Est. 1995, Oaks Exhibitions is the go-to for bespoke and modular exhibition stand design & build

How To Choose The Right Stand Builder For Your Project…

When you have decided that exhibiting works well for your business, if you have not enlisted the help of an exhibition stand builder yet, then it might make financial sense to now bring one on board. If your exhibition schedule is looking pretty busy (3+ shows per year). You need to consider how you will present your business at each show.

Choosing the right stand builder for your project can be a tricky process. You need to consider a wide range of factors, from cost and design specifications to delivery timescales and assembly capabilities. With so many things to bear in mind, it’s easy to overlook important details that can make or break your event plan.

To ensure you make the best decisions when selecting a trade show partner, read on as we share our top tips for choosing the perfect stand builder for your project.

Go see for yourself…

If you’re looking for the right exhibition stand contractors for your business, start by attending an event. Put on your future exhibitor hat and look around for inspiring stands that standout, stands that can be seen from different areas of the hall and stands that are attracting a crowd. If you see an exhibition stand you like, then speak to the team (ideally the Marketing Manager). They will happily share their stand builder details with you, as they will most likely take the question as a complement!  You’ll probably hear the same names cropping up time and time again. Once you have found a few names, then start doing your research.

Arrange a meeting with a couple of companies and see how you get on. Making the right choice is important, once you appoint an exhibition designer and stand builder you start a long and lengthy working relationship. You will be working closely with this team so you need to be able accept them as part of your team. It is important to find out as much as possible about them at your initial meeting, make sure you ask some of the below questions.

How long have they been in business?

Ideally you want a company that has been designing and building stands for a few years at least. This way you can be sure that they have several exhibition stand builds under their belt. If they are relatively new to the business then find out who they worked with previously. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Most exhibition designers and stand builders will give you details of clients they work with, you can then contact them and ask for a reference.

What team do they have in house?

This is an important question to ask. Any established stand builder will have an in-house team ready and waiting to work with you at every point in the process. All of the different elements of a stand design and build require different skills. Within a competent team you should have the following people:

Account manager – This person will know your business inside out, understand your brand and know what your yearly exhibition schedule looks like.

Stand Designer – This person will take a stand brief for each event you are taking part in and work out the stand designs, sizes and what is required for each exhibition. The designer will draw up the stands in 3D software (we use sketchup) so you can see what each stand will look like for each show. The 3D designs can then be signed off by the client, enabling the designer to create construction drawings for the workshop team.

Workshop team – Reputable stand builders should have their own team and manufacturing facility. If a stand builder has their own workshop they are in control of all materials, costs, time scales, detail and finish. They will also have their own skilled team of joiners, electricians and builders. Tread carefully if a stand builder is using a 3rd party for manufacturing, agree all costs and timescales upfront and get it in writing.

Project Manager – On larger stand builds, it is important to have some kind of project manager involved from the stand builders side. This person often works alongside the client and ensures the build process runs perfectly as well as the dismantling after the show.

Logistics – Can they actually get your stand and equipment from A to B? Stand builders should have large vehicles available to transport the sections of your stand to the exhibition halls.

Stand builders – The team that puts the stand together!An exhibition stand company should have their own team that assembles the stands in the halls. This highly skilled team may consist of joiners, electricians and general builders. They will build your stand in time for the exhibition open day and then take the stand down at the end of the show.

Previous Work

Before the meeting check out the company’s website and social media accounts, an active business should be posting regularly. They should also want to show you their best work at your first meeting. A reputable exhibition stand builder will be able to show you past stands that they’ve designed and built as well as show you work they have done based on your budget.

Reviews and Testimonials

Find out the opinions of others. When investing your precious marketing budget in a stand builder, you need to know they have other happy clients willing to share their experience with you. Ask the stand builder to give you contact details for a selection of their other clients, you can then speak with them and ask them about their experience with the team. Word of mouth is everything in this game, and although they might build amazing stands you need to hear that the team is also easy to work with, trustworthy and reliable. You need to be able to class them as an extension to your team.

Do they design, manufacture and build?

