Trade fairs of any kind have one unifying element: communication. New contacts are made, sales talks are held and business relationships are cultivated. But especially in places where many people come together to talk, it is often incomprehensibly loud. This is where the specialist area of room acoustics comes into play, which is often only treated as a secondary issue in exhibition stand construction. In this article, we show you why acoustic design is so important at trade fair stands and which solutions hit the right note in terms of design.
Why do you need acoustic design at your trade fair stand?
The perception of volume has always been a subjective matter. A measured sound level can be constant and at the same time be perceived as quiet or unpleasantly loud by different people. Depending on the type of sound and the activity being carried out, loud noises can be intentional, as in a cinema – or even the quiet ticking of a clock can be disturbing, as when writing an exam. The acoustic environment at the trade fair stand must achieve two things in particular:
- Favour business conversations
- Positively influence the well-being of visitors
The aim is to be remembered and to convey information in a targeted, understandable and correct way; Loud or even just acoustically unfavourable environments can reduce speech intelligibility, causing information to be received incorrectly or not at all and generally increasing listening effort. People with impaired or limited hearing should always be taken into account when designing the exhibition stand; They in particular quickly feel uncomfortable or helpless in noisy environments. But even for people with excellent hearing, noisy rooms lead to stress over a longer period of time. In order to ensure more relaxation and a good atmosphere for dialogue at the trade fair stand, the room acoustics should be addressed from the outset during the planning phase.
Dealing with noise at the exhibition stand
In room acoustics, sound processes in the air are of particular importance; When a person speaks in a room, the resulting sound waves are transported through the air and reach our ears. This processes the impulses together with the brain into (at least mostly) understandable information. If these sound waves encounter obstacles on the way, such as a wall, three things can happen: They enter the wall and are passed on to the next room, they are absorbed and taken up or they are simply reflected back. The latter in particular causes uncontrolled and disturbing noises that make it difficult to concentrate or hear the other person; These chaotic impulses are also processed by our ears, which sometimes makes it difficult to filter out the sound waves that we would like to hear in order to understand the person we are talking to. The other two points, insulation and absorption, can be specifically influenced in favour of good acoustics so that as few sound waves as possible are reflected back in an uncontrolled manner;
The acoustic insulation of rooms is about limiting or completely stopping the escaping sound waves. This is needed, for example, for more privacy in meeting rooms at the trade fair stand or for immersive experiences, such as in our SYMA BLACKBOX so as not to disturb other trade fair stand visitors with the musical accompaniment.
The ability of some materials to absorb sound can be used specifically to control and direct the waves travelling around the room; This means that certain areas of the exhibition stand can be deliberately designed to be quieter, while others can be kept more open and inviting.
Materials and solutions for acoustic design at trade fair stands
Nowadays, conscious acoustic design is becoming increasingly important in modern interior design. For this reason, many different materials and products for acoustic design have been innovated. Especially with new developments in the workspace, towards open and flexibly designed offices, innovative approaches for better acoustics in larger rooms are increasingly being born. All these considerations can be applied to your own exhibition stand;
Flexible fibre materials
Fibres, such as polyester or wool felt, allow sound waves to penetrate the surface and bend & dampen them before they are sent back into the room in the form of thermal energy; The use of these materials also has the useful “side effect” of thermal insulation, which creates an even cosier atmosphere for quiet conversations at the exhibition stand; Another advantage of fibre materials is their flexibility; They can be formed into different shapes and coloured easily, so there are no limits to creative designs; One example of this is felt tiles for wall panelling or carpets;
However, these fibre fabrics can also work together with other materials such as wood, chipboard or plastic; For example, grooves can be used to release the absorbent filling in a targeted manner, which leads to conscious control of the sound waves;
Sustainable materials and solutions for acoustic design at trade fair stands
Even though there are already recycled versions of polyester, there are various organic alternatives for good room acoustics that also greener and more sustainable. Naturally planted plant walls or moss elements can be used artistically and provide pleasant acoustics as well as good air quality;
Einsatz von Möbel und Trennwänden
In line with the motto “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle”, sustainability also means using the resources and materials that are already available. With a little expertise in sound propagation and acoustics in general, furniture or partitions can be positioned in such a way that quiet corners for conversations are created all by themselves in no time at all;
In order to utilise these existing elements correctly, it is important to determine the required resources right from the initial trade fair stand concept and to use them in a targeted manner together with other design aspects; Acoustic design at the trade fair stand is essential for well-being and successful, pleasant conversations – but it is not the only consideration that should be taken into account. Our experienced team looks forward to receiving your enquiry, to make your next trade fair appearance intoa real eye-catcher with ideal lighting design, a carefully considered fragrance concept, clever colour design, exciting storytelling and appealing modern greenery.