  • What you want to achieve – your overall objectives and specific goals.
  • How does this exhibition fit into your marketing strategy for this year? For example, is it supporting brand awareness, product launch, growth of existing product sales?
  • Give a brief description of your primary and secondary target audiences at this show.
  • What is your lead generation process for this show? What are your specific lead generation goals and targets?
  • What other shows are you attending this year?

Marketing requirements

  • What are your core marketing messages for this show?
  • Provide full brand guidelines, including use of logos, standard graphic elements, and images, fonts, tone and style.
  • What company name styles, brand names or product names do you want to promote?
  • If you already have marketing collateral in place for this show or you have examples of previous show materials or advertising, include this with the brief.
  • If your brief is being used in a tender process, it’s also a good idea to include some background on the company positioning, key competitors and past history of exhibiting to allow the stand company to put this particular exhibition into context.

Stand design overview

  • Explain the look and feel you wish to achieve. For example, simple, clean, white and fresh, or colourful and loud? If you were to choose 3 words to describe your desired look and feel, what would they be?
  • How do you see the use of images or graphics?
  • What mood and type of lighting would you like?
  • How do you want to use specific areas of the stand? For example, for product display, product demos, meet and greet, one-to-one discussions, hospitality, literature display, lead generation incentives.
  • Do you require particular themed areas or a hero area?
  • What percentage, approximately, of the stand space should each key area cover?
  • Describe your ideal visitor experience.

Specific stand design requirements

List all specific requirements such as:

  • Separate or combined store room / kitchen or storage areas, including what they will be used for.
  • Fit out items such as worktops, shelves, coat hooks.
  • Equipment such as a fridge or water cooler.
  • Hospitality items such as a reception desk or bar.
  • What type and quantity of seating – sofas, sit up height, poseur height?
  • Do you want open seating? Or semi-secluded or private offices?
  • What display or demonstration areas do you need? How many? Sitting or standing?
  • What equipment or machines will these need to be accommodated – provide exact specifications. Are there specific operating requirements?
  • Is there a product flow in the displays?
  • Number and type of literature displays.
  • Audio visual requirements.
  • Power points and other utilities.
  • Do you need telephone or internet service?
  • Do you need night sheets or other security during build up and show times?
  • Is the stand a one off or does the stand need to be stored and reinstalled at a future show?

Project management

  • Describe the project management service you require, including aspects such as health and safety and risk assessments.


  • What is your available budget?
  • Is it a fixed amount or do you have a more flexible high / low range?

Responsibilities and timing

Ask your provider to:

  • Include an outline timetable for the project.
  • Clearly list their responsibilities.
  • Show who will be responsible of each stage of the project.
  • Provide evidence of their credentials and track record.
  • Show how the budget will be allocated to different aspects of the project.

Contact details and next steps

If your brief is part of a tender process:

  • Give details of the person your provider can contact if they have questions or would like to discuss any aspect of the brief.
  • Say what the next steps in the process will be.
  • Say what criteria you will be using to evaluate the tender responses and timeline you are working to.

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