A couple of Christmases ago G's parents and siblings gave me a bundle of cupcake/baking stuff as a gift. Included in the bundle is my cupcake stand, that holds 18 cakes. Obviously, you don't always need to make 18 cupcakes - 1 batch makes 12 or 13 cakes, and that is plenty (for most occasions).
However, when there is an opportunity that calls for more than 12 cakes, I love to pull out my cupcake stand. Last Easter we celebrated with Geoff's extended family - so with all his family being there - plus a few extras - I make plenty of cakes and was able to show off my stand!
There are so many different brands, styles, heights and colours of stands available, and you should choose one that you like. I like this simple white one - some of the more ornate ones are beautiful, they look like wrought iron, but I think the simple one is good for pretty much any situation.