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It’s no secret that sustainability is an important issue for us at Motive Exhibitions and we make every effort to recycle, reconfigure and reuse as much equipment and materials as possible throughout the work we do for any type of stand we make for purchase. However, hiring your modular exhibition stand is also a brilliant way to reduce your carbon footprint and provides a cost-effective alternative to a custom-built stand.

Read our insider’s guide to modular exhibition stand hire and find out if it’s right for you.

Insider’s guide: modular exhibition stand hire 1

Why hire a modular exhibition stand?


Apart from sustainability, there are many reasons why a modular reusable exhibition stand might be a great alternative to purchasing a stand for your purposes and might include:


  • You don’t plan to exhibit regularly – this is a one-off product launch with no follow-up events yet in the diary
  • You are new to exhibiting and wish to hire a stand to test the waters before committing to purchasing
  • Equally, you might be looking to freshen up your stand and the way you use it – perhaps to include virtual meeting rooms or VR technology? If you hire an exhibition stand, you can effectively ‘road test’ your layout or see how a flexible modular system will work for you and your brand before committing to your own
  • You plan to exhibit in more than one location at a time – hiring a modular stand for a one-off occasion will save time and money
  • You have successive events in a short space of time and want to eliminate the mad rush to reconfigure graphics and stand decoration between events
  • You are planning to exhibit in the UK but are based abroad and wish to keep transportation costs at a minimum
  • You are based in the UK and planning to exhibit abroad – a reusable modular stand can be broken down easily to transport
  • You might also want to collaborate with internal brands or external brand partnerships and in this situation hiring a modular exhibition stand system would share the cost
  • You have no space to store an exhibition stand in between events – hiring a stand eliminated storage costs

What is a modular exhibition stand system?


If you are a first-time exhibitor, the terminology concerning different types of exhibition stand can be confusing. When you hire an exhibition stand for one of the reasons above then it will be:

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modular exhibition stand

which is made up of interchangeable sections comprising a bespoke frame (usually made of aluminium) onto which printed graphics can be attached. These stands are designed for space-only exhibits as their frame allows for a more individual design.

shell scheme graphics

shell scheme system

where exhibitors are allocated a standard framework on which to display their graphics. These stands can have 1, 2 or 3 sides. 

Exhibition Builders in Birmingham - NEC fitting Modular

What are the benefits of modular exhibition stand hire?

We have touched on this above but really the main benefits are that you don’t have to commit to purchasing an expensive stand if you are not sure how often you might exhibit. It eliminates the need to store a stand in between events and transport costs. You will still benefit from the same design and installation service from an exhibition company as if you were buying a stand, but without the commitment.

However, if you are planning to exhibit on a regular basis, it may be more cost effective to buy a stand. When considering whether to hire or buy a stand, you need to think carefully about the type of event you wish to attend, the location, your audience and how often you might exhibit in the future and plan accordingly. 

Considerations when hiring a modular 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:

  • 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?

When you have a general idea for the objectives for your stand, it’s time to start planning the design for the stand.

Modular Trade Show Stand

Prepare a design brief 


With modular exhibition stand hire, you will still need to put together a design brief,  just as you would if you were buying a stand. The more information you can provide the exhibition company, the better. The key things to include are as follows: 

  • Basic information – Dates, exhibition names and location, space booked, dimensions and orientations, floor plan, deadlines 
  • Responsibilities – How much project management assistance do you need? Are you a veteran and just need the stand hire and graphics or do you want to step back and let the exhibition company manage everything so that you can focus on the exhibition itself?
  • Tell the story – The more information you can give the designers about your company, products, customers, aims and objectives and why you are exhibiting, the better 
  • Key messages – Keep these distinct and clear 
  • What do you need on the exhibition stand? – Do you need to hire additional items such as a fridge for chilled food or a coffee machine? Do you need a meeting area, furniture or wifi? Think about interactive elements and making good use of the space you have been allocated – again, you can hire all these extras along with the stand 
  • How do you want it to look? – The beauty of hiring a modular reusable stand is that it can look however you want it to – the interlocking sections can be reformatted to fit any space and your graphics and lighting can be utterly bespoke to promote your brand and attract your desired audience and to ensure it looks the part, you need to keep the marketing and stand design consistent, so they work seamlessly to achieve your objectives 
  • Lighting – Consider using lighting effectively to highlight your products and to create a tone for your exhibition 
  • Share mood boards – Additional design inspiration like mood boards can really help the designers realise your vision, Pinterest is a great way to do this 
  • Budget – You will save money when hiring a modular exhibition stand but you need to have a clear budget to include all the design costs, additional functions and features you wish to have on the stand, from the outset complete with a contingency, in case of any last-minute additional costs 

 Additional Considerations 


It is important to think about the location of your stand in the exhibition venue – it is in the main thoroughfare? Is there one side that needs to be more visible than the rest? Many venues also have maximum height restrictions so it’s important to check these to ensure you are utilising your allocated space as best you can.  

Once you have the basic outline the design you want for your hired modular exhibition stand, you need to consider the additional elements you may wish to hire to make your stand appealing to entice visitors in and to connect them with your brand. Alongside the main graphics, you may wish to consider:  

  • What type of flooring do you require? raised flooring, carpet, laminate, wood-effect can be hired  
  • 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, or touch  screens? See our interactive guide for inspiration. 
  • 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?

Get in contact

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are considering modular exhibition stand hire. We can provide all the help and advice you might need. As with buying a stand, should you choose to hire, we will give you the same service from initial design to transport, installation and breakdown after the event. As with our other stands, we will offer you the opportunity to see your stand mocked up before the big event.


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  |

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