Top Trade Show Trends to Stay Ahead of As You Plan For 2019

You’re planning out the rest of 2019 and thinking it’s high time to re-strategize and revamp your trade show marketing approach. The start of a new year is the perfect time to do this, and to look ahead at the events on your calendar, so you can start figuring out your plan and if there are any new trade show trends you want to try.

trade show trends
trade show trends

And whether your goal is to breathe new life into your existing trade show displays, or start from scratch and create some new ones, there are some key principles to keep in mind. Here’s what Exhibit Experts recommends.

Keep Your Design Customer-Focused.

First and foremost, your booth visitors want to feel comfortable and welcomed at your booth. If they’re intrigued by your signage, but can’t find a person to say hello to or a place to stand or sit, they’ll quickly move on.

One trend in trade show booth designs you might consider is incorporating furniture into your space for convenient seating for visitors as you chat with them. However, keep in mind that placing furniture at the front of your booth can act as a barrier and scare off potential leads by not making them feel welcomed. So, plan the furniture or seating you use in your booth carefully and remember the goal is to make visitors feel invited and comfortable.

Rethink Your Booth “Incentives.”

Another trend in recent years has been to incorporate a device charging station into a booth, thinking that attendees will be drawn in by their need of a convenient place to charge their devices. While it’s a good idea in theory, results haven’t been strong. Consumers by and large aren’t taking the bait, and even if they do need to charge their iPhone, they don’t want to be pitched while doing so.

If you’re considering adding this type of feature to your booth, you can absolutely do so – but then give attendees space as they use it. Also consider other incentivizes that have historically been shown to interest visitors without putting pressure on them, like dining gift certificates, samples of your products or entering them into drawings for useful, valuable gifts.

Utilize Multi-Sensory Experiences.

Of course, the visual appeal of your booth has to be on point, with the display design, signage, collateral, and staff all reinforcing your brand image in an aesthetically pleasing way. But humans don’t just see, we also hear, touch, taste, and smell. Tapping into multiple senses in your trade show displays is a new trend that’s worth exploring.

You don’t have to cover them all; just plan to incorporate one or two new senses into your next exhibit. Think about trying something like a touch-panel interface, a soothing sound machine, or an appealing scent in a diffuser (think essential oils or something subtle, yet attractive). This way, you’ll offer booth visitors more ways to experience your brand beyond sight alone.

Use VR.

And then there are emerging technologies, the favorite of all the savviest trade show exhibitors. One of the ones that seem to be proving its worth in spades is virtual reality (VR), and we encourage doing some research and considering incorporating it into your next booth.

In fact, studies show that 53 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that uses VR than one that doesn’t. That’s pretty powerful, and there are myriad ways to use VR so don’t immediately count yourself out if you think your product or service doesn’t lend itself to this type of virtual experience. There are a lot of ways to up the ante with your trade show displays this year, as long as you keep in mind your ultimate goals and what your buyers really want. Connect the dots and you’ll have a winning trade show strategy worthy of the latest trade show trends and the new year. As always, contact us if you’d like to learn more about how we can help.

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