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2020 Trade Show Trends

Posted on 23, March, 2020

Last Modified on 23, March, 2020

2020 is an exciting year to be a marketer. We’re entering a new roaring twenties with endless opportunity to stand out and make meaningful connections. The trade show stage is shaping up to be an exciting way to make an impact on the sales process with new trends and old ones that have evolved to keep up with the ever-changing needs of attendees. Here we explore the top trade show trends that will set you up for a successful start to this new decade.

Multi-sensory Experiences

A major trade show trend in 2020 starts by realizing that, as an exhibitor, you are not limited to merely engaging visitors by sight. This is the year to tap into all five senses to create a truly memorable experience for your brand. Avoid static presentations and instead try interactive displays, games, or unique lighting design to naturally draw attendee attention to your booth. And don’t forget the power of scent! The human nose has hundreds more receptors than the eyes or ears, so consider dispensing alluring scents to capture the attention of passersby.

When planning your trade show booth for 2020, think about the people you’re trying to attract and what it is that can grab (and keep) their attention. Remember that they want to touch and experience your products or interact with your brand on some level. Go for a multisensory approach with live demonstrations led by knowledgeable staff. Consider incorporating virtual reality in your exhibit experience, a trend that has become impossible to ignore. This powerful tool has the magnetism to attract visitors to your booth and get them to stay for an experience they are sure to remember.

Going Digital

If you’ve already incorporated the use of digital technology such as a TV or tablet into your trade show exhibit then you’re off to a good start, but in 2020 you’re going to want to kick it up a notch. Having at least single monitor has almost come to be expected by trade show attendees, so in order to really stand out you’re going to have to get creative with the way you use technology. Invest in multiple monitors to arrange in an artistic way or go all out and create an entire video wall.

If you haven’t incorporated digital technology into your booth, now is the time to start. In order to keep up in the modern trade show space, you’re going to need to embrace technology and come up with innovative ways to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. After all, technology is in integral part of our every day lives, and it has come to be expected as part of the buying and selling process.

Trade in your trade show banners for a digital version that can run slide shows or videos. Utilize touch screens in addition to your helpful trade show staff to really immerse your visitors into your products or service. Book appointments or help customers place orders using handheld tablets or ones mounted onto stands. Embrace all that technology can do for you, and remember it is nothing to be feared!

Let Them Get Comfortable

Sensory overload is synonymous with the trade show experience, so it’s no wonder attendees are often looking for somewhere to escape – both physically and mentally. Be the brand to offer them that respite with a lounge area where people can come to get away from the bustle of the trade show floor.

So often exhibitors have focused on creating a booth space that wows, but why not take it a step further and add a comfortable element that will appeal to everyone. A visitor to your booth that is comfortable is more apt to be open to and attentive toward a sales pitch from your staff, making this a great way to get in front of people you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to.

Though eye-catching graphics will never go out of style, there is a definite trend towards a more human-centric trade show experience. This means when designing your booth space, you should ask yourself not only is your exhibit engaging, but more importantly, is it comfortable to visitors? You’re more likely to make a connection when your visitors are comfortable, so add a bench or a few lounge chairs and a table to your booth space and get your sales pitch ready for all the potential customers that will come traipsing in.

Charge Up!

What was once hidden in the back of the booth for trade show staff use only has now become a must-have at the forefront of every trade show set up. Charging stations, in addition to a comfy lounge area, are a great way to attract visitors to your booth and, better yet, get them to stay. Every attendee is going to have some sort of electronic device – be it a laptop, mobile phone, or tablet – that will likely need to be charged at some point during the show. Be the brand that comes to the rescue with an easily accessible charging station!

By adding a charging station to your exhibit, you’re inviting trade show attendees to linger around your space, presenting you with an easy opportunity to strike up a conversation. People will be so appreciative that you’re offering them a much-needed service that they’ll be more likely to be receptive to your sales pitch than they may have been otherwise. Charging stations themselves can offer branding opportunities, as many options are available featuring posters or LCD screens.

Get Crafty with Giveaways

Gone are the days when a branded pen placed strategically on a booth table was enough to draw traffic into your exhibit. These days you must get creative with your giveaways if you want to spark any interest. Many companies are opting for sustainable items, like straws or tote bags, that are both useful and impactful.

Don’t get us wrong, pens are still a tried and true giveaway option that will likely endure for many trade show seasons to come. But if you want to draw visitors to your booth, you may want to think about innovative ways to distribute them. A new trend that’s been popping up lately has been the use of vending machines that scan attendee badges and reward them with a branded item.

If you have the capabilities, offering customizable giveaway options is a great way to stand apart from your competitors. Trade show attendees will be waiting in line to get their personalized tote bags, keychains, coasters and more created for them using press technology. Station a member of your booth staff nearby to converse with visitors as they wait. This valuable time can create a lasting impression that they’ll likely associate with their customized gift, which can help lead you to more conversions.

Putting the customer first and providing them with a comfortable, helpful space that can grab their attention and keep it will be a winning formula for trade shows in 2020. This means in addition to all the fundamentals – like a well-trained, knowledgeable staff and a display that wows – you will need to start thinking outside the box and adding elements into your trade show booth that are sure to make you stand out. From everyone at Post Up Stand we wish you a successful 2020 trade show season and look forward to helping you bring your vision to life!

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