Plateau: A very basic stand, the cake plateau is something one could use at a simple housewarming party, or perhaps a regular family dinner. Usually made of silver or porcelain, it somewhat resembles a pedestal cake stand, but without the long pillar supporting it underneath. Sometimes though, it has three or four short "legs" that give it a small height advantage compared to the other dishes on the table.
Meanwhile, a pillared stand could usually display around three small cakes at the same time, each on different levels. It consists of smaller versions of the pedestal cake stand, but grouped together in such a way that a stair_like effect is achieved. Having your child's first birthday party? Use a pillared cake stand to separate your baby's smash cake from the cake your guests are having.