What’s Hot in Exhibit Design for 2018

Feb 22, 2018




Trade shows continue to be a valued marketing strategy; however, businesses that want to make the most of their annual trade shows must keep up with the latest trade show design trends in order to make the biggest impact and contribute to the bottom line.

There are six hot design ideas for exhibitors to keep in mind for 2018 below, so whether you are renting a custom booth for that next trade show, updating your current booth, or creating a custom booth in the New Year, here’s what you need to know:

  1. New booth materials

In 2018, booth design continues to be hot with stand-out materials and sculptural elements – whether it’s industrial elements and textures like steel, metallic and lightweight materials, or embracing rugged, natural elements such as wood, marketers have new ways to show off their branding, products and personalities like never before.   Introducing textures is pervasive in the newest design trends – giving an exhibit design depth and more of a multi-dimensional look. These types of features will continue to be popular as consumers seek unique relationships with brands that are communicating honestly, and authenticity.  So, once you have decided on your theme—to make your unique visual statement to draw in visitors—support it with the newest trade show booth materials to reflect your brand and support your messaging.

  1. Lights, camera, action!

Booth lighting has come into its own, with its ability to strike an awesome balance between functionality and illumination wow-factor. No longer simply functional in nature, lighting in today’s trade show booth design is attention getting, has unique applications, and draws visitors into your booth. You might want to illuminate the registration/demo counter, maybe the shelving that displays products, illuminating a floor to ceiling column with signage or images, or suggest an entrance to the booth via lighted pathways. There are many new ways to highlight logos and company names, including an impactful halo-lit signage. This is an area where exhibit companies—like exhibiTeam—can help show you ways to make your booth stand out from the crowd. Lighting is hot in 2018 and only limited to your imagination.

  1. Interactive booth wins every time

“Alexa, start the demo……” We’ve come a long way with technology and it’s only getting more commonplace in the lives of consumers, so it’s a good opportunity to evaluate options for incorporating technology like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented or virtual reality. AR is becoming more pervasive at trade shows because visitors can interact with a company’s content by simply using their smart phone, and with billions of people using smart phones, the growth we are seeing is a natural extension to 2D content we are used to interacting with. Show goers will see your company as current and “cool” while given a demo that is personalized. Exhibitors also have an upper hand with AI’s ability to process, analyze and present data super-fast on the show floor. This gives you the opportunity to qualify a visitor’s sales potential and customize your conversation even further – an awesome tool that only helps your booth staff garner better results. So, if you are looking at building a booth to increase engagement at your booth, look at the various options with artificial intelligence that can help visitors experience something memorable.

  1. Eco-friendly mentality

The popularity of cotton, cloth, and recyclable bags is rising. Environmental awareness is increasing, and trade show goes appreciate companies who make a demonstrable effort at eco-friendliness. Instead of giving away brochures and plastics, offer re-usable gifts or bags – and a way for visitors to learn more about your company. Maybe time to consider implementing a LED display to share content.

  1. Think dynamic and go vertical

It’s time to think of signage in a new way. Banners, hanging displays, ceiling displays, columns and video areas can all be a great way to take your branding to new heights in 2018. The key is to create signage that is visible from across the show floor, and makes a strong statement even from within the booth. Show off your branding by kicking it up a notch and go vertical with dynamic hanging signage or with a double-decker truss display, which can also provide you with some advantages compared to the competition. There is a lot of dead space in a booth environment, so expand your booth toward the ceiling to create a captivating space for visitors. Speaking of which, ceilings are getting a lot more interesting. Maybe it’s time to use LED ceilings to transform your booth into a futuristic experience.

  1. Make traffic flow a priority

How your staff interacts with visitors, and moves around at your booth is important. We are seeing that multiple work space areas for your staff to do demos and interact with show attendees is vital. Likewise, creating space for those visitors to engage with your brand is equally important – so creating comfortable areas for this to happen in a must. If you have a larger booth space, consider a video area or a truss display could include a separate area for closing deals and having private conversations. Making multiple touch points—within and around the booth—to engage is the key.


If you are considering a new exhibit or want to refresh your current exhibit to incorporate some of these ideas, contact us at exhibiTeam. Once we find out what your unique needs are, we can give you some ideas that would help with your specific target market and keep those trade show visitors streaming in.


Post by Scott Arbogast

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