The Benefits of Using Shell Scheme For Small Business Exhibitors in the UK

When exhibiting at a trade show as a small business, there are two keys to success:

  • Plan well in advance
  • Use your marketing budget to make the most of your exhibition stand

Trade shows are all about Return on Investment, so invest your budget wisely to create leads and show off your business. There are many services available to exhibitors which can support you in creating an exhibition stand that piques visitors’ curiosity and helps you show off your brand.

What is a Shell Scheme?


A shell scheme is an exhibition stand system that creates a level playing field for all exhibitors. The system creates sturdy booths of uniform dimensions, with metal frames and smooth, clean panels to give exhibitors clear lines of separation. Shell scheme packages can be adapted to offer a choice of sizes depending on budget, so exhibitors can design displays that make the best use of the space available.

Cost-Effective Exhibition Services: Shell Schemes and Small Businesses

For exhibitors that run a small business, a shell scheme offers the security of a dedicated space to display your offering. When you sign up for a trade show or exhibition, you will likely be offered a stand using a shell scheme. Because of the way these systems create clear boundaries between one stand and the next, and the wide range of customisation available, these are a hugely popular and inexpensive option for small businesses.

Octanorm Shell Scheme

LION Exhibition Services work with the Octanorm system, which uses silver-coloured metalwork and provides multiple options for colour, finish and dimensions. The flat panel walls are maintained to a high standard and can be customised with graphics before the show or used to hang posters on the day. Each booth clearly shows your exhibitor’s brand name on a raised panel, so you can be easily spotted by visitors above the crowds.

Advantages of Shell Scheme Booths

Ease of setup: The Exhibition contractor will deliver and erect the whole shell scheme for the event before the day begins, so representatives can arrive to a dedicated space that is already built and secured.
Branding opportunities: Businesses can order shell scheme graphics to be printed onto the panels or applied to pop-up banners, so your branding and messages can be seen in style.
Professional appearance: a shell scheme booth creates clean lines and clear edges to help you give a polished presentation

How Small Businesses Can Make the Most of a Shell Scheme Exhibition Stand


Once you’ve booked your stand, the main challenge is to maximise the return on investment and create a compelling marketing experience that can draw people in on the day.

Without forward planning, your booth will be a blank white box, which is a tricky space to draw in potential buyers. Consider how you will:

  • grab attention during the show
  • demonstrate your offering
  • give people enough information to find you online.

1. Use Props to Your Advantage

Spend some time gathering brand-relevant props to set up in your booth. It depends on what you’re displaying, but using props to separate yourselves from the crowd will do wonders for making you memorable.

Take a trip to local charity shops to find items that resonate with your brand personality. You might find a bright pink vintage phone that can sit on a desk, or some cheap picture frames to set up and create a homely, family-business association.

If you’re demonstrating the science behind your product’s unique formula, for example, try finding some lab coats and chemistry equipment to use.

2. Decorate to Create an Atmosphere

Decorations can help create an atmosphere or experience that visitors will remember.

Think of a theme that matches your brand identity. Is it luxurious? Futuristic? Or all-natural homemade chic? What do you want people to associate your brand with, and how can you create that association in the space of your booth?

3. Exhibition Flooring

Along with your shell scheme space, there are services that can provide exhibition flooring in different colours and textures to match your branding. If you’re celebrating the great outdoors, for example, you can even line your booth with astroturf!

Exhibition Furniture Hire


Welcome visitors with a comfortable chair, highlight reading materials with a professional shelving unit and show off your product with
You can enhance your stand with shelving, rails, storage areas and mounted screens. Enquire about exhibition furniture hire online with LION Exhibitions today.

3. Design Eye-catching Graphics

If you’re really looking to make the most of your booth, customising the panels with your marketing imagery can do wonders for standing out from the crowd. Your exhibition provider will have technical details of image size and resolution, so you can send your designs and have a high-quality, full-colour display. Shell scheme graphics can include infill panels, seamless panels, logos and floor graphics.

4. Plan and Practice Your Sales Pitch

Once you’ve got a booth that will catch attention and encourage people to come and talk to you, you want to be certain of what you’ll say when they do.

Ultimately, having all the bells and whistles on your exhibition stand will mean very little if you can’t explain your products and services adequately and get a return on your investment.

  • Consider the key problem your business solves for potential customers.
  • Focus on the benefits to them, and demonstrate how your offering can change things for the better.
  • Anticipate questions visitors might ask, and plan your answers.

Finally, practice, practice, practice. Practice on your colleagues, in the mirror, on the journey to the exhibition, and be ready to show the best of your small business and make connections on the day.

Small Businesses and Exhibition Shell Schemes

An exhibition can be a huge turning point for small businesses, with hundreds of potential connections to be made. By putting the effort in well in advance, you could see a fast return on investment as you network, build brand recognition and generate in-person leads with an eye-catching and functional shell scheme booth.

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