Hot Topic: Trade Show Trends
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Hot Topic: Trade Show Trends


Hot Topic: Trade Show Trends

So, let me ask you this…

trade show trends

This is an extremely popular question that gets asked a lot in our day and age.  Can you say you know the answer?

Trade Show Trends

To get the most out of a trade show, especially with your ROI, you must be aware of what is popular today.  Therefore, to help with that, here are five trade show trends to look out for this year.



“In order to stay competitive, exhibitors need to stay on top of all the newest developments and latest trends so that attendees will flock to their booths!” – Kate Heinle


trade show trends

1. SnapChat

Feeling connected is what consumers search for.  What better way to satisfy your target audience than by being apart of one of the most popular social media apps?  

Not Facebook or Instagram, but SnapChat.  

Don’t get me wrong Facebook, and Instagram should also be on the list, just make sure you add SnapChat too.  It is dominating the social media scene and is opening up so many opportunities.  

For example, event organizers now have the ability to create their own SnapChat stories and share them to their followers or the public.  This is something to consider adding to your promotions and marketing strategy.  

The cool thing about this feature is that all of the SnapChat users that are apart of the event can share their story for everyone to see.  It is a communal story where everyone attending the event can experience together via videos and photos.  This is the perfect way to promote your event booth as well as offsite events to make everyone jealous.  Plus, cause others who aren’t there to really experience that FOMO feeling (aka, Fear of Missing Out).

So what exactly does this mean for exhibitors in the future?  That SnapChat along with other social media sites has the potential to cause attendees/industry professionals to use their own mobile devices as “go to’s” to find what booths they must see and what ones are giving away the best freebies.  Which will in turn help with booth traffic.

Another possibility that is a lot less costly is creating your own geo filter for the day or weekend of the event that only people at the event can use.  It’s exclusive.  Consumers love them and it makes you stand out.  Utilizing social media trends is a must in order to remain a notable competitor.

Which brings us to the next trend…


  1. Event Apps

As you may already know, there’s an app for everything.  2016 may be the year when event apps top the charts at trade shows.  “Foot-traffic technology is one such feature that may be regularly utilized in event apps to tell exhibitors and attendees where the most trade show action is taking place and navigate them on how to get there,” as said by Kate Heinle.

Implementing an event app allows attendees to interact with your company.  While allowing them to discover the exact location of your booth, who has stopped by, the easiest way to get their, and the estimated wait time.  

An app also presents the perfect opportunity to include more advertisements.  This will provide other companies the opportunity to use your app for exposure.  Especially if a big chunk of their target market are intended to use the app at an event.

Speaking of connecting through technology, it brings us to our next trend, technology as a whole.


  1. Technology

Convenience and connectivity.  

These are two things companies are constantly trying to improve upon.  Consumers are always looking for quicker and easier ways to receive information.  

For example, the rising popularity with smart watches.  Smart Watches are predicted to become more fashionable in the trade show industry since wireless communication is taking off.   More and more companies are starting to utilize this technology that offers even more options for sharing files, contacts, and info that is quick and efficient.

Wearable touch screens may be a little bit more of a stretch goal but it is definitely something to consider.  Incorporating similar devices in your  booth design may be more reasonable and can still allow your customers to feel more connected all with the touch of a smart device.

Which gets us to the next trend, personalizing things.

Personalization_BlogImage4. Personalization

Personalization is key.  With all of these routes to take with technology, it is important to personalize your approach.  So many people attend trade shows and leave with out getting much out of it.  

A big reason why is because trade show sellers spend too much time bombarding them with the wrong information.  They may be looking for a certain thing, but it takes too long for the seller to give it to them.  By that time the chance for a sale may already be lost.  With that said, how can this process be enhanced?  

Again, it all happens with technology.  

Think about the touch screens at your local Sheetz Store.  You get to pick and choose what kind of category of food you want.  Then you move to what you want on that item.  Then you pick your sides and drink, etc. etc.  

Most consumers have their own unique route for this.  They get the information they need and move on to the next step.  It’s the same concept.  

Personalized and interactive technology allows users to experience a more tailored path that they get to choose from and immediately receive the information they are looking for.  Thus offering a more convenient path that not only makes their individual journey more personal but it makes them feel more connected too.

To tie all of this together…let’s conclude with the importance of booth displays.


  1. Create more Mixed Displays

Great use of trade show displays matter so much.  Those of you who have been to a trade show have probably seen it all.  From the most simplest designs to the most outrageous.  

Though either can work in a comapny’s favor, it’s important to not overdo it.  Not only that but combining simple and complex is becoming more attractive.  Unique and bold concepts will help draw people in while a simple yet interesting layout will help them stay longer.

By combining all of these trends, your trade show booth is sure to be the talk of the event.  

2016 is the year of the consumer.  Put yourself in their shoes.  

What will wow you?  What will make you stay?  What are the reasons why you even show up at a booth?  

Make sure to take these questions into consideration along with the new trade show trends when designing the perfect trade show experience.  By keeping your consumer in mind, along with making sure the information they need is easily provided, your company’s chances of seeing an increase in sales and leads will only increase.
Best of luck!

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