2019 Trade Show Exhibit Trends

January 14th, 2019

With the New Year here, it is the perfect time for exhibitors to think about how to keep their trade show booth designs cutting edge for the upcoming year. While the basics of good design, and some of the trends from 2018 (like the use of texture and interactive technology) are still very much in style, there are also new trends entering the industry that require consideration from exhibitors. Here are four trade show exhibit trends for 2019 that businesses would be wise to incorporate.

 Dickies trade show exhibit design


Trend 1: Experience-Focused Trade Show Exhibits

Trade show exhibit trends have been moving in the direction of a more fully immersive experience for awhile. Take the trend of textured booths from last year, for example. Adding texture adds a physical and visual experience that is more engaging than are standard, smooth materials, and finishes.

The upcoming trade show year, however, promises an even more dramatic turn toward experiential exhibits. For example, exhibitors will begin incorporating elements that use all of the visitors’ senses: textured materials, yes, but also 3D presentations using technology like projectors, the incorporation of aromas, lights, and images to create a fully integrated experience.

In addition, this immersive, integrated experience will be focused not just on impressing visitors but also on creating a pleasant experience that will make them feel comfortable and at home within the display. This means that the experience has to work seamlessly together, offer intuitive opportunities for engagement, and feel at one with the brand and messaging visitors encounter.


Trend 2: Incorporation of Virtual Reality in Trade Show Exhibits

Technology has also been developing apace over the past year. While interactive elements have been an important trend all year, interactivity may reach new heights in 2019 with the use of virtual and augmented reality.

Virtual or augmented reality (also known as VR or AR), involves technology, such as devices that visitors can wear, that provides a 360-degree experience that mimics real life. This type of technology has strong advantages: Engagement and memorability being among the most obvious, thanks to its ability to use multiple senses at once.

Statistics back up the perceived success of this technology: 53 percent of people are more likely to make a purchase after using VR or AR.  That statistic, combined with the increasing affordability and accessibility of the technology, make VR and AR a smart addition to trade show exhibits in the coming year.


Trend 3: Increased Emphasis on Comfort in Trade Show Exhibits

Trade shows are inevitably uncomfortable at times. From hours spent walking the exhibit hall to endless noise, conversations, and stimulation, these events can leave attendees exhausted and their mobile devices depleted.

Lounge areas and comfortable seating have been important for the last year. However, it is likely that comfort will become an even more important element of trade show exhibits in 2019 as the focus continues to shift to providing attendees with an experience that is welcoming and centered on them.

To that end, comfortable lounge areas with charging stations should become more common in the coming year. These areas should include comfortable couches and seating, space to charge batteries, and even refreshments for tired attendees. The more comfortable your trade show exhibit is, the more likely it is that visitors will come, stay, and, in the process, learn more about your business.


Trend 4: Shadow and Light in the Trade Show Exhibit

Lighting has always been important in trade show exhibits. The ability to set a mood, highlight certain aspects of the display, and mesh with branding and messaging make lighting a critical element of any booth. However, in 2019, it looks as if the use of shadows and lighting in particular will become important in trade show displays.

For example, exhibitors may begin to utilize the science behind creating shadows and using them to set a certain tone or send a certain message. In some displays, shadows have already been used to create a modern feel and a stunning look that is guaranteed to draw attention to the booth using them. For other examples, projections have been used to create stunning images and wall-sized graphics to wow attendees.

In the coming year, the use of lighting and shadows to create impressive effects in trade show exhibits is likely to continue apace. As understanding of the usefulness of light and shadow, and the development of technology to create the impressions exhibitors want expands, so will the use of these techniques to draw attendees in and communicate the branding values. This will help set the mood for an environment where sales can flourish.

With 2019 here, exciting trends in the design of trade show exhibits are as well. Often building on the trends that have been predominant in 2018, these new directions and developments promise to deliver ever more exciting and rewarding experiences for trade show attendees.

For example, creating experience-focused trade show exhibits allows exhibitors to utilize all of their attendees’ senses in order to create an experience that is engaging and memorable. The use of virtual or augmented reality plays into this trend as well, as multi-sense technology engages attendees and improves the chances that they will engage with the business running the exhibit. At the same time, an increased emphasis on comfort can translate into beautiful lounge areas where attendees can rest, recharge, and learn more about your business, while the use of shadow and light to develop stunning designs could revolutionize the look and feel of trade show displays.


If you need help integrating new trends or classic best practices into your booth, do not hesitate to reach out to Imagecraft. Our design services can help you to develop a look and a message that will make a strong positive impression with attendees and give you an updated and modern look that will work for your business throughout the coming year.