#1: Shell Scheme vs. Space Only
First and foremost, you have to decide whether you want a shell scheme or space only. Most exhibitions have both types of floor space on offer, but remember that they are distributed on a first come first serve basis.
A shell scheme is a prefabricated partition system used by event organisers to segment and separate floor space. Space only is exactly what it says on the tin, a section of space marked out with tape or chalked lines. Depending on your business and exhibition aims, you are likely to find one option more desirable than the other.
Shell Scheme Pros
If you’re a first-time exhibitor then you’re likely to use a shell scheme because it has many benefits for newbies. A shell scheme is the equivalent of an all-inclusive holiday package.
Organisers offer the shell scheme space with basic lighting, flooring, walls, furniture and power. This is more cost-effective and can make it a better option for budget-bound businesses.
Shell Scheme Cons
Using a shell scheme makes it difficult to stand out. Shell scheme stands are built in blocks, meaning you are surrounded by several businesses competing for a few seconds of someone’s attention. You can find yourself fairly limited by design.
Essentially you are inside a shell. Fascia panels often obscure your visibility and ugly grid systems don’t lure in the crowds. Many people are unaware that you can ask for the fascia panels and the grid scheme to be removed. This leaves you with a basic shell scheme structure (just the walls) but opens up your stand.
Essentially this con is less of a con and more of an industry secret. If you have booked a shell scheme you aren’t tied to using the graphic panels, pop-ups or banners. You aren’t even tied to the grid scheme or the fascia panels. Here at Quadrant2Design we regularly design and install fully-fledged exhibition stands that fit beautifully into a shell scheme system. Between 30% and 40% of our exhibition stands are used in a shell scheme and judging by what over 700 of our clients have said they’ve always worked brilliantly.
Space Only Pros
Space only is great for regular exhibitors or businesses that want more bespoke design. Having no limitation in terms of how you can use a space means you can add more ‘personal flair’. The design element’s only limitation is your imagination…
As you can imagine, with this freedom to design whatever you want it is much easier to stand out from the competition and get your business noticed.
Space Only Cons
An obvious disadvantage of space only is the added expense and time needed to make it work. The space itself costs the same, but you have to factor in the additional cost of flooring, lighting, power, furniture – as well as the cost of a modular or custom-built stand.
The big difference between a shell scheme or space only floor space is that you are obliged to build a structure if you choose space only. This structure has to be at least 2.5 metres tall and cover all of the closed sides of your space. This heavily influences the overall cost of the stand.
Should You Choose A Shell Scheme Or Space Only For Your Exhibition Stand?
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages, you should be able to decide whether you’d like to choose between space only and a shell scheme. Budget, experience and time management all play a role in this decision but you should also consider your exhibition goals.
If you are a first-time exhibitor, shell schemes may appeal to you because the cost includes the additional features (lighting, power etc.) and makes the process easier and less time consuming. Space only does require a larger investment however, it gives you a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd and make your exhibition a success.
It’s a good idea to think about your requirements for future shows. If you are looking for a cost-effective solution but can’t decide between a shell scheme and space only then you could look for modular exhibition stands. Our custom modular stands change from show to show, giving you the flexibility to redesign and reconfigure your exhibit (for shell scheme and space only) without the expense of two different exhibition solutions.