EuroShop is the world’s largest retail trade fair, taking place every three years in Germany, and showcasing the latest retail, display and exhibition industry trends. The Scan Display team identified five trends at this year’s show.
- Advances in digital technology are having a huge impact on how we communicate with our customers. Video is taking off, and LED screens were everywhere, sometimes occupying whole walls of stand structures.
- Improvements to LED screens mean the resolution is incredibly high, while screens are thinner and can be flexible or curved. Ultimately, any surface or shape can become the canvas for AV.
- Holograms and projections offer another way to create moving and changing visual displays. And just as LED screens are going onto all kinds of surfaces, so too are projections – onto floors, mesh fabrics, Perspex and other transparent materials, all of which creates interesting effects and textures.
- In some cases, AV is even replacing lighting, because it creates enough ambient lighting.
Lighting leaps forward
- Technological advances are also impacting the lighting industry, allowing for new ways to light displays. Front lighting, back lighting, down lighting and lights in the edging of shelves and in other structures all offer different techniques to draw attention to displays.
- Flexible LED lights give designers a tool to ‘draw’ with lighting.
- Lightboxes remain hugely popular and have in many ways displaced the traditional graphics panels with spotlights. The lighting quality of lightboxes ensures the graphics are vibrant, and there are no spotlights to detract from the graphic.
- Fluorescent lighting has disappeared, and LEDs rule the display space, offering improved colour intensity, as well as cost savings because of their energy efficiency.
Texture, texture and more texture
- Interesting textures remain a popular feature of modern displays.
- Another way to create texture is by using cut-outs, especially in stand walls where cut out patterns allow partial visibility into the stand, adding depth and perspective.
- Floating beams add to this effect, as does the use of interesting materials like patterned carpets and marbled floor vinyl.
- Texture is a useful design feature, as it attracts and holds the eye of visitors as they pause to make sense of what they are seeing.
- Experiential design – using your display to tell a story that engages your client’s senses and imagination – is another trend that continues to dominate displays.
- AV lends itself to telling stories, and interactive technology opens the door to more personalised experiences But the overall stand design, choice of colours and materials and the finishes used all help to tell the story of your brand, and this needs to stay top-of-mind when designing an exhibition stand.
- It’s critical that your story remains authentic and true to your brand.
Sustainability is growing
- Many of the stands at EuroShop included messaging about their sustainable initiatives. From going plastic-free, to offering energy-efficient and low-carbon solutions, many eco-friendly labels and statements were prominently displayed.
- Exhibitors are also exploring how best to use sustainable materials – from natural wood (free of varnishes and paints, which can be environmentally harmful and reduce its re-use applications), to lightweight fabrics, cardboard and even paper.
- There were splashes of greenery, although many exhibitors used plastic plants. While plastic isn’t a sustainable material, it is low maintenance, re-usable and transports easily, which could be seen as having advantages in the long-term.