Types of Exhibition Stand



Choosing the right type of exhibition stand can be the difference between a successful event and not achieving everything you hoped for.  You want to stand out from your competitors and attract as many visitors as possible.  The stand you choose will depend on your budget, the space you book and how often you intend to exhibit.  There are several types of exhibition stand:

  • Pop-up
  • Modular
  • Custom Modular
  • Custom Built

At exhibitions you can book ‘shell-scheme’ space or ‘space-only’ exhibition space. Shell scheme exhibition space comes complete with carpet, a basic electrics package, blank walls and framework to the exhibition booth. These spaces are generally smaller and are usually at a max height of 2.5m.  They generally display your company name on the fascia board but the rest of the branding is down to you.

Space only exhibition stand space is cheaper to book per m2 – but that is all you get, you have to supply everything else - flooring, electrics, exhibition stand walls, etc. The max height you can build to is 4m. You can go up to 6m height – but would require structural engineers to build a stand at this level.


Types of Exhibition Stand




The most economical option for an exhibition stand is the pop-up/portable stand.  These consist of a framework of poles which open up easily.  Graphics in the form of usually PVC or fabric are then attached to this frame.  They are versatile and reusable, and can be adjusted to suit the space.  If you book a shell scheme package a pop-up stand is a great low-cost way to fill it.  Pop-up displays can be erected easily by 1 person so don’t require teams of contractors to build.  They are simple to pack away and store after the show.  Transport is also straightforward as the cases can easily fit into an estate car.  The graphics can be easily changed for a fresh look at future shows.

Another option for shell scheme packages is to have graphics covering the framework of the booth.  This is also an economical, sustainable option as the graphics can be reused.  The downside is that the poles of the framework will obstruct the graphics panels so a seamless look is not possible.  But you will maximise the floorspace for visitors to the  .  Although these options present a great entry point to exhibiting, you may struggle to stand out from the crowd.  There will be many other exhibitors with pop-ups, pull up banners and shell scheme graphics so it’ll be harder to grab the attention of visitors.



Modular stands generally consist of aluminium frames onto which graphic panels are fixed.  The frames can be slotted together to create the desired look which gives plenty of versatility.  These stands are suitable for a shell scheme or space only. 

They can be assembled by a few people so don’t necessarily require exhibition contractors to build them.  The stands are easy to transport and store, and can be reconfigured to fit different spaces.  For a fresh look graphics panels can easily be changed.  Modular stands allow for a more bespoke look than basic pop-ups so provide a good, relatively economical option.  They bridge the gap between pop-up and custom built for new exhibitors or those on a budget.  Simple modular solutions allow you to fill your space with an appropriate structure, and will attract more attention that a basic pop-up, but you are still unlikely to have a stand that makes a real impact in the hall.  Without extra height and custom lighting features you will find it difficult to really stand out from your competitors.




Custom Modular Stands


For a more bespoke look to your stand, and to really make an impact, a custom modular stand will give you the presence with all the benefits of a modular stand.  It is a reusable system and also 100% reconfigurable. This means you can use it at every event and adapt the shape of it to suit your needs. 

What makes this type of stand better than its basic counterparts is the design. A custom modular exhibition stand can be built to your specs, for any floor space - shell scheme and space only.  It allows you to build bespoke product display into your exhibition stand, use seamless floor to ceiling graphics, lighting, and audio-visual equipment to attract attention.

With heights of up to 3.9m and including overhead hanging banners and structures, the custom modular stands will enable you to tower over your competitors.

Custom modular exhibitions are a great sustainable option. The framework is reusable and reconfigurable so you can continue to use your stand throughout your entire exhibition calendar. Yet, there is absolutely no compromise on design – this type of exhibition stand will look great and really attract attention.  You will have all the benefits of a custom-built stand but with the sustainability of a modular. If you’re looking for a custom modular stand with every element designed to suit your business, have a look at our sister site Quadrant2Design


Custom Built Stands


At the top end of the range is the Custom-Built Stand.  Often only used for a single exhibition, this creates a totally unique look to really stand out.  Located in the prime central positions, custom built stands are for the serious exhibitor who really wants to make an impact. 

They are built on site by a team of contractors out of materials such as MDF, vinyl, glass, metal and paint.  You can have whatever structure you want, including meeting rooms, office spaces and even have a 2 story structure to make the most of your space.This flexibility gives you a real advantage over smaller competitors.

The size of these stands makes them more of a challenge to transport and store – you are likely to need specialist storage facilities and lorries to transport.  This, coupled with the construction methods means that custom built stands are often not reused but disposed with at the end of the show.  So they are not a sustainable or economical way of exhibiting.

If you are a big player with a big budget, a custom built stand is probably for you.  But for the vast majority of exhibitors a custom built stand is an unnecessary indulgence that overstretches budgets and reduces return on investment.  For most businesses a custom modular stand will give you the status and presence you need with the financial savings of reusability.

The type of stand you choose for your exhibition will depend on your budget, the space you have booked and the frequency with which you intend to exhibit.  For new exhibitors the shell scheme space with a pop-up stand offers a way of having a presence at an exhibition without spending a fortune.  If you want to stand out a bit more, a modular stand will give you more versatility.  For those wanting a more customised look whilst retaining the benefits of a modular stand, the custom modular is a great solution.  For a unique, real wow-factor the best bet is a custom-built stand. 

To discuss your exhibition stand requirements with an expert phone us on 0800 019 2141 or email design@exhibition-stands.com.





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