In February this year, nine Scan Display staff members, representing the Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban offices, attended Euroshop in Düsseldorf, Germany. Euroshop is considered the world’s number one trade fair for retail and exhibition spaces, showcasing the latest trends in the global exhibition industry.
The show takes place every three years and this year it attracted more than 109 000 trade visitors representing 110 nations. Since 1999, Scan has been sending employees to the show, which covers a space equivalent to over 10 Cape Town International Convention Centres.
The Scan team returned from Euroshop inspired by what they saw and eager to incorporate the new ideas into their projects.
They have summarised the trends as follows:
- The extensive use of fabric on walls and ceilings of exhibition spaces – to hide the infrastructure of modular systems and to give the illusion of a custom-built space – is a major contemporary trend in exhibition spaces.
- Colourways: Neutrals, black and white are popular, as well as wood (which is also frequently incorporated as a natural material).
- Shape and form: Rectangular, angular exhibition spaces are prevalent, with fewer curved spaces and shapes.
- Messaging: Three-dimensional text is replacing large graphics.Message with text is far more prevalent than simply using large format graphics.
- Audio-visual (AV): AV is being superseded by person-to-person communications. The ‘have a stand,want a plasma’ days seem something of the past.
- Meeting places: Many of the most popular stands used their spaces socially. Visitors could sit down and relax, drink coffee and speak to the exhibitors. These proved far more effective than more formal layouts.
- Retail spaces: These displayed the most creative interpretations. There is far more movement and interactivity in retail window displays. For example, a mannequin in a store front window changed faces (they were moved by a robotic arm); and in another example, a customer placed a hand on a window and a series of AV displays interacted with text messages in a personal way.
- Greening: Greater eco-awareness is promoting LED light applications (which use less energy) and the use of natural materials. The proliferation of LED light suppliers at the show, each with technically specific applications, is testament to this.