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Exhibition Stand Design

Posted By:

XL Displays


07 May 2019

Reading Time:

13 Mins

This news article is also featured in:

Exhibition StandsExhibition TipsGraphic Design

Exhibition Stand Design

The UK events industry is worth an estimated £42 billion*, making it a hugely profitable and highly competitive commercial enterprise.

In 2010, trade shows across the UK generated approximately £11 billion in spend**, with businesses exhibiting in the outdoor sector expecting to trigger anywhere between £10,000 to £50,000 in additional sales alone.

With such huge monetary rewards at stake, competition between businesses at events and trade fairs is fierce.

The pressure to attract visitors and event-goers is at the forefront of every exhibitor’s mind and is often the driving force behind the structure of the exhibition stand design.

Although the graphic design of a trade show display bears a significant amount of responsibility when it comes to having a successful exhibition experience, it’s not quite as simple as employing a graphic designer and charging straight towards Photoshop.

Fabric Exhibition Stand Bundle


First thing’s first, you need to establish your exhibition budget.

How much you spend on your exhibition stand will depend on several factors; the biggest of which is the size of your allocated floor space.

A smaller display area will require a smaller exhibition stand, therefore bringing your budget down and keeping your trade show costs at a minimum.

Make sure you know the size of your event floorspace prior to investing in a display because an oversized stand won’t fit, and an undersized stand will look sparse.

Type of Exhibition Stand

Once you know the size of your floorspace, you can begin to filter out appropriate display stands for your area.

It’s important to remember that your exhibition stand design should be suited to your display system, not the other way round.

Naturally, the type of exhibition stand solution that you choose will be largely dictated by the size of your space. A jumbo pop up exhibition stand is not typically suited to a shell scheme booth, whilst a printed tablecloth won’t be enough to fill an 8m x 8m space-only exhibition stand. 

Being narrower than traditional pop up stands, roller banners are particularly good for dressing shell scheme booths because they don’t extrude into your floor space, leaving you with more space to talk to visitors.

Roller Banner Stand Design

The Link2 roller banner is the world’s first linkable pull up display banner. You can link multiple Link2 banners together to create a complete exhibition stand of any size.

Link2 roller banners allow you to effortlessly switch out old graphics for new ones when your marketing campaign or branding changes.

This versatility means you can use your Link2 banner to dress a 2m x 2m shell scheme booth for one event, and then purchase new graphics and additional Link2 banners to increase the size of your display for larger events at a fraction of the cost of investing in a brand new solution. 

Still, the most popular, portable display solution on the market is a pop up display stand. Pop up stands have stood the test of time and still seem to be the go-to solution for exhibition displays. 

These lightweight and extremely portable display systems are made using a scissor lattice aluminium frame that simply extends and locks into place.No tools are needed for assembly and one person can install alone without the need to hire expensive exhibition stand contractors. 

Replacement graphics and linking panels are available to increase the size of your pop up exhibition stand and update your marketing message as and when is needed.

Alternatively, fabric displays like the Formulate straight fabric exhibition stand are a good choice and are equally as lightweight and versatile as pop up stands. They offer the next step up into premium displays with unrivalled print quality. Fabric displays come in a range of sizes and shapes, meaning there is a solution to suit any exhibition space.

Formulate Straight Fabric Display

The major benefit of fabric exhibition stands is that they come with double-sided printing as standard, making them ideal for space-only stands where your brand will be in view from all angles of the event hall. The dye-sublimation process that creates the artwork produces ultra-bold, high definition graphics with exceptional print detail, therefore, maximising the brand impact at your event. 

Linked pop up exhibition stands are perfect for dressing a large format exhibition booth, whilst jumbo pop up displays stand at over 3m high and provide unrivalled graphic coverage and brand exposure in high footfall areas.

With pop up stands being such a popular display choice, its no surprise that linked pop up stands are a growing trend within the portable exhibition stand industry. They have the ability to be reconfigured into any shape and size whilst creating exhibition stands that look bespoke. 

