An exhibition stand is a fundamental part of your below-the-line (BTL) marketing activities such as exhibitions and events. The exhibition stand acts as a point-of-contact between brand and the target group while also single handedly representing the brand at the show.
If you are an experienced exhibitor than you already know that there are various styles and types of exhibitions stands such as custom stands, modular stands and custom-modular stands. Though most exhibitors might be familiar with custom stands, modular stands are an unchartered territory for many. In this article we shed light on the concept of modular exhibition stands and why they are the next big thing in the exhibition industry.
I. What is modular/ modularity?
Modularity is the technology that combines independent components to form a cohesive big picture!
For example, atoms come together to form a molecule or various parts of Legos, when connected, form a creative structure.
In simple terms modularity is the concept of collating various small elements to create tailor-made solutions. From modular homes to furniture and now to modular exhibition systems, modularity is a game-changing concept that is highly efficient and cost effective, especially in the long run.
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II. What are modular exhibition stands?
A modular exhibition stand is made up of pre-engineered components that form a self sufficient system. Modular exhibition systems can morph into various exhibition stand designs. Modular and interchangeable components of the booth can either be downsized or upscaled according to preference. Modular stands are flexible, eco friendly exhibition systems that are easy-to-use and do not necessarily require technical assistance for assembly and dismantling.
Highly versatile in nature, the hardware of modular stands can be reconfigured to form various designs. Modular exhibition stands are a lucrative combination of functionality and modernistic approach since they are easy to transport. With changeable graphics, modular stands can transmute into a new booth altogether. They are the preferred choice of exhibition stand systems for seasoned exhibitors since they can be reused several times, yielding high return on investment in the long run.
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III. How are modular stands different from custom exhibition stands and custom-modular exhibition stands?
Modular Exhibition Stands (Prototype)
A modular exhibition stand is an adaptable, multipurpose variant of exhibition stands. With minimal maintenance, a modular stand can be reused for various events and shows since it is made with sturdy material. The installation and dismantling process of modular stand is a quick and hassle-free process. Most modular stands are self-build systems that are easy to assemble and dismantle and do not necessarily require technical assistance. Modular stands retain their core structure which ensures swift assembly of the stand.
Custom Exhibition Stand (Prototype)
Custom build exhibition stands can be built as per the exhibitor’s fancy. Hence inclusion of curves or non-linear elements is possible in a custom booth. From the stand design to basic accessories every detail can be customized when you opt for a custom designed exhibit. Custom stands generally involve woodwork, painting and polishing which is why some exhibitors refrain from opting for these exhibits to avoid the hassle of cleaning process, post stand construction. Custom stands require technical support for the assembly and dismantling process of the booth. Unlike modular stands, custom exhibition stands cannot be reused since they are not made with sustainable materials.
Custom-Modular Exhibition Stand (Prototype)
Custom-modular exhibition stand, as the name suggests, is a hybrid between custom stands and modular stands. It combines the best of both the worlds and offers flexibility to the exhibitor to customize certain aspects of the booth. Custom-modular stands amp up the exclusivity factor of any booth, giving it a distinctive look.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of both modular and custom exhibition stands for easy assessment.
IV. Advantages of modular exhibition stands
Modular exhibition systems offer a wide range of benefits, which is why many exhibitors prefer modular systems over custom stands. Listed below are the advantages of switching to modular exhibition stands.
Versatility – Modular exhibits are fairly versatile and can be reconfigured to various layouts and designs. The same hardware/ structure of a particular modular stand can be used to reconstruct and create a brand new design for next show.
Reusability – Modular systems are made of sustainable materials. They are especially designed and created to be reused in numerous ways for a number of shows. With nominal maintenance any given modular exhibition standcan be recycled for several shows over a span of time.
Scalability – Along with flexibility in design, a modular stand is also scalable in nature. Depending on the requirement the size of a modular booth can either be increased or decreased. With technical assistance any small size modular booth can be upscaled to a medium sized booth and vice versa.
Mobility – Modular exhibition systems come in travel friendly and reusable packaging. They are quite handy and easy to travel with. They can be easily moved from one place to another and you do not need to employ a special logistics team to handle transportation of the modular system.
