Shell schemes are dull – but there is an alternative

A dull Shell scheme stand

Hi, my name is Kelly, I work in the events sector and I find shell schemes boring and depressing. There I said it – but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this. Having finally lifted that weight off my shoulders, I’ll tell you a bit about shell scheme, where it comes from, why I don’t like it and what the alternative is for conference organisers.

What is shell cladding?

Shell cladding, known as shell scheme, is a modular system that slots together to create individual boxes of space in an exhibition hall – usually coming in multiples of one metre spaces.

The walls are made of grey or white panels  (some Velcro friendly) that exhibitors can cover with displays. At the front of every stand is a fascia that is customised with the exhibition stand number and the name of the company.

People who hire shell systems are exhibitors or sponsors who usually only require a small space at the exhibition or conference, possibly due to budget restrictions and wanting to test ROI from an event with a small presence.

When was shell scheme invented?

Shell cladding was invented in 1968 by a man called Hans Staeger who exhibited with his revolutionary concept at Euroshop in Dusseldorf taking the exhibition world by storm.

To this day they are still  being used at countless exhibitions and have changed very little. You may be thinking, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”, but in this case, it’s in desperate need to be evolved to keep up with the everchanging world.

As a point of reference for how much the world has changed since then, 1968 was the year the computer mouse was invented. Since then, inventions have included the pocket calculator, the launch of Apple, Windows, email, Google, touchscreen technology and social media. The world has changed a lot since 1968, but shell systems have not.

What’s wrong with shell clad systems?

Shell clad systems have big limitations for both exhibitors and organisers. There’s no telling what exhibitors will bring, which could negatively affect the image an organiser is trying to portray for their conference or exhibition. Some exhibitors just turn up with one banner and two chairs. From an exhibitor perspective, we know that making sure that visitors have a good experience is really important. Shell scheme does not provide a great platform for open networking as they are very small and enclosed. Also, exhibitors have to lug their own banners and pop-ups to the show and assemble them– although they are portable, not all are lightweight if you have to manoeuvre around the underground with large displays, leaving you feeling tired before the exhibition has even begun.

Shell schemes are outdated and are not helping either exhibitors or event organisers. It’s time for a change and time for the world to know about it.

The alternative to shell scheme

There is one alternative to shell scheme for event and conference organisers that we’ve invented for events with 5-50 exhibiting sponsors. Of course I’m going to say it’s great, but we really feel that it make a positive difference and is the natural evolution away from shell scheme. It’s called Conference Expo.

For organisers, it gives a uniform and professional look as well as providing a more open and welcoming atmosphere than the cubical system that’s adopted in shell systems. Having an open system is really important with design focusing around this important element. Just as ‘open plan living’ is being adopted in the home, and fresh clean designs are being adopted for most modern websites, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t also be adopted for conferences. This format also further encourages networking, which for your exhibitors should mean they’ll gain greater exposure.

For exhibitors, as well as making it easier to network to gain more leads and sales, it also provides a hassle-free approach. The Conference Expo team handles all of the graphics creation, assembly and dismantle, meaning that they can simply turn up, exhibit, then leave afterwards with a pocket full of leads. Additional accessories can also be added such as screens, stools and PCs depending on the exhibitor needs.

If you’re an event organiser and want to join the revolution of using Conference Expo, then see more benefits here, or talk to us today on 0800 028 7580.