Setting Up Exhibition Furniture: Dos and Don’ts


To finish off your stand, well you may want to source furniture to fit in it. This can either be hired from the show organiser, or you can source it yourself. If you plan to buy furniture so that you can use it again, make sure it is portable enough to transport and store in between shows.

Consider the practicalities of the furniture you need – how long do you want visitors to linger on your stand? Do you need space to demonstrate products? How are you going to take customer details? These will all affect the furniture you need.

If you have invested a substantial amount of money in sourcing an exhibition stand, you don’t want to ruin the effect with bad furniture choices. Visitors will be attracted by the look of your stand as a whole, which includes the furniture on it, so getting it right is important. Cheap, unattractive furniture can ruin an otherwise good looking stand.

Here we have some tips for setting up your exhibition furniture.

  • Do plan it out – work out exactly what you are going to need for your stand for practical and aesthetic purposes. Do you want customers to linger and chat? If so, comfortable sofas and chairs will be a good idea. If you want the conversations to be briefer and to the point, bar stools or a table and chairs will be better.


  • Do have somewhere to hide personal belongings – having bags and phones on display looks messy and unprofessional. A front desk is ideal to hide these belongings from view.
  • Do have somewhere to take visitor details – either a front desk or a table and chairs where you can make notes. If you want to automate the process, having iPads on stands or space for a computer will be needed.
  • Do get creative with how you are going to display your products – rather than cluttering up desks, consider have built-in lit up display cases within your stand to maximise space.
  • Do allow enough room for visitors to move around without tripping over or bumping into furniture.
  • Do make sure you set up your stand before the exhibition so that you know where everything is going to go and that it looks as expected.


  • Do incorporate your branding as much as possible into the furniture – front desks and plinths can all be customised to match your brand, the more you can do this, the better your stand will look.
  • Do match your furniture to your brand – a conservative seeming company will look wrong with funky furniture, and heavy upholstered furniture will look out of place on a sleek, modern stand.
  • Do consider the practicality of your furniture – if you are wanting visitors to enter details on an iPad, make sure the stand is the right height to be easy to use, and tables should have enough space to spread out brochures and paperwork.
  • Do hide power cables behind furniture and your stand.

And here are some things to avoid:

  • Don’t clutter your stand with too much furniture – there needs to be space for people to move around, aim for around 50% full.
  • Don’t create a barrier with furniture – keep sofas and chairs to the back of the stand so that there are no barriers to entry which will deter visitors.
  • Don’t have furniture that stands out too much – it should blend in with the overall look of the stand.
  • Don’t forget that you will need somewhere to store promotional items if you have them – space on a front desk may be sufficient.

Guide to exhibition furniture

Desk – a front desk is useful to take details, display promotional items, and hide personal possessions. They can be covered with your company branding to enhance the look of your stand.

Plinth – these are used for displaying products and come in a range of sizes and are strong enough to hold heavy items. At the end of the show, they are easily packed away by removing the top and base and rolling the MDF sides up.

Tables and chairs – it is beneficial to have somewhere for visitors to sit down, exhibitions are tiring so people will welcome the break.

Showcases – these are glass display cases with lockable storage below – ideal for exhibitors with valuable products.

iPad holders – a good way to encourage interaction with visitors and automate information gathering is to have iPads on your stand. These could also show your website or hold games.

AV stands – having audio-visual equipment is another way to attract attention, a TV could run a presentation, or even incorporate a virtual reality game.

Literature displays – you may want somewhere to display brochures for visitors to take away with them. A leaflet including a special offer is more likely to be kept than a generic brochure.

Selecting the right furniture to finish off your exhibition stand is an important task. It can either be hired or sourced elsewhere. Hired furniture can often be quite plain so enhancing it with branded panels or covers will help the overall look. It should blend in and enhance the visual appeal of your stand.

For help designing your next exhibition stand, call us on 0800 019 2141 or email

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