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April 05, 2018

5 Design Trends for 2018

Chris Ybarra, Creative Director

Every year I attend EXHIBITORLIVE, the trade show for the trade show industry. My week is often jam-packed with meetings, but I always make sure to spend time walking the floor. This is important, especially for me, because it is a great place to watch for design trends and how my team can incorporate them into our clients’ designs. 

While walking the show floor, several up-and-coming trends became apparent to me.

Rustic Farmhouse & Industrial Environments
This year the show floor was bursting with materials that reflected the rustic farmhouse and industrial vibes you see all over HGTV. High-quality printed wood tone fabrics and flooring were the go-to accents and textures to complete the farmhouse look. Custom fabricated metal and painted aluminum beams made a rusted antique finish, with cage lighting, Edison bulbs, and lightweight faux brick walls to top off the industrial feel.  

Video Walls
Video walls have come a long way, and the quality continues to improve. There are a lot of pros that come with incorporating video walls into your exhibit booth. From eye-catching visuals to bringing movement into your space, video walls have the potential to stop attendees in the aisle and entice them into your booth. If you attend multiple shows in a year, adding a video wall will allow you to change up your message per show without changing your graphics. Since exhibitors began integrating video walls into their booths, prices have dropped making these features more accessible. As an exhibitor, you can get creative by selecting a variety of sizes, shapes, angles, and even arched walkways that can uniquely define your space. 

Backlighting Elements 
The biggest advantage to incorporating backlighting into your exhibit is to make your space instantly feel bigger, bolder, and brighter. Much like video walls, backlighting has seen an increase in quality which makes it an affordable option to give the illusion of open space. Backlighting can be integrated into thinner frames or added as edge shelve lighting for a nice glow accent. It brings a pop of color and light that is eye-catching to attendees. 

Social Media Engagement
If it’s not already, social media should be a part of your pre-, during, and post-show marketing. A lot of exhibitors will use social media to promote giveaways, contests, booth demos, and even the occasional celebrity signing. A great example is when an exhibitor uses graphics to entice attendees to like/follow their social accounts or use a specific hashtag, which will automatically enter them into whatever promotion they are running at their booth. The appealing part of these tactics is that it allows the attendee to participate while keeping to their busy show agenda. 

Uniformed Booth Staffers 
When exhibiting at any trade show, it’s important that your booth staff be knowledgeable on the products and engage with attendees. However, having your booth staff wear uniforms provides a cohesive feel to the overall theme of your booth design. Plus, it will allow your brand to stand out among the rest while transforming the attendees’ mind by leaving a lasting impression. 

How does your booth design compare? Contact me to learn how to incorporate these trends and make your brand stand out on the show floor. 

Chris Ybarra, Creative Director
cjy@ttskyline.com | 630.376.1542
Chris Ybarra, Creative Director, has over 14 years of graphic design and industry experience producing trade show environments. His passion for every detail goes into designing the perfect exhibit and event solution for our clients. Chris oversees an award-winning design team who share his desire to collaborate and drive a successful experience. They are consistent in staying abreast of industry trends to ensure TradeTec clients have the most innovative solutions and modern expressions to meet their show objectives. Chris enjoys giving back to the industry by mentoring design students as they finish up their degree programs and enter the professional design community.

About TradeTec:

Founded in Chicago in 1999, Skyline TradeTec produces innovative trade show exhibits with unmatched customer service and a promise of NO POST SHOW BILLING™ for clients. As an endorsed provider of Skyline products, TradeTec offers the highest quality modular exhibits and portable displays, as well as custom and hybrid solutions. Skyline TradeTec has 6 locations in 5 states, has served over 6,000 clients, and has completed over 50,000 projects worldwide. Learn more about TradeTec at SkylineTradeTec.com.