Hottest Trade Show Exhibit Trends for 2020

In this article you’ll learn new ways to:


  • Maximize your exhibit’s space without sacrificing lighting or graphics
  • Give your booth’s visitors an unforgettable experience
  • Make your pop-up exhibit stand out from the rest
  • Engage with more visitors without sacrificing lead data
  • Show your commitment to the environment in measurable terms
  • Get real measurements of your exhibit’s engagement

Get a sneak peek of the hottest new trends for trade show exhibits in 2020, and learn why you should jump on board with these cutting-edge tactics.

    You’ll discover the best and brightest in new exhibiting trends, as well as learn why it’s so beneficial to your brand to update your exhibit space to reach your trade show goals.

    2020 Trends in Exhibit Technology

    Sporting the latest advancements in technology not only shows that your brand is modern and upbeat, it can also streamline your exhibit.

    Making the investment into new technology can be intimidating, so make sure the benefits outweigh the cost.

    Does the technology help you reach your goals for the trade show? Does it help you convey the message you’re trying to get across to your booth’s visitors? Will it help attract people to your exhibit?

    Technology gives us countless ways to showcase our products and services.

    Consider the evolution of what you’ve seen on the trade show floor. From the advent of LED screens to tablets to smart devices, exhibitors have always tried to incorporate the latest and greatest tech to their displays.

    But with all those large screens, full-scale graphics, and lighting, space can get tight.
    Thankfully, there’s a new solution on the market to help combat the issues associated with having to choose between all of these necessary exhibit components!

    G-Glass by G-SMATT is changing the way you can use space and lighting in a trade show exhibit by combining architectural-grade glass building material with LED lighting and media content.

    Now, transparent glass comes alive in a beautiful, compelling visual display that solves the spatial problem of deciding whether to have lighting or media.

    This energy-efficient smart glass allows designers to have the freedom to showcase without obstructing views – the glass is almost fully transparent!

    This technology effectively transforms your exhibit walls into a programmable message center, media presentation, or a display for everything your brand offers.

    No other product boasts the same durability, transparency, lighting, and media capabilities that G-Glass offers either, making it one of the most exciting innovations to look for in 2020.

    Check them out here.

    2020 Trends in Onsite Attractions

    It’s important to get foot traffic at your exhibit, and a well-designed attraction can be just the thing to spread the word about your brand. Problem is: you only have a couple of seconds for a passer-by to decide whether they want to stop and visit your booth.
    How can you solve this problem?

    By incorporating an irresistible, cutting-edge attraction within your exhibit, you can be the hit of the show, ensuring attendees talk about you long after they leave your event.

    Clever attractions can serve as icebreakers, engaging activities, and can even be built into your trade show giveaway.

    Sole Creative’s Shoe Design Attraction

    One of the most creative attractions we’ve seen recently is by Sole Revival.

    By designing shoes in real-time, they’re giving people something to engage with and take away, building brand loyalty and giving them a fun way to spread the word about your business.

    Booth visitors choose a shoe from their selection, or you can bring in your own for the artist to customize with special logos, graphics, and phrases!

    As an added bonus, Sole Revival has a charitable split program that gives back to local charities.

    With an attraction like this, you can connect with your clients over everything from their shoes, to your brand, to the philanthropic nature of the experience.

    Booth visitors choose a shoe from their selection, or you can bring in your own for the artist to customize with special logos, graphics, and phrases!

    As an added bonus, Sole Revival has a charitable split program that gives back to local charities.

    With an attraction like this, you can connect with your clients over everything from their shoes, to your brand, to the philanthropic nature of the experience.

    You’ll talk the talk, but they’ll walk the walk in their new customized shoes!

    Learn more about them here. 

    Dallas Cowboys’ Airport Selfie

    What would you do if your favorite celebrities photo-bombed your selfie?