Longevity – Modular exhibition stands are made of imperishable materials and can be sustained for a long duration of time. When stored well, a modular exhibition system can be reused for atleast 5-6 times a year or for 7-8 consecutive years if the usage is minimal.
Ease of use – The USP of Modular build systems is that it is extremely convenient to assemble and dismantle. Press-fit connectors and uncomplicated knobs make the installation process a cakewalk. A modular system can easily be assembled without prior technical background and support, with the help of an assembly manual or video, provided by the exhibition stand company itself. Thanks to the fact that you cannot alter the structure entirely, the basic pre assemblies are easy to install thus saving cost and time of labor.
Easy to store – Most modular stands are packed in compressed and sturdy cases. These cases are especially created so that the stand can also be stored in them for an indefinite period of time. Modular systems do not occupy a large amount of space and hence you needn’t worry much about storing your modular systems.
Cost efficient – A modular stand is made of reusable parts that can be reconfigured according to a booth layout. This makes modular stand cost efficient, when you consider multiple set ups. The one time investment gets divided into the no. of set ups. This reduces the cost per show every time it is built up.
For example – You exhibit 5 times a year and invest in a modular booth worth € 50,000. € 50,000 is your one-time investment. When you use the same booth 5 times, the cost of the booth per show comes down to € 10,000.€ 50,000 (cost of the booth) ÷ € 5 (no. of shows) = € 10,000 (cost per booth)
Perfect for both raw space and shell scheme– A modular system works best in both open and constricted spaces making it appropriate for shell schemes as well as for raw exhibit spaces. The versatility and scalability of modular stands makes it the optimal option for any space and show.
High return on investment –The various perks of modular stands such as versatility, reusability, scalability and longevity makes modular stands a one-time purchase. You needn’t invest in a completely new stand for every show, one modular system can be reconfigured various times ensuring you make most of your investment. Few additional graphics can be incremental investment.
V. Drawbacks of modular exhibition stands
Every coin has two sides and just like the long list of perks modular stands have to offer, there is a downside as well. Listed below are some drawbacks of modular exhibitionstands.
Requires storage facility -Renting out a modular stand, totally eliminates the hassle of storage. However, if you are purchasing a modular stand then you need to have dedicated space for storing your modular exhibition system. This may not be a feasible option for many companies especially start-ups to devote space for exhibition stands in their premises due to space crunch and monetary constraints. Some stand companies offer storage service, so that you can store your stand in their facility between shows
Customization is restricted – Modular stands limit customization of the exhibition stand design to a certain degree. Sure, you can personalize certain elements of your booth but absolute customization with modular stands is not practically possible. The core structure of the booth cannot be altered and you need to work around your original booth design only.
VI. Role of modular exhibition stands in projecting your business as socially responsible
Modular exhibition systems majorly assist in boosting the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) factor of your company. Basically, CSR is a concept adopted by companies to project their institution as socially responsible. Here’s how modular stands contribute in the CRS approach.
Modular systems promote the use of sustainable materials. Unlike its counterpart - custom stands, which are mostly made of wood; modular stands are an eco friendly option. They can be used for several shows which not only yield high return on investment but also help to highlight the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) factor of the company.
Usage of Fabric
Modular exhibition stands promote the use of fabric for graphics as opposed to vinyl. Vinyl not only has a shorter life span but it also emits harmful chemicals such as VOC – Volatile Organic Compounds which strikes out vinyl from the eco-friendly material category.
Most modular stand construction companies use eco-friendly LED lights at the booths. LED lights, comparatively, consume less energy and are cost efficient in the long run.
Eliminates the usage of paint
Modular exhibition stands completely rule out the usage of paint. Most paints contain harmful components and emit paint fumes. With modular exhibition stands there is no scope of painting the booth.
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VII. Modular stands meets statutory exhibiting guidelines in Europe and USA
Exhibition laws and guidelines in Europe & USA are stringent when compared to other countries. Failing to adhere to these rules & regulations can certainly put your show in jeopardy. Modular exhibition stands tick off the check list of statutory guidelines in most of the countries around the world.
Exhibition stand construction safety
As per the statutory guidelines in Europe & USA all exhibition stand displays, marketing hoardings, or other equipment used in an exhibition stand must be securely erected ensuring public safety in respect of human life and health. Modular exhibition stands are engineered out of sturdy and robust materials and hence they are perfect for exhibiting in Europe, USA as well as many other countries across the globe.
