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Exhibit Trends from the Show Floor at CES 2018

Written by Emily Doenges | Jan 10, 2018

It feels like quite an understatement to say that CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) is a buzzing hub of innovation and incredible leaps in technological advancements. CES, the largest trade show in the world and the gold standard for technology companies, is a household name for those in the ever-growing tech industry as well as average consumers watching media coverage of the event. 

We headed to the 2018 CES show to support a few of our clients including, Wireless Power Consortium and Omron, and to take in trends on the show floor. Las Vegas is sensory overload even without 4,000 exhibitors. We were wowed at every turn and want to share the big trends and takeaways from our time in Las Vegas: 

Product Integration is King

Everywhere you turn, products are completely integrated into trade show spaces on the CES show floor. From a mountain biking mannequin with a camera on its helmet at GoPro to allowing visitors to use smartphones to test the power of the phone’s camera at HUAWEI, finding new, innovative and unexpected ways to incorporate products into the space was prevalent.

Wide Open Spaces vs. Closed In Cubes

When it came to booth architecture, there were definitely two schools of thought: closing in the space in order to intrigue and make attendees curious about what was inside, or creating an open and airy space that feels welcoming while not being shy about what’s inside. Those closed in spaces had several entrances and exits to give you a hint of what was there, but did not give it all away from the aisles; they compelled you to take a step further to see the space for yourself.

Cityscapes & Real Life

A large number of CES exhibitors  dedicated their spaces to real-life integration. Many of the big tech companies like Sony and Samsung divided up their space into small rooms or pods. These areas were dedicated to rooms in the typical home or even applications to show how their products live and operate with the people who reside there. Not only did this make you feel at home, but it demonstrated how technology and devices compliment your life, rather than serve as an impediment or negative accent to your home’s design.

The Air of Mystery

While many booths were purposefully closed in as to make visitors curious about the interior of the space, still others gave them a sneak peek. Many spaces incorporated translucent fabric panels, giving a sense for the inside of the space but without a clear view. Much like the closed in architecture choice, this mystery certainly has the power to intrigue and draw you inside. But not giving it all away up front certainly makes you wonder about what’s behind that fabric panel.

Monitors: The Sky is the Limit

When it came to monitors, there was no limit to how they were integrated into exhibit booths andwhat they are capable of doing – this is a technology show after all!. There were incredible displays at every turn including transparent monitors, frameless monitors with edge to edge picture, curved, and even double sided: it was all there and it was quite the sight to behold. From a display perspective QLED, OLED, 4K, and even Laser stole the show with crisp, defined video that enhanced the message and definitely caught your eye.

The Power of Light

Much like architectural details that felt opposite of one another, so did the use of light (or its absence) in many spaces throughout the show. Spotlights shone on products, while others were left in the dark only to light up later. Projection mapping brought small cities to life and even created a virtual car from a fabric shell. The most dramatic use of light came from Samsung’s all black booth, spotted with downlights and compelling monitors throughout.

CES is about technology and with thousands of exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of attendees, brands needed to pull out all the stops to stand out and create stopping power. Everywhere you turn on the CES show floor, there is something else that catches your eye, draws you in and makes an impression.