Top 4 Trends in Trade Shows and Events in 2019

The first full week of 2019 is underway and we are off and running!  This year it feels like evolution is the only constant. There are new design trends, technology advancements, and innovative ways of using materials. Here are four key trends we look forward to seeing a greater focus on in 2019.

1) Data, Data, Data – What are you doing with all that data?

Trade show managers are depending more and more on marketing and experience design technology, which means there is so much data available to collect.  It can give you a data hangover.  Making the data work for you, using that data to facilitate better trade show results and using that data to create a better attendee experience, will be a higher priority in 2019.

This starts with defining trade show and event goals. Once goals are clearly defined, the right data points can be collected before, during and after the event. It will be easier to identify and discard the junk data and focus on the numbers that will help measure successes and identify areas in need of improvement.  Most importantly it will give event and trade show managers ways to measure and report ROI, while making them even better at their jobs, with greater insight into ways they can adapt and make modifications for the next show.

2)  Using interactive digital activations to create a more authentic and personalized experience

Trade show attendees are savvy. Giving up information beyond the badge scan, and even sometimes then, can be a challenge for trade show managers.  It’s important to balance the attendee experience with trade show goals.  Making sure the booth or event is attracting the attention from the right leads, sharing the right information with each attendee, and getting more information from attendees can be a tall order.

The right interactive digital technology can attract and invite attendees to engage and share more information.  Digital interactive experiences are becoming more a lot more common because they are entertaining or educational in fun and interesting ways, it’s an easy way for attendees to opt in to a booth, and there are implicit or explicit rewards attached. 

This year, with more intelligent data, we will see these activations become more adaptable, creating more authentic, personalized attendee experiences.  And that translates into faster, longer engagement and the sharing of more information.

3)  The BIG Group Interactive Experience

A lot of trade show experiences are one on one, which can be hard for the event and trade show manager to accommodate and staff for, especially when there are a lot of people to reach in a short period of time.

If there is a group assembled, it usually means one person speaking and attendees listening, passively engaged.  The advantages to big group digital interactive activations are you can address and interact with a lot of people at once, and still make it an authentic experience for everyone.  And attendees can interact, be actively engages and give feedback directly, in real time.

At HRTech in September, CareerBuilder created a theater style space to accommodate 20 people at a time. Attendees experienced a theme park ride and game. Using tablets that asked each person questions or gave them challenges to solve, attendees were given a personalized group experience and Career Builder was able to educate attendees on their service offerings.

4)  EDPA’S 65th Anniversary

As we look forward into 2019, it is important to acknowledge how the past informs the present and shapes the future.

In December 1954, a group of exhibit and design entrepreneurs and business people met to cement relationships and form new partnerships. During that meeting they formed the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association.

The EDPA has shaped and grown this industry into what it is today. Taking time to honor and celebrate the history of this industry will be an important feature in 2019.

To commemorate EDPA’s 65th anniversary, enVu is collecting, curating and archiving photos and documents from the past 65 years for EDPA members to reference and enjoy.

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Thank you for sharing!