Exhibition stands in Europe & USA ought to be fire-retardant since modular stands are made of non-flammable materials therefore they perfectly fit the bill. Fabric is used by most modular exhibition systems for graphics substrate/media, and therefore it is fire-retardant. Check with your stand builder if their modular system complies with the local fire safety norms of the fairground.
Reusable & Eco-friendly
Usually, custom exhibition stands involves plenty of carpentry & nailing and material is dismantled and scrapped after every exhibition, whereas the installation process of modular stand is a clutter-free process. On the contrary, the materials used in modular stands are biodegradable. Also, they are environment friendly and can be reused again and again. Hence, modular stands follow the waste disposal norms in Europe & USA.
VIII. Modular exhibition stands for every budget
If you are looking for an exhibition stand that can be adapted to various experiential spaces then modular exhibition system is the perfect choice for you. Whether you are a small-scale enterprise or a well-established one, modular exhibition stands are ideal for every business and every budget.
Since they are scalable, modular systems can be adapted according to your changing business needs and marketing budget. Offering flexibility in design, a modular exhibition stand can be reconfigured into various styles. Hence, all an exhibitor needs to do is discover what size suits their needs and budgets.
When it comes to deciding whether to buy or rent a modular stand, then you need to consider your exhibit frequency. If you have multiple events lined up in a year then buying a modular stand can give you excellent returns on investments, since the same stand can be reused various times.
For instance, if you are participating in 4 events in a year out of which 3 of those are of equal importance but you really want to make a splash at the 4th exhibition, then, in that case, you can buy a stand fit for the first 3 exhibitions and then just hire additional elements and accessories required to fit the larger stand space. Buying a modular stand is a one-time investment that makes it cost effective in the long run.
IX. Popular myths about modular exhibition stands
Modular exhibition systems have been around for quite a few years yet few exhibitors refrain from opting modular systems due to lack of adequate knowledge. Here, we have debunked some of the popular myths about modular exhibition stand.
Number 1 : Design is constricted
The most common misconception about modular stands is that the scope to personalize the booth is completely eliminated. Modular stands are quite flexible; with the help of an experienced designer you can incorporate a variety of designs in your modular system. A few reputed exhibition stand companies offer extensive design catalogs of modular stands that too with a wide range in variety. For complete design flexibility you can also opt for custom –modular exhibition stands.
Number 2 : Upgradation is not possible with modular systems
Number 2 : Upgradation is not possible with modular systems
Number 3 : Storage of modular stands is a hassle
Modular exhibition stands come in durable, compact and reusable packaging hence they do not occupy a lot of space. Companies offering modular stand provide trolley cases that are easy to stroll and stack in racks.
Number 4 : Modular stands are not sturdy
Modular stands are built with light weight materials to ensure they are travel-friendly and easy to assemble, however a modular stand is quite durable and can easily sustain the weight of exhibition accessories. For businesses that have heavy products on display, custom made shelving can be integrated on the modular stand to make the assembly robust and sturdy.
Number 5 : Modular stands are not budget friendly
Since modular stands are sustainable and reusable they give a much bigger return on investment as compared to custom exhibition stands. With modular stands the only expense is the initial payment; thereon, you needn’t pay any additional amount whatsoever for your next shows. Also you can use the stand for N number of times.
Number 6 : Installation and dismantling of modular stands is a complicated process
Most modular stands requires minimal technical assistance for the I & D process. Self-build modular stands can be assembled and dismantled without any technical aid. Although there is no rule but typically stands less than 20 m2 can be assembled by unskilled marketing staff while those with higher walls and longer spans need professional stand building team to set up.
A modular exhibition stand is an investment, with a pertinently designed modular stand; you can take your marketing game to new heights.
Whether you are buying one or renting it out, your brand deserves the perfect stand that embraces your brand’s personality. This is why you need to entrust the responsibility of your stand to a proficient exhibition stand builder.
Click here for some tips to select a good exhibition stand builder for your next show.Did you know?
In Korea, usage of paint for exhibition stands is prohibited by many organizers
In Brazil, onsite painting is prohibited
The exhibition industry generated approximately 600,000 tons of garbage every year!