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Are you looking for creative exhibition stand design ideas and inspiration? You’ve come to the right place! From outdoor exhibition stands to large island exhibition stands; we’ve showcased some great examples with tips on how to make the most of your exhibition stand.

25+ inspirational exhibition stand ideas

table of contents:

    • Small stand ideas
    • Large exhibition stands
    • Island stand
    • Outdoor exhibitions and festivals
    • Meeting area ideas
    • Taking vehicles onto an exhibition stand
    • Creative exhibition ideas
    • Tips and advice for seasoned and new exhibitors
    • Understanding different types of exhibition stands

ReconfigurabModular Stand Danfoss PlumbExpo
2023 Exhibition Stand Trends
Exhibition Stand Hire For Events and Exhibitions
Small Shell scheme exhibition stand PHEX

Small exhibition stand ideas

Have you ever stood on a small stand and looked out in envy at the huge island stands with their brand picked out in lights, suspended from the ceiling?

Every exhibition stand, regardless of size, has its challenges. Whilst you might feel like packed sardines with four people on your shell scheme stand, the advantage is it’s quick to look busy and can attract more people to your stand. No one wants to feel like they’re missing out! On a big exhibition stand, four people is a drop in the ocean; you need ten-times that many people to feel busy. The pressure is on in a different way. 

Creative ideas

The right creative stand idea can elevate a trade stand from small to memorable: 

  • Keep your message simple and your graphics eye-catching 
  • Make the best use of lighting
  • Use virtual reality to your advantage
  • Maximise social media opportunities
  • Have your team to hand, but not so many it becomes intimidating

Be clear on the purpose of the stand from the outset. This often gets overlooked in the desire to be seen at a particular exhibition at all costs. If your product or service meets the needs of the audience then you’ll attract visitors.

Use your budget wisely, maximising your marketing activities, before, during and after the show. 

InstallerSHOW 2022 | Small Modular Exhibition Stands | Motive Exhibitions
Modular Exhibition Stand with Display Counter | Pharmacy Show 2019 | My Wipe | Motive Exhibitions
Small Shell Scheme Stand with Custom Modular Graphics | PHEX | Logic4Training | Motive Exhibitions | why choose exhibition stand hire?

Large exhibition stands

Whilst big exhibition stands make an instant impact, they can fall prey to a couple of traps that small stands do not. More space means you’re more exposed, visitors coming to the stand may feel like prey if they are the only ones. It’s easy to waste space on a large exhibition. How can this be avoided:

  • Be clear on the purpose of the stand
  • Be sure you’re at the right exhibition with the right product/ service and audience
  • What do you need to include on the stand? Products/ demos/ meeting stands?
  • Utilise the potentially large expanses of space with video walls to add interest and movement.
  • Decide on whether you’ll need meeting space and how private this needs to be
  • Pre-book meetings on the stand so there is a constant flow of visitors
  • Are you booking a large space because you’re taking a vehicle?

There are many ways to attract passing visitors to your large stand to make it feel busy:

  • Maximise social media opportunities
  • Make demo’s visual
  • Goodie bags and giveaways
  • Create a game visitors can’t resist – it doesn’t have to be hi-tech to create a buzz
  • Entice customers with a great competition
  • Don’t create barriers but create zones on your stand
  • Make the best use of your staff
  • Use lighting and video walls to create zones
  • Provide refreshments
Exhibition stand idea | LeoVegas iGB Affiliates at ExCeL London
island custom built exhibition stand by Motive Exhibitions
2023 Exhibition Stand Trends, Exhibition stand trends and stand trends
Custom Exhibition Stand | Data Centre World | Danfoss | Motive Exhibitions
Custom Exhibition Stand | Essential Cuisine | HRC Show 2022 | Motive Exhibitions
Auto Glass Space Only Exhibition Stand Custom Booth Builders

Island exhibition stands

An island exhibition stand is a ‘space only’ location in a hall that is open on all sides. Once your stand is built, especially if you are using raised flooring, you will have an island in the middle of the hall to show off your brand. Not sure what stand space you need? Read this guide!

Interactive Exhibition Stand | Motive Exhibitions
exhibition stand hire
Exhibition Services - DS Smith Custom Build Exhibition Display Stand

Festival and outdoor exhibition stands

Exhibition stands can pop up anywhere! Outdoor events, festivals or roadshows are perfect for being adventurous and creative with your exhibition stand and build. It will need to be robust and weatherproof to survive sloshed VIPs, wet grass and the great British Summer.

A good exhibition stand builder will factor the environmental elements into the creative stand ideas they present to you. They’ll also be thinking about the logistics of a festival, which are always fun. Prosecco anyone?

Exhibition Stand with Bar | Big Foot Festival 2021 | Budweiser Budvar | Motive Exhibitions
farnborough outdoor exhibition stand
beer festival exhibition stand
outdoor exhibition branded tent by Motive Exhibitions
Exhibition Stand Hire For Events and Exhibitions

Meeting area ideas

Creating meeting space and privacy is always a challenge. Factoring this into your exhibition stand design from the start is important. Creating a private, intimate space can lead to more natural relaxed conversation, but remember to consider the following: 

  • How many people will be meeting at one time?
  • Will you need presentation or laptop space?
  • How sensitive will your discussions be?
  • What is the overall stand space? 


