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Exhibition and Event Trends for 2022

Exhibition and Event Trends for 2022

What design trends will define the exhibition and events sector in the year ahead?

This is a question that exhibitors, organisers and contractors all want to answer in order to remain agile against their competitors. They need to know what values and ideas will their target audiences want to see being acknowledged when they attend an exhibition and interact with their brand.

But what trends do we need to keep pace with as we move further into 2022 if we are to avoid losing relevance? Below is an overview of the main themes that exhibition-goers will be looking for from brands and organisers over the next 12 months.

1. Sustainability

Reflections from key industry commentators highlight the prevalence of this trend, saying that the issue of sustainability should be “at the forefront” of our minds in 2022 and beyond. Why? Because this is a global social movement driven by a new generation of business professionals who are “hyper-aware of the need to adopt sustainable practices and respect the environment”.

Such comments were corroborated in recent studies published in Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2019 which found that climate change is the greatest concern for this generation. If one thing is for certain, this is a shift that is set to have a major impact on all industries, not just the exhibition sector.

But, how can event planners maintain an image of relevance in the eyes of their clients by responding to this widespread change in consumer values?

Firstly, by choosing an ethical supplier that embraces these same values. Not all designers and manufacturers make a concerted effort to offset their carbon footprints or recognise the benefits of being ISO14001 accredited. Unfortunately, by partnering with any such supplier, exhibition contractors could be inadvertently dissuading their clients from approaching them for help to create a display stand.

Additionally, choosing building materials that have good environmental credentials is an effective way of ensuring that exhibition stands and equipment are as sustainable as possible. Materials such as aluminium, timber and glass as they are infinitely recyclable resources that lend themselves well to repurposing and reconfiguring.

Merrell used a lot of timber to construct its sustainable exhibition stand

Secondly, have you considered the waste that is produced by your team and visitors during the event? Now, we’re not in the habit of turning down a free coffee or goodie bag of branded merch when attending trade shows, but exhibitors do have the opportunity to appeal to the environmental concerns of guests by providing drinks in recyclable cups and handing out paper bags as opposed to ones made of plastic or fabric!

2. Customer-centricity

Gone are the days of “one size fits all”.

Yes, 2022 is set to be another year defined by personalisation and individualised experiences, with research showing that younger generations (who are fast becoming the most powerful spending group responsible for shaping global markets) want brands to interact with them directly rather than offering them the same service as their peers. This trend is already firmly established within retail, as demonstrated by the recent explosion in customisable product ranges and instore personalisation facilities.

With this in mind, exhibitors need the facilities to be able to offer unique experiences for their visitors. So, why not consider designing a stand or booth which can be split into a number of smaller sections. This will enable the exhibitor to engage with their guests in an intimate environment which, in turn, will make sure that networking efforts lead to the formation of more valuable relationships.

On top of this, having a range of different spaces will allow exhibitors to set up multiple product-specific experiences within a single booth. Passive visitors can be converted into active clients by offering targeted product demonstrations and tailored presentations depending on their individual interests.

A Mod-U-Lok exhibition stand with separate areas for personalised services

How can this be achieved? Modular systems can be configured to create stands of any shape and size. This ensures that you will have unparalleled levels of flexibility when it comes to creating customer-centric experiences that are guaranteed to deliver ROIs.

3. Technology

As millennials account for an increasingly large percentage of exhibitors and exhibition attendees, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing similar rises in the demand for event stands that incorporate advanced technologies. A generation that has grown up with their mobile phones, tablets and smartwatches being extensions of their physical selves, millennials expect to be able to interact digitally with brands and are drawn to those which appear modern, innovative and future-facing.

Now, we’re not suggesting that your exhibition stand will be an utter failure if it doesn’t have a team of ultra-intelligent robots waiting to greet visitors or doesn’t offer guests the chance to test the most expensive VR headsets money can buy. There is a range of much more accessible, affordable technologies that can be integrated into the exhibition stands, such as those listed below.

Dynamic Displays

Bringing animated graphics into an exhibition booth is an effective way of attracting the attention of passers-by and encouraging them to engage with the branded content you’re displaying.

Unibox’s patented Kinetik lightboxes are a cost-effective, visually striking way of incorporating such animations into the design of your stand. They can be installed quickly and easily (absolute necessities given the tight timescales that come part and parcel with exhibition schedules) and can be updated with new animations as often as is required to ensure that they are suitable for an endless number of different clients!

Adidas brand experience space at the London Marathon

iPads and Tablets

Using tablets to interact with visitors is a tried and tested way of gathering data and accessing multi-media content to support your sales pitches. By specifying integrated shelving systems for your stand that feature Unibox’s Konnekt power delivery system, you will have no problems when it comes to keeping devices charged and ready to use at all times. Moreover, with Konnekt boasting sleek designs and concealed power tracks, it means that charging stations can be incorporated into a stand without impacting negatively on its overall aesthetic or compromising the safety of attendees.

Liv exhibition stand with digital screens

Want to learn more about how the Unibox team can work with you to design, manufacture and deliver exhibition stands that are optimised for the demands of 2022? Discover more by visiting the dedicated events and exhibition page on our website. Or, if you’d prefer to speak with one of our experts, contact us here.