Exhibition stands are a vital part of successful event marketing. Be it a trade show, exhibition, networking event, meeting or conference, it’s important to have a display that enables you to bring maximum exposure to your brand.

However, if you’re a first time exhibitor, you may need some help with the terminology and the pros and cons of each type of display, which this guide aims to clear up.


What does Exhibition Stand Rental Actually Mean?

Exhibition stand rental relates to larger custom-built exhibition stands which consist of a bespoke frame, usually made of aluminium, onto which printed graphics are attached.

These stands are designed for space-only exhibits as their frame allows for a more individual design than traditional shell-schemes.

Because of the cost of buying one of these stands outright and the difficulties of storing the large frames, they are usually rented out by a supplier for a particular show.

Why Rent a Stand?

Not sure whether you want to rent or buy your trade show booth at your event? We have outlined the following reasons for choosing each of these options:

  • Buy
  • Ideal for Shell-scheme spaces
  • Budget £50 - £3,000
  • Self-built
  • Portable for easy transport
  • Rental
  • Ideal for space-only stands
  • Budget £3,000 - £30,000
  • Built by Contractors
  • Transported by Suppliers


When considering whether to hire or buy a stand, you need to think carefully about the type of show you wish to attend and the audience that you are trying to impress.

Buying a smaller exhibition stand such as a pop up stand or roller banner is a cost-effective solution for smaller shows but they are not really going to make a big impression on the top executives in your industry at national or international events.

It is worth sitting down 4-5 months before your show and outlining new prospects you would like to target at the event. If spending an extra few thousand pounds is going to win you a highly profitable contract, it could be worth hiring a custom-built stand.

It is also worth looking at pictures and videos of the show in previous years: which stands impressed and can you replicate their design?

Types of Exhibition Stand To Rent

Vision Exhibition System

The Vision exhibition system is a completely bespoke display system that consists of a number of curved or straight aluminium frames that can fit together to make almost any design.

Despite the ‘premium’ quality of this stand, it can be assembled by professional exhibition stand contractors in a fraction of the time it takes to assemble a customised wooden stand, saving the exhibitor money on construction costs.

The stand is made of 100% recyclable aluminium meaning it is an eco-friendly alternative to many stands. As a high-end exhibition solution, the Vision exhibition system is more expensive than gantry stands, however due to the Vision system’s lightning quick assembly and breakdown time it is far more value for money than similar exhibition systems in its range.

Exhibition System Olympus

Gantry Exhibition Stands

Gantry (or truss) is a great option for any exhibitor looking for a large-scale stand at a low price. These stands are made up of a latticed aluminium frame which can be customised to suit different sizes of exhibition space. However, unlike the Vision system, custom curved corners cannot be constructed meaning you are limited to square or rectangular designs.

Gantry also has a high load-bearing capacity meaning it is excellent for hanging lights and illuminating your space. Fabric or foamex board graphics can be added in the corners, or as backwalls or headers making you stand reflect your brand more effectively.

Showtime Gantry Stand

Creating a design brief for your Exhibition Stand

Before you submit your requirements to your exhibition stand supplier, it can be a good idea to brainstorm some design ideas along with the people responsible for the show.

The more concrete plans you have for your design proposal, the easier it will be for the stand designers to get the design right first time.

Before you even think about the design elements, you need to consider what message you want to get across at the show.

Here are some key questions worth considering to help with your brief:

  • What are your goals for the event?
  • What type of person do you want to attract to your stand?
  • How can you create a point of difference to any competitors at the show?
  • Can the stand be transported by suppliers?

Alongside this, you need to set a budget for the entire event including transport, accommodation, food costs and emergency funds.

Once you have decided on this, set a rough budget for your stand. Having a figure in mind won’t mean you are ripped off by stand suppliers, but rather will help them choose the correct display system to fit your budget.

Stand Design 3D

When you have a general idea for the objectives for your stand, it’s time to start planning the design for the stand. You will need your stand dimensions from the event organiser including if your stand has 1, 2 or 3 open sides or is an island stand (4 open sides).

You also need to think about the location of your stand in the venue, is there one side that needs to be more visible than the rest? Many venues also have a maximum height allowed (often around 4 metres), so it is useful to specify this in your brief.

Another good idea to get inspiration is to look at other exhibition stand designs in different stand galleries and incorporate elements you like into your own stand. Do you want an intimate area to qualify prospects or are you looking for a larger more imposing façade to impress the bigwigs at the show?

For the more creative types it can be useful to sketch out how you want your stand to look, you will be amazed at the designs that are possible so don’t worry if your imagination runs wild!

Once you have the basic outline of your stand’s design, you can start to think about additional elements to personalise your stand. Alongside what message you want on your graphics, you need to think about extra features and accessories to further customise your stand:

  • What type of flooring do you require? Types of flooring available are: raised flooring, carpet, laminate, wood-effect and even custom-printed flooring.
  • Do you need a reception desk, food and drink area or cupboard storage?
  • Do you require any form of AV equipment such as: plasma TVs, projection screens, touch screens, DVDs or LCD screens?
  • Do you need any furniture such as stools, chairs, sofas or tables?
  • Do you need somewhere to feature your product/s such as literature holders, product displays or a demo station?
  • Is there anything else you have seen that would make a useful addition to your stand?

Once you have decided on as many of these elements as possible, send over the brief to your exhibition stand supplier. Now it’s up to them to come up with a design using your budget as a guide!

What to Expect from an Exhibition Stand Supplier?

Render for Exhibition StandOnce you have put together your brief, it’s up to your stand designer to put your ideas into a workable design and provide a custom quote.The stand supplier will usually get back to you in 2-4 days with a 3D image of your stand so you can visualise exactly how it will look. It’s then up to you to suggest any amendments to the design or to go ahead with the trade show booth visualised by the supplier.

Payment terms will usually vary, but many suppliers require 50% of the cost of the stand to place the order and 50% on completion of the project.

After that, the logistics of transporting the stand and setting up at the venue will all be organised by your supplier. Once inside, the stand builders will construct the stand 2-3 days before the event, so all you need to do is turn up on the day and focus on getting new leads.

Following the show, the contractors will break down the stand, transporting it back to their premises for storage.

Once you have had this initial relationship with a supplier, you may want to repeat your order with them in the future. Building the same stand throughout the year at different shows is a great way to keep costs low as the same components can be used time and again.

Which Supplier should I choose when Hiring an Exhibition Stand?

If you want a reliable exhibition stand supplier with years of experience in the industry, look no further than Display Wizard – the UK’s no.1 supplier of display and exhibition stands.

  • With professional exhibition stand designers and contractors, we can see your project through from start to finish.
  • High-quality print facilities mean your graphics will look exactly as you had imagined.
  • Competitive pricing means you can have a premium stand without breaking the bank!

To enquire about our range of exhibition stands, please visit our exhibition stand design and build page or contact one of our exhibition stand team today.
Display Wizard