This should be a really important element to your decision. Ideally you want a one stop shop for your exhibition builds. Do they do it all? Stand builders that have all of these elements in house generally offer a better service as they are in control of all elements of the process including cost. If the stand builder is outsourcing the manufacturing or the build then ultimately this means they’re factoring in additional margins to your cost and it may become more expensive than companies who provide the full service in house.

Do they offer a variety of stands depending on the type of show?

Not all exhibitions are the same, they can range from small one day events to large scale events that run for several days. Your stand requirement will be differ at each show, for smaller events you may need a simple solution such as a pop up type stand. For medium size shows then a modular stand may be just the ticket. If you are wanting to make a statement and budget is available, then go big with a bespoke build. Flexibility is key when exhibiting and you need to make sure that your chosen stand builder can accommodate  your every requirement.

Are they on top of current designs and trends?

As well as the above, you need to be able to count on your exhibition stand company to be ahead of the curve when it comes to trends. Innovation in exhibition stand design is key to stand out and create showstopping stands. You need them to be talking to you about the latest LED trends, furniture styles and also movements in modular. At the end of the day, you want your stand to be the BEST IN SHOW!

At OAKS EXHIBITIONS, we do it all.

Oaks Exhibitions have designed and built bespoke, one-off stands and modular reusable stands at exhibitions across the UK and Europe for over 25 years! Our bespoke stands are made at our fully equipped workshop in Huddersfield and can be delivered and installed anywhere in Europe. We also offer highly flexible, modular/reusable stands which are ideal for multiple, slightly differently sized spaces at different events. So we are pretty well equipped for the job! Talk to us about your event schedule, let us be part of your team!

If you are planning an event this year maybe we could help? Contact the Oaks Exhibitions team on 01484 644 368 or email us on

How To Plan Your First Exhibition Stand…

First of all, congratulations.. You have taken the plunge and stepped into the wonderful world of exhibiting. Events and exhibitions are a powerful marketing tool. They provide a platform to promote your product or service to a group that may have little or no knowledge of your services. They also offer an opportunity to meet existing and potential customers.

It’s going to be fantastic… isn’t it?

The answer to the above question can only be answered by the actions you take before and after the initial booking, unfortunately, booking is the easy part (as long as you have booked the right space!!).

Location, location, location….

Often the best locations (at least from a foot traffic perspective) are near the hall entrance. There are several reasons for this. The first is that visitors feel “fresh” when they first step into a hall, meaning they’ll see your signage before anyone else.

For some particular reason, visitors often gravitate towards the right side of the hall when they enter. With this in mind, it may be wise to book a stand on the right side in order to get noticed. Additionally, try to get a corner exhibition stand. Corner stands are open on two sides so are easier for visitors to access.


So you have booked the perfect space, now it is important to plan what you will put there.

The design of your exhibition stand should be driven by your goals, why are you there, it is usually one of the below reasons:

  1. Product launch: If the aim of your booking is to launch a new product, then the space needs to showcase the product to its very best and allow visitors to look and possibly interact with the product.
  2. Networking:If the aim of your booking is to meet new connections, then you need to ensure visitors feel comfortable to access the stand, you need space on the stand for meetings.

(Need some images here: Product on stand / People on stand)

Know your audience

Different stands will appeal to different audiences. Your stand may need to feel very corporate or it might need to be extremely fun and interactive. Consider your audience carefully, if they are interested in your product or service and they feel comfortable to access the stand, then you have immediately acquired a warm lead.

What’s your type?

In a busy exhibition hall with so much on offer, your stand needs to be the one that stands out from to the crowd. In the early stages of planning, careful thought needs to be given as to what exhibition stands are on the market and what design will work best for you and your business.

There are several types of exhibition stands to choose from, depending on the nature of the event you are exhibiting at, how often you plan to exhibit and how much your central messages and themes will change, also last, but definitely not least… BUDGET!

Below are your options, listed in budget order (cheapest to the most expensive).

