Celebrating and experiencing the best in stand design

The World Exhibition Stand Awards (WESAs) celebrate the very best in exhibition stand design.


Full details and videos can be seen on the WESA website, but here we focus on three of the eye-catching winning designs.

Best Stand 1,000sqm – RCC Pavilion Ekaterinburg

Agency Simmetrico Srl, in collaboration with Illogic Srl, produced a stunning pavilion for the Russian Copper Company (RCC) at the Innoprom 2018 exhibition in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

A two-storey building included exhibition areas, meeting halls, kitchen, bar and restaurant. The visual theme was a copper DNA chain.

The building’s exterior was a ‘trailer’ of what visitors could see inside, where everything was organised around a large kinetic column.

A large helix staircase was developed around it, leading to the first floor.

The design also won Best Stand at an Energy and Mining Event and the Grand Prix for the WESAs.




Best Storytelling 

Experiential design agency 2LK won the Diamond trophy in this category for their work with Canon@Photokina in their 25th anniversary year.

“To produce effective experiential, agencies, exhibitors and events need to engage in better briefing,” believes 2LK’s Managing Director Dan Mason.

Photokina, which takes place at Koelnmesse International Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre in Germany, serves the photographic and video industries and attracts 150,000 attendees.

The EOS R System was Canon’s most important product announcement in 30 years, and Photokina 2018 was to be the first public showcase of that technology.

The goal of Canon’s 2,600sqm Photokina experience was to drive audience engagement with Canon’s ‘Live for the Story’ campaign and its latest products. The experience was designed to celebrate storytelling through the entirety of a photographer’s journey and was split into three experiential themes: Exploration, Inspiration and Education.




Best Stand at a Technology Event

GES were the Diamond award winners in this category for client Brightstar at the Mobile World Congress.

At the heart of the pavilion concept was a journey through Brightstar’s ecosystem. The whole installation covered 8,000sq.ft. across two floors and included five immersive ‘Product Pods’ and a video arch made up of 2.6m LED lights and 88 panels, plus seating pods, boardrooms and private meeting spaces.

Brightstar’s presence at Mobile World Congress was awarded Stand of the Show from organiser GSMA for the second year running.

GES also picked up Best Stand at an Aviation Event for its work for client Bell Textron Exhibition at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018.



EW asked Mark Sykes, Design Director at GES, about the creative thinking behind the immersive Product Pods concept. 

“Brightstar created the digital pods, and it was our job to develop the customer journey within the space. This year we opened the pavilion up to give passers-by and invited customers an intriguing look into the stand, although the pavilion remained a strictly by invitation-only experience.

“Inside it was all about simple colour navigation way finders, creating a fun and vibrant architecture in a busy stand.

“We wanted to make the heart of the stand all about face-to-face engagement and the pods allowed the space for deep-dive information. The upstairs was reserved for VIPs with a prohibition bar that didn’t enforce the prohibition laws!

“Our task is always to ensure every customer is entertained and educated with Brightstar’s offerings and to have them look forward to what is coming each year – we’ve had VIP ice bars and secret garden themes to name a few – so the challenge was to take it up a level again.

“Inevitably challenging briefs mean getting out of your comfort zones at times, both agency and client alike.”


What single trend do you see being most influential in exhibition stand design in 2019? 

“The focus is no longer on the architecture. It’s still important, it just means the exhibition and events industry has so much more to consider, before, during and after an event. Designers and marketers have more tools to engage with event visitors. The challenge is to not over complicate and overwhelm visitors. Simplicity, be it digital or physical, is the best way to engage with your customer. A designer’s job is now part designer, part marketer, part digital creative…and part magician!”