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2020 Exhibiting Trends To Leverage For More Success

Take a look at some 2020 trends we expect to see on show floors this year! Be sure to note how you can fit the trends into your show goals, instead of just being trendy for trendiness' sake!

Staying ahead of the times with ever-adapting and emerging exhibit trends is no walk in the park. As appealing as trends are for grabbing the attention of trade show foot traffic, it’s not enough to just put new trends in your floor plan. It’s important to know how they impact your audience. 

We’ll cover how trends can be used to send your prospects and clients on the show floor the right message – and how to utilize them to achieve your goals (not just to be “trendy”).

Connections to Causes

There are more companies than ever for consumers to choose from, making it increasingly important to make them feel they’re a part of something greater.

Consumers in 2020 are less concerned with serving themselves and more interested in working with companies that promote social good initiatives. Not only does this provide the consumer with a greater sense of purpose to the partnership, it fulfills an emotional need alongside the business need, providing your business with a strong differentiator. 

A great example is Apple’s new Apple Watch Series 5 that allows its owners to volunteer their personal health data to be utilized for medical research, which can benefit another’s quality of life. Using this product alone has clear consumer benefits – but now with the knowledge that using the product is promoting the greater good, consumers may be more likely to purchase this product over the competitors.

To leverage this growing consumer trend, consider how you can tie in the philanthropic side of your business with your trade show goals. Whether your goals are to increase brand awareness or introduce a new product line, sharing the less tangible benefits you can provide with your audience can foster more attention and deeper conversations on the show floor. 


Technology has had a huge impact on how exhibitors interact and engage their audiences on the show floor. Here’s a glimpse of some key technologies that will continue to evolve in 2020:

  • AR & VR 
  • Projection Mapping (also known as Spatial Augmented Reality) 
    • Projection mapping is similar to a flat-surface projection system but instead, projects images/video onto 3D objects
  • Holograms
  • Lead Retrieval & Check-In Systems
    • If you have yet to incorporate one or both of these systems, the number of options based on needs and price are expanding.  They benefit exhibitors by bringing ease and functionality to creating a seamless experience both at events and after.
  • Live Streaming & Live Translation 
    • Many are familiar with the ability to live-stream events on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more. But one handy capability of this tool that can be beneficial for international facing events is live translation. This can allow your booth staff to have effective conversations with international audiences – making your message clear and more meaningful to multiple prospects at once.
    • Another option for companies that do not want to dedicate the time, set-up or maintenance of a live-stream – consider recording important aspects of your exhibit. For example, if your company has a podcast, consider recording the audio of presentations from the event. This will not only benefit your audience that didn’t make it to the show but can be a resource for attendees that did make it and want to recall the material you provided at the show.
  • Screens
    • We’re all familiar with incorporating LED TV screens – but have you considered seamless video wall panels or curved LED screens? These elements can create a “wow” factor while providing further coverage of your messaging. 
      • Check out our case study for Treace Medical who incorporated a double-sided video wall of Aluvision Omni-55 frames to increase their impact on the show floor.

Interactive Elements

Want to create an effortless and wide-reaching interaction? Use elements in your exhibit that draw the crowd to you. Popular elements that are creating a social buzz even after the show include:

  • Vintage Volkswagen Vans
  • LED Marquee Letters
  • Shipping Containers 
  • Serving Carts
  • Greenery or Photographic Walls

Many of these elements not only offer a social sharing opportunity but can also be utilized as an engagement space. Shipping containers can be transformed into barista bars, reception counters or as a demo area with meeting spaces on top. Vans or serving carts can be great elements to draw attendees over to start conversations and leave them with promotional materials or a great space for lead retrieval.

Keep up with the new by staying in the know

Of course, trends are just trends – but when utilized with the right goals in mind, they can make a huge impact on your results. With the rate that trends are appearing and evolving in today’s digital age, the best way to stay aware of new opportunities is by staying in the know. Whether this is taking a break to walk the show floor where you get the latest and greatest first, or following event industry media like EXHIBITOR Magazine, BizBash, Bizzabo and more.

At Rockway, we dive into our client’s brand, show goals, and needs to create them a unique, custom design that’s not just trendy, but effective. Trends can be great attention grabbers, but a truly successful exhibit has many moving parts. If you’re ready to jump in the event scene for the first time or looking to refresh your presence on the show floor,  our team is ready to help you achieve more with your exhibit.

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