  1. Pop Up: If it is your first time, you’re a small team and your budget is on the small side, then consider a pop up stand option. Pop up stands work really well at trade shows and exhibitions. They come in various sizes, are lightweight and compact, and fully portable.

    Fully reusable, these stands can be assembled in minutes by a single person. Simply build the frame then attach the graphics. The graphics attach to the frame with magnetic tape. Whether you have a shell scheme or you’re at an event in a hotel, pop ups are a cost effective way to display your brand.
  2. Shell Scheme: If you have booked a shell scheme (as opposed to space only – Read our shell scheme vs space only stand blog for more details). Then a simple, effective and very budget friendly way to exhibit, is to have panels printed that directly fix to the shell scheme. The panels will need to be produced by a specialist printer, they are quite often installed using velcro, check with the shell scheme provider before installation. Often these panels cannot be reused so have to be discarded after the exhibition has finished.
  3. Modular: Modular stands can take your brand to the next level… Designed to be fitted together in a number of different combinations to create a complete exhibition stand. They can often be reconfigured or sections added, so are the perfect solution if you plan to do several exhibitions on a budget. Offices and meeting rooms can be added to modular stands as well as shelving and tv displays. Unlike the above options these stands require assembly by a specialist exhibition team. At Oaks Exhibitions we quite often store modular stands for clients and then build them at the required shows.
  4. Bespoke Exhibition Stands: If you are looking for a truly unique way to showcase your business and market your product, then bespoke exhibition stands are the perfect choice. With these custom-made stands, you can design every element to ensure that it reflects your brand identity and encourages visitors to interact with it.

    Bespoke exhibition stands provide an opportunity for businesses to create a truly unique experience for their customers. They allow you to showcase your products in the most creative and effective way possible. Not only do they help attract more visitors, but they also provide an opportunity to engage with them in a meaningful manner. We specialise in bespoke stands. Here are a few of our favourites.

Displaying your message

When designing your graphics or briefing your designer, then you must ensure a clean and clear message is easily understood from the graphics at a glance. Visitors do not want to stand and read reams of copy. If the visitor cannot ascertain what your product or service is with a glance at your graphics, then they will just walk on by… Keep it simple and they will come!!

The finishing touches

Once the stand is finished you then have the opportunity to make it your own. If you have the space, consider splitting your stand into zones:

Meeting zone – This might be a small table and 2/4 chairs.

Standing zone – An area you can stand and chat with passers by

Refreshment zone – If you are planning on having meetings on the stand or if the exhiiton is running over a few days, then consider including a small fridge / coffee machine on the stand.

Storage zone – Keep the stand tidy, make sure you have space to store leaflets, coats and bags.

Like anything, exhibiting gets easier the more you do it. If done correctly, exhibitions can be a very effective way to boost your company’s visibility and inturn increase business. However, it takes a good reliable team to get exhibitions up and running.  If you’re spending time and money on an event – including paying out for staff time and support materials.

Using expert exhibition stand builders will maximise the return on your investment, they will ensure every centimetre of space is used wisely and well. By hiring a stand builder companies can focus their time and resources on strategy while the stand builder takes care of all the practical aspects.

If you are planning an event this year maybe we could help? Contact the Oaks Exhibitions team on 01484 644 368 or email us on

Should I Build My Own Exhibition Stand?

It is easy to assume that setting up an exhibition is as simple as turning up on the day and putting the stand-up ready to go. This may be the case for some venues, but you will find that at many larger events, far more planning is required.

When taking on the responsibility of building a self-build stand, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your attendees and your staff. This means making sure that you have taken steps to prevent harm and to reduce any risk of injury during setup, breakdown and during the show itself.

Exhibition space comes in all shapes and sizes, it is easy to assume that if you have booked a 5m x 3m space that it will be easy to fill… A few pop up banners maybe? Large scale printed graphics possibly?

For you to get the most return on your investment (average exhibition space cost in the UK is £300-£350 per square metre) then you need to make sure what you plan to go in that space is going to help you do that.

Fancy yourself as a designer?

