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Space Only vs Shell Scheme Exhibition Stands

Have you ever come to book your spot at an exhibition and been asked the question “Would you like a space only or a shell scheme exhibition stand?

Over the years, we’ve found that many of our clients – especially those that are new to the exhibiting world – are stumped by this question. After all, without full information on both, it’s nearly impossible to know which would work most effectively for you when it comes to promoting your products or service.

The only way to determine which would be best is to understand the differences between the two. So we’ve compiled this handy guide which will hopefully help you to make an informed decision next time you’re asked the question.

Below, we’ve outlined the differences between space only and shell scheme exhibition stands, together with their pros and cons. But if there is anything you think we haven’t covered, we are always just a phone call away and our friendly team is happy to answer any questions you may have.

Space only exhibition stands

Booking a space only exhibition stand does exactly what it says on the tin – you are allocated a marked-out space within the exhibition hall or outdoor area in which you can build your stand from scratch.

Whilst some events may vary, more often than not, you will need to book all services in addition to the space booking. You’ll also need to organise your exhibition stand yourself. But don’t panic – whilst this may seem daunting at first, there are plenty of professional exhibition design companies who can help you with this. Our experts, for instance, will take you through the entire process step-by-step, meaning everything is taken care of down to the last detail. All you need to worry about is turning up on the day, showcasing your business effectively and getting people interested in what you have to offer.

There are a few things you will need to consider and organise should you choose to opt for a space only stand:

  • Additional costs for services such as electrics, internet/WiFi, catering, lifting etc.
  • The actual design of your exhibition stand must be carefully thought-out in order to maximise your impact at the event
  • Flooring – do you want carpet, a wood effect, or something customised to your brand?
  • Walling – again, how are you going to make yourself stand out, as walling can have a massive visual impact?
  • Furniture – do you want seating for people to feel comfortable when speaking with you? Or tables for product display?
  • Graphics – high quality and well-designed graphics can do wonders for encouraging visitors to your stand and they can really help set you apart from everybody else

What are the pros of space only exhibition stands?

  • Consistent stand design at each event
  • Flexible and original designs to make you stand out
  • Ability to re-use graphics from previous events
  • Freedom to customise the allocated space as you desire

What are the cons of space only exhibition stands?

  • Can be more expensive depending on the size and style of your stand
  • More planning is required to co-ordinate all the different elements of the stand (but a good designer and contractor can do this for you)
  • Additional costs must also be factored in, as mentioned above

Shell scheme exhibition stands

At this point, it’s important to note that not all event organisers offer shell scheme displays. Even those that do have hugely varying packages depending on which event you are attending.

You can usually book a shell scheme at the point when you secure a space at the show.

As with all bookings, you should always check the details to be completely confident about what you’re signing up to. But, more often than not, you can expect to receive the following with your shell scheme booking:

  • A marked-up space in the exhibition hall
  • Carpet (although, colour options are not always available)
  • Walling – there are many different systems so never assume that it will be the same at each of your events
  • Your company name on a fascia
  • An electric socket

And you will often find that graphics and furniture are optional extras to your shell scheme display.

What are the pros of shell scheme exhibition stands?

  • Shell scheme can be ordered directly through the organiser at the same time as booking your stand space, giving you peace of mind that everything is sorted
  • No need to use a separate contractor to build your stand
  • Sometimes it can be more cost-effective

What are the cons of shell scheme exhibition stands?

  • No flexibility in the design
  • Different systems are used at each event so re-using graphics may not always be possible

So, what’s our verdict…?

Booking a space only really does give you the best of both worlds, whether it’s a simple back wall you’re after or a custom-made stand.

That being said, we are, of course, more than happy to supply shell scheme for smaller events or if you feel it is the most appropriate choice for your business. If you’ve already booked a shell scheme, we offer solutions to upgrade your package through the organisers. Have you thought about adding graphics, furniture or product display lockable counters, for example?

But when it comes to space only, we truly believe the possibilities are endless. This setup offers the flexibility that allows you to do anything within your stand space. If you attend multiple events throughout the year, we can supply you with an exhibition stand design that is consistent with your brand every single time.

Our services include:

  • Stand design and build
  • Catering boxes, cleaning boxes
  • Ordering services such as electrics on your behalf
  • Completing Health and Safety paperwork for the stand build and breakdown
  • Stand graphic storage, allowing you to re-use these across multiple shows
  • Custom stand storage
  • Custom made product display
  • Graphic design

With so many stand design options available, it really means that you have endless ways of promoting your business offerings. Just take a look at our portfolio to see the stand designs we’ve created over the years.

And, of course, if you have any other questions or would just like to talk through your ideas with one of our experts, please feel free to get in touch.

Talk to our friendly, knowledgeable team to
discuss your exhibition needs

CALL 01939 260 350