If there is one constant in the trade show industry, it is this: there is always some new development or trend emerging. As the new year is well underway, I’m excited for another great year of innovation in the trade show industry. Here are five (5) trends that I think are here to stay. As you work your events and walk show floors, keep an eye out for these.
Trend One: It’s All about Technology
It will come as no surprise that incorporating technology into trade show spaces will continue to be a major trend in 2017, as it has in years past. It’s the topic on everyone’s mind. We are a highly connected society and the tradeshow floor is no exception; visitors are expecting information to be delivered in new, innovative ways.
Technology doesn’t need to be complicated, however: it can be as simple as a touch screen or the incorporation of small devices like Bluetooth® beacons that integrate with client’s products. Bringing these items into a space helps draw people in, while also gathering data and delivering a brand’s message in a compelling way.
At Exhibit Concepts, we have an Engagement Strategist on staff who actively works to assist our account executives in incorporating technology into trade show environments for our clients.
Trend Two: Keep a Human Touch
While technology is can be paramount in attracting visitors to your booth, it should never be at the expense of quality human interaction. An authentic conversation is still your most valuable asset. It should add another layer to what a company brings to the table. There is no better way to uncover and understand customers’ needs than by properly staffing trade show spaces with the right people who are excellent listeners. And make sure that they are properly trained on your brand story.
Look for booths that draw visitors in with unique elements that engage the senses while also delivering a meaningful message delivered in an honest and compelling way
Trend Three: Make it Personal
Every client wants to stand out from their competitors. They need solutions that are crafted to their specific needs in order to step up their presence and be noticed. A custom exhibit is the best way to deliver a truly personal, unique experience for visitors. A unique problem requires a unique solution that captures the essence of a brand while also delivering key messages to the audience.
2017 will be the year to focus on innovative booth designs that support and enhance a brand’s promise and stands out on the show floor- and from the crowd.
Trend Four: Mind the Budget
While custom exhibits work for many clients, others face tight budgetary challenges. The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice your presence at shows for the sake of the budget. You can leverage rental solutions and unique engagement approaches in a truly memorable way. It’s true: you can stand out without breaking the bank. Rental solutions allow brands to repurpose and reuse materials and properties. When done right, with fresh graphics and other elements, rental solutions appear custom and add great value to your company’s marketing efforts.
Keep an eye out for trade show spaces that deliver meaningful messages without big investment- and still produce compelling results.
Trend Five: Find New Ways to Engage
2017 will be all about engagement. The focus will be on finding creative ways to get people out of the aisles and into the booth with fresh, new ideas. Whether it’s incorporating technology or acquiring data in a unique way, booths should draw visitors in and get them talking and keep them wanting more. Delivering a compelling user experience is all the rage- and for good reason.
The team at Exhibit Concepts recently brought engagement into a trade show space with a social aggregator for Kellogg's. This engagement successfully increased social media traffic and pulled visitors into their space with a creative solution. The concept was simple but effective for the brand: booth visitors took a photo with Tony the Tiger, and then entered their information into a social aggregator to share with friends on social platforms. Engagement doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to be compelling.
I’m excited to see how these trends and others progress throughout the coming year; what trends are you seeing as you walk the show floor?