Custom exhibition booth

Custom exhibition booth

A custom exhibition booth that matches the high expectations of a unique and memorable delegate journey that started on the way to the exhibition hall.


The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) Festival of Work is a place where organisations meet to explore the challenges they face, such as the wellbeing of employees, engagement levels, people strategy, and where delegates have the opportunity to discuss the wide range of solutions available to address these business-critical issues.


For this year’s festival, Sage had gone from the 12m x 6m plot of the previous edition to a smaller 6m x 6m footprint. Despite the smaller plot, Sage wanted to go beyond just creating a buzz in the exhibition hall – they wanted to own the show with an experience that would generate maximum awareness of their HR software solutions, and also get delegates to really engage with their new brand, still in its infancy.

As this was one of the first times the newly launched brand would be used in a physical environment, part of our remit was to work closely with the Sage internal brand team in San Francisco to ensure all relevant approvals were obtained at all stages.

Timings to get everything ready for the exhibition were limited to a 4-week turnaround, which, with no room for movement, was a little tight for how much this project involved.


Focusing on making Sage the star of the show, and before embarking on the stand design process, we looked at all touchpoints to build anticipation for delegates even before they were inside the hall, exploring and mapping out the delegate journey before putting together concepts and ideas for the stand itself.

We considered 5 main touchpoints in the delegate journey, and proposed different ways to maximise each stage:

  1. Aware – How do we make sure the audience is aware of Sage attending CIPD Festival of Work?
  • Social media posts
  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Word of mouth
  • Stunt
  1. Commit – How do we ensure commitment to visit the stand in the lead-up to the show?
  • Promote a giveaway
  • Hotel stays (offer complimentary items)
  • Advertising on E-tickets
  1. Travel – While en-route to the event, how can we ensure awareness of Sage at the exhibition?
  • Tube posters
  • Train station posters
  • Bus wraps
  • Taxi wraps
  • Directions to event (people or signposting)
  1. Visit – Once the stand is visited, is there a way to monitor and maintain engagement with the audience?
  • Surveys
  • Games
  • Refreshments
  • Giveaways
  1. Extend – Is there a way to extend the reach of the exhibition or maintain engagement post the event?
  • Questionnaires
  • Emails
  • Videography
  • Online 3D stand tour

Once the various touchpoints and potential ideas had been agreed with the Sage team, it was time to move on to mapping out the delegate journey, followed by the design of the stand.

“Just a note to say thank you for the great work from yourself and the team throughout the entire process!

It really is such a pleasure as always.”

The journey to the exhibition hall

We strategically positioned fully branded rickshaws outside local train stations and also Kensington Tube station, the closest stop for the Olympia Exhibition Centre where Festival of Work was taking place. The rickshaws then ferried delegates to and from the venue, while printed vouchers were given away by the riders for a free snow cone, the ideal antidote to the summer heatwave London enjoyed during the two days of the show. This was the perfect hook for delegates to head straight to the Sage stand once inside the hall.

We considered every detail: branding every side of the rickshaw, providing the riders with branded T-shirts, and printed vouchers which thanks to playful language set the tone for a Sage exhibition experience focused on clear communication and friendly and helpful customer service.

Once inside the hall

Having been exposed to the Sage brand on their way to the exhibition hall, and with vouchers in hand for an ice-cold drink, delegates are welcome at their destination by the imposing yet welcoming presence of the Sage stand.

Located right at the front of the hall, we considered the best orientation to capitalise on such a prime location.

With Sage sponsoring the Wi-Fi connection for the entire show, we included branded messaging on the welcome screen – another delegate journey touchpoint that we maximised to entice delegates to visit the stand and enjoy the free refreshments.

Custom exhibition booth

With the stand only open on two sides, the new brand shines in black with accents of white and green: the space looks sophisticated, and also warm and welcoming thanks to a selection of plants strategically placed to soften everything up and add a relaxed feel.

Custom exhibition booth

Height is a major element to give scale to the relatively small space, with a striking Sage logo in brushed aluminium and a double-sided hanging banner that command attention and authority, a great point of contrast to the overall pared down design of the stand.

Custom exhibition booth

The natural and relaxed mood of the space continues with the flooring materials and curved front store in the corner, which echoes the idea of flow as a key element of the new Sage brand.

Custom exhibition booth

Light also plays a major role in the stand design: timber beams with spotlights illuminating one of the two walls, halo lights under the counter for extra finesse and a lightbox on the side. The central glass cabinet is also illuminated to showcase Sage Foundation’s ‘entrepreneur heroes’ merchandise: luxury essential oils Neom candles, branded coffee beans, Snack-Boxes and Gymshark water bottles.

A hero graphic on the other wall adds more than a dose of colour, nodding at the concepts of flexibility and seamless flow offered by Sage products.

First stop in the delegate journey, a visit to the snow cone bar to redeem the free vouchers, with fresh, natural flavours that match the Sage brand colours.

The well stocked-up storage room at the back ensured the free refreshments flowed all day.

Every single detail at every touchpoint was considered: branded cups, server shirts and aprons, even, in some cases, on-brand nail varnish.

Once fully immersed in the experience, delegates can benefit from a Sage software demo: high double-sided illuminated counters allow for 2 or 3 people to stand around the demo stations, maximising the space and also facilitating networking opportunities.

On the left-hand side of the stand, a 4m x 2m LED screen played different animations created by our in-house Design and Motion teams.

In some cases, the animations* would feature highly tailored content (such as Trustpilot reviews and Sage customer testimonials), other animations featured more generic content. Our client set a running order to be played in a predetermined sequence, which could then be changed depending on time of day. The 2.6 mm pitch LED tile screen allowed content to be seen from afar and also close enough without pixelating, ensuring legibility from different locations in the hall. An AV technician was on site throughout the show to deal with any potential technical issues.

Whilst there is visual consistency within the different animations, they look distinct enough to maintain interest and engagement levels high, and therefore avoiding delegates feeling they had already seen the content.

The way we designed the stand means our client will be able to repurpose it for other shows.



(*) – a compilation is included here for illustrative purposes

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