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Trends for exhibitors, from our experience at Marketing Week Live

July 4, 2014 | James Rook

I’m feeling pretty up beat at the moment. The exhibition industry is seeing an increase in visitor numbers – we heard last year unofficial figures of around 2% for B2B exhibitions, which is a cause for celebration!

This was mirrored in our latest exhibiting experience at Marketing Week Live, where we saw hundreds of marketers and our preliminary number crunching suggest that we’ve had our best year yet.

I think what we’re starting to see is people moving out of that hands to mouth phase that we’ve all been in through the recession. People are investing more of their time in the ‘idea’ space. So they are coming to events like Marketing Week Live to look at the future of their businesses.

I think that’s a good indicator that perhaps there are more positive times ahead … here are two trends I think are on the rise that we’ll see a lot more of in the future!

1. The rise of gamification with interaction

With digital engagement being a firm hot topic for exhibitors, I think there’s a careful balance to be had on stands to make sure that it serves a greater purpose.

It should complement both the exhibiting theme as well as be a useful sales tool. It’s always best to bear in mind that the reason why people come to a show is because it’s a unique medium where you can get face-to-face and where you can genuinely interact, so don’t miss the opportunity to interact!

We’re certainly seeing more demand for digital engagement to support the people working on the stand. So for me, digital offers new ways to support the stand staff to help them engage, to help them maybe explain a proposition and perhaps to capture better data or information from people.

2. Angled designs

At Marketing Week Live, we posed the question of “What’s your angle “.

Not only did this tie in with asking visitors why they visit exhibitions, but it also related to our new range of hire architecture in an angled style. It really reflects that in marketing at the moment we’re seeing a lot of brands adopting an angular style in their graphic design and their identities with examples such as the Wimbledon commentary set, Easyjet’s adverts, Delongi’s appliances and Hugo Boss’ window display to name just few. Angles are definitely on-trend!

Wish you were there? Our postcards from Marketing Week Live

After taking part in our survey and digital game on stand (see the video to see it in action), we entered people into our prize draw to win one of five pairs of tickets to see The View from the Shard – in keeping with our angular theme.

I’m really pleased to announce our winners, so congratulations to:

  • Simon Buckingham – Hama UK
  • Elaine Dixon – IX Reach
  • Michelle Brook – Truck-Lite
  • Jessica Macdonald – Charles Kendall
  • Amy Lodowski – Clear View Imaging

And finally, here are our top highlights and photos from the show campaign …