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Exhibition Trends 2017

An exhibition is just an exhibition, right? Not anymore. Exhibitions are evolving fast, with technology and inventiveness making these stalwarts of the business calendar essential to your business planning. So what’s new for 2017?

More content

If you want to engage with your audience, you’re going to need more than a stack of leaflets. To get the right audience, you need the right content for them.

Industry experts, thought leaders, keynote speakers and beyond. The right content engages more than anything else.

More personal

Obviously, doing a private event for one person is impractical. But with today’s technology making your event more personal for individuals is possible.

You can now tailor so many aspects of an exhibition to each attendee. This lets your attendees focus on the elements of the event that interest them – making for a better experience every time.

More experiential

This inventive and innovative approach continues to grow. With some predicting its full flourishing into an ‘experience economy’ in 2017. Moving this beyond single exhibitions to put experience at the heart of your brand strategy. Helping you fill the huge demand for unique brand experiences.

More disruption

Disruptor (or challenger) brands are changing the way we do business, with brands like Uber and Airbnb are leading the way. Is it time for exhibitions to change?

In reality, it’s already happening, with the rise over the last years of exhibitions incorporating more tech, social and experiential elements. So, what could you do differently?

More secret

It’s a little niche, and not for everyone. But for some brave organisers and brands, the secret exhibition is the next big thing. Following in the wake of experiences like Secret Cinema or growth in speakeasy’s, consumers can’t get enough of this unique and personal approach.

More innovative stands

Your stand doesn’t simply have to be a box. With a bit of imagination and a good stand designer, it can be so much more. Curves can combine attractive looks and spatial illusions to great effect. And more consideration on details like lighting and digital signage can help transform the space.

But these designs can also impact cost and more in very beneficial ways. From incorporating LED lighting to using digital signage as a way to reduce print costs etc.

More live streaming

Live video is nothing new, but interacting with it is. From Periscope to Facebook and Instagram’s new live offerings and beyond the possibilities and opportunities are immense. However, live alone isn’t enough, it needs to fit in with the entire brand story and experience.

More innovative spaces

Exhibitions are becoming more and more reliant on the experience. Which means doing the same thing year on year is no longer enough. The experience you provide needs to evolve, and so does the space you do it in.

However, a new location every time is also a tough ask for some Exhibitions. So you need to find new ways to reuse or repurpose spaces to make them more exciting.

More sustainable

More exhibitions are pushing their sustainability credentials; it’s what attendees want. Your exhibition now has to become more sustainable. To to this, you’re going to need to work with the right suppliers when building your stand. So, remember to ask the question when looking for a provider.

More Gamification and Apps

How interactive is your experience? Gamification lets you make things fun but also allows you to gauge engagement directly. It’s also worth saying this doesn’t have to be online. Gamification can be a live experience too; it’s simply down to how inventive you can be.

Alternately, Apps help further the reach of your brand at the exhibition and beyond. You simply need to create something simple and engaging.

More VR and Augmentation

Taking Gamification and Apps to the next level, these exciting technologies let you transform the exhibition experience. Virtual Reality isn’t just games and offers you the prospect of virtual exhibitions and more. Create anything, be in two places at once, who says you have to be there to be there?

With Augmented Reality, you can overlay your brand onto anything. Your brand becomes the trigger of almost any kind of experience you can imagine. It can take your audience outside of the exhibition experience, making your brand more memorable.

More Data

This rise in technology at Exhibitions also has meant an increase in data. Meaning Exhibitions are becoming smarter by using this data to understand what their audiences want and how to offer it to them. And as the technology gets smarter, capturing and using this data is only becoming simpler.

Stop and think

These are all exciting ideas. But before you get started, stop and think. Consider what’s right for your brand and your stand. Not everything here will work for you. However, choose the right ones, and the impact will be striking.

A great exhibition stand is always in the details, so spend your time getting these right. Exhibition success is not about having every experience, but having the right experience. That’s the reason these experiences were invented.