Is there a better alternative to shell scheme? 

Shell scheme is ubiquitous in the events and exhibitions sector. 

Since being introduced in the 1960s, it has grown to become synonymous with large event spaces and show floors where exhibitors are crammed like battery chickens into rows of functional but indistinguishable box-like cells. In our view, the shell scheme has had its day. 

There are far better ways of bringing your trade show, expo or exhibition to life, especially in a post-pandemic era where health & safety and social distancing have come to the fore. Shell scheme spaces are inflexible and offer little room for creativity and imagination, which means exhibitors need to think outside the box – in a literal sense – to make a lasting impression on visitors to their stands.

That’s because everything comes as standard – from uniform carpet tiles or flooring to power supply, lighting, walls, fascia signage and even furniture. 

It’s just a bit dull. Brands are confined to rigid requirements about how big their visuals can be and where they can be displayed. It leaves little to the imagination.

But what’s the alternative? If you’re an event or exhibition owner, what can you offer to your exhibitors to help them showcase their brands and businesses in the best light and inspire their audiences?

The pros and cons of shell scheme

Shell schemes have been a mainstay of events and exhibitions for decades.

While they’re an easy sell to exhibitors with limited budgets or expertise in maximising their presence at an event, the industry has moved on, and businesses need a more flexible approach.

On the plus side, shell scheme spaces are functional. As an exhibitor, you know exactly what you’re getting – a basic, square space to deck out with your banners, displays or creatives.

It’s pretty much a blank canvas, but you’re limited by size and often by the dimensions of the areas available to brand up or decorate. So, you can simply rock up on the day with all your event materials, pull up a couple of banners, put your leaflets on display and away you go.

While this may be convenient, it’s a false economy. The drawback for exhibitors is they’re restricted to what their space allows, and every space in the room looks the same, which makes standing out from the crowd and engaging people much more difficult.

The knock-on effect for event organisers is that delegates leave the event dissatisfied with the experience – nobody wants to walk through rows and rows of similar looking stands. They’re looking to be engaged, inspired and entertained.

It means exhibitors are unhappy because they’ve been unable to get really creative, pull out all the stops and deliver a memorable experience that’s not only visually appealing but moves people to take action.

And with the shift to interactive and digital technology at events, it can be difficult for exhibitors to incorporate all the tech they’d like on their stand. Their shell scheme space won’t allow it – because the footprint is too small or restrictive, or the logistics don’t work. 

So, if you’re a venue owner or event organiser, it’s time to rethink your approach. While shell scheme is the safe option, and one you can fall back on time and again, is there a better way of doing things? We believe so.

How to break out of the shell

The exhibitions landscape has changed a lot over the past two years. With physical events not possible because of coronavirus lockdowns, many event organisers had to pivot quickly and build a virtual solution into their events offering. 

As businesses adapt to a new way of working, we believe virtual events and exhibition spaces will still play a part, as they offer companies a way to reach a wider audience. However, although visitor and exhibitor numbers were on the decline before coronavirus hit, now restrictions are starting to loosen and venues are opening their doors again, physical events are back on the agenda.

Brands big and small are flooding back to exhibitions, trade shows and expos as a way to win new business and make up some of the ground they lost during the lockdowns. And with more digital innovation and tech on offer than ever before, exhibitors are looking at events in a different light.

It’s no longer about simply turning up with a few banners and some marketing materials and hoping for the best.

A major focus for marketers and event professionals is return on investment. They have money to spend on exhibition stands that make an impact, but if it doesn’t create value for the business or result in a healthy financial return, they won’t do it.

If you’re an exhibitor, it’s time to demand more from event organisers, taking a stand against shell scheme and asking them to consider more creative and sustainable options other than simply playing it safe, like they always have done.    

The challenge for event organisers, meanwhile, is how to help your exhibitors attract and engage new audiences and deliver a memorable experience?

Against this backdrop, the shell scheme just doesn’t cut it.

But, what’s the alternative? How can you create an event that offers more value to all involved?

Thinking out of the box

If you’re an events venue or exhibition organiser that’s looking to break free from the confines of the traditional shell scheme approach, Exhibit Cube could provide the perfect solution.

It’s a more efficient and sustainable booth construction method that gives organisers greater control over the layout, look and feel of their events.

It changes the way an exhibition floor is managed, so you can create a safe, engaging and free-flowing space that facilitates more effective networking, interaction and engagement.

By collaborating with our design team, we can understand your floor space and your logistics to design an exhibition area that looks amazing and meets your objectives.

Stands are built with reusable display system components and fully recyclable tension fabric graphics, so they’re sustainable, reusable and create less waste.

Best of all, we can take care of everything, from design and construction to installation and removal. We’ll also liaise with your exhibitors to incorporate their artwork and branding within the overall design scheme, to keep everything consistent and ensure it makes the right visual impact.

It takes away the hassle and cost of setting up a shell scheme, leaving you to focus on working with your exhibitors to help them create a memorable event experience that delivers value and a return on their investment.

So, if you’re looking to level up your events, and provide a more attractive proposition to your exhibitors, then stepping away from shell scheme is the way to go.

In fact, nothing can justify a dull, drab and boring shell scheme in this day and age, when you can create a bespoke exhibition area that delights both your exhibitors and your delegates.

Everyone wins. To find out more, give us a call today.

Need to geneate more leads from your exhibition stand?

Get 10 ESSENTIAL THINGS you should be doing to turn visitors in to leads.

Need to generate more leads from your exhibition stand?

Get 10 ESSENTIAL THINGS you should be doing to turn visitors in to leads.