    At AT&T Stadium, well-known for keeping on-trend with the latest marketing technologies, Dallas Cowboys fans were treated to a photo kiosk that allowed them to choose their favorite players to “pose” with in a unique game day picture.

    Fans stand in front of a giant mirror-like screen (hence the “selfie”), follow the instructions to pose and “huddle up,” then are joined by their favorite players who gather around them as if they were really there. It’s realistic enough to make you do a double-take!

    Once the photo’s taken, the players walk off screen like they’re headed back to the locker room. It’s an experience and a keepsake to be cherished!

    2020 Trends in Pop-Up Architecture

    The outdoor exhibiting and vending world hasn’t seen a lot of recent innovation, with most events relying on a sea of standard tents and the occasional shipping container. It’s easy for your brand to get lost in that type of environment, where each booth seems to run into the next.

    As exhibiting costs rise, you’ll want your pop-up exhibit to be reliable, easy to install, and quickly engage trade show attendees.

    To accomplish that, pop-up architecture has come on strong in recent seasons.

    Pop-up displays are especially convenient if you have:

    • New information you need to display
    • Offers that change from location to location
    • Limited space for display
    • A smaller budget that doesn’t allow for huge graphics

    Pop-up exhibits don’t require a lot of manpower, and can usually be installed by a couple of staff members, making it an ideal solution for smaller shows and events.

    The Trade Group has created a new type of pop-up event structure that’s easy to assemble, featuring a modern silhouette that helps distinguish and showcase your brand. Its modular components allow it to be arranged in countless different ways, and it’s fully brandable and customizable.

    With options for vending, meeting, sleeping (!), entertaining, and more, the possibilities are truly endless.
    The transpop-up, easy-to-install, and cost-effective nature of this type of exhibit makes it one of the most exciting types of pop-up booths we’ll have our eye on in 2020.

    Check it out here.

    2020 Trends in Attendee Engagement

    The best exhibits make attendee engagement one of their top priorities.

    Interacting with your booth’s visitors not only allow you to better qualify your leads, it helps create a connection with visitors to keep you top-of-mind. A stand-out booth and incredible experience will put your exhibit far and above the others.

    The most important factor in your exhibit marketing success is a well-trained staff, but why not kick it up a notch and supplement your staff with an experiential robot that will help you convert leads into sales?

    Yep – a robot!

    The FURO-D Robot by Advanced Robot Solutions is a robot that attracts trade show attendees and interacts with them in real-time. It stands 5’3” tall and roams around, holding a 32” touch screen display that’s completely customizable.

    When a person approaches the robot, they’re encouraged to scan their badge, prompting the robot to say their name, welcome them to your exhibit booth, and begin a real conversation. It informs attendees about your products and services by using lifelike speech, and attendees can follow along with slideshows and videos that play on the robot’s screen.

    FURO-D has other cool features, including the ability to collect survey results, quiz data, email addresses, and other information from the attendees.

    A handler escorts the robot around the floor, encouraging attendees to chat with the robot, using trigger phrases that your company’s previously programmed into the technology. FURO-D stores this data, and you’re provided with all of the lead information after the show.

    With the ability to perform actions from giving a keynote speech to answering questions to speaking multiple languages, this robot could be the perfect addition to round out your trade show staff.

    Attendees will be taking photos with your robot, and they often appear in the news and on social media because of the novelty.

    Learn more about FURO-D here.

    2020 Trends for the Environment

    From climate change to going green, environment-related buzzwords are everywhere you look.

    Relate to trade show attendees by showing your business is green-friendly. Going into 2020, companies are growing more and more environmentally conscious (1). Demonstrating that your company shares these values helps shed a positive light on your brand.

    Celebrities have been touting the benefits of ethical fashion for years now, as evidenced by Emma Watson’s social media push for sustainable clothing brands and her 2016 Met Gala gown made of recycled plastic water bottles. (2)

    Brands like Rothy’s have flooded the market with shoes that are not only comfortable, but made from recycled, single-use plastics. They even boast diverting over 37 million plastic water bottles from landfills in the short three years they’ve been in business. (3)

    Think about how meaningful it’d be – not only to trade show attendees but also to your forward-thinking team – to showcase your brand on a t-shirt made from recycled plastic waste.

