In an increasingly competitive marketplace, businesses must prioritise spend. While, previously, exhibitions were a great way to escape from the day-to-day, today all attendance must be justified. So, it’s no longer enough for exhibitors just to show up to one of the 1.3 million business events held across the UK every year with a bog-standard pop-up stand and hope for the best.

Instead, to succeed in 2017, your exhibition presence must appeal to event attendees and deliver that all-important ROI. That’s why, at Unibox, we keep a close eye on current and emerging exhibition stand trends when it comes to design; making sure our customers have everything they need to prosper.

You can also see our Exhibition Stand Design Ideas blog here - with 12 month's worth of inspirational stand designs.


The power of interruption

Today's attendee is looking for more than a fast acquisition. They want an experience. However, for the most part, exhibition stands have become predictable; with very little to distinguish between them in terms of lighting, signage, and display systems. But, with a bit of imagination, exhibition stands can make people stop, think, and engage.

For example, lightboxes, canvasses, and statement displays can be strategically positioned to evoke the necessary “wow factor”. You can also deploy ceiling hung fabric graphics, including lightweight visual displays that wrap around corners to create seamless cubes, helping you to create truly unique exhibition stands. Showcases and cabinets can also be used to create attractive, dynamic stands and spaces with an almost endless variety of finishes and configurations. And, of course, more than ever technology is being used to connect exhibitors with potential customers.

While pop-up stands and banner systems have their place, all too often they blend into a sea of printed graphics and white vinyl. And that's the last thing any exhibitor wants. So, in 2017, we predict that more and more businesses will be designing exhibition stands that purposely interrupt the customer journey; helping them to stand out from the competition and encourage deeper engagement.

Which takes us to...


Immersive technology

Even as we approach 2017, many businesses are still concerned about the costs of integrating technology into their exhibition designs.

AR and VR are helping big brand names to make an impact – and we can expect to see uptake increase over the next 12 months - but for many, such cutting-edge tech is still out of reach.

However, updating exhibition stands with new and interactive technology doesn’t have to be complicated. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

For example, to promote your displays in a dynamic fashion to attract visitor attention, consider using lighting to change the look of your exhibition space completely throughout the day. LED lightboxes and programmable LEDs can be employed to change colour, or even animate, when someone is nearby. Likewise, Kinetik - our latest animated lightbox solution – falls somewhere between a lightbox and a large-format video screen and gives you the freedom to create eye-catching displays, strategically positioned at your exhibition spaces.

And of course, social media, mobile apps, and proximity-based messaging tools will continue to be used to create buzz and a more personalised event experience.


Taking a lesson from retail

Exhibitions are a high-pressure sales environment, so to make the most of your stands, it doesn't hurt to learn a trick or two from those people who sell day in day out - retailers.

Taking the consumer experience to a whole new level, leading retailers are now using lighting, colour, and texture to intrigue and engage; and in 2017 we predict that savvy exhibitors won’t be far behind.

Find out more about the retail design trends stores will be adopting to help them stay ahead of the game in 2017, and which of these you can incorporate into your exhibition stands. 


Engagement. Engagement. Engagement

There’s simply no point generating footfall to your exhibition stand only to lose them at “hello”. So, once you’ve captured attention, you need to provide visitors with a solid reason to engage with your team.

Games, seating areas, food and drink, and innovative spaces all provide attendees with a welcome break — giving you the chance to strike up a conversation in a relaxed setting. And, helping to maximise bang for buck, modular components can be used to create these breakout areas quickly and easily – time and time again.

Here again, technology can also help to engage potential customers; and don’t forget to invest in data integration and marketing automation tools to help you maximise engagement, pre, during and post-event.

In 2017, you simply must ensure that your exhibition display makes an impact, and that your business gets the footfall necessary to boost sales and make your tradeshow presence worthwhile. With a wealth of experience and advanced manufacturing capabilities, at Unibox, we’re reengineering the typical exhibition stand; creating ingenious displays that are dressed for success.


To find out more about how we can help you in 2017 and beyond, contact us today for an informal chat.