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What is a shell scheme and why should you care?

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If you’re dipping your toes into the vibrant realm of trade shows and exhibitions, you might have stumbled upon the term “shell scheme” before. But what exactly is a shell scheme booth, and why should you even care?

In this exploration, we’ll dive into the whimsical world of trade exhibition shell schemes, the meaning of their printed panels, what they can and can’t do, and the myriad exhibition stand options available to you as an exhibitor.

By the end, you should be much more familiar with shell schemes and how they are used at exhibitions to elevate your business.

Demystifying the shell scheme booth 

shell scheme booth is like the blank canvas of the exhibition world. Exhibitors are handed a default metal “box” structure, held together by vertical aluminum poles and connected at the top and bottom with aluminum cross poles, which they use work their creative magic on. The end result is what is known as a shell scheme.

Hold on to your top hat though, because not all shell schemes are cut from the same mould! These schemes come in various shapes and sizes, with heights ranging from 94in to 98in and with 35 inches-wide shell clad panels on the sides.

When you’re gearing up for an exhibition, the organizers will send you the lowdown on the dimensions of your specific shell scheme space, but be sure to ask them about the specific requirements and sizes for shell scheme graphic panels as well. This will help you scale and finalize your artwork sizes.

Shell schemes are often divided into tidy three-foot modules, which is why a shell scheme is often referred to as a “modular system.” The exhibition stand builder typically handles the organization of these modules – their own little Tetris-like kingdom, which they get to arrange as they like until it fits the space perfectly.

Sprucing Up Your Shell Scheme with Graphics

Shell scheme graphics are like the fairy dust that transforms your dull trade show stand into something magical. Shell scheme panel printing lets you create fully customizable graphics that serve as attention-grabbing tools and catch potential clients’ eyes.

These graphics are typically printed on fabric, paper, or vinyl, and they can wrap your trade show display’s walls with ease. Installing them is a breeze using handy shell clad clips; you can either hang them on the walls or dangle them from the ceiling of your shell scheme booth. You can let your creativity run wild, painting them in the colors and designs that resonate with your brand and the event’s theme. Ultimately, shell scheme graphics add personality to your stand and help it stand out to visitors in the bustling trade show jungle.

Shell scheme graphics are versatile, too – you can use them to showcase products, shout about special offers, and give your booth that polished, organized look. This is the best part – they’re budget-friendly, light as a feather, and easy to install, and you can swap them out for fresh ones at every new event. It’s like giving your booth a wardrobe makeover!

Vinyl vs. Fabric: Picking Your Custom Printed Panels

When choosing custom-printed panels for your shell scheme booth, you’ll cross the line between vinyl and fabric graphics. Here’s a breakdown of what each offers to your display:

Vinyl Graphics: Durable, waterproof, versatile, and budget-friendly. It can be printed on vinyl and stuck to Foamex for use on walls, panels, and rigid structures.

Fabric Graphics: Lightweight, stretchable, and reusable. Gives your booth an eye-catching and unique look. Fabric graphics also have the added benefit of giving your stand that seamless look and feel.

Choosing between vinyl and fabric graphics depends on your unique needs, but rest assured, both pack enough punch in the visual department to give your booth that “wow-factor”.

Why You Should Give a Hoot About Shell Schemes?

Why even bother with shell schemes? Well, for starters, knowing what kind of exhibition stand or booth you’ll get when you book your exhibition space is vital.

Knowing your stand’s or booth’s dimensions is also key for planning your grand trade show adventure. Booth space is a premium, so always ask for the details on your shell scheme’s orientation (open sides, corner spots, etc.) and panel sizes beforehand.

Last but not least, being in the know about the different types of shell schemes lets you make informed choices about what suits your needs best. There really are a whole lot of different options available!


Choosing a shell scheme provider in the US:

If you need shell scheme panels, graphics, or even a complete stand built for your business, finding the right provider is crucial.

Here are some essential questions to ask potential providers to ensure they meet your needs:

  • Experience:

    • How long have you been providing shell scheme solutions?

    • Can you provide examples of past projects you’ve worked on, including those similar to mine?

  • Capabilities:

    • Do you offer design services for shell scheme graphics?

    • What materials do you use for graphics (vinyl, fabric, etc.)?

    • Can you build custom elements to upgrade my shell scheme stand?

  • Process:

    • What is your typical turnaround time for graphics and/or stand builds?

    • How do you work with clients during the design and production phases?

  • Pricing:

    • Can you provide a detailed quote for my project?

    • Do you offer any package deals or discounts?

  • Logistics:

    • Do you handle transportation and setup of shell scheme stands at the exhibition?

    • What are your policies for damages or unexpected issues?

Additional tips:

  • Obtain multiple quotes: Compare prices and services from at least 2-3 providers (you can use our pricing calculator for an instant quote).

  • Check references: Ask for references from previous clients to get a better sense of the provider’s work quality and reliability.

  • Consider your needs: Do you need simple graphics or a fully-built shell scheme stand? Identify your priorities to find a provider that matches them.

Get to Know Your Shell Scheme Varieties

In the fascinating world of shell schemes, you’re bound to encounter these brand names:

Octanorm: The granddaddy of shell scheme brands, Octanorm is like the rockstar of the exhibition industry. With years of experience under their belt, they’ve practically written the book on shell scheme stands. If you’re in the market for top-tier quality, Octanorm is your jam.

 beMatrix: These folks are the cool cats in the modular solutions world for exhibition stands, trade shows, and events. CEO Olivier Matthys spilled the beans on their secret sauce: they listen to their customers and give them exactly what they need. That’s how beMatrix conquered Europe and America – by keeping shell scheme booths simple and cost effective.

In a Nutshell

We hope this journey through the world of shell scheme exhibition booths has been an eye-opener. If you have more questions or need a guiding hand, please don’t be shy; we’re just a hop, skip, and jump away.

With offices spread across South Africa, the UK, Europe, and the USA, Booth Exhibits™ are here to sprinkle some magic on your exhibition experience! We have heaps of experience in working with shell scheme booth providers, we would love to work with you.

Patrick Wells
Founder & CEO, Booth Exhibits™
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