Today, trade shows will be flush with trendy new ways for your brand to market your products and services. Staying ahead of trends can connect your brand to your ever-evolving audience while helping you achieve your sales and marketing goals.

Prepare for a successful year of trade show marketing with Apogee’s list of Trade Show Trends.

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality is all the rage lately due in large part to the fact these multi-sensory gems are now more accessible than ever before. Both technologies are adept at engaging audiences and immersing their senses for a complete understanding of a company’s products.

You may have heard of VR & AR before but aren’t sure what the differences are.

Virtual Reality (VR) creates a completely immersive experience that shuts out the physical world. By wearing a headset, the user can be transported into a number of real-world and imagined environments.

Augmented Reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone, without the need of a headset. Examples of AR include Snapchat lenses and Pokemon Go.

53 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that uses VR than one that doesn’t. To the prospective customer, using VR & AR shows that your brand is at the forefront of technology in a rapidly changing world.

Types of Virtual Reality Headsets

  • Google Cardboard
  • Oculus Rift / HTC Vive
  • Samsung Gear
  • Playstation VR
  • Lenovo Mirage
  • Google Daydream

Once you decide on your preferred headset, you can launch a VR demo on a compatible system and create your own virtual reality demo experience at trade shows at scale.

VR & AR provide you with a unique and cost-effective way to showcase your company’s services to key prospects, and makes it easier for prospects to interact with your brand far beyond the traditional sales pitch. After so many pitches, a prospect will be looking for creative ways to learn more about your company; VR & AR fill that void.

Interactive Touch Screens

A fast-growing segment of exhibitors have employed interactive technology like touch screens to attract, engage, and present to attendees. Interactive touch screens and kiosks create an electronic “bug light” that attracts visitors into your space. Touch screen presentations let visitors drive the discussion and allows booth staff to present and then provide electronic brochures instantly via email, while also tracking engagement with back-end analytics. Touch screens also allow an unattended visitor to “hang around” the booth long enough for booth staffers to engage and qualify them as key prospects.

Visitor Engagement

While technology like VR, AR and Interactive tech will generate buzz in 2019 and beyond. Visitor engagement will still be a focus at trade shows this year. Real interactions between brand stakeholders and prospects are as important as ever. In fact, 65 percent of exhibitors attend trade shows to see current clients. Nowadays it’s hard to schedule face-to-face time with clients; trade shows provide a way to re-establish a relationship, so when clients arrive, it’s important to show them something new.

The majority of trade show visitors (92 percent) attend trade shows to learn what’s new in products and services, and savvy attendees like to touch, feel and use products, handle prototypes, perform trials, and watch demonstrations. The more engaging and entertaining your booth is, the more likely customers will remember the brand and the booth, and continue the conversation after the show.

Trade Show Tips

  1. Engage your visitors with games or tasks that showcase your products or services. Even better, make it digital so you can collect vital lead information while entertaining your customer and creating a positive brand experience.
  2. Attract people from far away with large booth signage and displays that elicit emotional connections. Take advantage of a large trade show floor by using billboard-size displays that stand out among the crowd.

Themed Trade Show Booths

In the age of integrated and experiential marketing, more and more marketers are creating themed trade show booths. Advances in fabric applications and extrusion frames allow for more creative, brand-embodying exhibit designs that can better translate your overlying campaign theme. The use of color and imagery can fully immerse potential customers into your brand and provide them with the unique experience they’re looking for.


  1. A cosmetics company creates a branded environment in a visually forward space to showcase their stunning artistry and talent as makeup artists. The design features wall-to-wall colors and superimposed shots of the brand’s products to create a life-like world that fully immerses its visitors.
  2. A food and beverage company designs a booth that replicates the inside of a restaurant. Booth staff are dressed as servers who take orders (give sales pitches), the booth is fitted with a bar where attendees can try samples, and a mock kitchen where visitors can learn about the ingredients that are involved in the process.

What’s Next For Your Trade Show Booth?

When looking to apply some of these trends to your own trade show program, you’ll first want to evaluate your trade show objectives, buyer personas and industry. It may make sense to only incorporate a few of these ideas into your next trade show exhibit with Apogee, so choose the ones that will have the greatest impact on your audience and we can discuss how to make them a reality!

Ready to update your booth with these top trends? Talk to an Apogee Expert Today.