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Display Panels and Posters for Exhibition Octanorm Shell Schemes – Useful Information

The most common way that space in exhibition halls is broken-up into booths is with Shell Schemes.

Essentially a shell scheme is a series of upright metal posts that are braced apart with horizontal beams at the top and bottom of the post. By combining multiple posts held together with beams, exhibition stand builders are able to divide the space in the exhibition hall into a number of booths which are referred to as Shell Schemes.

The size and shape of a typical Shell Scheme varies from as small as a 2M x 1M stand through to larger exhibition stands covering hundreds of square Metres. The basic construction method used to create the stand however almost always remain the same.

Now we understand exactly what a Shell Scheme is and why an exhibition contractor uses such a system, we can look in slightly more detail about the different type of Shell Schemes that are employed by stand builders and most importantly how your display graphics can be produced in order to adorn the stand itself…..

1. Different types of Shell Schemes

As described above, the construction of most Shell Schemes is broadly similar however there are several types of frameworks commonly used by exhibition contractors and they differ slightly. Probably the most commonly used type of Shell Scheme in the UK is the Octanorm system. The Octanorm Shell Scheme has an Octagonal cross sectional shaped post with a slot in each face. The slots are used by the beams which connect the posts together (as shown in the Illustration below).

Octanorm Shell Scheme Dimensions

Octanorm Shell Scheme Dimensions


The Shell Scheme example shown here is an Octanorm system which as stated is probably the most commonly used system in the UK. There are however a range of other systems that feature different shaped posts and different width beams.


I’ve Booked A Shell Scheme, Now What Do I Do?

When you book an exhibition shell scheme, the event organiser will normally provide you with details explaining about the type of Shell Scheme you have. Sometimes a floor plan diagram to highlight the position of your booth within the hall is supplied along with a diagram rather like the one shown here.

Once furnished with information about your stand, you can go about planning the best way of filling your booth with eye-catching display material designed to attract customers to your stand and convey a professional image!

Most good display companies with experience of exhibition graphics will be able to offer advice and help about how to plan graphics for your stand. They will also be able to provide some options in terms of materials to be used and how to attach the panels to the Shell Scheme itself.


Options of Shell Scheme Graphics

probably the most common way that exhibitors decorate their Shell Scheme is by sticking posters to the wall. Most exhibition stand contractors will allow such posters or boards to be attached using blue tack, velcro, sticky pads etc although they will request that you clean-off any residue from the panels once the event has finished and you pack-up. Hanging material with drawing pins, nails etc is not normally permitted since the underlying panels would be damaged and they are re-used the next time the contractor builds the Shell Scheme.

Sticking posters or panels to the Shell Scheme is undoubtedly the cheapest way of filling the space but sometimes the finished result looks poor especially if the posters do not fit correctly. If you are on a budget but still want your stand to look as professional as possible, why not have some panels produced made to the closest size so they fit over the Shell Scheme panel as accurately as possible without unsightly gaps!

Panels can be made from rollable material or semi rigid or rigid boards like Foamex PVC. The benefit with a board is that the panel will sit perfectly flat for the most attractive appearance. The drawback is that the panels are bulky to transport and difficult to pack which means that many exhibitors prefer a rollable material instead.


Why Not Consider Cladding Your Wall?

Posters and panels can be stuck in-between the Shell Scheme posts but then the panels are divided up by the upright posts of the stand. If you want your stand to feature a displays without breaks in-between the panels then you could consider a solution that allows the panels to fit over the top of the posts to create a printed backwall without the gaps. There are two such solutions that we recommend:-

Shell Clad – Is an adapter clip that attaches to the upright post and creates a velcro stand-off onto which the graphic panels attach. There are different types of adapter clip designed to work with various Shell Schemes and a good exhibition company can advise which clips will fit your Shell Scheme and also what size the panels should be. Hanging graphic panels with Shell Clad adapters is easy and you just stick each panel to the adapter, working your way along the stand wall!

Curvorama – Is a new type of system. The panels are supplied with special clips that allow them to hook over the beam at the top of the shell scheme. Clips are also supplied at the bottom of the panels that allow them to tension from top to bottom, thus keeping the panel nice and flat. Each panel is produced with overlap and when several panels are overlapped from side to side, the appearance is of a continual wall display.


Free Standing Displays to Fill Shell Schemes

The great thing about fastening display material to the walls of a Shell Scheme is that almost no valuable floor space is eaten-up. So, if you have a smaller exhibition space then we would always advise using wall mounted graphics rather than free-standing displays. Sometimes however, the customer might require a system that is not reliant on the Shell Scheme so that in the future the display stands can be used if a Shell Scheme is not provided.

There are countless numbers of free standing displays available and within this blog post, it is not possible to talk about them all in detail. Briefly however such options include roller banners which work by housing a rollable print stored inside a spring loaded base mechanism. To assemble the stand, the print is simply pulled-up and hooked over a support pole. Pop Up Stands are also popular and they are a collapsible framework onto which rollable graphic panels can be attached magnetically. There are also lots of hybrid systems such as banners that can be linked together in order to create larger wall displays of almost any shape.


Get Advice From Experts

Maybe you are exhibiting for the first time or maybe you have exhibited for years but are looking for some inspiration because your display material is old and tired. There are a large number of exhibition and display companies all over the UK who can help you with your new display and to make sure you find a solution that meets your needs.

Printdesigns Limited have been making exhibition displays since 1999 and as such have the expertise to help. If you are planning for a stand then why not give us a call or email us. Our advice and quotes are completely obligation free whilst we offer a guarantee to beat any like for like quote.

We hope this information is useful and look forward to hearing from you soon :-)