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Hot Trade Show Trends

Hot Trade Show

Blog Post

A look at what’s hot today and what to expect in 2020


Peter Eberly, Director
Product and Vertical Marketing

You’re four months away from your company’s biggest trade show of the year. You know it’s time to get planning, but you just can’t seem to get motivated. You’re worn down from doing the same old stuff every year.

Maybe it’s time to spice up your trade show presence. Although there are many tried-and-true trade show tactics, as the industry has evolved, so too have opportunities to mix things up. Some trends might feel a bit retro, but that’s because designers have revisited and updated classic looks and previous trends.

A prevailing theme is creating a connection with attendees. Companies are working hard to find unique ways to connect to trade show attendees and evoke emotion.

What’s hot? Check out these trends that you can incorporate into your next trade show or event:

  • Darkness and rich, deep blacks differentiated by texture or gloss communicate luxury or premium quality; metallics communicate premium quality and create contrast; hand-painted brushstrokes and watercolors humanize designs.
  • Bold colors, geometric design, simple design
  • Movement or motion in logos and/or design
  • More options for wide-format printing result in more customized signage and décor using interesting materials like wood, acrylic or aluminum
  • Fabric displays are flexible, foldable, easily transportable, durable and easily replaceable
  • Lighting, particularly the use of LED lighting, is very popular. Consider different ways to incorporate programmable LED lights into video or photo walls.
  • Technology can get attendees more interested in your products and solutions; touchscreens, augmented reality and holographic walls attract passersby.
  • Finding new ways to encourage attendees to experience your brand is very popular. Demonstrate the solutions that you can so the experience is more impactful and attendees feel more connected to your brand.
  • A more unusual approach is to enclose your booth so access is limited. People will be intrigued about the secretive factor and feel special about having experienced it. It’s important that you spend time ensuring that the inside of the enclosed booth also is impressive so there’s no let down when people go in.
  • Look up: Is there something you can do in the space above your booth that will be interesting enough to draw in attendees or make your booth an attraction? Or consider photo cut outs or a designed selfie wall where attendees can take photos.
  • Scent is evocative and will draw attendees to your booth. Consider the allure of popcorn machines, coffee bars or even fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.
  • It’s also effective to offer enticements that appeal to an attendees’ want for comfort and/or convenience. These are not new ideas, but think about putting a new spin on the traditional. Could you offer a charging bank for people who are low on power instead of passing out portable chargers?
  • Don’t forget to consider audience preference. Are your attendees comfortable with black and white, more sterile features, or would they be more comfortable in a homier environment — wood grain, plants, comfortable seating?

Regardless of the specific trends you integrate into your next trade show, freshening up your approach with new design and/or technology will encourage clients to engage with your brand.


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