Linked pop up stands can grow and adapt to your future marketing needs. Add new graphics and hardware to your existing kit and create a completely different appearance each time you exhibit. 

We offer a range of hire exhibition stands that are ideal for large format events. They can be completely customised to suit your brand and your marketing message. Exhibition stand hire is a hassle-free solution, making it perfect for brands who want to focus their energy on generating leads rather than their stand. When you invest in a rental display, your dedicated account manager will take care of everything. All you need to do is turn up on the day. 

For more information, please see our exhibition stand hire page, or browse our range of Integra® hire kits.


Only when you have established a budget and picked out a suitable display system can you start to think about exhibition stand design.

Regardless of which exhibition stand you go for – be it a custom printed tablecloth or a curved pop up stand – the basic principles of graphic design remain the same.

  1. Keep your branding consistent. Choose colours that reflect your business and make sure accents of your company logo are located throughout. A uniform exhibition stand design will demonstrate organisation and attention to detail.
  2. Keep text to a minimum. Your exhibition stand isn’t there to tell event attendees the life story of your business; it’s there to grab attention. Too much text looks cluttered and will turn visitors away. Try and stick to a strapline and relevant website links if possible.
  3. If you’re using images, make sure they’re high resolution. Blurry and pixelated imagery will look messy, so it’s important to use the highest quality available to you when incorporating photos into your exhibition stand design.

Aside from these three top tips, the rest of your exhibition stand design will depend on your display system.


It’s important that you consider what exhibition stand accessories you will have.

If you are having a monitor bracket or built-in shelves, you will need to ensure your exhibition stand design allows room for this.

It’s also worth considering the placement of other accessories such as literature stands and iPad holders. If you are using either of these as part of your display, you will need to make sure they aren’t blocking key parts of your exhibition stand design.


The size of your exhibition space is also a vital thing to consider when it comes to exhibition stand design.

Indoor event venues are poorly lit at the best of times, and smaller booths bear the brunt of this harsh lighting.

In the same way you wouldn’t paint a 10ft x 10ft bathroom black due to lack of natural light, you should avoid using dark backgrounds in small exhibition spaces too.

Darker colours will make the space look smaller than it already is, so bright backgrounds are always a winner in small event areas because they exploit the light you do have and make your stand look bigger.

We supply LED lights with all of our pop up exhibition stand bundles as standard, but we also offer more contemporary lighting solutions like Lumos towers and LED lightboxes to add a unique twist to your exhibition stand.

If you are using a roller banner, you can purchase additional roller banner spotlights to enhance your display.


Pop Up Stand Graphic Design

Larger areas can get away with more complex and bolder exhibition stand designs. So long as your colour scheme doesn’t clash or look unsightly, bright and vivid colours work really well on big pop up stands and fabric backwalls.

As mentioned previously, use your company branding as inspiration for your colour scheme.

Pick out bright accents of your logo and pair them with contrasting shades to make a real impact.


In a shell scheme, your display stand will only be visible from the front and so your exhibition stand design needn’t extend to the back of your display.

For floor only areas, double-sided graphics are a must. In the middle of an event venue, your brand is exposed from all angles. Double-sided graphics allow you to showcase your brand from all angles and really get the most out of your display space, but you will need to remember to come up with an exhibition stand design for all sides of your stand.

Perfecting your exhibition stand design can be the make or break factor as to whether or not you see a return on your investment, so getting it right is a must.

If you don’t have a graphic designer on hand to help you, we offer an in-house graphic design service. We can create a custom design from scratch based on your design brief, or alternatively, we provide a free artwork checking service for your design.

For larger exhibition stands, we offer a 3D rendering service where we show you what your design will look like on multiple different display solutions to help you make the best choice possible.

With so many people exhibiting at any one event, it can be hard to make your brand stand out from all the rest.

It may seem like an impossible task, but by taking on board the simple tips listed above and thinking logistically about your goals and objectives, your business stands a solid chance of enticing visitors and gaining recognition from a wider audience which may well translate to revenue.

For more information on our product ranges or our graphic design service, please contact us or call us on 01733 511030.


** Vivid Interface Survey