Organising an exhibition can be a daunting task with lots of elements requiring organisation simultaneously.

If you haven’t exhibited before; you may be unsure where to start. Don’t worry, our 7-step guide on how to make an exhibition stand checklist will give you everything you need to consider before, during and after the event.

You will also find other useful links throughout the guide to help you plan your exhibition and an exhibition checklist you can download.

Exhibition Stand Checklist: Table of contents
  1. Set objectives
  2. Confirm a budget
  3. Stand requirements
  4. Show Incentives
  5. Marketing tactics
  6. Team requirements
  7. Post event review
Modular Stand with custom elelements with large video screen | Motive Exhibitions

1. Set objectives

The first thing you need to consider when you make an exhibition stand checklist is why you want to exhibit. What do you want to promote and who do you want to promote it to? Defining the purpose at the outset will enable you to focus your efforts on achieving your objectives, set your brief and measure your decisions against it throughout the process.

How far in advance should you plan for an exhibition? We talk in detail about the planning process here.

Our design and installation team also share their tips on how to make the most of exhibiting at a trade show. Both are useful reading when thinking about exhibiting and objective setting.

2. Confirm a budget

Establishing and documenting a budget against what will be delivered will ensure there are no ‘grey areas’ and all stakeholders are aware of the process.

Hire exhibition stands | motive exhibition
Island space only Custom Exhibition Stand | Harrogate | Motive Exhibitions

3. stand requirements 

If you are a first-time exhibitor, the terminology concerning different types of exhibition stand can be confusing. 

Custom stand

A bespoke built  exhibition stand is customised to your exhibition space and target audience and totally unique to your brand.

Modular stand

Modular stands are a series of portable displays that are connected together to create one exhibition stand and popular to hire.

The most versatile option⏤these can be reconfigured to suit the booked exhibition space and personalised with custom-made product displays, meeting areas and interactive games.

Shell scheme stand

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

HRC-Show-2022 Custom Exhibition Stand Food Motive Exhibitions | Motive Exhibitions
Modular Exhibition Stand Hire | Motive Exhibitions
Space-only Exhibition Stand Brief Writing Motive Exhibitions

4. Show Incentives

You have defined your audience, your product and the purpose of the exhibition. We would recommend documenting your incentives and how you will maximise them when you make your exhibition stand checklist. 

Exhibition Displays | Motive Exhibitions
Sustainable custom build exhibition stands | Motive Exhibitions

5. Marketing tactics

We would recommend getting your marketing planned and a budget allocated well ahead of the exhibition date. There will be a lot of brands wanting to grab the eyeballs of your prospects. A useful tool to document your audiences, objectives and marketing activity is SOSTAC.

6. Team requirements

Consider who the best people would be to represent and promote your business. Skimping on resources on your stand or staffing it with employees who are not in a client-facing function, junior or new, can result in a poor experience for visitors.

Naturally, your sales staff will be the best people to sell your business and resource your stand. Your sales teams will be busy closing business and nurturing their own leads and may not be inclined to man an exhibition stand.

You will need to consider the business impact of taking them away from their day jobs and the revenue you may lose whilst implementing a target/reward for business leads generated at the exhibition itself.

If you are a small team, taking 3-4 members of staff away from the office may not be an option. You may choose to mix and match with hired staff who are experienced in working on exhibition stands. They may not have your knowledge, but they will know how to make your visitors feel valued and welcome.

Accommodation costs

It can be easy to cut costs by removing accommodation from your budget. However, if you want your team to be on top form and ready to meet prospects.

Being late and stressed from sitting in traffic getting to the venue doesn’t start anyone’s day off well. Staff are part of your brand image and should be refreshed and raring to go. If they are manning your exhibition stand for several days, you need to consider that they will be on their feet for 8-10 hours a day to factor in arriving early to ensure the stand is in tip-top condition to tidying up at the end.


Exhibition Stand Planning and Increasing Visitor Engagement | Motive Exhibitions
Modular Exhibition Stand Hire | Motive Exhibitions
WePack exhibition stands hire | Motive Exhibitions

7. Post event review

The promotion and investment doesn’t stop when the exhibition stand is dismantled and put away. You need to nurture and follow-up your leads and track their success. Understanding the value and success of the exhibition against your original objectives will ensure you know if it was a success or not. It will also help build a business case for exhibitions in the future.


An exhibition can be a big investment and there are hundreds of events and exhibitions across the UK each year. It’s essential you research and plan well ahead. Ensure the exhibition you are looking to exhibit at is right for your brand and your target audience will be in attendance, so you can get the best return for your investment.

About Motive Exhibitions

We have designed, installed and project managed exhibition stands in the UK and beyond. We work with entrepreneurs, SMEs and household names to ensure they make the right impression and achieve their goals whilst exhibiting.

Motive Exhibitions | Client Selfie at iGB Affiliates London with Leo Vegas

Get in touch

Whatever your experience, budget, company size or needs, let us take the stress out of exhibition planning for you. Contact us to find out how we can help you and your brand stand out to your potential customers.

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  |

How do I Make an Exhibition Stand Checklist? 1