Like most industries, trade shows have witnessed incredible changes in recent years. Exhibitors and attendees alike want the most bang for their buck. Gone are the days of people wandering the floor, grabbing a few free pens and business cards to prove they were there, catching the keynote speaker’s presentation, and heading to nearest buffet or golf course.

Today, exhibitors want newer, better pop up displays to grab their audience’s attention. Their goal is creating that Wow! experience, that buzz of excitement that makes their booth the booth. The following eight trade show display trends offer exhibitors surefire ways to create that buzz.



In the trade show business, we’ve seen many display trends come and go. Minimalist, maximalist, and all points in between have had their moment in the spotlight. In 2017, presenters are looking for combined designs, an amalgamation of styles to help draw attendees into their display booth. One thing you can expect to find integrated with these designs is the latest and greatest technological innovations.


Virtual Reality

People have been talking about virtual reality (VR) for decades, but it’s only recently that the technology has become accessible, affordable, and user friendly. VR allows you to create a unique experience of your brand, particularly if you combine it with technologies like 360-degree panoramic photos of your products, staff, and facility. This combination creates a truly immersive experience for your audience, one they aren’t likely to forget soon.


Digital Signage

You have literally seconds to capture the interest and attention of attendees walking past your exhibit. Digital signage lets you to take full advantage of those precious seconds. Modular displays allow LCD monitors and video walls to create bright, eye-catching images that quickly grab the attention of attendees who typically spend most of their day immersed in technology. The ideal digital display employs attractive graphics, images, and video, sparking attendees’ interest before they even reach your display and drawing them toward you like a beacon.


Themed Booths

A theme makes for an easy way to create a seamless design of the various aspects of your trade show experience. It’s a simple yet interesting way to stand out from your competition while truly highlighting your brand. We did this ourselves at ExhibitorLIVE 2017, where we incorporated our “Let’s Roll Together” marketing campaign to create a custom exhibit with a skateboard/urban theme. We included redesigned business cards shaped skateboards, furniture made from traffic signs, and put longboards on display and even gave some away to curious attendees. Despite our less-than-ideal location, we got some great leads, had a blast connecting with future clients and vendors, and even won a Best in Show Award.


Interactive Walls

If you really want to get your audience involved with your booth, give them something to play with.
Interactive walls allow you to provide the narrative while your audience experiences the story in their own unique way. Give them a variety of content to interact with, such as video they can play, images they can manipulate, links they can click, and text they can read. This type of interaction allows you to entertain your audience while you inform them. What’s more, the interactive aspect makes it more likely they’ll remember that information later.


Fabric Displays

Fabric displays have grown enormously in popularity in recent years thanks to a variety of benefits.

  • They’re more economical to create and weigh less, so they’re also cheaper to ship
  • Setup and breakdown are faster and easier
  • They’re more compact and therefore easier to store
  • Fabric allows you to go bigger, brighter, and bolder with your graphics
  • Changing graphics is easy and less expensive when you’re looking to update the look or incorporate a new theme
  • They’re recyclable and more earth-friendly
  • Aluminum framing systems offer tremendous variety
  • They let you create stunning visuals with LED backlights


LED Lighting

If you want brighter lighting with less heat, and therefore increased safety, LEDs are the way to go. They also last for years – up to 22, to be exact – and so are both economical and save you from last minute fixes due to burned out bulbs. Finally, LEDs are more energy efficient, making them the better “green” choice for trade show displays.


Incorporating a Digital Lounge

At a trade show, nothing draws a crowd like a comfy place to sit and something yummy to drink or eat (or both!). If you add recharging stations equipped with AC power outlets and ports for both Android and Apple phones, you create a space where both your audience and their electronic devices get to recharge their batteries.

Of course, just because your audience is resting their feet doesn’t mean that you can’t also connect with them. Talk about your company or product while you enjoy a snack together. Place informational displays, such as interactive kiosks, near seating. Include social media hashtag displays in your lounge room décor, such as recharge @ #Acmebooth and ask visitors to include it in their posts.

These eight trends represent the latest and greatest ideas in trade show displays. Pick your favorite or combine a few to create your next exhibit.

Not sure where to begin? Contact the design team to Highway 85 Creative at (623) 582-9760 and we’ll help you get started today.