Many people have forecasted the downfall of networking events such as trade shows, but the power and appeal of face-to-face marketing is only growing as we move into the 2020s.

Perhaps because we spend so much time in the digital world, the value of meeting people and seeing products first-hand is growing, with the exhibitions industry accounting for over £5billion of direct spending in the UK in 2019 alone.

If you are planning to exhibit at a trade show or other event in 2020, an innovative and appealing exhibition stand can help you attract visitors and generate more leads.

In fact, 48% of exhibitors stated that an eye-catching exhibition stand is the most effective method for attracting attendees.

So, what display stand trends will be important in 2020 and how can you ensure your company has a unique trade show presence?

Below, we look at some exhibition stand tips for companies exhibiting at trade shows in 2020.

Expand Upwards

If you’ve exhibited at a trade show before you’ll know that there’s a high cost for almost everything needed to exhibit at a high-profile venue, including electricity, WIFI and floor space.

For high-profile shows at a top venue in the UK, you’ll be expected to pay over £250/per square metre, meaning even a standard 3x3 metre exhibition space will cost around £2,250.

This means you may not have the budget to have a stand with a large footprint, which is where stand height comes in.

Most exhibition venues in the UK set a height limit on stands at around 3 metres. Although you should always check the exact limitations with the event organiser first, you may find the best way to increase your exposure is to expand upwards.

A standard exhibition stand like a curved pop up display is around 2.3 metres high meaning you have a full 70 cm of unused display space for a 3 metre limit.

This is where an extra large display such as a 3m high XL pop up, modular display system or custom-built exhibition stand comes in, enabling you to tower over the competition and draw eyes from around the venue.

There’s a reason why the most iconic buildings in the world are often the tallest, and exhibition stands are no different!

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Graphics Fit for the 2020s

It’s no good having the best exhibition stand out there if your branding looks out-of-date or unclear.

Graphic design trends are constantly changing but it looks like 2020 looks set to be the year of minimalist, organic and disruptive branding.

These trends should be conveyed with your exhibition stand design. With only six seconds to grab the attention of the passer-by, you don’t want to clutter your display stand with unnecessary information.

Keep the in-depth info on your company to your company literature, videos and in your sales pitch, with exhibition stand branding providing a general overview of your company.

Think carefully about how you can convey your company’s USPs in the least amount of words, then have fun with the graphics to keep them looking fresh and vibrant.

Visit other major trade shows to get an idea of how the top brands design their display stand, although don’t be afraid to put your own spin on the branding – individualism stands out in a crowded exhibition hall!

Power Your Own Stand

As we mentioned earlier, there are several hidden costs to exhibiting at a trade show.

One of these is your on-stand power at a trade show, with venues known to charge extremely high rates – which can really add up powering devices such as TVs, coffee machines and stands that require additional lighting.

However, there is now a solution for exhibitors to bypass the need for these costs, with the use of portable exhibition powerpacks – essentially rechargeable battery packs with a number of different outputs – helping exhibitors to cut down on costs.

If you are attending several shows throughout the year, a portable exhibition power pack will save you money and time organising through the venue.

Give your Stand a Virtual Element

As we mentioned earlier, stand space is always at a premium do you’ll need to maximise your presence in different ways – such as integrating an Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) experience onto your stand design itself.

These innovative new digital techniques mean that – simply by scanning a printed code on your stand using a phone or using virtual reality headset, you’ll be able to showcase your products or services to attendees in extremely engaging ways.

AR and VR are truly immersive, helping to give your stand the ‘wow’ factor and inform on key product details at the same time.

Augmented and virtual reality are therefore ideal if you want to cut down on floorspace and display stand costs whilst still broadening your creative capacity.

Eco-Friendly Exhibiting

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With growing awareness of environmental issues around the world, it’s clear that companies need to factor in the environmental impact of events such as trade shows.

The display stand industry has responded to this, with moves away from wasteful practices such as single-use stands and halogen lighting and more environmentally-friendly production methods such as UV printing.

Companies also need to factor this, not just for their own sustainable credentials but also because it’s seen now a major selling point for consumers: over a third of consumers prefer brands that they believe are doing social or environmental good.

If you are concerned about the effects of trade show exhibiting on the environment, there are a few options to lessen your carbon footprint and general waste produced:

  • Modular Display Systems are reusable stands that can be reconfigured to fit different sizes of display space. Thanks to their innovative design, you only need one set of graphics and one frame for a stand that could be used for several shows even in different configurations such as L-shaped, corner and U-shaped. Of course, you may need to update your branding for show offers and promotions but this can then be done on a single panel rather than re-printing the entire stand.
  • Exhibition Stand Hire is when an exhibition system is rented out for an event without the need for a new stand to be manufactured. Custom-printed graphics can still be featured for unique branding, but these can be reused again for various shows. What’s more, these stands are usually recyclable at the end-of-life, resulting in an extremely small carbon footprint.

Summary

Whether it’s by increasing the height of your stand or simplifying your brand message on your graphics, your trade show strategy should be constantly evolving every year to adapt to the latest trends.

By adopting some of these tactics mentioned above, your brand will appear more cutting-edge at events, ultimately increasing your brand appeal and helping to improve your ROI from events.

We wish you the best of luck for your upcoming event in 2020. To find an event, take a look at our comprehensive trade show calendar, or start planning your new stand by browsing our comprehensive range of exhibition stands.