The trade show industry is impacted by the constant forward march of technology, new design ideas, and new approaches to how trade show exhibitors will perform at a show. Exhibitors need to be aware of the trends that will significantly impact them in the coming year.
If you're planning to attend or exhibit at a trade show in the near future, consider the following trends and how your organization can implement them.
1. Interactivity between trade show exhibitors and attendees
One of the biggest game-changers for trade show exhibitors is the growth of interactivity at shows. Attendees want more than just a video playing on a loop at a trade show booth – they want an experience.
Interactivity takes many forms, whether that's engaging people in gamification experiences, multisensory experiences, or virtual or augmented reality. Trade show exhibitors using interactivity in their trade show booths are more apt to draw and keep a crowd with these techniques. Because they provided an experience, attendees are more apt to remember these trade show exhibitors over the hundreds or thousands of other exhibitors.
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2. Adaptation to varying spaces
Trade show exhibitors are attending more shows in their industry now and need to be able to adapt to various space sizes. Not every show is worth investing in a large trade show booth, so they need to be able to scale down to something smaller.
For this reason, trade show exhibitors are increasingly recognizing the benefits of trade show booth rental. This allows them to scale up or down depending on the show. Companies that own their own trade show exhibit are stuck with the same size of trade show booth at every show and are therefore limited in their ability to exhibit at more shows. Trade show exhibitors who rent are nimbler and can therefore adapt to a variety of space sizes and shows.
3. Themed environments
Themed environments at a trade show are very popular for a reason. These are the trade show exhibitors that people remember. A themed environment can create connections in people's minds about the brand. For example, a barn could create the connection in people's mind that the produce is farm fresh.
No matter the industry, there's a brand association that can be made with a themed environment. When trade show exhibitors sit down with their trade show display designers, they can guide exhibitors into a theme that will represent the brand accurately and create favorable connections in attendees' minds.
As the trade show industry continues to evolve, there will be more disrupters that change the way companies exhibit. The trends we're seeing now will continue to evolve as time goes on, and there will be new elements to consider at your next trade show.