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

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