If you are planning a substantial stand, then the devil is in the details. Professional stand builders don’t just build the stands, they also design them from scratch. An initial meeting to cover the objectives should take place, at this meeting you will lay out your requirements. What you want on the stand, how you want the space to flow. Are you launching a new product? Then we need to make sure that is the star of the show. If you want to attract a crowd, then why not consider some type of refreshments area? 

The design of any stand is key, most exhibition companies will now produce a 3D rendering of the concept and full working technical drawings before manufacture (if required), so you know exactly what you are getting. If the budget is tight, then using a professional build team will really help, they often have modular systems they can loan and furniture / tvs at a fraction of the cost compared to hiring directly from the organisers. If budget is no object, then happy days! The sky’s the limit (quite literally) we have built quite a few double height exhibition stands!

(Show some 3d visuals here)

Project Management… AKA Spinning plates!

If you are planning a DIY Build then be prepared… There is a lot of admin to complete in the run up to the exhibition. The organisers will issue a handbook with relevant forms to complete, so be prepared to carry out a risk assessment! Risk assessments are documents that detail you have identified and analysed risks associated with your exhibition stand. You must assess all aspects of your event, from identifying health and safety hazards right through to fire risks and detail these in the form. Exhibition organisers do not like surprises and are pretty ridgid with rules. If you haven’t pre arranged for the ceiling banner to be erected and looked at the risks associated with that, then I am afraid you will not be able to have one.

There are several deadlines you need to meet, to ensure your show runs smoothly, the organisers have a lot to do so chasing you for forms is really not on their agenda. If you are planning on building your own stand then you really need to keep an eye on these deadlines. If the organisers do not receive the forms, then you will most likely be refused entry on the day.

DIY or not to DIY..

If you are planning a self build then you need to be prepared. Anyone that has spent time at an exhibition hall in the run up to the event knows it is (for want of a better word) chaos. If it is a large scale show, then you will have up to 500+ companies competing to get their stands complete before show day. Many organisers will not allow you to build the stand on the opening day, so you will need to make sure of the access dates to allow the stand to be constructed before the event begins.

Unless you are a qualified team of joiners, then the actual build of a stand is pretty complex, not to mention costly. Professional stand builders do this day in and day out, they have all of the tools and kit required to construct the stands in a safe and timely manner. Not to mention the relevant insurances and risk assessments in place.

Make sure you are fully aware of what you need to make that stand sing, project management skills are a key requirement when planning your own event. You will have a lot to manage in the run up to the big day.

Let’s talk logistics!

One of the main reasons that clients choose to work with an exhibition design and build company is the logistics. Even if you go with simple shell scheme graphics, they are pretty big. Realistically they are not going to fit in your hatchback! Think about how you are going to get everything onto the stand, furniture, lighting, not to mention all of your company literature, promotional materials etc. If you are working on the stand whilst the show is running, then you need to arrive refreshed not frazzled!

The last day on an exhibition stand is always a tricky one…We know how long the days are (how late the nights are). When the clock strikes 5pm and the exhibition closes its doors, then if you are doing a DIY job then you need to get your stand down, and everything out pronto, The organisers might give you 3 days to build the stand but they will want you out of the doors by 9pm latest! If you are in a hot country, they also turn off the air condition… lots of fun when you are heaving boxes about! Alternatively, you leave and the stand builder arrives… you could be sipping a celebratory glass of champers by 6pm!

So in summary if you are doing a DIY exhibition stand, make sure you have your list up to date and that you have checked everything twice. Make sure your stand design is on point, the layout meets your objectives and it flows. Don’t forget the forms! They are key to actually being able to exhibit. If there are risks associated with the stand build then make sure you have assessed and understood how you will build safely. Finally, GOOD LUCK, you are going to need it!! At Oaks Exhibitions, we have over 20 years experience and expertise building exhibition stands. Whether you are wanting a bespoke build, modular or simple graphics for your shell scheme we can help. Our main objective at any exhibition is to make sure your business stands out. We create show stopping stands for all budgets. Interested? Contact us to start your big build today.

If you are planning an event this year maybe we could help? Contact the Oaks Exhibitions team on 01484 644 368 or email us on