How to build an exhibition stand

Find out here how to build an exhibition stand.  We will cover how to choose your stand, select your contractor, finalise your designs and more in under three minutes!

Welcome to our bitesize guide to building your exhibition stand! You’ll know everything about stage two of the exhibition organisation process in under three minutes.

Each week we are covering a different stage of trade show planning. Last week we gave you a bitesize guide to booking your show. In this article you’ll learn how to build an exhibition stand by following these steps:

  • Choose which type of exhibition stand you want to build
  • Research contractors & gather free design proposals and quotes
  • Select your contractor
  • Finalise the 3D design and design features on your exhibition stand
  • Graphic design
  • Sign off

Next week we’ll cover everything you need to know about event preparation, including how to select your staff, book exhibition stand dressing and plan competitions to host on your stand. If you can’t wait that long then click here to download your free planning tool and get a head start. Other than that, let’s get into the second stage of exhibition organisation.

Choose which type of stand you want

This is an obvious step, but we’ve met so many customers who don’t know the difference between a linking banner system and a custom modular exhibition stand.  You want your exhibition stand to stand out from your competitors.

You wouldn’t approach a contractor that specialises in shell scheme graphics if you wanted to build a fully-fledged exhibition stand with integrated product showcases and audiovisual elements unless you didn’t know the difference.  These additional elements can really make your exhibition stand out.

Research contractors & gather free design proposals and quotes

This step is pretty straightforward once you’ve chosen which type of stand you want. You’ll see the same names so you just have to do some research.

Have a look at their websites, and see if they have client reviews, case studies or a gallery showing the previous exhibition stands they have built. It’s also worth checking out their Google reviews and Trustpilot rating.

Reach out to a handful of contractors and let them know what type of exhibition stand you want to build and what size and orientation your floor space is. Then just sit back and wait for design proposals.

You won’t be able to get a definitive quote until you’ve finalised the design, but they should provide you with a realistic estimate at the very early stages – all with no obligation.

Select your contractor

By now you:

  • Chosen which type of stand you want to build
  • You’ve gathered your free design proposals
  • You’ve looked at several quotes for designing and building your exhibition stand

All that’s left to do is select the contractor that you want to work with to build your exhibition stand.

Finalise the 3D design and design features on your exhibition stand

Your design proposal is just an idea of what your stand could look like, you’re not bound to that. We have some customers that love their design proposal and want to move on to graphic design straight away. Other customers want to tweak a few things and add additional design features.

Your contractor will work with you to make your 3D design exactly what you want – make sure to include some of these design ideas to help you attract more visitors!

Graphic design

The graphic design step in the exhibition build process will always take the longest. You might choose to take care of this in-house (in which case you’ll need this guide to large format graphics) but in most cases, you’ll work with a graphic designer.

It’s important to remember that they will have designed and built hundreds of exhibition stands before. You might think that you know what you want, but your designer will know the best way to convey your brand message.

Give them high-quality imagery and a thorough design brief and sit back and relax. It can take weeks to get the graphic design right – so make sure you’ve given yourself plenty of time.

Sign off

Now you know how to build an exhibition stand.  Once you’re happy with the 3D design, the design features and the artwork you just need to sign it off. You’ve got nothing left to worry about in terms of your exhibition stand so you’re free to get on with the other planning stages.  Make sure your contractor shows you how to set up an exhibition stand so you can see it is fully built.

And just like that, you’ve completed stage two of exhibition organisation/planning. Next week we will give you a bitesize guide to event preparation – this is where the planning process tends to get a bit messy so it’s a good idea to download your free exhibition planning tool now so that you can wrap your head around all of the steps. If you are in need of a short guide on budgeting, download your free budgeting tool now.

If you are in need of an exhibition organisation or just with building your exhibition stand, speak to one of our experts on 01202 723 500 or email