Meeting Areas | Exhibition Stand Ideas | Motive Exhibitions
Space Only Modular Exhibition Stand Build With Seating
Exhibition Stand Seating to Attract A Crowd

Taking vehicles and machinery onto an exhibition stands

Machinery exhibition stands bring with them plenty of challenges for both the exhibitor and the exhibition stand builders. The sheer logistics of getting the vehicles in and out of the show with the amazing help and support of the venue, can almost be a job in itself.

Working with experienced exhibition stand builders is essential. They will be able to manage the logistics and event paperwork.

Taking Vehicles Space Only by Motive Exhibitions
video wall at an exhibition | exhibition stand hire
QR Code | Exhibition Stand Ideas | Motive Exhibitions

Creative exhibition stand ideas

video wall

A super, high impact, LED wall will really make you stand out from the crowd. Available from most large exhibitions businesses as a rental unit a specialist team will work with the exhibition construction team and install the screen as a part of the display. 

coffee & juice bars

Coffee machines, water bottles, or a juice bar can offer something a little different for your customers to take a little time out of their day and for free!.

tv displays

TV displays are a useful addition to your stand brief. If you have content that’s engaging, it makes sense to add this as moving images to your exhibition stand space to help draw in visitors.

promotional materials

Brochures, product sheets, giveaways… What promotional materials will you need to produce to match your stand, and how will you display them? We offer exhibitors a range of brochure stands they can hire, but it’s worth factoring these in during the stand design stage, so they don’t look like an afterthought.

qr codes

QR codes can be used to collect visitor data or give them access to brochures, videos, demo’s or even virtual experiences from their phone.

Product demos

Actual or virtual; product demos are a great way to bring a new product to life. 


A huge range of merchandise is available for giveaways. People are a little more conscious of sustainability, but a good set of useful, reusable merchandise products will give your visitors something to keep and keep you front and centre of their thoughts.


A great way of getting interaction on an exhibition stand as crowds draw crowds and a game or competition will help draw people to your space. This then gives you the opportunity to be able to interact with your customers and visitors. They can also give your stand visitors a memorable experience that stays with them after the event.

Custom Made Exhibition Stand | Budvar | Norther Bar and Restaurant | Manchester Central 2022 | Motive Exhibitions
paperless experiences using VR headset
Goodie bags and giveaways | custom built exhibition stands | Motive Exhibitions

tips and advice for seasoned and new exhibitors

crunch the numbers and do your homework

Exhibitions drop in and out of favour. An exhibition that is consistently well marketed to a niche audience is likely to get great footfall. However, this takes a lot of investment. You might find with less marketing activity may result in fewer people but the exhibition costs remain high.

  • Understand what the exhibition organiser’s marketing strategy is
  • Don’t rely on their pitch alone, do your homework and crunch the numbers 
  • Have the visitor numbers been on a steady increase or decline?
  • Has the size of the event increased or decreased?
  • Do you know a previous non-competing exhibitor for their take on the event
  • Is there a better place to have an exhibition stand, that will help deliver better results to the most suitable audience?

Custom Exhibition Stand | Event Production Show | LuxFilms | Motive Exhibitions
Exhibition Stand Hire For Events and Exhibitions

keep your exhibition stand project on track

Organising an exhibition stand project when you run a busy business can be a challenge. Our exhibition checklist is perfect for keeping on track and will help you to diarise important aspects of the project so that there is no last minute rush and nothing gets forgotten.

Visit our blog for more useful articles and free downloadable guides.

the secret to a successful exhibition stand is:

  • Planning
  • Preparation
  • A good brief
  • Clarity about what you want to achieve and sticking with it
  • Time – you need the time to do it properly (the more the better!)
  • An exhibition team who takes time to understand your business, your overall objectives and can bring your ideas to life 
  • An experienced project manager within your chosen exhibition designers, to see you through the process, and take the load off you, to create a stress-free (and fun) experience

what do you need for your next product?

Custom Exhibition Stand for Danfoss at Data Centre World 2023

Custom stands

A custom built stand is tailored to your exhibition space and target audience and is totally unique to your brand. These tend to be seen on an’ island’ space or in large exhibition spaces.

Modular Exhibition Stand BSH Meeting 2023

Modular Stands

Modular stands are a series of portable displays that are connected together to create one exhibition stand. The most versatile option; these can be reconfigured to suit the booked exhibition space.

Shell Scheme Exhibition Stand at Public Sector Catering 2023

Shell Scheme Stands

A shell scheme stand is the most common and the cheapest type of stand assigned to exhibitors when an exhibition space is booked. It is a predetermined uniform space ready to be dressed with graphics.

video wall at an exhibition | exhibition stand hire

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Get in touch

Please get in touch to discuss how we can make your exhibition stand pop while attracting visitors and showcasing your brand. 

01480 597444

David Hennessy

David Hennessy

David Hennessy is our Managing Director and co-founder of Motive Exhibitions. Based in St Neots we help businesses across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire exhibit across the UK and beyond.

Motive Exhibitions, 3 Orion Court, Ambuscade Road, Colmworth Business Park, Eaton Socon, St. Neots, PE19 8YX

01480 597 444  |

25+ Inspirational Exhibition Stand Ideas 1