Trade Show Design Trends from ExhibitorLIVE! 2018

ExhibtorLIVE!, the conference for trade show and corporate event marketing, was held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from February 25 - March 1, 2018. Drawing over 6,000 attendees and upwards of 200 exhibitors and and numerous learning sessions, the show has become an annual event for our Team at DesignShop.

This year we thought we’d try something a little different. Kristopher Dugan, DesignShop’s VP of Creative was at the show and after walking the floor thought he’d share a few of this year’s trade show design trends…as seen at ExhibitorLIVE!

So here are the “Top 10” design trends from ExhibitorLIVE!

1 - Semi-Enclosed Spaces

A number of exhibitors at ExhibitLIVE! did a super job of creating semi-private areas within their exhibits by utilizing sheer fabric and glass components in their designs. The results were either entire booths that were semi-enclosed or areas within a booth where private meeting space was created. This trend allows for attendees to feel welcome when entering or approaching the exhibit, but have privacy when sitting down for one-on-one business conversations. Great feature.

2 - Steam Punk Style & Trimmings

A bit of a surprising design trend, were the number of booths which incorporated a bit of “steam-punk” style and attitude into their trade show booth design. From faux, rusted I-beams and “concrete” accents to replica red-brick walls and “aged” glass - it was clear that we’ll be seeing more industrial themed, steam-punk trimmings on show floors this year. Love that.

3 - Natural and Rustic Materials and Textures

In a bit of the opposite direction from industrial aged steam-punk, many booths showcased more natural and recycled themed designs. Materials such as natural woods, recycled materials, palettes, barn wood and white brick (printed or real) were very much a trend at the Mandalay Bay show. Look for the popularity of these materials to be a mainstay this year.

4 - LED, LED, LED (Did we say LED?)

Lots of LED modular walls adorned the halls of ExhibitorLIVE! Along with incredible digital content to drive attention. In fact, we saw some unique applications of LED walls…such as front-faced counters, complete with motion graphics. Get your digital on, because LED isn’t going anywhere in the year ahead.

5 - Going BIG with Double-Deckers

If upstairs conference areas could be a trend in trade show booths, well..then their a trend! More than a few exhibitors opted to go BIG with double-deckers and yes, the most common use for the upper deck was private meeting space. A great way to increase square footage, while adding privacy for your most important meetings. Go BIG.

6 - Modular Pods and Shippable Containers

For outdoor activations, it was clear that modular pods and shippable containers are hot this year. And for good reason. Imagine being able to ship a pods or multiple pods for on-location, outdoor marketing events. In essence turning a shipping container into a pop-up retail environment, mobile broadcast studio or branded lounge. Endless possibilities.

7 - Lighting, Lighting and More Lighting

Yes. We think lighting is very cool and can dramatically change any space. From LED floor details to pendant lights to elements lit for mood, lighting on was center stage at ExhibitorLIVE! and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We LOVE lighting.

8 - Lots of “white” for a Clean Presentation

We hope you like the value of “white” and “whitespace”, because you’re going to be seeing a lot of it this year. And really, that’s a good thing. The value of white helps to open spaces up, make them feel larger, more sleek and less cluttered. Every space doesn’t have to be filled with “something”. A breathe of fresh air.

9 - Networking Opportunities

OK, so I know this isn’t a design trend for 2018…but something needed to be said about the tremendous networking opportunities available at ExhibitorLIVE! We just really enjoyed the opportunity to meet new faces and reacquaint ourselves with old, familiar ones. This event provided opportunity for both and was one of the greatest takeaways of the week!

10 - Pink Elephants!

Well….maybe not a design trend. But if you saw it, I bet you thought the pink elephant was COOL! We did!!

I hope everyone enjoyed ExhibitorLIVE! as much as I did. Can't wait to see you there next year!!

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"DesignShop did an extraordinary good job. We loved it very much; especially the colors, shape and white carpet in the booth. "

Andreas Kees, Managing DirectorMedmix

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