Exhibitor Trends in 2015

Back to the future on FlickrAlthough I am yet to own a pair of self-tying shoelaces and I am not wearing an abundance of silver as predicted in the future year of 2015 in ‘Back to the Future Part II’, there are many advances that we can see coming for exhibitors that are set to become a reality this year. Here take a look at three things that can help you to stay on-trend and can help your business excel on the exhibition floor this year:

1. Fabric is the new black

2015 is the year of the fabric graphic and I think it’s here to stay. Having recently boomed in popularity in America, the Mexican wave of popularity is now starting to be seen with an increase in demand in the UK.

What makes a fabric graphic so different from what people would see as a ‘traditional’ display, is that standard displays are printed onto semi rigid panels that are cut to size to create banners, or can be matched side-by-side and fitted to a frame to create the illusion of a seamless background, with pop ups being one of the most common display units. Larger exhibition backwalls and shell scheme graphics can also be produced.

Fabric graphics on the other hand are created using one piece of fabric which is printed on and pulled taught over a frame to create different shaped exhibition stands. This allows fabric exhibition stands to become a versatile choice as they are lighter and easier to assemble than their pop up friends and really do create a seamless backdrop.  The fabric is also much easier to care for than standard, keeping it looking great for much longer.

The ability to create unique shaped stands that take up less floor space also allows exhibitors to go the extra mile with the ergonomics of their stand, with more space available to engage with visitors.

Watch this space as we increase our range of fabric graphics in 2015!

2. Continued integration of digital

With many homes now imbedding digital elements into their hearts with smart central heating systems that can be controlled remotely and most households – and indeed people – having multiple electronic devices, I don’t think anyone can doubt that we are in a digital era. Industry figures even tell us that the use of mobile and tablet devices attribute to over half the website visits seen for eCommerce websites (EQ3 2014 by Monetate).

For the exhibition industry, this continual rise in the use of smartphones (soon to be called ‘phones’?) and tablets and their integration into our everyday lives means an increase in expectation to use some form of digital element on-stand. Far from costing the earth, it’s becoming increasingly easy to do this on a budget using iPad stands to show your visitors your website, to build trust as well as to help with data inputting.

Although trusty paper copies of lead generation forms are still used in many exhibition halls, this year should also see a rise in electronically generated forms being used. Not only does this save you from the tedious job of inputting post-show and deciphering cryptic handwriting, but it also allows a speedier response post-show.

See more ways you can integrate digital on-stand without breaking the bank in this blog from 2014.

3. Millennials boom

Millennials are people who were born in the early 1980’s up to the early 2000s and will be of increased focus as an important target audience this year. As more millennials work their way up the corporate ladder, they are influential decision makers that many have predicted to boom this year.

As a distinctive audience, millennials come with their own challenges for engagement at exhibitions. They are often referred to as having an expectation of wanting a ‘when-I-want-it-where-I-want-it experience’.

For exhibitors, this means engaging with them fast and preferably, digitally. If you’re using digital engagement on-stand, whether that’s a game, or as a lead generation tool, then think about ways that you can follow this up quickly to keep them engaged and hopefully convert. This could include an automated ‘thank you for visiting’ us email, or even providing an opportunity to engage with your brand on a more personal level while they’re on-stand– such as liking and commenting your page on Facebook.

Just don’t bombard this group with paper information, as the chances are it’ll end up in the recycling bin!

Photo credit: AdamL212 Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine on Flickr (CC2.0)





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