Exhibitor Live, the annual trade show for exhibit pros known for creativity and trend-spotting, did not disappoint this year. Our team was there to get a feel of what’s new, what’s fresh and what’s trending in exhibits and events.
Pia Saxena has been designing experiential environments for over 15 years, meaning she’s seen many trends come and go. Pia can easily spot what will and won’t work for an exhibitor so we asked her to give us some insight from Exhibitor Live.
What trends did you see on the show floor? Fabric again? Exposed metal? Digital everywhere?
Recycled and reused seemed to be the most prevalent theme on the show floor. A lot of exhibit companies were using recycled woods, paneling and flooring, along with digital, which was an interesting combination.
We know that is a great look, because that’s what was featured in our own booth! What about colors?
Earthy colors for some exhibits contrasted on the show floor with really vibrant colors for others. And like the recycled wood/digital screen juxtaposition, the earthy tones with a pop of neon can really draw attention.
I hear that there were some exhibits going old school. Your thoughts?
I think old school is not a bad thing…. if it’s well done. For example, one booth used rolls of butcher paper for their interactive experience. The environment they created in the booth space tied really well to their messaging. That is the key – whatever your look or design, it has to promote your business.
Quite the opposite, I saw another booth that had the virtual reality headgear but other than a few tables with the goggles, some lounge furniture and pretty simple walls, there wasn’t much of a story. It was less than memorable for someone who didn’t put on the goggles (like me) so engaging the attendees to immerse themselves is becoming more important as companies attempt to create interactive experiences.
Did you come away with any ideas that you are going to incorporate in your next design?
I always come away for great ideas from looking at what other people are doing. It is not always the coolest, most high-tech, or biggest design that has the most impact. The exhibit space and the message have to tie together, otherwise the impression made is not a lasting one.
For example, I loved this hanging sign (see above) ; it’s simple and clever, so well executed. A lot of companies do overhead hanging signs and one doesn’t really cost more than the other, however, one like this has a bigger impact.
In the end, that’s what we all want!