• Adam Grey

Making the step up from shell scheme

Updated: Jul 11, 2019


For a lot of companies, exhibiting from within a shell scheme is their first experience of the event circuit, and they often find themselves struggling to stand out from the crowd and attract the attention of visitors.


Although shell schemes are pitched as a cheap and convenient option, making the step to a custom build is a worthwhile progression that can give larger returns on investment and present your company the way you want it to be presented.


What is shell scheme?

Shell scheme are rows of pre-erected stand frames that border your floor space, often made of metal with 1m wide blank panels in between each metal pillar. Depending on the package provided by the organiser, this may include carpet, power and lighting, but generally you will receive a generic name plate above the stand and an empty shell.




Why do people use shell scheme?


Shell schemes do have their place. They’re often the cheapest package option and they give an easy, universal structure to create your display. You can turn up, attach your graphics and you have a ready stand.


Organisers will often have design and print teams they have partnered with that can easily create graphics for your shell scheme and although this can come at a large premium, it does make life simple.


Making the step up from shell scheme to custom


A lot companies go through a natural progression with their trade show stand presence, and look for bigger spaces first, but this is not always the best approach. A very large shell scheme space will not always give the best visibility in comparison to a smaller space with a well-designed custom stand build.


Exhibitions are hectic places with everyone vying for attention. Walk along an event floor and you can feel the people on each stand trying to catch your eye and make an introduction, it’s a competitive atmosphere and you need to stand out. Good organisers try to avoid it, but at many shows you can see a very visible change from the brightly lit, large and dynamic stands with lots of visitors and the dim rows of shell scheme stands with a few banners and a chair. Is this really the way you want your business to be presented?


A custom stand can also take advantage of vertical space, allowing eye-catching features and graphics that literally stand above the exhibition crowd.


It’s easy to think of expansion in terms of size, but the size of the floor space is nowhere near as important as the quality of the stand within it. A step-up does not always have to be dramatic, and if the choice is between larger floor space or a better stand design, a better stand design wins every time.



This GB Labs design shows how a custom stand build in a small space has a much greater impact than a shell scheme

Custom stands can be anything you want them to be. They can present your company in the way you want it to be presented, leaving a meaningful impression on the people who visit you and making sure they remember your interaction when you follow up shortly after. If you’re exhibiting at multiple events, there are custom designs and structures that can be re-used over and over again, negating the cost over time.



Custom stand designs maximise the use of available space, giving cleaner lines and a more professional image

The next steps


Moving to a custom build can sound daunting, there can be a lot of organisation between vendors, suppliers, and the venue, but it doesn’t have to be this way. With Creative Global, a dedicated project manager will be assigned to your build to ensure that everything runs smoothly from concept to event day, so all you have to worry about is turning up at the event, ready to meet your visitors.


If you’re ready to take the step-up and want to explore how a custom stand can help your company meet its exhibition goals, get in touch with our team today