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An introduction to exhibition stand shapes

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An island stand

Shaping up: An introduction to exhibition stand shapes

The world of exhibition stand design is as varied as it is creative. And in many circumstances, what’s in your imagination can be turned into reality.

Technology has a huge part to play in shaping the future look and feel of exhibition stands, so too does the ingenuity and capabilities of exhibition stand designers.

But it’s not just what you put on your stand and how you choose to decorate it that turns people’s heads, the actual shape can make a big impact too.


A corner stand
Exhibition stands are available in all sorts of shapes, including:

Corner stands – that have two to three open sides.

Island stands – these standalone structures are open on all four sides and aren’t attached to anything else.

S-shaped stands – as the name suggests, these are ‘s’ shaped, creating standalone structures that are great for pop-up appearances.

U-shaped stands – where the front side is open. This shape tends to be one of the most commonly-used designs for small and large exhibitions.

Bespoke shapes – if none of the shapes above are what you’re after you can have your exhibition stand designed so that it’s a specific shape.

Exhibition Stand Gallery - BMW Retail Fitting
A bespoke stand shape

How to decide on the right stand shape

There’s no hard and fast rule for deciding which shape your stand is going to be. A lot of the time our customers choose a particular stand shape to secure their preferred place on the exhibition hall floorplan, or because it’s what suits their budget.

The amount of space you have available to you and the estimated footfall (e.g. in the centre or along the edge of a room) can influence your final shape choice too.

In our experience, if you have large products or want to host demonstrations, then corner or island stands are particularly good for this, as there’s more ‘show’ space. If you are hoping to drive a steady stream of footfall, stands that are open on three sides tend to accommodate more people approaching them from multiple angles.

While being towards the back of an exhibition hall isn’t as advantageous as being towards the front and in the centre, your location becomes secondary if your stand shape (not to mention overall branding and design) stands out from across the room.

Choose your shape and location wisely; with these two factors on your side, there’s no reason why your appearance shouldn’t be a success, especially if you get some expert help from a specialist exhibition stand designer.

Need some guidance deciding your exhibition stand shape, or want to discuss your exhibition stand design ideas with us? You can reach us on 0113 2897733 or mail@sharmanshaw.co.uk

An introduction to exhibition stand shapes