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Exhibition stands 101

When it comes to exhibition stands the choices can be endless and the process daunting, here's how to navigate exhibition stand options.
We understand that especially in the case of someone who has been tasked with this seemingly easy project, designing an impressive exhibition stand which will achieve your main objectives, could turn into a total disaster! To be honest, even exhibitors who have previously undergone the planning of an execution process of a successful expo stand, still consult with us regularly for guidelines and fresh ideas.

The key to a successful exhibition stand starts by selecting a credible and experienced supplier.
Ensure this supplier understands your main objectives within the project, your brand identity, timeframes and the ever important budget.

We recommend suppliers that offer an all in one solution. In some industries, it is the most effective to approach individual suppliers and cut-out the middle-man, in exhibitions, however, your best option is to choose a partner that can provide a full turnkey service. Most suppliers in the industry already have agreements in place with other providers and are already working on site, this immediately negates the risk around tricky logistics, tracking multiple deadlines and venue access etc.

Secondly, the design of an exhibition stand has a direct impact on reaching your return on investment, not only does a stand have to be aesthetically pleasing but it also has to have the right traffic flow and product placement if you are doing displays. Depending on your budget your exhibition stand provider will propose a design that best suits your requirements, below we provide an overview of what works with what, from the entry level stand to the purpose-built custom stands.

Shell-Scheme stands (basic entry level)

The entry-level Shell Scheme is usually a good option as a first port-of-call. It is a base option for many exhibitors and can often be purchased from the exhibition organiser as part of the stand space package.

A simple yet effective basic infrastructure solution which includes the shell structure, graphics, electrical, furniture and flooring. Keep in mind that you can still upgrade with graphics, furniture and décor items to make your space unique and inviting.

System clad build (high-impact and cost-effective)

The Shell scheme structure is used with custom cladding applied to provide a seamless "custom made" feel, creating an uninterrupted and effective backdrop. Graphics and backlighting can be used to create focus areas within the space. The system provides a high-impact cost-effective solution whilst still using basic shell structures as a backbone.

Tension fabric system stands (flexible and elegant)

The shell scheme aluminium framework is used with a printed fabric backdrop stretched over the entire structure, similar to a canvas, this can be applied to all areas of the stand. This versatile and stream-lined system ensures maximum impact due to the high-quality finish of fabric prints and the seamless and borderless effect of the fabric. The Fabric system is highly recommended for high impact large format graphics. Cost-effective and flexible, this solution elegantly enhances any interior space.

Custom-stand design (High visibility! Effective!)

Cutting-edge design and quality finishes. Designing a custom stand enables you to bring your exhibition space and brand to life. Stands can vary from small 3×3 units to large double storey structures with custom hospitality and boardroom areas. Custom stands provide high visibility and are very effective in securing maximum traffic to your stand. Custom stands are suited to brands with a larger budget who is looking to really make an impact and attract many visitors to their exhibition space and products on display.

Free standing outdoor stands (maximum exposure)

Brand visibility is of paramount importance in today's competitive market. Often due to lack of visibility, companies lose valuable trade from prospective customers. If you are displaying large items or machinery a freestanding outdoor structure offers a unique solution. These structures offer maximum exposure and the opportunity to offer VIP style hospitality to your customers in a unique environment. Structures can be completely stand-alone or covered with a branded marquee displaying your logo and graphics.

Custom and shell pavilion (an unforgettable experience)

Pavilions enable SME's to participate in local and international exhibitions as part of a collective, at a reduced cost. The pavilion is designed to attract maximum attention and to facilitate equal exposure to all brands. A custom pavilion solution enables the customer to have an inviting meeting or hospitality space for all the individual exhibitors and create the desired flow to all parties within the exhibition space. If you are an SME, contact your local Trade department for the supported list of shows per annum.

Free-standing outdoor pavilion (all under one umbrella)

Ever considered moving a pavilion outside? Outdoor pavilions housed within a marquee structure provides a vibey Trade show environment for the different brands to engage with their respective customers. The free-standing solution offers an element of privacy to everyone in the pavilion space and allows them the opportunity to have the full attention of their specific customer. These outdoor pavilions are well suited to countries wanting to give their exhibitors a visibility boost.

Last but not least any of the above options can be designed from sustainable materials. When seeking an exhibitions supplier ensure that you have the option of storing and re-using stand components, or a stand designed with multiple configurations so it can be rebuilt across all your annual shows. When designing your stand ask your supplier to also consider the environmental impact of not only the material used but the electricity consumed by the stand, it's manufacturing process and the logistics required to deliver the stand.

To learn more about "How to Exhibit" Follow our #TipTuesday campaign on all the GL events South Africa social media platforms.

About Adele von Well

Highly motivated, goal driven Senior Manager with a passion for Marketing, Strategy, and Leadership. Experienced in B2B Sales and Marketing, HOD level across the MICE, Telecommunications, and Defence industry.