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The Exhibition Jargon Buster

9th December 2019 - Blog

At ISOframe we know that exhibitions and exhibiting can be daunting. For your event to be successful you need everything in place and on time, but what if it’s your first exhibition?

We pride ourselves on our friendly no-nonsense approach and we’ve pulled together a jargon-buster to help you navigate exhibitions and trade shows alike.


‘Shell schemes’

Most exhibitions will have at least one section of the floor plan comprised of shell scheme stands. These are the booths built in rows and small groups by the official show contractor, varying in size from 1x1m booths to 8x8m.

A shell scheme stand comprises of a number of walls which define your exhibition area. Each shell scheme stand also comes with carpet and optional electrical feed. You’re free to place whatever equipment or display within your shell scheme space, so long as the equipment doesn’t spill outside the perimeter or extend above the height of your walls.

Your stand could be open one, two or three sides, this will have a direct impact on the design of your exhibition and how people flow post your space. If you want more information of selecting the right location this blog could be useful.


‘Space Only Exhibition’

The alternative to a shell scheme exhibition stand is to purchase a ‘space only’ stand. This is just as it sounds; a square foot plot in the exhibition hall and nothing more. Many space only exhibitors choose to build purpose-built, unique structures on their plot.

Working with a specialist exhibition stand designer, manufacturer and stand builder. The exhibition stand builders will come to the exhibition hall before it opens, build your exhibition stand for you, and then dismantle after the show closes.

The main benefits of bespoke exhibition stands and builds are that they are typically bigger, offering a greater stand out within the event venue. If you have a regular exhibition programme a modular exhibition stand is often a good choice as it can be reused at different events, saving costs and increasing your event ROI.


‘Modular exhibition stand’

Modular exhibition stand systems are frameworks and graphics panels which are lightweight, easy to transport and fit together to create your exhibition stand.

The framework allows the stands can be reconfigured to suit different floor space sizes, and you can have interchangeable graphics so your stand’s messaging can be easily adapted to your exhibition and audience. The modular nature allows the stand to be re-sized and adapted to give a unique shape or design to your stand – they can also serve as additional walls which can incorporate TV screens, shelving and other accessories. This is perfect for regular exhibitors, as it ensures their framework systems can be altered, changing size, shape and graphics gives adaptability and longevity to the system.


‘Exhibition Set up day’

Most exhibitions have an allocated set up day, typically the day before the exhibition opens to the public. Some larger exhibitions have two or even more set up days, this helps control the movement of people and vehicles in and out of the loading areas and within the exhibition hall. Shell schemes (and usually stand builds) will be built in one of the earlier slots, allowing you to come in to take equipment deliveries and dress your stand for the rest of the day. Your build slot will be clearly communicated when booking your space, missing this slot could at the very worst case mean delays late into the night or the next day.


‘Exhibition Breakdown’

Breakdown is just the name for the few hours following an exhibition when you’ll need to pack up your equipment, and suppliers will come in to collect any items you’ve hired for the show. Occasionally this process goes on during the following day, especially if the exhibition closes late in the evening, but most often the halls will be completely cleared the same day.


We hope this guide will help you navigate the exhibition world, but if you’re still left in the dark do get in contact, we’d be more than happy to help.