Once you have prepared your strategy and objectives for attending an exhibition, completed the trade show Marketing Plan and prepared the budget you will know how much money you have to spend on the exhibition stand and the graphics.
From the outset you should have an idea of what type of exhibition stand you want and what you can afford from your budget. Some exhibitions are part of a conference where you either get a table and chair or can have your own pop up stand.
If you are exhibiting at a trade show you may have a choice of a shell scheme or freestanding space. The size of the shell scheme can vary depending on your budget but they normally have set dimensions. Most purpose-built shell schemes usually have three walls with standard furnishing. Some are corner stands with two walls or a free standing space of a specific size where you can design and build your own bespoke stand. The choice will depend on the type of show, the schemes available, your budget, and what it is you want to showcase on the stand.
Table and Chair, or Pop Up Stand
- Table and chair. This format can be rather limiting but you can usually use floor-based pop up banners as a back drop or table-based pop up. You can promote your company name, product or message on the pop up.
There are a variety of pop up banners which come in different width. Single or double sided banners are retractable, easy to carry in a case and are available in a variety of prices to suit your budget. If you are going to be using the banner at a number of events it is probably best to have a more expensive durable one.
- When paying for a table and chair an electrical connection is normally included along with your company name exhibition entry.
- One graphic option is to use Foamex display boards which are inexpensive and can be attached to poster boards.
- Portable Pop Up Stand. If you want something a bit more custom-made then a pop up stand is useful. Again it can be re-used and comes with its own travelling boxes.
- Varieties of modular exhibition stand with interlocking components can be found online at different prices. They vary in size and can be single or double sided, straight, curved or L shaped. They usually have a magnetic locking system to hold the panels together on tubing which is used for rigidity.
The company branding and messages can be placed on the banner sides.
- Digital LCD displays can be used for graphics and, although they are more expensive, it is easier for the content to be revised and refreshed
- Ensure when putting away your stand that you pack the rolled graphics the right way to prevent them from getting scratched.
- If using spotlights always carry extra bulbs and if exhibiting abroad make sure you have a European socket converter for an English plug!
Shell schemes are used at most major conference and event centres as a way of dividing hall space into individual sections or booths. Shell schemes are usually formed by a series of upright aluminium posts braced apart with cross-beams. The shell scheme normally has three sides but you can get a two-sided stand. The size of the shell will depend on the trade show floor plan. Shell schemes normally come with flooring, company name board, lights, basic furniture, and electric power. If more furniture is required you can order these from the trade show organiser.
To make your company stand out from other exhibitors use creative graphics and think of innovative ways to decorate the stand or shell scheme so that you are differentiated from the crowd. Solutions include using free-standing display stands and banners or attaching posters or panels to the walls of the stand using Velcro.
The problem with exhibition shell scheme systems is that the aluminium uprights stand proud of the wall panels. This causes problems when you want to create a large seamless back wall display rather than having a series of posters separated by the aluminium shell scheme uprights.
The Shell-Clad system provides a good solution for those who want to achieve maximum impact by decorating a shell scheme exhibition stand with edge to edge, mural-style wall graphics. It provides a simple yet ingenious way of attaching graphic panels to the shell scheme posts without the need for sticky tape or other messy fixings.
Shell-Clad adapters’ clips simply snap on to the upright pillars of the shell scheme and provide a Velcro-compatible surface onto which graphics can be attached.
Panels for the Shell-Clad system are normally produced in vertical strips using a durable, laminated, rollable material. This means that in most cases your exhibition graphics can be rolled and transported in a single box or storage drum.
Printdesigns is an example of a print company that produces panels for Shell-Clad exhibitions stands. In addition stand standard roll-panels Printdesigns can use materials like Foamex PVC or even dye sublimation printed fabric to create exhibition wall graphics for your stand that look good and are compatible with Shell-Clad adapters.
Normally the print company will provide both an artwork template and a plan of your stand to make it easy to design graphics and fit them later.