4 Trade Show Display Trends for 2018

December 14th, 2017

The end of the year is a good time for exhibitors to consider the possibilities the next year holds for trade show exhibiting. This past year allowed exhibitors to continue pursuing the integration of technology with their booths (Including the exciting potential of virtual reality), embrace “green” or sustainable trade show display designs, incorporate ever-increasing educational elements, and offer a high degree of personalization to visitors. The coming year promises to build upon these trends while adding new elements to visitor experience and to both the appearance and the function of the trade show display. What follows is a look at some of the emerging trends for the coming year.

Trade show displays will become even more important to many businesses.

With the advent of the digital age came concerns that live events involving exhibit halls and trade show displays would become obsolete. With the recession came concerns that tight budgets would force businesses to forgo trade show exhibits, at least temporarily. Repeatedly, however, these concerns have been overturned by the persistent value that exhibitors and attendees alike find in these face-to-face events. For 2018, all signs point toward the continued popularity and essential role of trade show exhibits. A recent study found that 63 percent of event marketers plan to increase the amount they invest in exhibiting events. The same study showed that 91 percent of successful businesses value and invest in exhibiting events. In addition, the majority of event marketers found exhibiting to be more effective than digital marketing strategies such as email marketing. For the next year at least (and probably continuing into the future), investments in trade show exhibits and related events will increase, especially among businesses looking to improve their profitability and success.

The embrace of interactive technology will increasingly include digital signage.

The presence of technology is nothing new when it comes to trade show displays. From RFID trackers to kiosks and tablets, technology in various forms has been making its presence known within exhibits for years. Its ability to create engagement and interaction with visitors, while simultaneously educating them, makes its future presence at trade show displays a foregone conclusion. However, the exact shape this technology takes varies by the year, as advancements are made, and as the preferences of visitors change. For 2018, there are two major trends that will continue to dominate: Virtual reality (which made its debut this year) and digital signage. Digital signage (The use of digital means such as LCD displays to communicate information) presents a unique opportunity for businesses to engage with and appeal to visitors. Highly noticeable, very customizable, extremely versatile, and capable of allowing interaction (via means such as touchscreens) digital signage is becoming the way to go when it comes to trade show displays.

Customized trade show displays are becoming more popular.

It makes sense that if exhibitors are willing to invest more into their events, then they will be eager to spend money on customizing their trade show displays. And that is what is beginning to happen. While custom exhibits have always been a great option for businesses looking for a totally unique display that is built to their needs from the ground up, customization is becoming ever more sought after across the board (Even by budget-conscious companies). The key for these companies is to create a trade show display that is entirely unique. They do not simply want a trade show display that looks nice, but one that looks different from all the other exhibits on the trade show floor. They do not want cookie cutter displays (Even when using modular trade show displays and rental exhibits). Instead, they want their branding and their personality to be evident in the exhibit. To this end, it will be important in 2018 to find ways to create a customized trade show display that will garner interest in the exhibit hall. Either through a custom exhibit, or through a customizable rental, your exhibit company should be able to provide you with a display that is as unique as it is functional, as customized as it is budget-conscious.

Bold and textured details should show up in next year’s trade show displays.

In keeping with the increasing desire for customization and uniqueness in trade show displays, 2018 promises to usher in bold, textured details in exhibits. For example, one trend that appears to be gaining traction is the habit of using bold or bright colors in the fabrics that are chosen for the trade show displays. Another trend is to add textural details. For example, using brick textures for a backdrop, stones as fillers in a display, variegated walls, and unique signage can all create a certain mood and experience for trade show display visitors that will make the exhibit more appealing. Similarly, the use of bright, bold fabrics as backdrops or walls for the trade show display can create an eye-catching look that communicates whatever message your brand needs to send to booth visitors. The bright colors and bold images immediately draw visitors’ eyes to your trade show display rather than to your more drab competitors. The result is a more unique and compelling look using elements that visitors find fascinating and that draw them to the exhibit, where you can educate them further on your business and brand and how your differences make you the right choice for their needs. In 2018, there are a number of trends that will affect trade show displays. From the fact that trade shows will continue to be an essential and valued part of businesses’ marketing endeavors, to the embrace of digital signage and virtual reality, to an emphasis on customization to the presence of bold colors and textures, next year’s trade show displays promise to be an exciting and innovative bunch. If you need help making sure that your exhibits can keep up, consider hiring an exhibit company like Imagecraft to tailor your display to your needs and to the ever changing trends and expectations of the exhibiting industry.