Exhibition stands – modular system or bespoke build?

By June 13, 2016 June 15th, 2016 Exhibtion Stand Design

A stand to die for – a stand that’s a beacon in the hall – easy for visitors to find and effective for your organisation too. After all, impressing visitors is what it’s all about.

So how does a modular system stack up against the more traditional bespoke stands? Will it save money in the long run and is it more versatile, negating the need for a virtual redesign and rebuild at each expo?

There is a raft of considerations that confront the exhibitor every time they plan to exhibit – it’s about identifying the priorities for your company so you achieve the very best results from your exhibition, every time.


Sensational and head-turning, or costly and problematic?

When it comes to bespoke, transportation, storage and re-use are all possible, but changes in venues and differing floor configurations need to be planned for. A strong design and build team will endeavour to fit your custom stand to any given space, in any given circumstance. This of course is an extra expense, and means investing more time, money and resources into each installation. When you weigh up the opportunity to re-use your bespoke stand more than once, along with an assurance that the installation will be honed to your exact requirements, it’s a cost certainly worth considering.

If impressive branding and graphics are a priority, a bespoke stand holds its worth every time – with seamlessly engineered design it delivers an immersive customer experience. If your branding demands particular needs and requirements, a bespoke stand will always accommodate, and isn’t limited in its capabilities.

Storage is possible but comes at a price, which rises depending on the space your stand requires. If you’ve invested in a high-end custom built stand, you need it to retain its high-end finish at every venue –a full refurbishment each year will ensure your stand maintains its “wow” factor.

Where a bespoke stand might lose out on costs, durability, and stand install time, it certainly makes up for with its design versatility – and when looking at value rather than expenses, you might be surprised at the return you can expect to see.

Bespoke Exhibition Stand DesignBespoke Exhibition Stand Design


With all this talk of “wowing” with a bespoke design, what’s the argument for modular?

The truth is that modular designs are incredibly good at what they do – it’s why they’re so popular. Coming up trumps every time with regards to flexibility, portability, simplicity and affordability, the modular system shouldn’t be underestimated.

On pure logistical factors they score high. Smaller crews are required for installation, there are possibilities for pre and semi-assembly, fewer specialists are involved, and time and costs are undoubtedly reduced. Cheaper to store also, they can be broken down easily and have a much smaller footprint.

Modular Exhibition Stand Design

But how do you get round the fact that where modular wins on costs, it loses out on aesthetics?

If you’re working on a tighter budget, but are in need of a high-end finish, you could consider a hybrid model – it allows the opportunity to heighten impact by using a modular framework with bespoke elements, for example by using a custom built feature desk.

Modular Exhibition Stand Design

Modular Exhibition Stand Design

Even if you go modular it pays to work with a design company that also provide bespoke design, as they offer opportunities to add bespoke elements without the need for outsourcing.

The marketing angle

Step back for a minute and ask yourself why you’re exhibiting in the first place. What is it you are trying to achieve? Do you need to entice every visitor to your stand? Is your target market a niche group of individuals? Do you need to discuss contracts with customers in a private space? Do you need your stand to demonstrate its technological prowess?

Your stand is an important marketing and sales tool, therefore it needs to “do” good as well as “look” good. It’s all about great design teamed with real workability, and that rings true whatever your type of stand.


At the end of the day, the question you need to ask is not “should we choose modular or bespoke?” but “how can we create the best possible stand to gain the results we’re after?”
The process should begin with an in-depth brief on exactly what it is you want to get from each exhibition, and how your stand can achieve this. Only from there will your choice of stand become apparent.

If you’re ready to start a discussion for an upcoming project, or have a vision for an exhibition stand that you’d like to share, just get in touch. Our team will be happy to advise on what type of stand might work best for your business, and we’re always ready to talk through ideas.