As we approach the end of 2017 (and my first year as president of Ion Exhibits), it is fitting to think about the year ahead, and what trends may be seen in 2018. Here is my short list of trade show predictions for the new year and some food for thought with these predictions.
Prediction #1: Data Measurements
As companies use more and more digital engagement, there should be an increase in the use of data capture and measurement to determine success or failure of a trade show (and not just in the number of leads). When performing data measurements, however, be sure to track the right data points and use your data to customize the trade show experience through proper data application.
Prediction #2: Embracing Technology
With the use of voice-activated technology like Alexa and touch screens in our daily lives, show organizers may begin utilizing more technology on the show floor and eliminating some extra staff in the process. Does it make sense to pay someone to tell attendees where the bathroom is or to have an interactive wayfinding sign to direct them? And use of technology via a mobile app continues to expand with geofencing and customized push notifications, and there may be honing of this technology in 2018.
Prediction #3: Relying on Partners
As companies become (hopefully) busier with sales, there may be a greater need to offset items such as exhibit management to partners. When determining your exhibit management needs, be sure to set expectations as to what the partner will (and won’t) do and let the partner do what they do best. After all, you are paying for that level of expertise.
Prediction #4: Less Is More
When it comes to trade show designs, there may be a movement into a more minimal set up with clean lines, simple graphics, and more open space for attendees. Whatever your trade show booth design, be sure to have sections defined in your booth and keep in mind attendee flow through your booth to maximize your space. Less does not mean bare.
Prediction #5: A Great 2018
One final prediction is that we will all see a productive and amazing 2018. The trade show and event industries continue to grow, which also is an indicator of the success of the organizations attending these conferences. And whether your organization attends one show or several per year, we hope your trade show presence helps your business continue to grow.
From all of us at Ion Exhibits, we wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and look forward to working with you in 2018.