Industry trade shows enable companies to get the opportunity to make a lasting impact on potential clients, affiliates, and customers. Companies joining a trade show face the combined risk and opportunity of being compared with competitors and other booth designs in a live space. In a previous feature, we looked at IBTM World’s 2018 Technology Watch for some of the most innovative and engaging event technology trends last year. In this post we’re taking a closer look at the trends that are coming to define 2019’s trade show scene.

Back in February, Las Vegas hosted EXHIBITORLIVE: The Professional Development Conference for Trade Show and Corporate Event Marketing. 
PR Newswire reports that one of the clear winners during EXHIBITORLIVE was a company called Elevation3D, which specializes in mounting trade show exhibits for Las Vegas companies. Elevation3D bagged the Best of Show Small Booth Award, as well as the Portable/Modular Design People's Choice Award (against 51 other exhibits in this particular category).

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Trade Show Booth Design: An Exercise In Maximizing Minimal Space

The main feature of Elevation3D’s 10x20 linear exhibit was a massive 3D wall art installation. EXHIBITORLIVE judges and attendees interacted with the installation by picking up the docked tablets and putting on the Bluetooth headphones, resulting in an interactive, augmented reality (AR)-powered show about Elevation3D’s live marketing capabilities. The highly engaging, interactive, and now award-winning booth design is a crash course on how digital-based marketing can enhance customer engagement, even in small event spaces. Formerly seen as a gimmick, the use of AR and other similar digital marketing tools have actually spurred massive growth on this side of the ad industry. In fact, 
Maryville University notes how digital advertising spending will increase by $335 billion next year. With advanced tech being used more and more it is no wonder the figure is so high. And Elevation3D, while specializing in designing and mounting live exhibits, is one of the companies leading the way in the digital field. Check out their award-winning booth here:


Artificial Intelligence and Robotics: The Next Step

Another exciting field in event tech is artificial intelligence (AI), which can be combined with other developing technologies to produce truly extraordinary and memorable engagements with customers. Remember Sophia the Robot? The world first got wind of the social humanoid robot in 2017. Made by the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, Sophia has appeared on network television, inspired meme culture, and even resulted in a Silicon Valley parody. More recently, 
Hanson Robotics released a new model called Little Sophia, a smaller version designed as an automated companion that can teach children how to code. Both Sophia and Little Sophia are sneak-peeks into how AI can simulate human conversation and actually enhance attendee engagement at live events. Although event tech might be far from mass-producing similar robots, AI will be represented this year by stand-alone chatbots that can replace human representatives for companies at trade shows.

CREDIT: By ITU Pictures from Geneva, Switzerland

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Cyber Security Should Be Everyone’s Concern

Meanwhile, another emerging “trend” is the buzz surrounding the topic of cyber security. In the context of event tech, this means all the necessary precautions that companies need to take during trade shows to protect their and their customers’ data from cyber attacks. Last year’s massive cyber attacks on both private and government institutions raised alarms for trade show organizers, whose events also serve as a target for hackers and other cyber criminals looking to make a profit. If you can ensure attendees that your interactive tech puts a premium on cyber security, they are more likely to engage as well as trust you with the necessary data to do business.

These are just some of the event tech trends that companies need to keep in mind for this and next year’s upcoming trade shows. If you’re one of these companies, definitely look into adopting these technologies for your next booth/activation.

Tracy Lawson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is a freelance writer. When she’s not looking for new toys for her two cats at home, she visits malls and conventions to check out whatever the events industry is up to.

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