    Rethink Fabrics has been on the forefront of ethical clothing since 2008, manufacturing clothing made solely from recycled plastic water bottles in order to promote recycling. A branded shirt from a company like Rethink might serve as the perfect story behind your next trade show giveaway. They also feel amazing and can be customized to suit your company’s needs.
    And with a look and feel unlike any other typical t-shirt, your Rethink shirts will truly stand out.

    In addition to showing trade show attendees how much you care about the environment, you’ll be able to accurately quantify your green initiative.

    Every t-shirt from Rethink Fabrics identifies the numbers of plastic bottles used to create it, meaning you can directly show how many water bottles your company was responsible for keeping out of a landfill.

    That number (and the fact that it grows every time you give a shirt awa) will greatly elevate your brand’s reputation as environmentally-conscious.

    The ability to co-brand the softest shirt made from recycled products (and track your company’s positive environmental impact) makes trade show swag from Rethink Fabrics one of the hottest things to expect in 2020.

    Here’s a little more about them.

    Environmental sustainability is also at the forefront of Exhibitshub’s model. By using our software to source already-created, customizable exhibits, you’re able to save not only money and time, but resources as well.

    Exhibitshub is able to significantly cut down on the environmental impact involved with building and shipping custom-made exhibits by helping you organize your trade show marketing strategy as close to home as possible.

    To browse a list of customizable exhibits, check out our inventory here.


    2020 Trends in Lead Tracking

    You’ve put all the hard work into your trade show exhibit – designing, transporting, staffing – now it’s time to measure your results. Understanding how your exhibit functioned in the past allows you to make well-informed decisions about your exhibiting in the future.

    In a world where the average attendee spends a mere 7 minutes at an exhibit, it’s critical to make the most out of that time and collect the best information possible on your leads.

    These days, that’s easier to do than ever.

    Current technology makes it possible for the physical building itself to help you analyze the traffic in and out of your exhibit.

    McCormick Place, North America’s largest convention center, has partnered with Scanalytics to install 2.6 million square feet of “intelligent” flooring.

    Using ‘smart flooring tiles’, Scanalytics accurately measures usage, movement, interaction, and visitor behavior within the space. This is all done anonymously, benefitting exhibitors as well as improving the overall visitor experience.

    This unique type of spatial science and intelligence provides real-time analysis, as well as historical reporting on visitor behavior. It even shows predictive analytics on future trends, and is accurate down to the square foot!

    For an exhibitor, this kind of data can confirm whether your exhibit was as well attended as you thought, and can help you understand and analyze the efficacy of any given promotion. Depending on the volume of visitors, you can decide whether to make changes to your event staff or the way visitors move throughout your space.

    When you’re inside your booth, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and develop an unrealistic perspective on your exhibit’s overall performance. Reviewing your successes and areas for improvement is no longer subjective with this cloud-based data technology.

    Visitors are better-served too, as the reporting can be linked to other building aspects like security, lighting, and HVAC. This not only improves occupancy safety, but also comfort.

    Understanding wait times, entrances and exits, and pathways will allow organizers to make the most informed decisions on structuring the overall trade show, square foot by square foot.

    Learn more about smart exhibit flooring here.

    Looking ahead at trade show exhibit trends

    Whether you’re planning on showcasing your brand with incredible new tech or giving your trade show attendees wearable swag that tells a story, your booth’s visitors will walk away with something to talk about.

    Implementing any one of these examples would put your exhibit at the top of a trade show attendee’s must-visit list.

    Are you planning on debuting a new aspect of your exhibit in 2020?

    Consider giving an insider look or showing a teaser on your social media to get people talking now!