Back from ExhibitorLive 2017 and in case you couldn’t make it, here are some of our key takeaways
1. AR and VR ready for Tradeshow Primetime
Whether it’s Microsoft HoloLens, HTC Vive, or Oculus Rift, there were demonstrations that proved that it really is now possible in the tradeshow environment (with all its lighting and space variability) to ‘transport’ attendees anywhere with these immersive engagement technologies.
Need to ‘take’ attendees to a hospital room? To the deck of an aircraft carrier? To a showroom? The ability to deliver that transformative experience within the context of the show floor is now available. You are no longer limited to simply the physical booth space.
2. Booths as Content Containers
Continuing a trend driven by advances in engagement technology – booths are increasingly becoming ‘attract containers’ for the delivery of technology-enabled content experiences. The physical structures aren’t being used as much for message delivery as they are to attract visitors and to then set a mood/context for the engagement experiences to be delivered.
3. Advances in both Modularity and Fabric
“Lego-type” exhibit modularity continues to improve beyond the 4’ x 8’ rectilinear solutions of old, breaking the creative chains for those who would like more of a custom look for a modular price.
The creative, color, durability and expanse quality of seamless fabrics continues to improve – allowing for lighter (read less expensive to ship and store) yet still compelling visual storytelling.
4. Open and Closed Designs Work – When Well Paid Off
Very interesting approaches to booth design by exhibit design, development and deployment firms – many were more ‘open’ structurally while others used the ‘intrigue’ approach (“What is in there?”). Both can be effective, provided the experience within delivers on the structure without.
Some used very tiny font to ask a question!
5. Next Generation of Designers Rock!
The portfolios of young designers were really encouraging. They universally ‘get’ storytelling, experience and engagement, with architecture in service to these goals. The exhibit design students, in partnership with the EDPA University Affiliation Program, which supports two design institutions: Bemidji State University (BSU) based in Minnesota; and SUNY/FIT – Fashion Institute of Technology based in New York City, showed that there is some terrific young talent coming up!